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

Top 12 Places To See in Sydney, Australia

  1. Sydney Eye Tower or the Westfield tower

This is quite a nice place. It has a bar and a restaurant. Their cocktails are quite amazing. It is a rotating restaurant and you get a 360 view of Sydney. 

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2. Darling Harbour

What can I say about this place? I absolutely love it. It has everything. A few chocolate café’s, a few bars and restaurants, an IMAX movie theatre, a wax museum, a wildlife centre, an aquarium, a few clubs, oh and I almost forgot…harbour! This place is amazing. Lindt chocolate café or Guylian’s chocolate café are absolutely delicious café’s to go to. If you’re looking to have fun, go out to Bungalow 8 and you won’t be disappointed. On Saturdays you will see the incredible Sydney fireworks! During summer time the fireworks can be seen Wednesdays and Saturdays. These are stunning shows and worth paying a visit to!

  1. Harbour Bridge

People do the harbour bridge climb there. If you’re not scared of heights I would say it’s definitely worth the climb. Otherwise, you can stick to the bridge walk. This will take you to Milson’s point where you can stroll around and check out Luna Park as well. The walk itself has incredible views of the Opera house and the city.

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  1. Opera House

It’s beautiful and nice to grab a drink at the Opera bar, just to sit and enjoy the vibe and views. New Year’s Eve is the best time to be at this spot.

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  1. Sydney Botanical Gardens

You will definitely need a couple of hours at least to just walk around the Botanical Gardens. It is quite interesting as you come across a lot of different kinds of plants and let’s not forget the views you have from the garden. Behind the garden is the Sydney Opera house. There’s also a little pond where you can find Eels swimming around. You can do yoga/meditation also, as it’s really not a loud place at all. Fantastic for a picnic.

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  1. Bondi

Bondi has a life of its own. It has an incredible beach where 85% of the visitors are probably tourists. It has nice bars, restaurants and ice cream parlours. If you do make it to Bondi, I highly recommend the coastal walk to Coogee. You will need some time at hand and if you’re not up for a long hike/walk, try the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte – it will probably take about 20 minutes. Definitely worth it!

P.S Read my Bondi to Coogee coastal walk blog for details 🙂

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  1. Double Bay

They say, “double bay double pay”. This is an upscale area where you will come across a lot of fancy restaurants, bars, and lounges. There is only one place here that has no lockout time and it’s called the Sheaf. Don’t forget to dress up when you go here!

  1. Mosman

This is another upscale area. It has stunning houses overlooking the sea. You can go on a coastal/urban walk here along Mosman. There are parks where you can have picnics. The Sydney opera house and Harbour Bridge can be seen from here and as well you will notice many many many yachts along the coast. The houses are worth billions$$ and being there will only make you dream! 

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  1. Taronga zoo

It is such a beautiful zoo. You will definitely not regret going there. The cable car ride is quite fun to begin with. Finally when you get there, keep at least 4 hours at hand. This zoo has everything! Also, it’s located in an island, a bit further away from the Circular Quay (Opera house/Harbour Bridge). You can see the giraffes with a background of the harbour bridge. Now, that’s unique!

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  1. Manly

Usually tourists go to Manly from Circular Quay on a 30 minute ferry ride. Manly is a suburb so it has a life of its own with everything that you need. The beach is quite nice and not as crowded as Bondi. A lot of people go here for surfing lessons just because the waves are calmer here. On the other side, you will notice Shelly beach. It’s named Shelly because instead of sand on the beach, it’s mainly all shells. I like Shelly beach more because it’s right by the bay. You can go snorkeling or just swim around in the water. Water is warm during summers and waves are completely calm. You can go on a stroll around this area.

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  1. Glebe

I am so biased when it comes to Glebe because I actually lived there and so did most of my friends. Glebe is super lively and you will get a hippie feel. Glebe has a mall of its own, all kinds of restaurants which give you a taste of the world, chocolate cafes, regular cafes, bars with live music! Glebe also has a park called the Black Wattle Bay. It is such a nice and peaceful park to go to. People also take their dogs for walks there so you’ll come across many cute dogs. Also, watch out for those flying foxes! They are everywhere in Glebe! (especially during the summer).

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  1. Newtown

Newtown is the ONLY place in Sydney with no lockout time!!! Need I say more?

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

Camping on the beach

Camping at Kings Beach in Broken Head was the most amazing experience ever.

A lot of tourists in Byron Bay don’t know this but only a 15 min drive from town is the most magical place on earth. This road is called Seven Miles Road in Broken Head. It’s a hill along the coast and has about 8-9 national parks.  They are all very gorgeous. It can be steep hiking down but totally worth it.

My first time camping there and I absolutely loved it to pieces. Would do it over and over again. The weather was perfect for it. The moon so bright you could see everything. Sky full of stars. Star gazing and falling asleep to the   sound of the ocean was simply magnificent.

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