Just outside Perth (Western Australia), we discovered a Fremantle coffee spot that is nearly impossible to find - unless you're in the know.
Want to know my formula for the perfect travel day? It's not first class tickets + champagne = luxury. It's more like tiny spot + jaunty bright colors = coffee heaven. While visiting the Perth (Western Australia) suburb of Fremantle, coffee heaven was in full force. We had the good fortune to visit the tiniest of all tiny cafes, featuring the jauntiest of all jaunty colors (bright orange!) and it was heavenly indeed.
My heart swooped the minute I walked through the door of the Leake St. Cafeteria - and so will yours! But first you have to find it. This is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it stop but read on and you'll see why I think a visit here is one of the best things to do in Fremantle.
Can you find a bargain in Perth? You bet! Here are the best free things to do in Perth - plus a few frugal meal suggestions too.
Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Let's chat travel and economics for a moment, shall we? On some prosaic, theoretical level, I understand why many a price tag in Australia comes with sticker shock. For one thing, the cost of taxes and tips are included in the price you pay. Furthermore, I appreciate that Australia is an island - a lot of things are imported here and that means that costs are passed along. And of course, Australia also has a very high standard of living. The elevated cost of everyday items reflects the fact that the country has a correspondingly high minimum wage.
But you know what? All these sensible and logical explanations don't count for much when you're staring down $20 museum admissions and $50 bills for basic, boring lunches. Australia is an expensive travel destination. There's just no getting around it. And prices in Perth, the most isolated city not just in Australia but in fact the entire world, can sometimes feel like highway robbery. Rather appropriate, for a former penal colony settlement.
With a tight budget and a week to spend in Perth, I was determined to make our money go the distance. These are the best frugal and free things to do in Perth, with a focus on the city center. (Don't you worry - I'll be working on a list of the best free things to do in Fremantle and other nearby communities soon!)
In 2013, we created the most incredible reward trip with Aeroplan, circling the globe with Star Alliance. And in 2018 we're doing it again!
TurnipseedTravel debuted nearly six years ago (and does anyone else remember our very first green and grey template?). Nearly 18 months later, that debut became a fully fledged launch when Ryan and I took our readers along for the journey of a lifetime.
We cashed in all our points for what was technically a trip to Australia but instead embarked on an amazing round-the-world trip fueled entirely by Aeroplan. See, we had learned about all the reward flight loopholes needed to "hack" our travel plans and create a mini round the world trip with Star Alliance partners. With stops in Europe, Asia, North America (and, of course, Australia), we had 9 flight segments on Star Alliance flights (and visited about 15 different locations) and paid about $300 each for taxes and fees. As you can tell from our nostalgic photos, thanks to Aeroplan, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Or so we thought....
Kangaroos and Koalas? What Could Be Better?
You don't have to be an outdoorsy person to fall in love with baby rescued animals! Even the most nature averse person can't help but melt when confronted with a small and cuddly critter! Our recent visit to Australia provided us with the chance to meet some of the most unusual animals we'd ever seen and we were grateful for the opportunity to see a different side of the country after spending so much time in Sydney.
I have never stayed in a hostel like Sydney Harbour's YHA "The Rocks".
As a solo female backpacker in my early 20s on my first trip through Europe, hostels were an invaluable component of my budget travel strategy. I was studying in England and I would use learning breaks before my trip to read and re-read Let’s Go Europe’s hostel reviews. This was back in the dark ages, before there were online booking sites or many travel blogs, so I accepted Let’s Go’s information as the gospel truth. They never once steered me wrong and, despite having a minuscule budget, I always had a clean, safe, friendly place to stay.
Sydney CAN be a budget travel destination!
Sydney is one of the most vibrant, beautiful, and cosmopolitan cities I've ever seen but, as I detailed in my last post, it is also the most expensive . This could have spelled disaster for my basic budget, but I was determined to soak up the city without breaking the bank. It took a bit of research but I discovered are plenty of deals down under. Here are five free Sydney experiences that I loved.
Sydney is exquisite... and expensive!
Our amazing, around the world trip originally began with a dream of saving enough frequent flyer points to go to Australia. We were originally aiming for Hawaii but as our points collecting skills improved, we focused on an entirely new destination. Bit by bit our trip evolved but we never lost sight of our main goal - Australia!
Snorkeling and Exploring Sydney with EcoTreasures
If you're looking for an amazing day trip from Sydney, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful destination than Manly Beach. We're talking gorgeous blue waters, endless white beaches, and amazing views - plus a great food scene! But I must confess, my first glimpse of Manly Beach was not an encouraging sight.
On the day of my visit, the high winds and rough waters were pretty intimidating. I bet they were heaven for the crowd of seasoned surfers but as someone who was there for a snorkeling experience, I have to say I was feeling pretty nervous. I was concerned about getting in over my head (literally and otherwise) but I put on a brave face and continued on down the path. For I wasn't in the Manly area for an ordinary visit. I was scheduled to meet up with Damien from EcoTreasures for a guided nature walk and snorkel session at nearby Shelly Beach.
Do you think hostels are just for kids?
When you think about Sydney, what do you picture? The beautiful harbour and the famous opera house? The fantastic zoos and unique animals? Or do you just picture price tags, dollar signs, and credit cards? While Sydney may be one of the most expensive places in the world, but there's no need to spend a fortune on accommodations.
No need, of course, if you're willing to stay at a hostel! It's a challenge we were eager to take on at Sydney's BIG hostel on Elizabeth Street.
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