Top Things To Do In Langkawi, Malaysia

My first time in Langkawi was in 2011, when I first stepped into Malaysia. I instantly fell in LOVE. I think Langkawi is what made me fall hard for Malaysia. I can’t really describe the feeling but it felt something like magic.
I have been here twice and both the times I have done different things and these are memories that will truly be cherished forever. I will share some of them with you.
I stayed at this hotel by the beach and both the times I stayed at the same place as it was super convenient; near shops and restaurants and right by the Pantai Cenang beach!

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Shop Duty Free
Langkawi is the only place in Malaysia where you can shop duty free. Everything is unbelievably cheap, including alcohol and cigarettes. Given that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is the only place in Malaysia where you can drink alcohol freely. It is indeed their domestic holiday destination.
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Langkawi Eagle Square

Island Hopping

My first activity in Langkawi was the island hopping tour. This is something I did on my own and it was so refreshing. This is why I encourage everyone to explore at least one place on their own.
Learn to love your own company and you will need nothing more in life. You will never feel lonely.
This island hopping tour holds a significant amount of value to my life as it gave me the chance to really focus on an unknown place without knowing anyone or having any technology (for the first time – I’ve done it tons since!). It made me appreciate nature, Langkawi and just the Earth overall.
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Sunset by the beach
This tour takes you to a lake where they throw fish as eagles come and pick em from water within a split of a second. It’s pretty amazing. Langkawi is known to have many eagles.
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Eagles!
Then we went to the “pregnant” lake. Yes, that’s exactly what they call it! Apparently this is a myth, that if a woman is infertile or having difficulty being pregnant then swimming in this lake will make them fertile. Not sure if this actually works. Let me know if it did for you!
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Pregnant Lake
Next stop is this beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful island where you will see nothing but blue water. You can also see fish from the bridge, without even having to snorkel.

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Sight seeing

If you rent a car for the day, the driver will actually take you on a tour around the big island. There are some secluded beaches which are very gorgeous. They will also take you to this park and from there you can go to the skybridge.
Skybridge
The cable car will take you 702 m above sea level. When you get to the top, you won’t believe your eyes. It feels like a painting when you look around. It’s indescribable.
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View from the cable car
The Seven Falls
The driver will also take you to the “seven falls” where you can go walk on a trail that leads to the waterfalls. Along the way you will see many monkeys. Those monkeys are everywhere in Asia, really. Very cheeky but very cute.

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Cute lil cheeky monkeys

Activities

The last time I visited Langkawi, I went paragliding and this was the highlight of my trip. I must admit, I was so scared that I prayed the entire time I was up in the sky. BUT, it was THE most amazing and exhilarating feeling EVER. The boat was pulling me and the parachute kept going higher and higher. I was above the sun, looking over the sunset. It was beautiful. Feeling the breeze, flying above the sea, looking over the seashore and the sun on the other side. It was breathtaking. I would do it over and over again.
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Having the time of my life, paragliding over the sunset.

At night though, I loved being at the beach. Since there isn’t much traffic there at this time, you can hear the silence, the winds and the waves of the sea. To top it off, you can feel the lukewarm water touching your skin while you sit on the soft sand.
And there you have it!
Tip
Ohhh and a little tip if you are ever in Asia! There are ways of getting to Langkawi from the Thai islands. Koh Phi Phi is an amazing island and you can certainly take the ferry from there. I prefer getting to Langkawi from Thailand and then making your way to Kuala Lumpur, if you are planning on traveling that part of the world. It is much more preferable than going to Langkawi from KL and then back. Trust me, you will save yourself a journey and a half!
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View from the skybridge

A beautiful sunset in Langkawi can be viewed here:

The Bahamas Islands

It’s almost been a month since I have been to the beautiful Bahamas islands. I arrived in Nassau, which is the capital. Nassau is quite established and tourism is the most popular in this city. The water is so blue it’s absolutely stunning! This was the first thing I noticed there. Thanks to my Bahamian friend who gave me an awesome tour of the entire island on the first day. She drove me around the whole island which was very nice of her!

 

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Nassau
 
The island life is obviously quite laid back. Although I had imagined for people to be relaxing on the beaches and drinking their coconut water, it didn’t really turn out to be so. People are on the grind there. They work hard to make a living. The beaches are almost empty, compared to the beaches I have seen around the world. I think they are so accustomed to it that they don’t get fascinated by it. I would love to live by a beach. I’d be super tanned but still!

