I love city life – public transportation, the abundance of different styles of food, and the high energy vibes – it’s all good in my book. Still, sometimes it’s amazing to take a break from the city and escape for the day. This weekend, Michael and I hopped in the van and headed an hour south of Sydney to Wollongong. This little beach town is full of restaurants, shops, and a long stretch of yellow, sandy beach. This is what we did with a day in Wollongong. This is Day Trips from Sydney: Wollongong.

Day Trips from Sydney: Wollongong

The road to Wollongong is as scenic as the city itself. We took the Grand Pacific Drive – a bit longer of a drive, but 10x more beautiful. The Grand Pacific Drive goes along the beach, with opportunities to stop at ocean rock pools, adorable beaches, and the beautiful Sea Cliff Bridge.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

We stopped at a few photogenic places on the way to Wollongong. Sea Cliff Bridge, Bald Hill Lookout, and the Coalcliff rock pools are all places I’d recommend.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Bald Hill Lookout

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Coalcliff Rocks

Once you make it to Wollongong, explore the lighthouses along the beach, take a dip in the ocean, or grab a bevvie at the Illawara Brewing Co.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

craft beers at Illawara Brewing Co

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

There are loads of places to eat in Wollongong. Some of the most recommended are Diggies, Lee & Me, Lower East Cafe, and Pepe’s on the Beach. We opted to stop at Scarborough Hotel, which is on the way back to Sydney, and offers endless ocean views from the top of a cliff.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

A day in Wollongong is a great way to escape the busy city of Sydney. I’ll definitely be back to explore some more!

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After living in Sydney, Australia for over two months and doing my fair share of eating out, I’ve come up with the best vegan restaurants in Sydney. I have been vegan for over two years now, and I love eating out at restaurants that make incredible vegan food. Sydney is full of innovative and modern vegan restaurants, which makes it a great spot to travel to if you’re a vegan foodie like me! These are the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

There is such a variety of vegan restaurants in Sydney – seriously, something for any mood you’re in.

Gigi’s Italian Pizza

Craving authentic, Italian style pizza? Head to Gigi’s. This is the best pizza I’ve eaten outside of Italy (it may even be the best pizza I’ve ever had – including the pizzas from Italy!). Gigi’s pizzeria started off as an authentic Italian pizzeria in Sydney, but when the owner turned vegan back in 2015, he turned the whole restaurant plant-based as well. This means you’ll be stepping into vegan heaven at Gigi’s. EVERYTHING IS VEGAN. Beer, wine, cocktails, appetizers, desserts; all vegan. Gigi’s has a cult following, so if you’re in the market for pizza, plan to wait in line for a table. It’s worth the wait, though. I’d recommend ordering up a glass of wine, the pizza of your choice, and saving room for the vegan tiramisu to cap it all off.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Funky Pies

Feeling like an Aussie pie, but don’t want meat or dairy? Get your butt over to Funky Pies. Based in Bondi, Funky Pies is a tiny, casual, hippy restaurant. You’ll get a glimpse of the pies in the warming oven before you order. Head over for an early lunch, because the pies sell out fast. This little eatery also sells kombucha, vegan frozen treats, pastries and coffees. The best part is that you can buy frozen pies to take home with you.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Speedo’s Cafe

Wanting something healthy with a view of the famous Bondi Beach? Head  to Speedo’s Cafe. Speedo’s is well known in the vegan community for their veggie burgers, but they also serve up some wicked acai bowls, smoothies, and salads if you’re in the mood for something lighter. Head here if you’re keen to spend the day sunbathing at Bondi beach – it’s right past the parking lot. Speedo’s is a great spot to refuel after the Coogee to Bondi hike.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Soul Burger

Are you a faux-meat loving vegan? Head to Soul Burger for a scarily realistic rendition of the classic American burger, veganized! This little eatery serves up fries, shakes, and a variety of juicy burgers, all 100% vegan and all 100% delicious. It’s not hard to see what makes it one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Brooklyn Hide

Looking for a chilled out spot for brekky and a hot soy cappuccino? Head to Brooklyn Hide in the hip suburb of Surry Hills for an authentic New York style bagel. Though it’s not fully vegan, Brooklyn Hide has vegan options on the menu, and it’s a great spot for a carb-filled breakfast to kick off your weekend!

