After the relaxing few days hiking and exploring the Blue Mountains we decided to stay in Manly for to make the most of the local beaches, restaurants and bars as well as the easy access to Sydney City via the ferry across the harbour. We arrived Tuesday night and checked into our charming little apartment with views of Manly Beach. The following morning we went for a leisurely walk along the beach, checked out a few stores in the mall and took the ferry over to Circular Quay. The ferry ride was spectacular – rounding the headland and suddenly being treated to views of the Sydney harbour bridge, Opera House and the city skyline.

We arrived just in time to check in for our Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb (www.bridgeclimb.com) and suited up in the *stunning* grey jumpsuits. Climbing the bridge was such an incredible experience – the views of the city combined with learning the rich history of the building of this epic structure – it should be on everyone’s bucket list.

The following day we took the ferry again – this time over to Taronga Zoo. Australia is home to many unique native species – koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, emus and so many more. Being an animal lover I just had to go and check them out! Situated on a hill overlooking the harbour, the zoo incorporates a cable car which takes you up the top of the hill and allows you to wander back down. Definitely was not expecting to see giraffes with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.

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For the evening we met up with some friends in Manly and headed to Hemingways, a very cool bar located along the beach, for a drink and then to Hugo’s (www.hugos.com.au) on the wharf for a lovely dinner.

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Friday it was time for my first shoot in Australia! We met up with Lina Kay (www.linakayphotography.com) and shot right on Bronte Beach. Then it was time to head back to the airport to go and check out Melbourne for the weekend.

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Staying right in the city centre I was impressed by the easy to navigate lay out and abundance of public transport – we took the light rail everywhere. I had heard that Melbourne was a great shopping destination – but spending an entire day – first at Queen Victoria Markets and then on Church Street really blew me away. Picked up what are still a few of my favourite summer outfits and some very Aussie souvenirs for my family. We finished our Melbourne trip with dinner on Lygon Street and cocktails at a local bar. Our stay in Melbourne was too short – I will definitely be back hopefully for fashion week!

Next stop: Port Macquarie and Byron Bay

Written by Aimee C