We’re very excited to present to you our guest blogger, Lauren! Lauren is our web designer extraordinaire and resident Australian goddess. Recently, she made a pilgrimage to the Homeland and reported back to us with her five favorite places down under. We hope you enjoy this trip…take it away Lauren!
I have been living in LA for 2 years now, and although I love it to bits, not a day goes by that I don’t think about my homeland, Australia. Beautiful beaches, harsh climates and breath-taking landscapes, Australia is a country of contrast. On a recent trip home, I visited some of my favorite locations, and I’m excited to share them with you!
1. Bondi Beach, Sydney
Bondi Beach Salt Baths.
Situated north of Sydney City, Bondi is one of the world’s greatest beaches. Despite often being insanely busy, Bondi is a great place to soak-up the essence of Australian beach life. It’s packed with beautiful people (AMAZING people watching!) and lots to do. I suggest sun-baking on the golden sand, swimming in the salt-water baths, shopping the eclectic boutiques and eating at the delicious cafes. Bondi has it all.
2. Mount Stromlo, ACT
Top of Mount Stromlo- view of the fire-damaged Observatory. Photo Keegan Carroll Photography.
My hometown of Canberra in the nation’s capitol, is known for rolling hills and lookout views, my favorite of which is Mount Stromlo. After a devastating forest fire in 2003, the area has been rehabilitated as a recreational park. I love to mountain bike with my dog up the many miles of professionally built trails, watch him chase the kangaroos (or attempt to- they are quick!) and be rewarded by an amazing view of the Brindabella Ranges at the top.
3. Au Lac Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant, ACT
Laksa at Au Lac.
Located in Canberra’s China Town, is the most incredible vegan food in the world, Au Lac. Seriously, they’ve got every fake meat you could ever imagine (to fool even the hungriest carnivore), and a cult following. In all my travels, I am yet to find a place that compares. Please order the soy duck yellow noodle soup for me. It’s a flavor sensation!
4. Snowy Mountains, NSW
Mountain Bikers catching the chairlift up during the summer.
No one ever believes me when I say it snows in Australia. I promise it does! Situated 2 hours from Canberra, The Snowy Mountains have been the location of some of my happiest memories. In the winter I learnt to ski here before I could walk, and during the summer I have watched 100’s of mountain bike races. When I leave I can’t wait to come back. I recommend visiting during the spring when you can hike out to secluded Blue Lake, and enjoy the blooming wild flowers. The area has some amazing scenery, friendly locals, and a great vibe.
5. Nelson Bay, NSW
View of the bay.
This photo was taken from my Grandparent’s house- what a spot! It has been in our family for more than a century. The area is famous for dolphin and whale watching, surfing and fishing. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, and it’s my favorite place on earth to relax and wind down. Breakfast on the patio in the sun is hard to beat.
Hopefully in the future I’ll get a chance to share the reasons I love Los Angeles!