Best Vegan Restaurants in SydneyBest Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Want more? Stay tuned, as I’ll be moving back to Sydney in September 2018. Until then, check out the best hikes around Sydney.

Do you have recommendations? What are your favorite vegan restaurants? Let me know in the comments!




The Best Hikes In Sydney, Australia

Upon arriving in Sydney, I found that this city is filled with breathtaking hikes – there are coastal hikes, harbor hikes, and even a whole mountain range just an hour East of the city. This is a list of the best hikes in Sydney, Australia.Best Hikes in Sydney: Blue Mountains

Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia 
1. Palm Beach / Barrenjoey Lighthouse Hike

This hike starts at the famous Palm Beach (where the aussie soap opera Home And Away is filmed) and takes you up to Barrenjoey lighthouse. From the tip of the mountain, you’ll be able to see where the bay meets the ocean, and the kilometers of beach that separate the two. This is one of the best views I’ve ever had on a hike, and high on the list of the best hikes in Sydney. See the full post on this hike for more photos.

Best Hikes In Sydney, Australia

2. Bondi to Coogee

This hike is a beautiful walk along the coast just South of Sydney’s CBD. It took me about two hours one way, mainly because I stopped for so many photos. It’s most common to walk from Bondi to Coogee, but I went from Coogee to Bondi, which I imagine to be a bit more rewarding if you’ve never seen Bondi before. It’s not hard to see how this one made the list of best hikes in Sydney! See the full post on this hike for more info. 

The Best Hikes in SydneyThe Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia

3. Figure 8 Pools

About 30 mins south of Sydney CBD is the Royal National Park. Head here for a medium-intensity, 1 hour hike to the beach, and even further, the figure 8 pools. The figure 8 pools have been naturally created over hundreds of years, and are incredible to see in real life. This is one of the shorter hikes of the best hikes in Sydney. See the full post on this hike for more details and lots more photos. Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia

4. Marley Beach Hike

Also located in the Royal National Park, the hike to Marley Beach takes about an hour and a half from the fire road. I took a rocky fire road path, but if you’d like to go on a smoother, newer, man-made path, I’d recommend starting at Bundeena. The path is relatively uneventful, but the reveal of Marley beach is astonishing. We brought a picnic and ate a bit inland, where the wind wasn’t as strong. The views make it obvious as to how this one made the list of best hikes in Sydney!

The Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia The Best Hiking Trails in Sydney, Australia The Best Hiking in Sydney, Australia The Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia

5. Grand Canyon Hike to Evans Lookout, Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are a perfect weekend trip for the avid hiker visiting Sydney. Located just about an hour to an hour and a half outside of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are full of long, lush hiking trails. One of my favorites was the Grand Canyon hike to Evan’s Lookout – it took us about 2 hours to get to Evans Lookout, through the canyon. The amount of hikes in the Blue Mountains makes it a clear top candidate of the best hikes in Sydney.

The Best Hikes in Sydney, Australia

6. Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains

Wentworth Falls is a massive waterfall that you should NOT MISS if you’re taking a trip to the Blue Mountains. Go early, because the hike is beautiful but long. We ended up having to take a shorter trail because we ran out of time before it got dark. It paid off in the end, as we got to see a second waterfall – Empress Falls.

Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls TrailBlue Mountains: The Perfect Weekend Getaway From Sydney

See the full post for more photos. 

7. Cronulla Beach Hike

If you’re feeling a chill, lazy day sort of walk, the Cronulla beach hike is for you! This is a relatively flat, easy walk. It’s a long one as well, so bring your water and maybe some snacks. It’s not hard to see how this one made the list of best hikes in Sydney!

Best Hikes in Sydney: Cronulla BeachBest Hikes In Sydney: Cronulla Beach

8. Chowder Bay to Bradley’s Head Hike

This is one of the first hikes I did in Sydney and one of the most impressive. This trail takes you from Chowder Bay (have a coffee at the old bunker turned coffee shop before heading out!) all the way to Bradley’s Head – where you will get a stunning view of the Sydney Harbor bridge and Sydney Opera House. See the full post for more photos and details.
Best Hikes in Sydney: Bradley's Head Best Hikes in Sydney: Bradley's Head

9. Manly to Spit Bridge

The Manly to Spit Bridge trek was one that I was most looking forward to. Starting at the stunning Manly Beach, this is a long hike at 10k each way. I just did one way, but if you’re feeling wild, try to go round trip. See the full post for more photos and details. Best Hikes in Sydney: Manly to Spit Bridge Best Hikes in Sydney: Manly to Spit Bridge

Planning a trip to Sydney? Check out my favorite restaurants in Sydney and the best beaches that Sydney has to offer. What did you think of this list of the best hikes in Sydney?

