Rollicking ramble-eers
February 1, 2019 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations in Australia. My best friend and I are going on the trip of a lifetime, two weeks on the east coast starting Feb. 14. YIPPEE! YAHOO! Details inside.

We're two smart, 49-year-old ladies from Boston, spending three days each in Sydney, Port Douglas, Melbourne, Hobart, and Adelaide, respectively. We've got the big stuff covered: Sydney Opera House tour, Great Barrier Reef, etc. Now we're looking for smaller recommendations and hidden gems: restaurants, yarn stores, fabric stores, and general gift ideas for the batches of opals and wine and wool scarves we'll bring home for presents.

All types of restaurants are fine; she's more of a foodie, I'm less of a foodie (I adore bland Anglo food like meat pies!), and we'll both compromise.

We're so excited about this trip. Thank you!
posted by Melismata to Travel & Transportation around Australia (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry, it's been twenty years since I was there but, since you mentioned meat pies, in Adelaide you should make sure to get a Pie Floater.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:48 AM on February 1, 2019

Bloody hell, I hope you are flying between those places, that's some traveling for two weeks.

I live in the inner north of Melbourne and so of course think that's the best bit of Melbourne. I'd recommend time in Fitzroy, perhaps eating on Gertrude St. If you like pubs I can make some recommendations in that area too.

In the Abbotsford Convent (no longer actually a convent) you can find a fabric company called Ink and Spindle, which may really float your boat if you are into custom fabrics and prints, they do really nice stuff. The convent is on the Yarra and you could spend a good bit of time in that area, particularly on a weekend when a farmer's market may be on.

There are an insane number of places that will keep a foodie happy, what specifically does she like to eat?

There's heaps more, but two days is very short for Sydney and Melbourne. There's ten million people in those two cities and a lot going on.
posted by deadwax at 12:27 PM on February 1, 2019

Sydney: Bridge climb - or just take a walk across and train back, lunch cruise on the harbour. Don't just tour the Opera House, see something there!!
posted by GeeEmm at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2019

Tasmania: scallop pies! Just the best. They sell them everywhere.

Adelaide: check out the central markets.

Seconding Fitzroy in Melbourne.

In Sydney, catch the ferry to Watsons Bay* and take the short walk up to The Gap, preferably at sunset.

And in gratitude for the awesome friendliness shown to me in Brookline, Coolidge Corner area, if your schedules match up with mine I'd be overjoyed to treat y'all to a meal at my favourite restaurant in Sydney, Bloodwood.

* local nomenclature is to remove apostrophes from all place names.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:08 PM on February 1, 2019

There are a couple of yarn stores on Salamanca Wharf in Hobart that are surprisingly good considering how small they are. Expensive, but mostly local and I never leave empty handed. Hobart CBD also appears to have a lot of fabric stores, and it's a nice quiet place to shop. There's also an easy to access Spotlight, a large craft store, if you need supplies.

Morris and Sons have branches in central Melbourne and Sydney, and are also worth a visit.

The downstairs (weekend) brunch at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is surprisingly good, and the rooftop cafe has great views and decent coffee. Eating in the more touristy parts of Sydney is generally overpriced and not always great, so do your research and book if you can.

Be careful of the sun, particularly in Hobart.
posted by kjs4 at 6:39 PM on February 3, 2019

My colleague (in Melbourne) makes beautiful dresses with stunning fabrics from Tessuti. They also have two stores in Sydney.
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 10:58 PM on February 12, 2019

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