Dreaming of a life down under? Here’s everything you need to know!

Strolling down the Coastal walk from my house in Bronte towards Bondi beach while enjoying the amazing views and every little bit of sunshine! I moved to Sydney in April last year, meaning that I’m down under for almost a year now and ooh how time flies when you’re having fun! Here’s why it’s just so hard for me to leave Oz and what you need to know about moving here if you’re ever planning to!

Mandy in Australia
Overlooking Bondi Beach, Sydney

Yes, it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but once you decide you want to stay in Australia a bit longer, it’s important you apply for the visa that your eligible for. The tourist visa is used for backpackers and is valid for 3 months.It is possible to leave the country and re-enter for a further 3 months within the life time of the visa (12 months).You can also apply for a working holiday visa. There are many rules, such as your age, and the country you have been born. For all the details and to see what visa would be best for you, check this handy website.

Where to live…
Australia has everything you wish for! Gorgeous beaches of which I can never get enough of, incredible scenery, sunshine all over, great people (hot lifeguards!) and a coffee + food culture that is better than ever! Moving here might seem a big thing to do but it’s actually so easy! Obtaining a Working Holiday Visa for a year is mostly sorted in a couple hours, whereas another option is a student visa. Maybe you are even lucky enough to get a sponsorship with a company! The next step will be to pick an area for you to live in. Are you more of a city person or a beach person? Western Australia, Sunshine coast, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania…There’s not really one spot where you can go wrong!

Map Australia

Obviously my favo pick so far is Sydney. The city’s International diversity reflects lots of cultures in an extensive amount of suburbs. From artistic Newtown to the corporate CBD to the crazy party scene in Kings Cross to culinary Potts Point, buzzing Surry Hills or the hipsters in Bondi (to only mention a few)! Besides, the city is surrounded by water containing lots of beaches not only in the Eastern Suburbs but also in the North, like Manly, Freshwater, Dee why, Narrabeen, Newport, Avalon, Whale and Palm beach. I personally prefer to live beside the ocean to escape into the water for a surf and enjoy the laid-back and chilled-out vibes!

IMG_0016 (2)
Skyline of Sydney

Even though Sydney is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will enjoy higher wages in return

Making money!
No other place in the world will bring you this great combination of a career and a lifestyle that you could only dream of! Companies invest highly in their employees and this is why you mostly make a pretty decent amount of money! (Think about an hourly wage of $25 to $30 to start with in the most casual jobs)! For the Working Holiday goers this is a perfect way to afford their next travels throughout amazing Oz, whereas others can truly try and build a career. Although Sydney is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will enjoy higher wages in return that can make daily life very affordable! Besides, there are plenty of farmer markets to get your fruit and veggies cheaply, you can buy in season or shop at ALDI! Find out whose hiring and have a look on the next websites to catch that (dream) job! careerone.com.au, seek.com.au, mycareer.com.au, indeed.com.au or gumtree.

Australian money

Sustainable living is taken very seriously on this side of the world

Aussie lifestyle is a whole different story… Thinking that Amsterdam was already up-to-date with its organic food stores and soy milk, there is still so much more to learn! Sustainable living is taken very seriously on this side of the world. Organic, cold pressed, paleo, raw, locally grown, free range and wholesome are words that describe a daily diet! Combining that with a swim, yoga, surf or an early morning run and your Aussie life is complete! A funny fact is that Australians are literally obsessed with “active wear”! Going for a run or a training with a personal coach in the park are daily activities but the purpose of the outfits changed more into a fashion statement than anything else! Shopping? “Active wear”! Going for a coffee with the girls? “Active wear”! Doing anything? “ACTIVE WEAR”! It’s kinda funny…

Bondi Swimmingpool
You live an active lifestyle when living in Australia

Aussie Slang
A thing that I had to get used to big time, Aussie slang. The way that real Aussies speak is no joke! (Or is it? I never get their jokes anyways. Thought I was sarcastic but these guys…!?) Making your words as short as possible is the way to go. Arvo (afternoon), Avo (avocado), Strong cap (strong cappuccino), the coppers (the police), Bronnie (Bronte beach), Tama (tamarama), the bra (Maroubra), undies (underwear), kindies (kindergarden)…
Watch and learn:

Food Down Under
Vegemite: not one Aussie grew up without butter and vegemite on toast and you’ll find it in every household for sure!

Pavlova: a sweet and delicious treat made out of meringue and forest fruits mostly served during Xmas
Roast: a standard Aussie dish, oven roasted veggies
Barbies: No, not the dolls you can play with but a barbeque is the main in the foodies section! On every corner, in every park and even out of the back of a truck! It’s a nice way to get together with friends and family and pop a beer.
Tim Tam slam: super addictive chocolate treat that you’re meant to eat in a certain way to get the most out of it! Bite a little piece off both ends, use the Tim Tam as a straw in your hot tea and wait till the inside melts in your mouth….I’m sure you’ll eat the whole pack now!
Flat white: little shot of coffee filled up with lots of milk and a tiny layer of foam. For good coffee look for places that use Campos or Single Origin Roasters!
Messina(!): best gelato you’ll ever taste! Can’t miss out on this one!

