Bear and I had our 2 and a half week adventure down under a little while back.. It was amazing to carve out the time to be together in such a special place. I loved so many things about it, from the overall calm – no chaos vibe that permeates the country, the stunning beaches, the crisp beautiful morning sunlight, and the kind chill people. Serious shout out to all you kind lifers that shared your thoughts on places to check out, these truly shaped our itinerary! Thank you!
Here are some of the highlights from our trip:
About Life: We loved this grocery store! There are several things awesome about this place:
1) They have little carts for kids to use which makes grocery shopping way fun. Bear wanted to put everything in his cart!
2) It’s spacious, with open doors and no rushing crowds. Shopping there wasn’t stressful!
2) We discovered several vegan treats that are divine..!
- Dried Inca berries aka golden berries! These guys are my new obsession. They’re soo good, mildly sweet with a tart aftertaste. I love a good sour.
- About Life Coconut Vanilla Yogurt… this yogurt is so yummy and doesn’t have anything icky in it. Usually vegan yogurts have sugar or cane juice (dairy yogurt is much nastier) in them but this one is sweetened with rice malt syrup and tapioca starch. If you are in Sydney and have not tried it, run there!
- About Life Cacao Parfait = pretty darn yum!
- About Life Raw Caramel Slice is super super delicious.
- About Life Almond Butter (made in house) is mixed with Brazilian nuts and is so good! I made this combination that you need to try: mix some of their yogurt with this almond butter on the side and add some raisins. It tastes like brown sugar yogurt… no joke, so amazing! There is something different about it that’s so special.
Indulging in these treats was delicious and fun, but we started off every morning by making some blanched kale (with some lemon, ume vinegar, and flax oil), miso soup, and brown rice. This set our healthy foundation and fueled us for the day!
Walking from Bondi to Tamarama beach: the rocks and ocean were so unbelievable beautiful! The women’s pool at Coogee beach was also so pretty! Thank you kind lifer Chris for this suggestion 🙂
Tamarama beach with my travel pal, Amy and below with Bear.
Tamarama’s gorgeous rocks
The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay: we spent a whole day there, it’s so pretty! I ate this massive kale salad that was really nice. The avocado toast was also good (avo toast in AUS is a staple, Bear ate it almost everyday)! From the Boathouse, we went to the ferry station and took a ferry to the Sydney Opera House. We walked around outside the Opera House and sat on it’s steps to take in the stunning landscape of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and city skyline. Then we took a water taxi back towards our home in Double Bay. This was the greatest idea – we saw a baby and mommy seal, enjoyed an unreal sunset, and absorbed the gorgeous views of Double Bay’s port. After disembarking the taxi, Bear and his buddy August played in the park for some time and we walked home under the moonlight. The whole experience had such a divine flow!
Bear and I on a boat ride at the Boathouse Restaurant
Orchard St.: this place is very very cool looking! I was so impressed with it’s design and packaging, so exquisite and pretty. I didn’t love the food/drinks but the place is super pretty!
Gigi’s Pizzeria: this place was sooo good! Thank you for this recommendation. I love the story behind how it came to be! The owner had a very popular pizzeria that served meat and cheese. He changed to a plant-based diet and was conflicted with his restaurant as it no longer reflected who he was.. He tested putting veggie items on the menu without calling them out as vegan or plant-based – just delicious specials. They went fast and hard! He then made the shift to completely plant-based menu and has not lost his patrons, to this day lines remain out the door. Check out their menu, you will drool!
Gelato Blue Newtown: this place is walking distance to Gigi’s and is so awesome! The gelato is beautiful!
Kind Lifer meet up: Thanks to all you local kind lifers who met up with me for lunch at Proteini Cafe. You guys are so awesome! Such a sophisticated, chic, and fashionable group. It was so nice to meet fellow veg friends and learn more about all the must-do’s in your city. Plus, Proteini’s turmeric & ginger latte was super yummy. We also love the children’s book, Diary of a Wombat, given to us by Elma and Patricia, thank you!
Adventuring with Jodie: Kind lifer Jodie and her daughter Ava took us on some fun adventures to Shelly Beach, Manly Dam, and Avalon Beach. Shelly has such nice vibes and Manly Dam is so beautiful. The swans at Manly were really something! They come right up to your face so you have to be careful! I definitely want to go back to Avalon and spend some time there. The beach is stunning. I didn’t make it to Palm Beach, so next time!
