Hidden Hotspots – The Local Knowledge In Our Capital Cities

hidden hotspots

Our capital cities attract millions of tourists every year. We are all familiar with the major tourist attractions. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Queensland’s Gold and Sunshine Coast, Adelaide’s superb wine region – just to name a few. However, do we know what really makes these cities individual? What better way to discover our capital cities them through the local hotspots. The insider’s guide to what to do and what not to do. Where – and what – to eat and where not to eat. This is the inside scoop that is becoming more and more popular not only with interstate travellers but also with international visitors.

Don’t waste your holiday scrolling through pages of Trip Advisor reviews… so, we have done the hard work for you!

The Insiders Guide To Brisbane

The good news is Brisbane enjoys over 280 days of sunshine in a year. So, the odds are in your favour!

What better way to start the day than like a true local. Thousands of Brisbane locals spend their morning walking, running, cycling and working out by the river every morning. So, take advantage of the early light and get outdoors! There are hundreds of parks and green spaces to discover. New Farm Park and Roma Street Parklands are must-visit spots, just to name a few.

If you would like to spend your time eating through Brisbane… there is definitely something for every taste bud. So, for breakie try ‘Morning After’ cafe in West End and enjoy cheesy carbonara with 63-degree eggs, field mushrooms, smoked pancetta and manchego – a speciality. If you prefer something lighter in the morning why not stroll down the road to Miss Bliss Cafe. Enjoy a mango chia pudding, packed with tropical granola, watermelon ginger jelly and coconut labneh.

Gear up before you head into the night

If you’d like to indulge in a little retail therapy head over to James Street, New Farm. This cultural and lifestyle hub features high fashion amongst a number of trendy bars and cafes. There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

In the evening head down to the newly refurbished Howard Smith Wharves. This heritage listed wharf showcases the best of Brisbane cuisine. If sipping champagne whilst overlooking the river sounds like your style, we highly recommend Mr Percival’s. For a bite to eat, we recommend checking out Felons Fish and Chippery or Greca for an amazing Greek feast. Howard Smith Wharves also features an onsite brewery – Felons Brewing Co.

The Local Guide To Sydney

Sydney has an array of touristy hotspots to visit – the Opera House, Harbour Bridge & Bondi Beach – but what would the locals recommend?

Sydney is famous for its diverse lifestyle, you can go from city to beach in just a few minutes – so why not make the most of it. The locals are mad for the Coogee to Bondi walk/ run (whatever takes your fancy) so, why not get out and enjoy the fresh air. Stop for a swim on the way and take in the breathtaking ocean views. If you can’t get enough of the ocean head down to the Bronte Baths which sit right on the edge of Bronte Beach. Have a swim whilst enjoying the stunning views as the baths spill into the ocean. The baths offer something for all swimming levels if you are not too keen on an ocean swim.

Skip the Sydney price tags

As most Aussies know, a meal out at some of Sydney’s finest can come with a hefty price tag. However, don’t stress! We have the local know how. Sydney has plenty to offer if your bank account has taken a bit of a hit with all your exploring.

El Topo in Bondi Junction claims to be the best Mexican in Syndey. This local hotspot features a bright interior with a modern vibe featuring authentic flavours of tamarind, crispy pork, guajillo chillies, avocado leaf, jicama fruit and cactus leaf. This Bondi gem offers over 100 different Mexican spirits to choose from as well as a host of Margaritas to kick start your meal!

If you’re a huge Sushi fan, we recommend checking out Sushi Uo in Surrey Hills for a modern take on Japanese cuisine. Positioned amongst some of Sydney’s most hip and modern cafe’s and offers something for everyone, Sushi Uo is said to be a must-eat by locals.

If you are prepared to spend that little bit more cash then we highly recommend checking out The Ground Of Alexandria – dubbed the mother of all cafes. Markets, cafes, flowers, specialty coffee and beautiful gardens – The Grounds of Alexandria is a must when visiting Sydney’s inner-west suburbs. It is hard to believe that just five years ago this stunning oasis in the middle of Sydney was an industrial carpark. Positioned on an acre of land, The Grounds offer something special for everyone. With a coffee roastery, artisan bakery and patisserie, a sustainable permaculture garden of heirloom vegetables, aromatic herbs, fresh fruit and flowers, animal farm, markets and a florist – The Grounds showcases the best of Sydney’s sustainable cuisine. This is a must do!

The Insiders Guide To Melbourne

As most will agree, Melbourne is said to be the food and coffee capital of Australia. With home to some of our best restaurants and hip cafes, Melbourne’s got it all.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Melbourne for a Sunday morning, we highly recommend heading down the St Kilda and checking out the markets on The Esplanade. Featuring everything you love about a Sunday market plus the stunning views and awesome vibe of St Kilda beach. Whilst you’re in the area, we suggest heading to the Matcha Mylkbar in Acland Street. This modern and hip cafe offers everything you could dream of at breakfast/brunch time. 100% plant-based and focus on the and sustainability of the planet, Match Mylkbar is one of a kind and a must visit in St Kilda.

