Our stay in Canberra and the ACT was a short one – only 26 hours – but we tried to see and do as much as possible. We didn’t bother with public transport because we were staying for such a short time, and finding parking was relatively easy in this small city. Prepare yourself for learning a lot about Australia during your visit.
1. Start your day with a coffee at ONA on the Lawns in Manuka. If you feel like you really need to fuel up for the day, grab a FREAKshake from Pâtissez across the way.
2. Now that you’re buzzed up, head to the Royal Australian Mint to learn all about Australia’s currency. Because they make money, they don’t take any of yours – admission is free!
3. Swing past Parliament House – Australia’s political centre.
4. If you love art, you can’t skip the National Gallery of Australia. They have works by famous artists such as Dali, Pollock and Picasso, and they have a great selection of Aussie masterpieces as well.
5. For lunch, head into town and check out the lunch specials at Noodle Cafe. They have an awesome selection of dishes on their lunch menu. Juz got the curry laksa and Dave got the succulent pork chop with rice.
6. Grab a beer from Bent Spoke Brewery. They have tasting paddles of four beers for $18 as well.
7. The Australian War Memorial is probably the best in the country. Make sure you give a donation before entering.
8. For a lovely view of the city, drive up to Mount Ainsley Lookout on the northeast end of the city. There is also a Kokoda Memorial Trail if you feel like breaking a sweat.
9. Bunda Street and the City Walk between Akuna Street and Mort Street have some great places to eat for dinner. One of the most popular places is Akiba, where we had a lovely tapas dinner with our mates Tom and Bella. Get a serve of the pork belly buns and the kimchi & angasi pancakes.
10. Head to the Telstra Tower just before sunset for a killer view.
As you can see, the main things we spent money on in Canberra were food and drink. Most of the attractions in Canberra are free, so we had no issue spending the money to visit the Telstra Tower at the end of the day.
Sydney is the biggest city in Australia, so this $100 Day was epic. So epic that you might have to split it into a few days to make sure you can get the most out it!
We’d like to dedicate this $100 Day to Blake, the awesome bloke we met in Newcastle at the YHA. Blake – if you’re reading this, make contact with us. You are always welcome to stay with us when you’re in Melbourne.
1. If you plan to travel around Sydney for a few days, grab yourself an Opal Card, top it up with some cash. Otherwise, you can buy a single ticket for the ferry into Circular Quay for $6.20.
2. Grab a coffee at The Fine Food Store.
3. Go for an explorative stroll through the alleys and laneways of the Rocks, and pop in to the Sydney Harbour YHA for some insight into how life was back in the old days. If it’s the weekend, they hold a great market here from 10am.
4. Do the Pylon Lookout for great views of the harbour and city.
5. Make your way through Circular Quay to Bennelong Point and marvel at the architecture of the Sydney Opera House.
6. Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens on your way to Martin Place, the heart of Sydney. Peek into the Channel 7 Studios, gape at the GPO, and if you feel like it, duck into Lindt Café and grab some chocolates for $9.99 per 100g.
7. Head south along Elizabeth Street to Hyde Park. Check out Archibald’s Fountain, The Pool of Reflection and whatever street performers are lingering around before ducking across the road to St Mary’s Cathedral. Nearby is the St James Church – sometimes they do free lunchtime chamber concerts.
8. Hungry yet? Head back to George Street and catch the free shuttle bus down to Haymarket.
9. Market City has an awesome food court with a great selection of Asian food. Have a filling lunch.
10. Go for a quick stroll through Chinatown and head towards the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
11. It’s time for beer – walk down Liverpool Street to the World Square, and duck into the Sydney Brewery for a beverage. At $5 for a schooner, you can’t go wrong. We recommend the Lovedale Lager.
12. From the brewery, head back to George Street and go north towards Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building. If you feel like ice cream, duck in to Regent Place and grab a sea salt soft serve sprinkled with pop rocks from Aqua S to share.
13. From here, you can take the bus home. If you have a topped up Opal card, great – otherwise buy a single bus ticket from $2.40. Ticket costs depend on how far you’re going.
Bam… a massive day of sightseeing and eating with 70 cents to spare. Of course, there is heaps more to see, like Luna Park on the other side of the river, and heaps more to eat, like Mr Crackles in Darlinghurst or Vienna Sandwiches in North Sydney – but we’re only human and we can’t do it all.
Since leaving Melbourne, Brisbane is the biggest city we have visited. It’s Australia’s third most populous city, behind Melbourne and Sydney. Planning our $100 day was hard because we wanted to fit in as much as possible, but we soon found that it would be harder to spend the $100 than we thought because of all the great things to do and see for free.
1. Coffee at Scout Café, a short walk from the Brisbane City YHA. It was a great way to start the day as this understated little café was playing happy big band music and made an awesome cup of coffee.
2. Walk over William Jolly Bridge to Southbank – checked out the brachiosaurus display to promote a new exhibition, walked under the Arch of Flowers past Streets Beach to the CityHopper terminal.
3. Catch the CityHopper and travel along the Brisbane River, past the Kangaroo Point Cliffs to Eagle Street Pier.
4. Stroll through the city, down Queen Street Mall, admire City Hall in King George Square, visit Anzac Square War Memorial and St John’s Cathedral.
