Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why I love

I semi-regularly find myself visiting another part of Australia for a brief period (usually for work, occasionally for a holiday) and finding that I have a little extra time to spend there.  I love to get out and try new things and see new places, but when you don't have a lot of time, it can be hard to know what's 'worth' doing.   And though I like to think of myself as a salt-of-the-earth girl, I must admit I'm a little bit of an accommodation snob, which means that I also hate paying money (or using company money) to book accommodation that looked good on the internet only to find when I arrive that it's a horrible place to stay (heart-wrenching sob! .... although, yes, I know in the great scheme of things that this is really not as big a problem as, say, world hunger).

BUT after a 3-4 years of some hits and some misses, I've finally discovered a website that I absolutely LOVE and that has ensured that the last 1-2 years has had only 'hits'. 

The website is..... drum roll please.... (actually, this isn't so exciting, since I already revealed the name of the website in this title.... but come with me anyway....) drummmmmmmmm-rrooooooolllllllllllll:

So many people (I'm not sure where they find the time, but I'm very grateful that they do) take time to do short write ups on everything from accommodation to activities.  And everything listed on the site ends up with a ranking. People also give you really great tips about very specific things. For example they might say 'this hotel is half way through it's renovations, make sure you book a room on floors 8-12 as they're the ones that have been renovated'.  Or they'll tell you that the breakfasts are overpriced, so arrange something else but otherwise it's great, or that they got stung on the parking fees, etc. etc.

Since crosschecking everything on tripadvisor before booking hotels, I've had lovely experiences.  Or at the very least, I've expected anything that I didn't like and have gone with it anyway, so I'm not disappointed.

BUT the thing that's been really fun to discover, is the activities!  For example, a while back I was in Hobart for a weekend inbetween filming days on a Friday and Monday, so Dad came down to spend the time with me (hotel was already paid for) and we had a lovely couple of days.  The number 1 rated activity on TripAdvisor in Hobart was something called 'Lousia's Walk', which was a kind of walking theatre we probably wouldn't have looked twice at except that it had such raving rave reviews.  So after a little pushing from mum (who had also consulted tripadvisor) We went and did it (only about $25 each I think), and we LOVED it. So much better than we'd expected.  Now we rave about it!

Louisa's Walk
Last week (as you'll know if you're a keen follower of Wednesday posts... I love you guys) I was in Sydney, and had some spare time on the Tuesday with a couple of girlfriends, so I looked up the activities list for Sydney, and saw that one of the highest rated activities was something called the 'Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach Coastal Walk'.  It's free - just a 2.5 hour walk from one back to the other along the coast, with stunning stunning views.  I read lots of reviews, used them to determine all sorts of useful things like how hard the walk was, how to get back between them, what were the highlights etc., and then convinced my friends Tara and Anna to come with me.

Long story short:  We had such a gorgeous day!  Enjoyed it so much that we decided to walk back again rather than catch the bus.  So about 4.5 hours of walking all up, but along some of the most spectacular coast line I've ever seen.  I may be slightly sunburned on my nose, but I'm still grinning about the outing.

I'll leave you with a few photos (which don't even begin to do this walk justice) and a recommendation to consult TripAdvisor before you go anywhere.

Happy travels!

Loved all these steps leading down into the water at a cove near the start of the walk

Beautiful blue sea from the top of a rocky outcrop

Loved this Bowls Club on what has to be some of the most expensive real eastate in the area!

Gorgeous views and sea breezes for those buried in this huge old cemetary

Such a beautiful day! And it was all much bigger than it looks in the photos. The wave were smashing gloriously against all the rocks.

Sunny Beach weather in Australia

We made Anna pose for this photo - such a pretty spot

Me enjoying some sun and surf (How nautical do I look in my navy and white stripes?!)

Tara & Anna near the end of the walk.  That's Bondi beach down there in the background.


  1. Love the photos! Can't believe we never did that walk while we were there. Guess I should have consulted Trip Advisor!
    Great tip Tam. It must be nice to be so well traveled that you need to regularly use this site.
    I will keep it in mind if I'm ever going anywhere!!!

    1. I know!! Can't believe you missed this one, lol! :)

  2. (Well I feel bad.. I've been using Trip Advisor for about five years. I'm sorry if I hadn't mentioned it to you earlier! :P )

    Something else I have learned from TA is to give credence to the advice you find there! I booked us into a hotel in NYC some years back, even though almost all of the 5 million comments (that may not have been the exact number), on that hotel mentioned that the rooms were very small - particularly small. I thought from the hotel photographs that the rooms looked charming, but instead found that we barely had room to walk around (only two sides of) the bed. I had to warn Dad if I wanted to turn my head so that I didn't hit him in the ear with my nose! And the bathrooms were the size of.. (I'm trying to think of something very, very small), a tiny cupboard! It was so bad that we de-camped after the first night and booked into the Times Square Garden Inn instead, where our king-size bed and luxurious, deep-bathed, marble bathroom made us feel like we had ascended into heaven. To do that though, we had to take a loss at the first hotel. If only I had given proper attention to those 5 million comments to begin with!


    1. Lol! Yes, I've learnt that what people say is generally accurate :)

  3. Thanks Tammy!!! I will definitely keep this site in mind. I will also let my Mum know. She would love it!!

  4. How did we ever live without the internet :) and despite the fact that I live in Sydney, I've never heard of this walk :) we're now moving back to Brisbane in about 8 weeks and I have just added this to the 'things to do before we leave' list :) I think I'll have to consult tripadvisor for more sydney must do's :) xo

    1. Seriously Felicity, you have to do it :)

      And I'm kind of excited you're moving back... maybe we should try and catchup in person... I mean, it has been 10 years... :)