hello australia! your help is needed..


We are thinking about escaping the Dutch winter and go to Australia in January. As we don’t have much time to plan the trip we need help from my lovely Australian readers and other Australia connoisseurs. We plan to fly to Sydney and move up the East coast probably all the way up to Cairns. Could you tell me what are the best places to visit? I will be travelling with my husband Ivar and 2 year old son Kick. I have been to Australia before but that was before I had a child (it was mainly party time!) so this time will be different. We want to stay in Sydney (or in the area) and also thinking about Noosa, Byron Bay etc. Any tips about places to stay, eat, play, go etc are very welcome and very much appreciated!!! You can leave a comment or contact me directly by email (danielledelange {AT} gmail {DOT} com). Also, if you are in Australia and in the area where we will be going please let me know if you’d like to meet up. We love meeting new people, and our son Kick LOVES to play with other kids!!


Update: thank you for all your comments and email! Your information has been very helpful; we have now decided to postpone our trip to October/November as this is a better season to travel to Queensland. I will keep you posted on our travel plans!

(the images show the beautiful work of Australian designer Rachel Castle)

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  • Hi there, sounds like a fab trip! And yes, worth doing. Keep in mind that January is our peak summer month, kind of like August in Europe. It might be worth booking soon. Making your way up to Queensland is a great trip, I’m sure you know how far the distances are (eg. 10 hours drive Sydney – Byron Bay, or maybe more if you stop a lot with your child). Sometimes it is worth flying (Jetstar & Virgin are our two budget airlines). Also, January will be rainy season in North Qld, so you may get some humid & rainy weather in Cairns. I just got back from Noosa, we go every year and love it. Try to stay on Hastings St if you can, or on the road leading into the national park (Try Richardson & Wrench Noosa & Accommodation Noosa for booking apartments). Walking distance to Hastings St is ideal.

    Most restaurants in Noosa are a similar price, but varying quality… Top picks are Sails, Berados on the Beach & Bistro C. Oh, and amazing Japanese at Wasabi (which is just out of the main town, you can get a ferry there). There is a fantastic babysitting service called Nannies of Noosa, I highly recommend! Good luck, and enjoy!

  • What a great trip!!

    As mentioned above, it is rainy season that time of year so you may need to pack a light waterproof jacket. It is quite hot though so no need for much warm stuff.

    Protester Falls near Byron will be beautiful in wet season & I’d highly recommend spending a day at Bangalow market then dinner at the pub.

    When we go to Sydney (I’m a Melbourne girl) we stay in Surrey Hills as I love being near great food & design shops, as well as being close to China Town, the city & transport. Unless of course you crave the beach & then you’d be better staying at Bondi, but it is a bit of a trek back into the city.

    If your travelling by road, Port Stephens is a great stop over north of Sydney (only 2.5 hours drive) and not far from Newcastle, which has quite a big design/art scene going on.

    If you’re heading as far north as Cairns, go a little further to Port Douglas (70km north) & Cape Tribulation (only about 100kms north of Cairns & good road access).

    I’d recommend booking your main accommodation fairly early as a lot of places may be booked out due to being our holiday season.

    You probably know much of this already, but hopefully I’ve given a few extra tips…. Have a fab time!!! I’m very jealous!!

  • How exciting! Yes January is hot, you may not want to venture as far as Cairns as it is not the best time for northern Queensland but Noosa and Byron Bay are definitely a must. In Sydney, Potts Point and Surry Hills are fun, cool suburbs. Bronte is a very family friendly beach and there are wonderful harbour beaches too for example Red Leaf pool in Double Bay and Shark Beach in Nielsen Park.

    I am a Melbourne girl but it sounds like you won’t make it down here. f you do, please look me up. Have a great trip!!!

  • I live on the Sunshine Coast which is one hour north of Brisbane. It is delish here. Our summer is very warm and hot but the beaches are do die for and very fun and refreshing.. You will love Byron Bay and yes the Hinterland in Montville is just beautiful. You would be safe to spend a few days here on the Sunshine coast.. It is gorgeous. Have a happy holiday x

  • How exciting! My Aussie family will all be at the beach and I will be sitting in the snow here in the US – a white Christmas is still a bit of a novelty for us so it’s not all bad but we do miss the great seafood. As someone else suggested you may not want to go as far as Cairns at that time of the year as it’s unpleasantly hot and humid being the wet season and you can’t swim at any of the beaches that far north due to the ‘stingers’.

    Sydney is full of fabulous restaurants but being international visitors I would highly recommend Icebergs at Bondi, both for the food and sensational location. If you are driving to Byron Bay, stop on the way at a place called Yamba. Go to the Pacific Yamba Hotel for lunch or a drink – it’s high above the water with great ocean views and the food’s not bad either. It’s a hidden gem for the overseas visitor. My parents have a beach house in a little fishing village not far from there and it’s a must-do every time I go home just to take in the view.

