Exploring Australia: Whitsundays, Byron Bay & Sydney.


Based on our itinerary you'd never guess how long we visited Australia this time around.
We're just a month and a half into a new year and it already feels like monthssss have gone by! We came back from Maldives repacked our bags and got on a flight to Australia. Those that have been following along my travels for years probably remember Whitsundays being on my bucket list as one of the top destinations to see. The only problem with Australia is it that it is extremely far and time difference is quite big so when trying to make the itinerary you have to be mindful of how jam packed your schedule may get during the holiday. 

Our itinerary: 
Left LA on Monday night, landed in Sydney Wednesday morning (direct flight). 2 hours later got on a flight to Hamilton island where we spent 2 nights. Friday afternoon we got on a flight to Brisbane to take a 2 hr car ride to Byron Bay where we spent another 2 nights and Sunday morning we flew out of local Byron Bay airport to go to Sydney to catch up with friends over dinner and drinks Sunday night and flew back to LA on direct flight Monday morning. 

W H I T S U N D A Y S 

Locals say Hamilton island is playground for the rich - here is what to expect. 


Island is extremely small, to give you an idea you can walk from your hotel to marina where all the restaurants / bars are within 5 mins. If you’re not into walking you can also get a buggy and ride that around the island for the rental fee. Hotels will also arrange airport pick up / drop off at no extra cost. 

S T A Y 

We stayed at Reef View hotel. Large rooms, multiple pools on the property, across the street from the beach. It was around $250 a night, another property next to it is also just as affordable and is called Whitsunday apartments. 

The island also offers a few gorgeous hotels, one is located on the other end of the island and one right by the marina. The one on the other side during the dates we were going was around $1000 a night and considering that the town was minutes away from Reef view hotel / Whitsunday apartments it was a no brainer which one makes more sense. 


Whether you’re going during slow season or busy season make sure to make dinner reservations. We figured we don’t need to many any since we saw there were around 15 spots to eat at. However one night we ended up eating at the hotel and getting room service, second night we barely got into a restaurant with no reservation and sat at the bar area vs restaurant area with a view. This was also during the slow season and every restaurant was completely booked up. 


Hamilton island is great if you’re planning to go see the most famous Whitehaven beach. We looked into tours and boat tours made no sense, while they were $150 or so per person they were half / full day cruises. I’m a strong believer in maximizing time as much as possible when traveling. Instead of the boat we did the helicopter tour to see “heart island” , coral reef , landed at Whitehaven beach where we spent around an hour there enjoying a little picnic and went back to Hamilton island. We did all of that within 3 hours. Heli cost was $500 per person.


The swing on the beach that you may see in some photos online is no longer there. 

Tako restaurant has been closed for 10 + months. That was one of the spots I wanted to get food at ever since we booked Whitsundays. 

2 nights is plenty of time for Hamilton island / Whitehaven beach activities. 

DO NOT book a helicopter tour after 12 pm, try to book the earlier time such as 9 am. From our experience every day it started getting extremely cloudy and raining at 1/2 pm. It was also not showers that came and went, it was impossible to be outside as it was pouring every day after 1 pm for the rest of the day until sunset which was around 6. 

Hamilton island is pricey. A drink was around $25, beer $20, burger  / sandwich were $30/$35. 

B Y R O N      B A Y 

To tell you the truth I knew nothing about Byron Bay besides what I've seen on a drama based Netflix reality show which locals actually hate and they made sure the show was cut off and never had another season hehe. To give a good comparison of it it is sort of like an expensive Venice beach of California. It gives trendy/hippy/healthy food vibe and is a complete beach town. 


If you plan on going to Byron Bay make sure to browse around for flights, sometimes flying into Brisbane that's a 2 hour drive is worth it as you can spend a night there and explore and then head over to Byron Bay. That way you'd get a little bit of city life & beach life during your stay there. Since last time we were in Australia we spent a whole week in Brisbane we skipped it this time and immediately after landing got picked up by our friends and went to Byron Bay.
Uber is available also if you don't want to rent a car. However, getting around Byron Bay you can just walk as everything is right there as long as you stay in the main area. 

We stayed at Beach Suites Hotel which was literally located pretty much on the beach. The property was also surrounded by all the shops, restaurants, coffee shops etc. Location was perfect as you can walk out of the room and one way you have all the restaurants and shops and on the other side of the street you have the beach! The area is super small so you could get the entire town covered within 30ish mins. 
Make sure to book hotel early as they only have around 30 or so rooms and get booked out very fast.

Besides all the usual water activities that every beach worldwide offers you can see the lighthouse that Byron Bay is known for. Besides that there is not much there tourism wise it is a complete beach town so you'll be consumed by water activities.

Some of the spots we ate at that really stood out to me were: Harvest Newrybar (farm to table restaurant/great drinks), Folk (breakfast) and gyros spot that's located on the main little road (you cannot miss it, they're the only spot that's also open until 2/3 AM!).

No need to pack any fancy clothes. Everyone was in flip flops and beach clothes 24/7.

S Y D N E Y 

Uber is available which makes it so easy to get around even if you end up staying not in the main area. Keep in mind traffic is pretty bad so plan your days there accordingly.

We again happened to book a hotel that was in a great location, across the street from the main beach and in the middle of all the bars/restaurants/shops. It was called Hotel Bondi. 

Grabing a drink or dinner at Bondi Icebergs restaurant is a must! It overlooks the famous pool that's pictured above. (Sydney also offers more of these ocean pools however we didn't get enough time to travel to visit others, just google ocean pools and you'll find them all if that's something that also amazes you as well!.) North Bondi Fish was a great restaurant that had great selection of foods, highly recommend having dinner there since it overlooks the entire beach and is great to watch sunset from (also great drinks). If you're wanting to bar hop there is soooo many spots for that and if you're not feeling the fancy restaurant vibe the main street by the Bondi beach has "hall in the wall" spots that you can grab a great meal at. There is quite a few sushi spots we stopped at where you can pick one by one sushi / sashimi and those were hands down the most memorable little spots!

xx, Sky 


  1. Howdy mate great post I recon

  2. no way I always wanted to go to Whitsundays is the sand so much pretty? that my dream trip to go to