Sydney's Most Popular Coastal Walk

Bondi to Coogee (or Coogee to Bondi)

This 6 km walk (or parts of it) makes it onto most travellers' must-see list when visiting Sydney. This is quite evident on a sunny day by the fairly constant stream of people walking in either direction. Rightly so as it has no shortage of stunning scenery accompanying each and every step. Today was my third or so time on this coastal walk (see Sculptures by the Sea), motivated by a beautiful day, the need for some exercise and the desire to test out my new phone's camera (Huawei P9).

Here's what I captured.

I started in Coogee as it was a closer starting point to where I am staying. The walk is beautiful from whichever location you choose to begin. If you've never been to Bondi Beach, I do suggest starting at the Coogee end and finishing in Bondi for a more dramatic first view of Australia's most iconic beach.

Coogee - let the beach-hopping begin!


The Charming Polish Countryside

Allow me to provide a brief background. Poland is where I was born and lived for the first four or so years of my life (read more about me here). Naturally, I don't remember much from those first few years. In the many years since then, I have been back several times but usually for only two to three weeks at a time.  Each trip I've taken back to Poland since settling in Canada has been an opportunity to learn more about the country, especially in my more-reflective, wiser years. As I stare out at an oh-so-blue Sydney sky today, I think of my friends and family in the Northern Hemisphere and how they can only dream of summer right now. A perfect time to look back at the longest period of time I have spent in Poland since moving away - two and a half months in the summer of 2015 - specifically the moments in the Polish countryside. Golden wheat-fields, reflective lakes, towering pine trees...

Gold as far as the light can see


Adventure of the Month: October

White-Water Rafting

It's been on "the list" for a few years now so it was about time to cross it off. I was in Rotorua, New Zealand's adventure playground of the North, one weekend in October helping a friend with an adventure race. I took an extra day to extend my weekend and ended up booking a last minute rafting excursion. As I got into the van to be transported to the company's headquarters, I learned that I was the only one booked in (a Monday pre high-season)! To my surprise, they were keen to go ahead with the booking. I immediately thought about my safety, wondering if the raft would be heavy enough, especially as we were meant to raft down a 7 metre waterfall.


Getting Used to Life Down Under: Shopping barefoot and more

I'm approaching three years of living Down Under (Australia and New Zealand). Time sure does have wings... There aren't too many things to complain about living on this end of the globe but there are definitely a number of things that I'm still getting used to.  

Cars vs Pedestrians
Pedestrians have to yield to cars at all times - in parking lots, crossing laneways, you name it... It becomes quite clear super quickly that drivers don't have much regard for pedestrians. Street lights tend to work a bit differently as a result. For example, right hand turns in Canada are generally permitted once you've given way to pedestrians. Down Under, pedestrians have to wait out lights for  left hand turns before they're permitted to cross. I've found this difference to be very hard to get used to and not one I particularly like.

They need these signs in more places


One of Those Places - Auckland's Island Getaway

Far End of Waiheke Island, North Island, New Zealand

...you can admire for hours. 

...you take a thousand photos of with none doing it justice.

...you want to bring every visitor to. 

...looks beautiful even when the weather isn't perfect. 

...you want to keep secret. 



What You Should Know Before Driving in New Zealand

To the Left, to the left!

If you’re planning on driving in New Zealand you’re likely already aware that you have to drive on the left side of the road. Aside from getting used to this (if this is opposite to what you’re used to), there are a few other things that are...well, interesting, about driving in NZ.

One-way Bridges

Outside of the main cities, one-way bridges are just about everywhere. Does anyone know why they’re so prevalent in this country? Be familiar with the signage indicating who has right of way as you approach these bridges...don’t assume you always have the go-ahead. Don't really want to get caught in the middle having to reverse!

East Cape, North Island


NZ roads and highways are no German speedways but 100km/h speed limits are common on very narrow and windy roads, the majority of rural roads. Rather than driving faster than you’re comfortable, pull over to a safe area when someone is following too closely. Roads are generally in good condition and are well-marked. 