Aussie food
Breakfast, lunch and dinner down under is always a feast

The Rocks Sydney

Hope that I gave you a little bit of an inside in the Aussie way of life and trust me, you will never regret being here!

G’day mates!



*Header photo is courtesy of Mandy. You can follow her on Instagram as @littletravelbookofficial

More Australia? Check here on how to plan your backpack adventure:

Living in Bondi » The insights

Bondi is a district in Sydney located on the coast of Australia. You may have heard about Bondi or seen the lifeguards from Bondi Rescue on television. I’ve been lucky enough to live in Bondi for a few months (and so did Elke). It was a time I will never forget. These months were just… so beautiful, in so many ways. So much growth, so much love, so much joy and I would like to share with you why living in Bondi is so special.

The Bondi Lifestyle
First of all, I want to tell you that while the beach is at the centre of the Bondi experience, there is SO much more to do beyond the beach. The neighbourhood itself is a very lively one, where locals live normal – albeit stylish – lives. The ‘hipster quotient’ is high in Bondi, which you can see by the number of organic cafes, art galleries, restaurants and bars that fill the streets. The overall vibe is very laid-back. In Bondi it is Lazy Sunday every day (after working hours). The barbecues burn in the gardens, locals and tourists chill at the beach and the surfers float in the water trying to catch the best waves. Every single morning you’re woken up by all sorts of birds singing, and every single night you hear the deafening hum or crickets chirping from god knows where. If you were blind, you’d think you were living in the rainforest.

Living in Bondi, is it for you?

The People
It’s crazy how quickly Bondi felt like home, which is mainly due to the people. The atmosphere in Bondi is so incredibly open and relaxed, no day passes by without not having met someone new. It doesn’t matter where; if it’s in the supermarket, the bus or gym; most people are very open for a chat.
Somehow there are many musical people in Bondi, especially among the many South-Americans that live there who play instruments like guitar, iambic, saxophone or vocals which resulted in a lot of nights jamming in the living room or on the beach.

That image of a tanned & toned surfer boy or girl we all have engrained in our minds? Yeah – that’s the real thing at Bondi Beach

The Beach(es)
Bondi Beach is a wonderful place to spend your afternoon. Go and see people, stroll along the ocean via the scenic route called ‘the coastal walk’, have a swim in the Iceberg’s pool, enjoy the surf skills of others, or try to tame the waves on your own surfboard. Given that the sun actually rises over the ocean, Bondi Beach is probably better meant for sunrises. (However, I’m not a morning person at all so the sunsets were more my jam) The best is when you’re running laps across the beach, and then turn around on the north end to head back and see the sun doing crazy colourful things from behind you.

Bondi Icebergs
The famous Bondi Pool

Different festivals take place on and around the beach every year. In September the kite festival called “Festival of the Winds” takes place and from January to February there is an open air cinema on the beach. In the winter months June to August you can even ice skate. Plenty to do! Bondi has a few other beaches nearby, that are great to visit if you’re looking for a less crowded beach. Tamarama beach and Bronte are your best bet. You can get to them from Bondi if you walk along the coastline, which is a stunning sight anyway!

Bondi, is more than just a neighbourhood. It’s a lifestyle.

The Food
The healthy food trend has been going on in Bondi since like, ever. Juice bars, vegan options and acai bowls, they are here. If you check our 10-sydney-hotspots-you-cant-miss-out-on/, you’ll will find some of the best spots are located near or in Bondi.

Books and lunch at Gertrude & Alice. Shot by Daniele Massacci.

The Nightlife
Bondi Beach attracts a diverse group of locals and tourists to its bars, nightclubs, and pubs. The nightclubs in Bondi Beach have live music and dance floors to party late into the night. The Beach Road Hotel is a good spot to head for Bondi Beach nightlife. The Pub at the hotel is a long-time favourite with locals. The pub offers weekly menu specials and live band performances. Tiny, fairy lights adorn the beer garden for a festive atmosphere.
For the people who are in Bondi or are planning to go, you can check what is on here. And if you get to know some Australians, it could be that you end up at a house party in some hippie-like garden with lights and paintings everywhere. Somehow Bondi nights could be very unpredictable but oh-so memorable.

Living in Bondi also has it’s downsides of course. On rainy days, Bondi looks just as gloomy as any other town, and living costs are extremely high. That said, it remains one one the best places to spend a few months, even years. Are you convinced yet?



*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest for fashion, poetry and traveling. She was only 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time, and she has been to every continent in the meantime. She’s a dreamer and would prefer to be on the beach every day. You can follow Iris on Instagram.

10 hotspots in Sydney you can’t miss out on!

