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.

aus bar oyster

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 hotel

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.

beach scenepretty beach house pretty beach house

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.

pretty beach house

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.

bondi beachalexandria

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.


Photo Roll: Dreamy Australian Spots You Cannot Miss | DARLING melbourne

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.

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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.

Photo Roll: Dreamy Australian Spots You Cannot Miss | DARLING

Western Australia

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Don’t miss the Karri Tree forest in the Margaret River area (top image). For fine dining in Perth, visit Post in COMO The Treasury hotel for modern Australian cuisine guided by seasonal produce.

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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.

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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.

bib tucker

Have you been to any of these? What other spots are on your Aussie bucket list?

Images via Emily Blake



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  8. More than just visit. I would love the opportunity to live in Australia. There’s a couple, Jamie and Nikki Perkins from Melbourne, who I follow on YouTube and his footage of it is just dreamy. I’m currently trying to figure it out. Fingers crossed and prayer

  9. Wow very informative post. I have visited South Wales last year with my husband and two kids. The capital of New South Wales is a no-brainer for inclusion on this list. Everyone can name Sydney attractions like the Opera House and Darling Harbour. But with unique Sydney tours like the BridgeClimb, you can appreciate them from 134 m high! Keep your heart racing on the cliff-top Bondi to Coogee walk, which offers stunning views of the coast. And Sydneysiders and visitors alike flock to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which earn the top spot on many lists of things to do in Sydney.

    Tracy Roman

  10. If you die and never visited Australia you never lived! I am from Aus & found Darling on Instagram.. have been reading your blog ever since so i’m stoked Australia finally got a mention. Beautiful pics of the best place to live in the world x

  11. I am from, and currently living in Australia. Loved this beautiful collection of photos. Other must see places would be Byron Bay and Bangalow (northern New South Wales), Or the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. There are some amazing national parks in the hinterlands of Queensland.

  12. So dreamy! The photography is gorgeous. Adding Australia to my travel list…

  13. Oh my goodness, this article is making me homesick! I am from Melbourne. It’s great to see some less obvious recommendations. By the way, a koala is not a bear! Would also recommend Rottnest Island and Broome in WA for great beaches. Flinders ranges in SA for outback and desert. I am biased but I think the restaurants in Melbourne are the best!

    1. Me too, Eliza! At times I forget that I’m missing the empty beaches, gnarly gums (and Cumulus!) until I see photos like these.
      Thanks for sharing, Darling xo

  14. Australia is my next international travelust. Anyone watch Jamie and Nikki vlogs? They are Youtubers based in Melbourne and every time they go to the beach, my heart just melts. I HAVE to see these places in person!

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