    I second another’s suggestion of Bangalow in the Byron Bay hinterland. It’s a lovely little village with good restaurants and great shopping. There are 2 particularly gorgeous boutiques in the main street that I discovered when home in March, both on the same side but at opposite ends of the street, one is up a set of stairs. The weekend markets are also worth a look but the village is very busy when they’re on. Having followed the style files since you featured my resin bangles a couple of years ago (thank you), I’m sure you’d love the boutiques I refer to so try and seek them out if you have time.

    There is so much to see and do but these came to mind immediately, if I think of anything else I’ll let you know. Have fun…planning is half the fun!

  • I wouldn’t recommend”far north Queensland at that time of year stingers in the water so you cant swim in the sea. I would start in Sydney hire a car and work your way up the coast Port Stephens, Blueys beach, Yamba , Byron Bay and then up to Noosa. Have fun planning!!

  • Sydney – spend a Saturday doing the markets: Paddo, the Rocks, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe …
    Eat at the Nepalese in Surrey Hills
    Swim at the North Sydney Olympic Pool underneath the Harbour Bridge
    Walk from Bronte to Bondi then eat fish and chips at Watsons Bay

    Visit the blue mountains, Katoomba, the 3 sisters and Evans Lookout… proceed to Mudgee and visit James at The Butcher’s Shop cafe
    (choose Butcher’s Shop cafe)

    Stay at Tallaringa cabins near to Byron Bay

  • I too warn against going all the way to far north QLD. We were there two years ago, around the same time, and it was hot rainy days, everyday!

    Definitely stay in Surrey Hills in Sydney- Paddington Markets, shopping and eating on Oxford Street. Try Rockpool Bar and Grill, fantastic restaurant from a world class chef, but casual enough with children.

    If you’re driving to QLD, stop by the beautiful town of Bellingen. Lots of vintage outlets, and heritage buildings. I believe Oscar winner Russell Crowe has a house there!

  • I recently visited Byron and we stayed here – http://www.bayshorebungalows.com.au/ . It is 5min drive outside Byron, but away from the noise. A 10 min walk to an un-maned beach. It has a pool, tennis court and laundry etc, so good if you have been travelling for a while. We ate at the following places: Top Shop Cafe, Fishheads, Byron at Byron Restaurant, Byron Beach Cafe & Restaurant and Orient Express. All fantastic. We also went to Bangalow (which is what I thought Byron should look like), and ate at Utopia (fantastic). Though if we had time, we would have gone to Harvest Cafe and Town Cafe and Restaurant. So an abundance of good places to eat, though all at city prices.

  • Stop in Jervis bay. One of the most beautiful beaches on the east Coast (famous for its white sand and turquoise water) and Hunter valley for a bit of Country side and wine tasting.
    The walk between Bondi and Bronte is a MUST and you have to go on a cruise in the Whitsundays to dive/snorkel. The Great Barrier Reef is amazing.
    If you get to go Far North Queensland the Daintree River would be great to see Australian wildlife including crocodiles.
    So much to do and see.
    Have fun.

  • Your son (and yourselves) may really enjoy visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary here in Brisbane. You can hold koalas as well as see and interact with other Australian animals. I always take overseas visitors here and they love it. If you would like a guide, I ‘m happy to offer my services. Please don’t hesitate to ask … I’m sure you are going to have a wonderful trip!

  • Mocht je in de buurt van Bondi Beach, kom gezellig langs 🙂
    Hartje zomer en Bondi heeft altijd wat te beleven.

  • Hi Danielle,

    While in Sydney make sure to visit our showroom. We are all huge fans of your blog and are located in a great design shopping district in the eastern suburbs (near Bondi)! 🙂

  • Hi there, how exciting is travelling to australia! We are very blessed to live in such a beautiful country. While in sydney dont miss the walk to the south head (watsons bay) and bondi to coogee, both are stunning. Make the most of the asian cuisine, there are sooo many great restaurants. On your way up to cairns Fraser Island is a must! Lake Mackenzie is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever seem. Have a great time!

  • We have just moved from Perth to Noosa area and think it is one of the best spots in Australia. We have visited on many occasions but now have decided to get a farm and some animals for the boys and get back to basics. Hastings St is nice, I love being able to stay amongst some good shops and Restaurants and have access to the beach. Peregian beach is also a beautiful stop, so many great shops including Otilly and Lewis. This is a quiet country feel beach suburb only 15 mins from Noosa and there are some beautiful homes along this stretch of coast! Enjoy your trip wherever you go, but definitely put Noosa area on your list.