Bear & Ava playing at Manly Dam
Bear & Ava, photo by Jodie McBride
Bear saying goodbye to Ava at the ferry station. barefoot
Meeting Penny, Neal, and their 3 boys: we had a lovely time getting to know them!
Crystal Castle: Crystal Castle is a funky botanical garden with gorgeous views, beautiful crystals, and a tasty cafe. My favorite was the sound healing meditation. It was divine! Next favorite part about the visit was the reflexology rocks. You stand on these rocks with bare feet and it feels a little like “ahh!” but very nice at the same time.
The town and beaches of Byron Bay: It was so lovely walking from our Airbnb to the beach and cruising the streets of Byron! Bear and August enjoyed playing on the beach side rocks and we all loved dancing to Byron’s street performers. There were also some really cool vintage shops where I found some stunning rugs that are now in my home, along with various other treasures!
We ate some really amazing breakfasts at Folk: the burrito was the best meal I had during the trip and their decaf almond milk cappuccino was insane. The coffee bean taste delicious and they decaffeinate the coffee with water so it’s not chemically processed. The porridge and avocado toast were yummy as well!
Strawberry smoothie at Folk
Insane Folk burrito!
Doma Cafe in Federal: This place was really yummy and had such a good vibe. It’s all outdoors with cute interior and outdoor design, surrounded by great trees that Bear had fun climbing on. Their tempura sweet potato sushi and miso eggplant dish were super good. The best part about Doma was their oat bars with figs. I had my eyeballs on them when we got there and were hoping they were vegan (since the restaurant isn’t entirely vegan).. and they were! They were so tasty so we bought a bunch to-go. This was a great move since they carried us over throughout the next day as perfect travel snacks during our journey to Cairns.
Yummy Doma oat bar
Cute cart and well for kids
Cape Byron Lighthouse: Bear & I got a ride to the Lighthouse (via hitch hiking! There were no taxis in sight!) from a nice lady and her daughter Madeline. We walked from the Lighthouse down this path that went to Cape Byron’s point and it seriously felt like we were on the edge of the world. Bear climbed some rocks and we saw whales!! The tide started to come in and the waves began to get pretty massive so we hustled out of there and walked all the way back to Byron Bay via the shoreline. Walking through Wategos Beach was exceptionally beautiful. It was such a gorgeous adventure!
Vision Walks Eco Tours: Since visiting a zoo was definitely a no-go, I sought out a real deal eco tour to check out some of the native animals and flora. Wendy from Vision Walks was great! We saw flying foxes (bats), koalas, and kangaroos all in their wild native habitat!!
Cairns Ferry Station: Surprisingly the ferry station had A yummy cafe called Al Porto! I ordered the “Veggie Tower” which was comprised of roasted pumpkin, bell pepper, spinach, grilled tomato and pumpkin toast. It was so good!!
Palm Cove: We had a great time in Palm Cove, swimming in pools and playing on the beach. There is such an awesome beachfront playground there! It’s the best idea ever and insanely beautiful. Shout out to Alex of Tourism Tropical North Queensland for making our Queensland adventure so great.
Bear playing with a swim noodle
Great Barrier Reef Adventure Day
Beautiful photo above taken by Amy Neunsinger
Kayaking with Paddletrek Kayak Adventures in Cape Tribulation: We paddled out into the ocean and went wandering into crocodile land! Going into the ocean with these kayaks was so much fun! Our guides Pete and Gary were great..
Ziplining with Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours: Ziplining throughout the Daintree Rainforest was quite an experience! We had a blast. It really gets some adrenaline going in your body! On one particular zip, you can feel your body buzzing. Check out this video of Bear enjoying his ride.
Can you spot our camouflage friend? It’s call Byod’s forest dragon.
This “human hamster wheel” propels a person up the cables and onto the zipline platform, pretty cool huh?!
Picnic by creek: We got take out from the restaurant Whet and had a picnic. The owner Michelle and her family were so sweet!! The food was delicious. They made us a special vegan meal, definitely up there as another favorite during the trip.
Michelle and her kids
Bear sat in front on the ride back towards Cairns and fell asleep by the time we landed. Fun but exhausting day!!
All in all it was a super lovely trip!!! So much gratitude to you kind lifers who gave me an inside scoop and big thank you to Alex at Tourism Tropical North Queensland for organizing so many incredible adventures all in one day!
Did you go on any fun adventures this summer with loved ones? Where did you go and how was your trip?