 

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Having coconut water by the beach in Eleuthera

 

Eleuthera

 

Second day in the Bahamas I flew to Governor’s harbor in Eleuthera. It is a beautiful island which is quite long and narrow – surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean sea on the other. This was THE most gorgeous place in the Bahamas. There’s a bridge, called the Glass Window Bridge. It gives you the best view of the two water bodies which eventually meet. The difference is incredible; the deep blue ocean with it’s rough waves on one side and the calm light blue sea with barely any waves on the other side. It’s amazing and indescribable.

 

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Caribbean Sea
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Atlantic Ocean

 

Accommodation in Eleuthera

 

My friends and I rented a villa, which was a 2 bedroom with 2 washrooms, laundry, kitchen and living room. The balcony was quite nice, where we sat and star gazed at night. The stars seem magical there. Sky full of stars, so clear to see. No street lights. Sound of the ocean and wind. Extremely windy.

 

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View from our villa, Eleuthera
 
During the day there are some nice seaside restaurants that you can go to – they are mainly local and it’s nice to just sit there, relax and enjoy the view. Especially by the seaside. I like it better than the ocean side. Something about that calmness that I’m drawn to. Also the colour of the sea – so beautifully blue. We went around most of Eleuthera and explored. Preacher’s Cave is a huge cave where the English settlers first arrived when they came to the Bahamas. It is an interesting spot to check out – there’s a path that leads to the ocean on the other side, which is very much abandoned. I think this entire island is very abandoned. There is a church every 300 m. That is A LOT of church!

 

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Preacher’s Cave, Eleuthera
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Cute lil restaurant by the sea in Eleuthera
 
They refer to their little suburbs as settlements. There are many of them. Below is a picture for you to check out. I think we explored most of these settlements, besides the ones up North. We did go to the pineapple farm where the farmer was nice enough to show us her farm. She was happy to explain to us how the pineapples grow. We also checked out her other plants and frankly, it was nice being on a farm again!

 

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We went to most of these places, Eleuthera
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Pineapple farm, Eleuthera
 
Eleuthera is very close to the Harbor Island. It is only a $5 ferry ride to there. We had a day trip there to visit Harbor Island and especially visit the Pink Sands beach. This beach is gorgeous as it is actually pink! The day we went there was very sunny so the pinkness wasn’t as bright. I wish we experienced the sunset there, it surely would have been a brighter pink close to sunset time. In any case, I had an amazing time there. One of my highlights.

 

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Pink sands beach, Harbor Island

 

Transportation; how to get around in the Bahamas

 

Nassau has public transportation as it obviously is a city and very established. However, I think driving would be your best bet. Harbor Island on the other hand – you have to rent a golf car. It’s a very small island. Driving a golf car, even for a little while, was fun. In Eleuthera, you have to absolutely rent a car. There’s no way you can go without a car. There’s too much to see and no public transportation. This island is not travel friendly like Harbor Island or Nassau.
I didn’t know that conch shells were a thing, especially in the Bahamas. They look so beautiful and I kept seeing them everywhere. Then I finally saw some under the blue water. I learnt that they were all tied to one another through strings, as the restaurant probably kept them for cooking. These conch shells are quite large and look super pretty.I was asking questions about conch shells to the man at the restaurant. He offered me one to take home. At first I thought it’d be too heavy but later I had to go back and tell him that I changed my mind. I am so glad that I did. I carried an entire conch shell home, all the way from the Bahamas to Canada. While in the Bahamas I also learnt that you can eat conch shells. The local restaurants sure have a lot of traffic for this. It was interesting to say the least.

 

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Conch shells, Eleuthera
 
We then headed back to Nassau from Governor’s Harbor. This was a 30 min flight. Super scary flight as it’s a 20 seater plane and might I add – a very old one! Alas, we made it alive! I finally tried that conch salad in Nassau – it was interesting, tasted a bit like squid. They put so many things in that salad though – I got the one with fruits. It was a lot but it was something new and I liked it.
On my last night, my friend took me to Atlantis and gave me a tour. We went to the aquarium and the casino. We had dinner at the restaurant in the casino. That area is definitely filled with tourists. It kind of reminded me of Niagara, but even busier.
I would say that the highlight of my trip was definitely Eleuthera. It is a breath taking beauty. I would love to go back and do snorkeling and kayaking and maybe spend a bit more time on the beach!

 

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Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera

 

 

Top 10 Things to do when in Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. I left a piece of my heart there. Living there for a few months sure changed me as a person. I’ll be giving you tips on things to do in Byron from a local perspective.