Let me know
  • What is your favorite hike in the world?

The Famous Figure 8 Pools in Sydney

One sunny day, I hopped in the car with Natalie and Michael, and we headed into the Royal National Park to visit the insta-famous Figure 8 Pools. My au pair family had highly recommended it, and after seeing the instagram photos, we knew we had to check it out.

Figure 8 Pools & Burning Palms Beach Figure 8 Pools Sydney Royal National Park

After we parked, we took the trail to Burning Palms Beach. The hike is a moderate and hilly. It’s just about 45 minutes to the beach. Make sure to bring your water!

Figure 8 Pools Royal National Park HikingFigure 8 Pools Royal National ParkFigure 8 Pools Burning Palms Beach

Once we got down to the beach, we had to do some minor rock climbing to get to the pools.

Figure 8 Pools Burning Palms Beach RocksFigure 8 Pools Burning Palms Beach

We finally made it to the Figure 8 Pools and they were astonishing. Each little pool looked like it’s own little world, full of different types of colorful plants.

Instagram Famous Figure 8 Pools: A Must Visit in Sydney Figure 8 Pools Sydney: A Must Visit Figure 8 Pool Sydney: A Must Visit

We had such a fun day checking out the pools. Some people were swimming in them, but the water was freezing! Figure 8 Pools Burning Palms Beach Sydney

Figure 8 Pools Instagram Famous Sydney

We even saw a rainbow on our walk back – pure magic. While walking through the beach and the forest, I couldn’t help but become awestruck at the beauty that surrounds us. This is truly a magical place. Rainbow over Burning Palms Beach, SydneyThe figure 8 pools were such an incredible sight, and it was even better that Michael and Natalie were there with me. Natalie is a photographer and she is amazing at it – check her out. She took some of the photos above! Famous Figure 8 Pools Sydney

The total cost of this trip was $12 for parking. If you’re visiting Sydney, I’d highly recommend checking out these pools and a few other hikes in the Royal National Park.

When you visit the Figure 8 Pools, make sure to bring your bathers (that’s Australian for swimsuit), a picnic, and plenty of water. We also had a bit of rain, so make sure you’re prepared for all types of weather.


Soul Burger: Sydney’s Best Vegan Burger

Soul Burger in Sydney has blown my mind.

If you’re anything like me, you get a serious craving for a solid vegan burger every couple of months. I consider myself somewhat of a veggie burger connoisseur. However, it’s not often that I come across a faux-meat burger that tastes seriously like beef. Soul Burger Plant Based Burgers Sydney Randwick Interior

Soul Burger: Sydney’s Best Vegan Burger

I was told by numerous people that if I was going to Sydney, I needed to try Soul Burger. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than an epic vegan burger. But, I was super excited to see upon arrival that not only do they serve a wide range of vegan burgers, they also had vegan milkshakes and a massive assortment of fries. Consider this American in vegan heaven!

Soul Burger Randwick Sydney

Soul Burger: What To Order

Soul Burger Sydney Menu

I ordered a “Straya, Mate” and my Australian friend ordered the American Badass. We thought that was pretty cute, considering that one of us was American and one of us was Aussie. Soul Burger Randwick Sydney Straya Mate BurgerSoul Burger Randwick Sydney American Burger

I was very pleasantly surprised when the burgers came out – they were massive. We had also ordered a vanilla coconut milkshake and fries to share. Soul Burger Randwick Sydney Vegan Burger Feast

The burgers tasted (and looked) so much like beef – if there weren’t signs showing that it was plant based everywhere, I’d have thought they accidentally gave me a meat burger! The burgers even had the consistency and chewiness of beef. Trippy!

We did our best, but in the end we couldn’t finish this epic feast. The burgers were so filling! I’d recommend going super hungry.Soul Burger Randwick Sydney Amanda Round the Globe

If you’re planning a trip to Sydney (or dreaming about it), check out my other favorite vegan restaurants in Sydney, the best beaches in Sydney, and my favorite hikes in Sydney!

Check out Soul Burger’s website for more info.