5. Walk to Fortitude Valley for lunch – Fatboy’s Burgers lunch special at the Royal George Hotel. A juicy BLT with lots of bacon and a side of curly fries with garlic aioli dip – absolutely delicious.
6. Visit Chinatown and grab a pack of mochi from the Asian supermarket.
7. Catch free city loop bus from Wharf Street to the Botanic Gardens and enjoy the mochi by the river.
8. Cross over the Brisbane River via the Goodwill Bridge and have a peak at the HMAS Diamantina in the Maritime Museum.
9. Get a tasting paddle of Brisbane Brewing Company beer at the Brewhouse.
10. Sample some craft beer at the Hoo Ha Bar. We got a pint of the Sunshine Coast Brewery Rye ESB.
11. Munch on some dumplings at Bamboo Basket on Grey Street.
12. Visit the Queensland Museum and learn about the natural world.
13. Get a tasting paddle of James Squires beer at Charming Squires.
13. Peruse the stalls at the Collective Markets. We got a block of jam donut fudge from the Fudge Forever stall – amazingly good.
Our night could have ended there… but it didn’t. We went back to the Brisbane City YHA to find that they were doing trivia upstairs for a special event. There were no teams – you just have to clap to buzz in and a correct answer scored you a beer. After quickly winning three beers, we decided we had an unfair advantage with all the Australiana questions and kept quiet until the quizmaster coaxed Dave onto stage to take over.
Once all the beer had run out, we had a quick rest before heading over the Caxton Street. Our destination was Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, an old American style venue with chandeliers, red draping on the ceilings and a small stage for live music. If the brooding red bar isn’t your scene, go upstairs to the Mermaid Bar, with turquoise walls, fish net hanging from the ceiling, and an awesome model of a pirate ship behind the bar. Lefty’s was so packed because it was a Friday night, and it was about to turn into a sardine tin with sports fans leaving the Suncorp Stadium and creating a line out the front. We fled, but promised that we’d be back on a weeknight for one of their infamous apple whiskeys.
All in all, it was a ripper $100 day. We accomplished so much, saw everything we wanted to see, and even had some money left over.
We’d like to introduce a local blogger in Cairns – Kate Richards. She is a mum to 2 very active kids, prefers the great outdoors to crafting or cooking any day. She is also an adventure and social media junkie, photographer & videographer. A true local of Tropical North Queensland and love sharing family adventures.
We asked her, if she has $100 and a day to spend in Cairns with a friend, what would she do? Here are her suggestions…
2. Check out the Esplanade Markets that run Saturday from 8am-4pm right next to the Lagoon. If you need to have a shower after your workout, there are facilities next to the lagoon.
3. Catch the 131 bus from the Cairns City bus station on Lake Street to the Botanic Gardens. Single paper tickets are $4.80 per person and are valid for two hours. On Saturdays, the 131 bus leaves the Cairns City bus station every hour on the hour and takes 15 mins to get too the Botanic Gardens.
4. Explore the Botanic Gardens, climb Red Arrow for views of Cairns and the Northern Beaches, then check out the Tanks Art Centre for local Art Exhibitions (10-2pm).
5.Catch the bus back to the Cairns City bus station and head to Rusty’s Fruit Market for lunch at one of the Rusty’s Food Trucks on the Sheridan St side.
From here there are two options – the relaxing option and the adventurous option.
The Relaxing Option
6. While you’re at Rusty’s, grab some fresh fruit & vegetables (for a BBQ later) from the market stalls.
7. Walk back to the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon & take a dip in the lagoon. Listen to some live music on the lawns (2-5pm).
8. Visit Prawn Star at the Cairns Marina for some Fresh Local Seafood for dinner. Purchase a kilo of Banana Prawns for $25 with lemon. Ask for a tub of their special Prawn Star Sauce.
9. Cook dinner on the BBQs on the Cairns Esplanade.
10. Use your leftover to enjoy a cocktail and schooner of Little Creatures at the Salthouse.
The Wildlife Option
6. After lunch, head to the Cairns Wildlife Dome for an interactive experience with some native animals.
7. Share a large pizza from Oasis Kebab for dinner.
8. Head to the Salthouse for a pair of Great Northern schooners to wrap up the day.
Because we were in Darwin for so long, we figured we’d suss out as much as we could and construct an ideal $100 day. Also, because of the two seasons, we figured it’d be best to put together TWO $100 days to suit whatever time of the year you decide to visit Darwin.
So, here are our action-packed $100 days in Darwin for both the wet season and the dry season.
1. Fish Feeding @ Aquascene $15 each (feeding times depend on the tides – check their website for the schedule)
2. Stroll through Bicentennial Park
3. Check out the Town Hall Ruins and Parliament House
4. Take the stairs down to The Waterfront (if you go on Sunday, you might catch the live music Sunday Sessions)
5.Lunch for two at Chow!
6. Bus to The Gardens
7. Stroll through George Brown Botanic Gardens
8. A Dinner for two @ Mindil Markets
1. 1. Crocosaurus Cove (if you have the cash to spend, do the Big Croc Feed Experience for $79 per adult)
2. Two kebabs from Darwin’s Kebabs
3. Walk through Smith Street Mall
4. Take a look at Parliament House and the Town Hall Ruins
5.Check out The Waterfront
6. Two pints of craft beer @ The Precinct
7. Watch the sunset/lightning show from Stokes Hill Wharf