Byron is a super laid back beach town with a unique culture and atmosphere. There are no corporations or malls or big buildings. It is a paradise. In the main town there are a few things to do. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and visit the towns nearby. There are surrounding towns that are SUPER beautiful so driving there is definitely worth it. 

1. Main Beach

The main beach is very accessible since it’s right by the main town. I would usually go there for the beautiful sunsets and the drum circle at sunset!

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Main beach Byron Bay

 2. The Pass

If you walk a bit further east from the main beach, you will end up at this beach called The Pass. My favourite! 

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The Pass

 

3. Wategos Beach

Wategos beach is a small beach with really nice views. A place where you can spot dolphins from!

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Wategos beach

4. Tallows Beach

From the lighthouse, you will have breathtaking views of the Tallows beach. The coast looks amazing from here! 

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 It’s like having a private beach to yourself! In midpoint of this beach, you will spot a tea tree lake. It’s amazing because it’s right across from the ocean and the colours of tea tree lakes are quite different and unique than any other water body that you have ever seen! It’s known to be good for your skin so swimming in a tea tree lake is highly recommended.

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Tea tree lake in Tallow’s

5. Broken Heads

Broken Heads in 7 mile beach road. This place is INCREDIBLE! Referring back to my “Camping on the beach”  blog, this place is a great place to just go and camp out at night. There are about 9 beaches along 7 mile road and every one of them is gorgeous. 

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Just hiking up Brays Beach
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Brays beach
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King’s beach

6. Lennox Head

 This is a small town near the airport. You will pass this on your way to or from the airport in Ballina. It has breathtaking views and it is just by a residential area so it has a different homely vibe!

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Lennox Head

7. Minyon Falls

It’s a half hour drive from Byron Bay.  When you walk around the park, you will see the stream and it’s such a serene and calm feeling that you can just sit there and meditate.

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Minyon Falls

8. Brunswick Heads

A park here with the ocean on one side and lake on the other. The wave currents there are quite strong. I haven’t seen many people going there for swims. However, it’s a nice place to go and have a picnic. The small beach there on the other side almost has no wave.

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Brunswick Heads

 

9. Light House

Going on a coastal hike from The main beach to the lighthouse is incredibly nice! You can start at the main beach and go through “The Pass”, Wategos beach and take the stairs all the way up to the light house. You might even spot some dolphins on the way if you’re there around May-August! Breathtaking sunrises can be seen from the light house – the most easterly point of Australia!

10. The Local Bars

Cheeky Monkey’s

The Northern Hotel – live band music

The Rails Friendly BarREALLY GOOD live band music

And there, you have it. All the places that you can possibly go to while in Byron! They are all incredibly beautiful and amazing!!!

Click to view Tips for Accommodations

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Sunset from the most easterly point of Australia

Cairns, Queensland

I started the year of 2015 by flying to Cairns early in the morning and what an amazing start! Cairns is very up north along the coast of Queensland. It has very hot temperature and this is usually a gateway to the great barrier reefs. 

 

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One thing I’ve learnt from this trip is to stay away from Flight Centre, because their deals will rip you off. It’s best to just do your own bookings because you save quite a lot. I went with a couple of friends and didn’t really look through this but you live and you learn, right? 
I was there for 2-3 days. It was a short trip but fun! Cairns is really hot, especially in the summer time. The heat is actually exhausting there. It’s true that I would rather have hot than cold any day! Cairns is a small town. The downtown side of it is quite lively since many tourists go there. Unfortunately Cairns doesn’t have any beaches except for this man made pool area called the Esplanade. This is where most people go to cool off and there’s even a DJ that plays music. I would rather prefer a beach but sadly Cairns lacks this. What I noticed in town was that there are more flying foxes (bats) than people. Holy hell, they are just everywhere! I find them cute because their faces are like foxes, hence the name. They are quite noisy during the day, when they are hanging by the trees since this is their bed time. The ones in Cairns were much bigger than the ones in New South Wales. You can’t miss them, they have literally taken over the entire town! I miss flying foxes though… You can’t find them in Ontario. 

 

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Flying foxes hanging from the trees

Food

 
The restaurants there are also quite expensive but the food is amazing. They have everything you want; lobster,  kangaroos, crocodile… Yes crocodile! Very Australian. I have only tried kangaroo and it’s actually not as bad as the thought of it.