Writing half of this blogpost out of the back of my campervan! I’m on a surf roadie down the Australian East Coast and I’m definitely challenging myself here! The places we go and the things that we do affect us in who we are and and who we become. I think it’s important to find yourself in places that inspire you and to surround yourself with positive people! I just love to start my day (preferably after a surf) with a good coffee and a nourishing breakfast followed by some yoga, a meet up with friends (if not working) and being in the outdoors. There’s no doubt – this is what Sydney is all about! Coffee lover and food addict as I am, discover my favorite coffee joints, eateries and hangouts below…they will make your day! These are 10 hotspots in Sydney you should know:

1. Porch & Parlour
A little gem in North Bondi just one street off the beach. A heaven of wholesome foodies, fresh juices, cruisy vibes and ab-so-lutely amazing coffee! Make sure to plan a little bit of time as they mostly cope with a waiting list of approx 30 min (can’t blame them and its worth the wait!) My all time favorite is the green breaky bowl! Oh and the sprouted bread with avocado is yum too! 17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi. Website

Hotspots in Sydney. porch & parlour
Source: porch&parlour

2. Gertrude & Alice
Cute little bookstore with coffee place inside. I spend hours just reading books (trying to get wiser..) over great coffee and freshly baked muffins which makes it one of the best chillout hotspots in Sydney. 46 Hall Street, Bondi Beach. Website

hotspots in Sydney
Must visit!

3. Neighbourhood 
Well known by locals. One of my favorite dinner joints. The food is amazing and you’ll love the atmosphere too. Cool detail: Bondi radio station is based inside! Get the tuna ceviche and the lamb shoulder, you’ll be hooked… 143 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach. Wesbite

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Healthy and tasty (source: Neighbourhood)

4. This is Yoga
Feel amazing after a sweaty yoga session at This is Yoga! I love the place because its small, personal and inspiring. Modern yoga keeps my ‘’zen’’ levels up and I can only advice everyone to give it a shot… 34 Burnie Street, Clovelly. Website

Hotspots in Sydney, This is Yoga
Source: This is Yoga

5. Three Blue Ducks
The Ducks is a different story…not only mentioning this one because they were my employers for a little while but also because its just best of both worlds. It all started with two surfers Chris and Sam that started to travel the world to find the best waves. During their trip they came along different business ideas and one day Sam just wanted to start his own little cafe/restaurant, sustainable, locally and fair, and so it began.. The food is outstanding with fresh produce every day. Better be there early because the waiting list can get long! 141-143 Macpherson Street, Bronte. Website

Photo by Top Dup.
Photo by Top Dup.

6. Coffee Tea & Me
This is one of the cutest places you will find! With its old school interieur, amazing Campos coffee and mouth watering bagels you simply can’t miss out. I love the toasted salmon & cream cheese one but the tuna is tasty too! 87c Macleay Street, Potts Point. Website

Hotspots in Sydney coffee Tea & me
Source: Mandy

“These are some of the best hotspots in Sydney”

7. Tamarama Beach
Tamara is your better option if you want to get away from the busy Bondi beach crowds. The surf is good, currents strong so swim between the flags! I like to find a spot near the rocks on the left side that gives you an even more secluded feel. Stay for a sunset because the pink sky makes it so incredibly beautiful! Funny fact: When Elke traveled through Australia she stayed alongside this beach for about 3 weeks and absolutely loved it!

Tamarama Marine Drive, Tamarama. Info

tamarama beach Sydney
Beautiful Tamarama beach

8. Bronte Rockpool
Favorite one out of all the rockpools… Early morning 6/7am! Get up there for sunrise and start your day fresh after a dive into the salty sea water. Even during the hottest times of the day hang around the poolside as it keeps you cool and you’ll have great views over the ocean. Bronte Road, Bronte. Map

Bronte rockpool
Perfect for cooling off. Photo from Mandy by Missy McArthur

9. The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds…yep another (big) gem in town! The suburb of Alexandria never attracted me as it’s more of an industrial area, until you discover this epic venue. Funny as it sounds I’m in love with the bathrooms! Its all build as being horse stables with saddles and all hanging there. So cool! Furthermore you’ll find a potting shed eatery, big coffee roastery, lots of flowers and dreamy outdoor areas to enjoy great tastes of food and beverages! They even have their own parrot, ducks, a pig and organic garden. 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria. Website

Hotspots in Sydney grounds of alexandria
Source: Mandy

10. Coogee Pavilion
Last but not least, the pavilion in Coogee never lets me down. Big venue with a fine dine restaurant, rooftop, bar area, barbershop(!) and pingpong tables. Great place for a date (how would I know haha)! Loving the vibe, interior, wine, pizza’s and basically everything. Good weekend hangouts, day or night!
169 Dolphin Street, Coogee. Website

hotspots in Sydney Coogee Pavilion
Source: Coogee Pavilion

Hope you’ll enjoy these hotspots in Sydney as much as I do! In the meantime…I’m gonna catch my flight to Bali. Stay tuned!

-X-  Mandy

*Mandy is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam who lives in Australia, living her dream! You can follow her on Instagram @littletravelbookofficial

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