Whilst we are on the topic of fresh food, the South Melbourne Markets are a must during your stay. Talk about stunning fresh food and authentic cuisines, the South Melbourne Markets is a buzzing hotspot that attracts local foodies from all over Melbourne. Not only do the markets offer a variety of amazing fresh meats, cheeses, bread, seafood, artisan bakeries, dumplings, pasta – just to name a few – but they also showcase some of the best Melbourne cafes, restaurants and pubs. All locals agree that the South Melbourne Markets is the foody hub of the city and a must-visit for tourists wanting something authentic.

Forget memory lane. You need to take a stroll here

We suggest spending your days roaming the streets of Melbourne’s inner city as there really is so much to see and do. Don’t miss the many laneways filled with famous street art and check out the Block Arcade for an unforgettable shopping experience. Melbourne is famous for its arty culture so we suggest catching a show at one of the many heritage listed theatres scattered throughout the City and South Bank. If nature is more your style, you can even head back to the St Kilda Pier at dusk to see the Fairy Penguins… yes, that’s right, penguins in the middle of one of Melbourne’s most bustling suburbs. We weren’t lying, Melbourne really does have something for everyone!

The Local Guide To Perth

Perth, one of Austalia’s hidden gems, is home to stunning beaches, vineyards and amazing cuisine. Yes, we have the local tips to an awesome stay.

Don’t struggle to find a park, see Fremantle by bike… free bike. Yes, Fremantle Visitor Centre offers a free bike hire which means you can experience everything Freo has to offer without the hassle of finding a park. Cruise around and experience the culture, hustle and bustle of this vibrant hub. Moore and Moore Cafe is a must when visiting Freemantle. Housed in the Moores heritage building the cafe features creative and unique decor with a superb breakfast and lunch menu and amazing coffee. If designing your own breaky sounds like your thing, then we highly recommend checking out Little Lefroy’s Cafe in South Freo. We promise this cafe will not disappoint. You will find this local hotspot buzzing for weekend brunch.

When brunch is done, head down to Leighton’s Beach to catch a wave. Perth is famous for its stunning beaches and we promise Leighton’s will not disappoint – white sand and crystal blue water, there’s really nothing better!

When breakfast is over, take a look at these spots

If exploring is more your style, the locals can not rave higher of the Margaret River Winery region. So, hire a car and head to the region, approximately a 3-hour drive away but absolutely worth the trip. We recommend visiting some of the best wineries Margaret River has to offer on your way. The locals top picks are Voyager Estate in Margaret River, Moss Wood in Wilyabrup, Arimia Estate in Yallingup, Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River and Flametree Wines in Dunsborough – just to name a few! The locals highly recommend a long Sunday lunch overlooking the rolling hills whilst sipping on an award-winning Cab Sav. Let’s be clear, the wine is only half the story. The Margaret River region also shows off some of Western Australia’s superbly fresh and modern Australian cuisine. So, it really is the best of both worlds.

What Are The Local Tips In Adelaide?

Adelaide really is the dark horse of our capital cities, with an emerging culinary and tourism scene that really does feature something for everyone.

The locals recommend spending the morning enjoying the classic charm of Glenelg. Easily accessible from the city, Glenelg is the oldest mainland settlement in mainland South Australia showcasing some of South Australia’s most historic buildings. Glenelg attracts both locals and tourists alike for its relaxing, old school charm.

No trip to South Australia would be complete to the states stunning wine region. Exhibiting the very best of Australian wine and modern cuisine the Barossa Valley is a must-visit whilst in Adelaide. This superb stretch of wineries manages to produce 21% of Australia’s wine supply and only 65km from Adelaide – what’s not to love!

Our local knowledge suggests that The Hentley Farm Estate is the best of the best when it comes to stunning cuisine in the Barossa Valley. The restaurant has a strong focus on harvesting produce from the farm’s 150 acres, including foraged ingredients growing wild, as well as fruit, vegetables and herbs grown in our garden beds and orchard. All the wines that are matched with the menus are from the Hentley Farm portfolio. The food is to die for and the best part is it is all grown on site, the quintessential paddock to plate experience. Although the restaurant can be a tad pricey, our insider advice suggests that if you are going to make the trip the food is worth the price tag!

So, Why Are We The Best Of The Best?

Our Aussie backyard has so much to offer. From our stunning beaches, trendy cafes, amazing wildlife, beautiful landscapes and irresistible wines – there really is something for everyone in our capital cities. Australian culture has become so diverse with influence from all over the globe drawing an array on international travellers to delight in all we have to offer. We are the best of the best when it comes to variety in all its forms. From our climate to our cuisine, our beaches to the mountains, the cities to the outback, what more could you want from a country just over 200 years old? So, why not do a little more exploring in your backyard this weekend?