Winter seems to have had a bit more of a nip in the air than usual, or is it that I always forget just how chilly Sydney can get? It’s about time to start looking forward to the warmth of spring, some outdoor activity and getting amongst our beautiful cities and countryside .The opportunities are plenty and here’s our rundown state by state…
The best way to start a spring day is to feel the fresh sea breeze at an outdoor early yoga class. Head underneath the iconic Harbour Bridge, at the Pier One Hotel, for classes starting at 6 am Wednesday to Friday, and 7am, Tuesday and Saturday.
After a demanding yoga session you’ll be set for a restorative breakfast – head to Bread and Circus in Alexandria and feast on a fab guilt-free breakfast. Organic, raw and bio-dynamic are second nature to these guys – your yoga teacher will be proud.
Sydney is bursting with small restaurants run by young, ambitious creatives striving to make their mark. The newest one to hit the streets of Darlinghurst this year is MASTER, already famous for its black pepper mud crab cooked in browned butter and spices. Another to open their doors recently is Ciccone & Sons, an artisan gelateria and coffee shop delivering fresh, handmade gelatos made from real fruits and whole nuts – all made in-house. Buttermilk and passion-fruit, salted cashew, rhubarb and blood orange to name a few…
Making the most of the spring vibe, August 30th sees Sydney’s Town Hall taken over by the Italian Food and Wine Festival. Enjoy the Negroni bar, sommelier tours and the Gourmet Traveller food market.
Wake up your dormant art senses at Australasia’s biggest international art fair Sydney Contemporary. The fair will host Australia’s largest and most diverse gathering of Australian and international galleries (10-13 Sept). Opening night at Carriageworks is always a great party.
Pack your swimmers if you’re game… it’s time to get out of the city and back to nature. Head to the beautiful Kambah Pool Reserve for a riverside picnic along the Murrumbidgee River in the warming spring sun. Stretch your legs with a half hour walk on the many well-signed tracks or make it a day trip and hike for hours in the unspoilt landscape of the reserve. Stop by the Capital Region Farmers’ Market to buy your locally grown, harvested and hand crafted produce. Come dusk, book a movie at the newest cinema in Canberra, Palace Electric, which is downstairs from our favourite place for a night cap, Hotel Hotel.
Even though Melbourne has again been named the world’s most livable city – spring is all about getting out into the great outdoors. Drive along the Great Ocean Road until you get to the little coastal town of south-western Victoria called Apollo Bay. Head here for a weekend at this gorgeous farm stay at Sri Menanti Cottage. Sitting on 72 hectares and looking over Apollo Bay, boasting picturesque landscapes and magnificent ocean views. Walk the many trails, spot waterfalls in the Otway Fly Rainforest, fish and surf – there is plenty to do in this so-called ‘sleepy little surf town’.
Springtime always arrives early in the sunny West Coast capital – so I suggest, start your day at the magnificent North Cottesloe Beach for a brisk morning walk – white sands, beautiful clear turquoise water and those great big pine trees framing the views. Head to Mary’s Street Bakery for breakfast – their menu is absolutely mouth-watering. Pick up lunch at Perth’s Home Grown Markets – go for the pies, pizza or paella. You will be spoilt by local musicians who play into the late afternoon.
Perth is surrounded by so much natural beauty, if you have time, head on a three hour drive to the Margaret River, home to some of the best wineries in Australia. Pop into the Vasse Felix Winery then onto dinner with views over the Indian Ocean at Clancy’s Fish Pub - sustainable seafood and sharing platters in the sunset.
The Brisbane Festival starts 5th September for 3 weeks and will present dynamic performances by various artists, bands, opera and even the circus – an amazing way to spend your time and reinvigorate yourself with the arts this spring. It’s all about art so make sure you check out The Photograph and Australia exhibition at GOMA; this travelling exhibition depicts how Australia has been shaped by photography, tracing its evolution from the 1840s to today, with over 650 works by renowned artists. For a decadent late night dinner head to Gerard’s Bistro, one of Brisbane’s top restaurants or the award winning delicious Public, for a dirty martini and duck egg, truffle toast.
We’ve heard great things about the newly opened and fabulous looking Electra House, a beautifully restored heritage brick building (disused for 20 years) just opened in time for spring. Dine on one of three levels of eating, drinking and sharing, bringing back life to this historic Adelaide building. Get your chopsticks ready if you like Asian food at the Adelaide Night Noodle Market – enjoy your dumplings or Pad Thai among the beautifully laid out night market setting, with live music, great performances and beautiful fairy lights to set the mood.
Always balmy in Darwin, spring might be the best time to get yourself out there – Outback Floatplanes sounds like my sort of adventure: crocs, wild boars, rainforests and turtles all from air-boat, helicopter and float plane – a half-day tour for a full NT fix. For a more relaxing end to the day, the Darwin Film Society runs a fabulous outdoor cinema on the edge of Darwin Harbour. Watch the sunset over the sea and enjoy the tropical garden setting in a reclining deckchair with a meal and a drink, before your movie starts.