Straight roads are rare in New Zealand 


Unlike in Australia, you won't have to make last-second swerves to avoid an animal that has run out onto the middle of the road (most of the time anyway). It’s much more pleasant to drive in a country where animals are not a driving hazard. What about all the sheep, you ask? Sure, there are sheep everywhere (really) but thankfully fences keep them off the roadways.   

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, it's just not the same as a roo or wombat jumping out into the middle of the road 


For someone who loves holding onto memories through photographs, I count on lookout points along the highway to provide me with a safe place to put my camera to work. Surprisingly, these are few and far between in NZ. I suppose in a country as beautiful as NZ, there would have to be a lookout point every 100 metres (you’ll know what I mean once you hit the road). Although probably not recommended, there are shoulders which often seem safe enough to use (pick and use them at your own risk). Near and around mountainous areas, you’ll come across “no stopping zones”; not worth ignoring given the increased risk of a rock-fall or snow avalanche impacting your car and therefore your trip. 

How can you just drive by a view like this?

The White Stuff

If you’re in NZ during the winter, you’ve got another driving-related element to contend with – snow, of course.  Rental cars do not come equipped with snow tires (it’s not Canada, folks). Instead, it’s recommended to have snow-chains in your possession during the winter season. In some cases, depending on the road conditions, the law requires you to have snow-chains on, or in less dangerous situations, to at least have them in the car with you. Snow chains can be purchased or rented. Rental car companies generally recommend that you rent chains when you pick up your car but you can also hire them from petrol stations along your route. 

To see many of the most beautiful locations in NZ, you will have to drive near mountains and through mountain passes. In these areas, entire highways are often closed when conditions are less than ideal (usually related to snow and ice). In these cases, snow-chains won’t help you, of course. To limit your chances of getting stranded by snow – check the weather and road conditions before heading out (try metservice.com) – it will save you a lot of time and hassle.    

Yup, this white stuff does make it to the ground

Price of Petrol

Well, this will depend on which country you are comparing to. In my case, the cost of petrol was about double what I was used to paying at home (Canada). This makes for another reason to pack light! It’s also great to be able to split this expense with a friend or two.

Thumbs up

Regardless of the season, you’re bound to come across hitchhikers as you drive around NZ. I spoke to plenty of people who were more than happy to pick up a hitchhiker (or two) to assist them on their journey. They alleged that this added to their travel experience just as much as it did to the hitchhikers’. Yes, it’s legal to stick out your thumb in NZ.  

Rainbows make many appearances in New Zealand 

One more important note

In New Zealand, motorists have the right of way in almost all situations. Keep in mind that not everyone walking on the streets is aware of this; be very vigilant in high pedestrian traffic areas. 

A couple of useful websites for those hiring cars in New Zealand:

www.vroomvroomvroom.co.nz - searches multiple car rental companies

www.transfercar.co.nz - search for car relocations across NZ
Stay safe on the roads and enjoy exploring this stunning country.



Stop the Van! Magical Scenery in New Zealand

So many beautiful landscapes in New Zealand, it's hard to choose photos to showcase these magical places. This mountain pass involved countless 'wow!', 'stop the van!', 'insert LOTR quote' moments. Windy, narrow, dirt road high enough at times to frighten those not fond of heights. Definitely required a celebratory glass of wine afterwards. Cheers to natural beauty!  



Wild, Wild East: New Zealand's Under-rated East Cape

Wild seas, wild winds amongst rolling green hills, lighthouses and stormy clouds. Memories from the East Cape, North Island, New Zealand.


7 Tips for Traveling Solo as a Female

Leave your hesitations behind
Itching to take a trip by yourself? Or perhaps you want to live abroad but not confident you can hack it alone? Being comfortable spending time by yourself, whether that be in the comfort of your own home or in a brand new city where everyone is a stranger, is one of life’s top skills. Comfort is step one, followed by actually enjoying spending time by yourself. It goes something like: if you don’t love yourself, how can you love anyone else?