 

Nightlife

 

Cairns also has a nightlife which consists of a few clubs. It has a nice atmosphere. You can still hangout by the pool at the Esplanade. There are some bars along the street as well. It gets kind of crazy in the night time.

 

Beaches

 

The nearest beach is Palm Cove beach. If you’re not driving, your best bet is to take the public bus which takes about an hour. I assure you this journey will be worth it. Palm Cove is such a nice beach with beautiful scenery. You will notice danger signs for crocodiles in water and so they recommend that you swim within this huge net that they put up. It is quite scary and I haven’t heard of any mishaps but I can imagine it won’t be a fun experience to be attacked by crocodiles. Many people also go fishing by Palm Cove. 

 

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Palm Cove Beach

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Great Barrier Reef

 
I did a day trip to the great barrier reefs from Cairns. They took us to a pontoon which was in the middle of the ocean. This was not good for me since I get so much anxiety from big waves. The currents, I felt, were strong and there was no shore to go to. Since I fear drowning in water, this was not good!!! I always feel safer when I see the shore or a beach to go back to. This had just the pontoon and once you leave the pontoon, the water is quite deep and the currents are quite strong so you can feel the force. I tried to snorkel near the pontoon but sadly enough didn’t get to go far. I wish to overcome this fear one day, although it seems quite impossible at the moment. There was an underwater observatory also, where I spent most of time. The things you see underwater – it’s a whole another world down there and it’s so colourful and beautiful! 

 

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If you have this phobia as I do, I would recommend you stop over the “Green island” or there are a few islands within the great barrier reef where they take you to snorkel or dive. When they say “Great barrier reef” they mean the middle of the ocean. I prefer the islands because you can at least kind of walk around and explore, then also get to snorkel in shallow water. Well, this really depends on your preference but if you are anything like me then you would prefer the islands rather than the pontoon. 

 

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Stopover at this island before the Great Barrier Reef (Pontoon)
 

Top Things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls is just a 1.5 hour drive away from Toronto. The Canadian side is most definitely the better side with many things to keep you entertained. Starting with various restaurants and bars to fun activities like haunted houses, arcades, museums to nightlife (clubs) and of course, the casinos. The waterfalls is obviously the main and the most gorgeous attraction here.

Here are a list of things to keep you busy for the weekend!

  1. Skywheel

This is a great ride as you have incredible views of the beautiful Niagara Falls and the rest of the town from here. I recommend going there during the day or close to sunset so you can have a nice daytime view of the entire place. This ride lasts about 10-15 minutes and costs about $12 CAD. Sometimes you’ll see deals on Groupon but they are usually in USD, which adds up to be the same price as a regular ticket at the counter.

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2. The Skylon Tower

The skylon tower consists of an arcade, an observation deck and a revolving restaurant. You can also check out the 3D/4D movie based on Niagara Falls. The revolving dining room rotates 360 degrees in an hour. There are spectacular views of the falls from here and the observation deck. You can also see the rainbow bridge that connects Canada to the US. The below image is taken from the skylon tower observation deck – you can see the rainbow bridge and the American side of the waterfalls.

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3. Niagara Speedway

This is quite an adventure. There are long waits since everyone wants to get a taste of this ride. However, it’s worth it. You get to complete the lap around 4-5 times. The scariest and most exhilerating part of this ride is when you drop from the top. It is a fun ride and I highly recommend it.

P.S This ride is not to be mistaken for the “mario go kart” ride. It was heavily advertised in the media as Mario Go Kart but Niagara Speedway does not have any affiliation with Nintendo (just a heads up to those who may be tricked by the media).

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4. Haunted Houses

It’s halloween in Niagara all year round as you have the Chocolate Factory, the hershey store and just about a few haunted houses. This surely entertains the kids but also the adults! A few places to check out :

  • Haunted Asylum
  • Nightmares Fear Factory
  • Niagara’s Haunted Hallways
  • The Haunted House
  • Frankenstein’s Haunted House

Just to name a few!

5. Arcades

There are some fun arcades in Niagara. Again, this will entertain adults and children. You can easily have a fun time with your family, friends or even a date!

  • Great Canadian Midway
  • Captain Jack’s Fun Center
  • Fallsview Arcade
  • Clifton Hill Fun by the Falls

6. Maid of Mist

This is a boat ride that takes you to the falls. They do provide you with raincoats so you’re not completely soaked. It’s an up-close and personal experience with the Falls.

