Four Surprisingly Good Australian Holiday Destinations, According to the Locals

When was the last time you explored your own city? Or ventured a little further and discovered another state, for that matter? With the spring's sun sparking a sense of adventure among the MyDomaine Australia team, we decided to live through our INF / Network members and embark on a virtual trip around the country. There's so much unspoken value travelling within Australia. We too easily forget how much wonder we have right on our doorstep—it just takes looking a little deeper for authentic experiences in new towns and always taking a local's recommendation. So of course who better to trust than our own set of stylish insiders from our influencer community, the INF / Network? These women have been generous with sharing their interiors, fashion, and beauty advice, and now we'll happily follow their travel recommendations as well.

In partnership with iconic Australian lifestyle brand Country Road, we asked Julia Ashwood, Erin Maxwell, Ally May Hayward, and Rebecca Jobson to each take us on their Hometown Tour.

Keep reading to discover the hidden gems of Byron Bay, Melbourne, Sydney, and Yallingup in WA—then go right ahead and book that trip.

JULIA ASHWOOD: BYRON BAY, NSW

"After years of living between Sydney, New York, and Los Angeles, returning home to Byron Bay to raise a family was our best decision yet. Things have certainly changed over time but one things for sure; there is more great food, cafés, and things to explore than ever before, especially in the smaller, lesser-know spots just out of town."—Julia Ashwood
PHOTO:

Matt Rabbidge

Julia's Top Spots in Byron Bay

  1. "Our favourite Saturday growers market, just behind the pub in Bangalow. We love the red, juicy tomatoes from Coopers Shoot farm."
  2. "Harvest Café at Newrybar has the most irresistible pastries."
  3. "Clunes Store stocks great local produce and wines. Pop by on a Thursday night and enjoy the best wood fired pizza, too."
  4. "With so many beautiful beaches we are spoiled for choice. Our favourite is Broken Head for wandering the rock pools in the early mornings."

REBECCA JOBSON: YALLINGUP, WA

"It's no secret that I am extremely in love with the city that I live in—Yallingup, Western Australia. It's a far cry from where I grew up, and coming off the back of living deep in the city life in Bondi for eight years, I was a little worried that I'd get bored in a small coastal town. It's been quite the contrast actually. This place thrives with adventure. Things to see, places to travel to, and amazing fine and food. It's such a dream to live within a wine country and I'm so lucky to be able to call this amazing town home."—Rebecca Jobson
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Rebecca Jobson

Rebecca's Top Spots in Yallingup

  1. "Empire Retreat Yallingup is a gorgeous boutique hotel situated in the middle of Yallingup. Best part about it is you can purchase whatever you see, and customers from the retreat get a discount at the homewares stores, which gives you a great excuse to get a couple of items to remind you of your trip."
  2. "One of our all-time favourite wineries is Aravina Estate. Sit on the balcony and wine and dine while you are overlooking a stunning dam and their beautiful gardens."
  3. "Black Brewing Co is one of the larger venues in the region with a beautiful industrial vibe to its interiors. I may be biased, but they also brew the world's best beer, Honest Ale, which may or may not be the new venture of my partner Taj [Burrows]. Definitely a must-try if you are in the region."
  4. "My go-to place for coffee is a café in Dunsborough called Merchant & Maker, with a cabinet full of brekkie, lunch-to-go at your fingertips, and also a boutique grocer attached."
  5. "One of my favourite places and always a crowd favourite [for first-timers] is the Injidup Natural Spa. The rock formation right next to the ocean creates a waterfall that runs into a small salt water rock pool. Consider leaving the kids at home as it can be quite dangerous and you have to climb and scale many rocks to get there."

 

ALLY MAY HAYWARD : SYDNEY, NSW

"A city can mean so many different things to you throughout your life. I currently live in Sydney and what it meant to me several years ago is vastly different to what it means to me now. I used to visit Sydney a lot with my family as a child and teenager, so I have always had a deep attachment to it. That deep attachment has evolved since living here, because now I consider it my home, not just a place I visit."—Ally May Hayward
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Ally Hayward

Ally's Top Spots in Sydney:

  1. "Kafeine Balmain: Amazing coffee and my go-to. They know me by name."
  2. "Infinity Bakery in Paddington: Such amazing pasteries and they do a great veggie pie!"
  3. "Glenmore Road Paddington: For shopping everything from makeup to clothing."
  4. "Bondi: Those early morning sunrises when the beach is untouched and the air is so refreshing."
  5. "Balmain: The suburb I live in. It's a little village, but so central to everything."

ERIN MAXWELL: MELBOURNE, VIC

"Melbourne is all about the fashion, dining, coffee, sport, while you can discover our laneways and beautiful architecture. My favourite places to shop, eat, and play only touch the surface of everything it has to offer, but [are] an intro and I'll leave you to explore."—Erin Maxwell
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Erin Maxwell

Erin's Top Spots in Melbourne:

  1. "Shopping in the CBD within the beautiful buildings and laneways is not to be missed, but you have to stop and take in the history and sights on the way there. The State Library is the first stop for coffee and a walk through."
  2. "A short trip outside the city gives you boutique shopping with High Street Armadale—one of the best with newly opened Rebecca Vallance, Scanlan & Theodore, Viktoria & Woods, and Bassike."
  3. "Live like a local in a true rustic and urban way in the beautiful The Apartment St Kilda styled by Lynda Gardener."
  4. "Walk the laneways of the city and you will stumble across cute cafés and bars, and most of the time the best ones are those hidden and boutique." For dining, Maxwell suggests Chin Chin, Cumulus Inc.Mamasita, or Mr. Miyagi.
  5. "If [you're] like me, plants are everything in your life. As a visitor it's not the best item to shop for, but the experience is well worth a visit. Ivy MuseLoose Leaf, and Cool Cactus are your must-sees."

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