When one of our favorite photographers (and former office space sharer) Emily Blake told us she was headed to the Southern Hemisphere, we jumped at the chance to snag a few photos from her trip.
If Australia wasn’t on your bucket list before, then one, we’d probably ask why… and two, tell you to pull up a chair and get ready to clear your calendar. Below Emily shares her favorite must-see spots combined with gorgeous imagery and we can’t stop staring.
Sydney & New South Wales
Bondi Icebergs Swimming Pool is an iconic Sydney landmark where the pool is open to the public and is one of the many in New South Wales built right on the ocean. Also check out the Bronte Baths, a short and beautiful 20 minute walk from Bondi.
Henry Deane (left image) cocktail bar is located on the top floor of Hotel Palisades and is a perfect place to grab a drink and watch the sunset over the Sydney Harbor. North Bondi Fish (right image) is across the street from the famous — and always crowded — Bondi Beach. It’s a trendy, laid-back restaurant with excellent seafood; I’d highly recommend the scallops. Just make sure to call ahead for a reservation as this spot can get crowded since it’s on one of the most popular beaches in Australia.
Hotel Palisade, located in the historic The Rocks neighborhood, is an eight room boutique hotel that offers an amazing Sydney skyline view. This historic hotel recently reopened and it’s been tastefully renovated while still paying homage to its origins (ie: there’s a hand painted mural in each room).
After a long flight, ordering a cheese board and a bottle of wine at the hotel bar will be a perfect way to end your night.
Pretty Beach House, a luxurious four-room guesthouse located two hours north of Sydney, is another worthwhile location with views of Bouddi National Park. Food is an essential part of the Pretty Beach House experience and the Italian-inspired cuisine is often sourced from the herb gardens located on the property. They also have an impressive wine cellar available to guests.
Every detail here is intentional and thought out, from the wood-fire pizza oven (directly from Naples) to the Italian linen, to the records and books available to take back to your room in the main house.
Also of note: The Old Clare Hotel (left image). This is a charming, 62 room heritage building hotel centrally located in the Chippendale suburb with vintage furniture, luxurious rooms and amenities throughout. The Grounds of Alexandria (right image) great place to get some of the best avocado toast and delicious coffee. It’s a 10-15 min drive from the city centre.
The Kettle Black is the coolest cafe in town located in South Melbourne. Try their coconut set chia with raspberry sorbet and topped with fresh mango and maple.
To stay? Try this apartment for rent in the St. Kilda neighborhood of Melbourne. It’s a lovely space curated by interior designer and store owner Lynda Gardener. Bright, clean and very cozy.
CUMULUS Inc. is an eating house in Melbourne on Flinders Lane, where most of the most popular restaurants are. Go here if you like simple, delicious and fresh dishes.
Immersed in nature in the famed Margaret River area is the Empire Retreat and Spa. Rooms here are bright with a fresh style and amazing smells waft throughout the whole property. The day spa, too, is a must! You’ll feel pampered with its amazing massages in a rejuvenating environment, and also love the great breakfast that’s provided in the farmhouse-style dining room.
There are also great wineries (something Margaret River is known for) nearby, plus stunning beaches. You can’t go wrong.
Koala bears are rare to find in nature (they are good at hiding), so it’s worth going to a wildlife park, like Caversham Wildlife Park, to see these very cute creatures close up.
In Perth’s CBD there’s a laid-back hotel with trendy decor, Alex Hotel (top image), with great common areas to hang out in. Don’t miss Cottesloe beach, either. If you’re hungry, Bib and Tucker (below) is a great beachside restaurant with a modern Australian menu.
Have you been to any of these? What other spots are on your Aussie bucket list?
Images via Emily Blake