7. Casinos

The casinos in Niagara will definitely keep you busy. If you’re not much of a gambler, you will be, when there is nothing else to do during unfortunate weather circumstances. Trust me, we have lots of those in Canada. Rain, snow, storms, etc. The casinos will definitely be your shelter and keep you occupied.

8. Ripley’s Attractions

There are quite a few attractions such as Ripleys Believe it or not, Ripley’s Moving Theatre and Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum. I recommend getting the package as it saves a few bucks. You can go to each of those places and that will keep you entertained for a few hours. I recommend this especially during bad weather. They are all great indoor activities. My personal favourite is the wax museum.

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9. The Niagara Falls

Walk by the falls during the day or night. You will have a great viewing pleasure. During the day you will see beautiful rainbows over the falls. At night you will see the incredible lighting on the falls. It’s beautiful! Make sure to see the fireworks right by the falls if you are there during the weekend. The official website provides more information on schedules.

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10. Wine Tours

Niagara on the lake is just beside Niagara Falls and it is a beautiful place with many vineyards to explore! Of course, it’s best to visit the vineyards during warmer temperatures. However, majority of them are open all year round so you can go for wine tastings. There are many tours that take you to a few vineyards for wine tasting. It’s best to go on the tours and not drive after drinking. The tours include transportation that pick you up and drop you off back to your hotel. 

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If you’re visiting Toronto, Niagara is a must-see place! And if you’re from Toronto… well, it’s a perfect getaway place!

Bondi To Coogee Coastal Walk

This walk is absolutely the best!

Coogee Beach

Let’s start from Coogee. It has a little park and a BBQ area. If you want to have a BBQ you completely and totally can. It is a public BBQ but really easy to use, electronic ones. The beach has volleyball nets and it is quite a nice and relaxing beach.

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Coogee Beach

When you go up the hill and to the cliffs you will have a completely different scenery. They do have danger signs and discourage you to go over the fence. I was obviously a badass and had to go to the edge to take a picture or two!

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Sitting on top of the Coogee cliffs

Gordon’s Bay

The next spot along the coast is Gordon’s Bay. This is my absolute favourite spot! It’s the tiniest beach and has a lot of different underwater creatures that can be seen upon snorkeling. I just like sitting by the rocks and enjoying the view and the blue water. I specifically like this spot because it’s not crowded with people. If you ever want to get away from everything and just clear your head, this would be the best spot for it.

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Gordon’s Bay

When you go up the hill, there’s a spot from which you will have the best view of Gordon’s Bay. You will have to hop the fence for this and be very careful when you do this. Once I saw a huge lizard but it wasn’t aggressive. If you do come across anything, just stay calm and do NOT react. They will leave you alone. You can sit on the cliff and enjoy the view from there. Just be very careful of not falling!

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Sitting on top of the cliffs above Gordon’s Bay
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Looking over Gordon’s Bay

Clovelly Beach

Moving along, next is Clovelly beach. This place is popular for swimmers and there is a Surf Life Saving Club there. There’s also a little beach with shallow water, mainly for kids to swim there. It’s right next to a tiny grassy park. Oh and I almost forgot! There’s a huge graveyard on your way there from Coogee. It’s actually quite beautiful. Take a look below.

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Graveyard by the Coast

Tamarama

After Clovelly comes Tamarama. This is where the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition takes place every summer. It is something to check out while you’re there. I like Tamarama because it’s not as crowded as Bronte or Bondi. There’s also a little park which I think is more appropriate for families. Bronte, however, has a bigger park and a beach. A great spot to watch the surfers from!

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Sculptures by the Sea at Tamarama beach

Bronte

Bronte is just a 15 min walk to Bondi. Along the way, you will come across a viewpoint where you’ll have breathtaking views of Bondi and on the other side you can see Bronte. There is also a dog park if you want to take your dog for a walk, or to play with the other dogs there. Those dogs are quite lucky I tell you.

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Bronte beach

Bondi Beach

Of course then we have Bondi ahead of us. There is a swimming pool right before you enter Bondi, called the Bondi Icebergs. Quite a popular place to be. Bondi beach is often crowded with people everywhere. Sometimes I’ve had a hard time finding a place to just sit. It is also a host to “Sculptures by the Sea” exhibition. They have over a 100 pieces of art every year just at Bondi.

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Between Bronte to Bondi

Bondi also has a nice bar/restaurant right by the beach. It’s a great place to hang out after you have completed your entire walk! Likewise, if you want to end your walk at Coogee you can stop by at the Pavilion. It’s always nice to reward yourself with a refreshing drink!

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Finally arrived in Bondi