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The Selfish Guide to Australia

The Selfish Guide to Australia

Mr. Selfish and I spent 38 days in the Land Down Under. We found Aussie food to be quite fresh and delicious and the wildlife to be abundant and diverse.  Nevertheless, the country as a whole was too similar to the States for our tastes.  We still highly recommend Tasmania.

Our itinerary was as follows:

  • Sydney – 18 days
  • Port Douglas/Great Barrier Reef – 4 days
  • Tasmania – 7 days
  • Adelaide – 2 days
  • Kangaroo Island – 2 days
  • Melbourne – 5 days

Australia Map

Sydney: Beaches and Great Food

Mr. Selfish and I had high expectations for Sydney. We were generally disappointed since it seemed too similar to “Any City, USA.” Nevertheless, who doesn’t love the view of the Opera House?

Sydney 01

We also enjoyed the wonderful beach infrastructure, especially Bondi Beach.

Sydney 05

Moreover, the ferry to Manly is well worth the trip. The views from the ferry of Sydney are amazing, and the beaches in Manly are also quite scenic.

Sydney - Manly Walk 004

Although we had heard that the food in Sydney was very good, we were still surprised at how fresh everything was and the quality of the ingredients. We had many delicious meals in Sydney, including Aussie pieshamburgersMalay foodgelato, and brekkie.

Sydney - Aussie Pies 008

After being in Asia so long, Mr. Selfish and I had a serious craving for good beer, and Sydney delivered.

Sydney 10

We also took a day trip to the Blue Mountains, which are actually quite blue.

Sydney - Blue Mountains 012

Finally, Mr. Selfish wanted to check another Park Hyatt off of his list of hotels at which to stay. The Sydney Park Hyatt was a beautiful hotel, and we wished that we had spent more than one night there.

Sydney - Park Hyatt 001

Here’s our Google map for Sydney:

 

The Great Barrier Reef: Not So Great

Mr. Selfish and I also had high expectations for the Great Barrier Reef. There is so much hype to dive there. It is possible that we weren’t there at the right time, but the diving was only okay. The GBR does not rate that high compared to other dives sights we’ve visited.

GBR 20

I did enjoy the Wildlife Habitat at which I held a koala.

GBR 06

On the other hand, I would skip the Mossman Gorge unless you have never, ever seen another gorge before.

Here’s our bare bones Google map for the Port Douglas area:

Tasmania: The Highlight of the Land Down Under

Mr. Selfish and I absolutely adored Tasmania. We spent a week there and wish that we had spent around two weeks instead. It was absolutely stunning and had the best food in Australia.

We rented a car and drove to Launceston, St. Helens (near the Bay of Fires), Swansea (near Wineglass Bay/Freycinet National Park), Port Arthur, and Hobart.

tasmania

From Launceston, we drove to Narawntapu National Park, which had the most adorable wombats and tons of other critters.

Tassie - Platypus Seahorse Park 024

Then, it was off to the east coast of Tasmania. Although the weather in Tasmania was a little rainy initially, the skies opened up and we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise at the Bay of Fires.

Tassie - Bay of Fires and Wineglass Bay 001

The good weather continued at Freycinet National Park although we found Wineglass Bay to be a little overrated.

Tassie - Bay of Fires and Wineglass Bay 019

We then drove down to Port Arthur to see the former penal colony for the hardest of British criminals.

Tassie - Port Arthur 009

During this drive around Tasmania, we had the freshest and most delicious food. The wine, cheese, berries, and oysters were all fantastic.

Tassie - Wineries and Food 022

Finally, we spent a couple of nights in Hobart, the capital and biggest city in Tasmania. Mr. Selfish and I discovered our favorite museum of all time there – the Museum of Old and New (MONA).

Tassie - MONA 005

We also had the best breakfast we’ve ever had in Hobart from Machine Laundry Café.

Tassie 1010

I highly recommend visiting Tasmania if you plan on going to Australia. It was certainly our favorite location there. Here’s our Google map of Tasmania:

Adelaide: Meet and Eat Plus Wineries

Mr. Selfish and I only spent two days in Adelaide. Thanks to our good friends who showed us around, we had a lovely time.

We did the notorious “Meet and Eat” in Adelaide. There are two steps. First, we met the animals at Cleland Wildlife Park.

Meet and Eat 20

Second, we ate (some of) those animals at Red Ochre. Mmmmmmmmm. Delicious!

Meet and Eat 33

Plus, the wineries near Adelaide are fabulous. There are so many to choose from, so we were glad to have the locals show us the ropes.

Barossa Wineries 09

Here’s our Google map of Adelaide:

Kangaroo Island: Crazy Pelicans and Seals

From Adelaide, we took a ferry to Kangaroo Island. Although KI was a lot of fun, if I had to recommend only one island in Australia, it would still be Tasmania.

However, Tasmania doesn’t have a daily feeding frenzy with tons of crazy looking pelicans.

KI - Getting There and Pelicans 030

Mr. Selfish and I would have enjoyed Flinders Chase National Park more if the weather had cooperated. It was still very pretty, especially the Remarkable Rocks and the Admirals Arch.

KI - Animals 014

Seal Bay was also fun, mostly because it was mating season and all of the males were strutting there stuff.

KI - Animals 035

Here’s our Google map for Kangaroo Island:

Melbourne: The Other City

Mr. Selfish and I spent five days in Melbourne, which we found to have much more character than Sydney. We also heard that people from Sydney derogatorily refer to those in Melbourne as “Mexicans,” which doesn’t make much sense to us.

We liked the National Gallery of Victoria more than the museums in Sydney.

Melbourne - Museums 015

We also enjoyed shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and cooked some delicious meals.

Melbourne - Victoria Market and Tea 002

Here’s our Google map of Melbourne:


[Disclaimer: These are our personal Google maps for Australia. It is possible that not all of the pins are accurate since we did not visit all of them.]

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