Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

This is a big varied garden just across the road from the river. It has grassy knolls overlooking lotus filled lakes, tree filled areas and nice views over the city.
It is beautifully maintained and it is possible to take a gondola ride around the lake. (They don’t sing opera, though!)
  
  
  
Make sure you walk up the hill to Guilfoyle’s Volcano, which has a fantastic collection of succulents and cacti around it. A nice day out from city sight-seeing.

Chinese garden of friendship, Sydney. 

These gardens are right between Chinatown and Darling Harbour. There is a small entry fee but with this you are allowed to enter as many times as you like during the day. It is a lovely, calm garden with, carp, birds, waterfalls and statues. Right in the midst of the the hectic city of Sydney. As such, it add a nice new dimension to this vibrant city. Take a step away and enjoy some moments of calm in the Chinese garden of friendship while visiting Sydney.

  
  

Criniti's, Manly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales

Two of us ate here for lunch on a sunny Sunday lunchtime before doing the scenic walk from Manly to Spit Bridge. We both ordered pizza which were large and tasty. The quality of the ingredients was good. The restaurant was busy, the service was still pretty good. We enjoyed it, we would recommend the walk too!

Hotel Bruny Bistro, Bruny Island, Tasmania

We were staying in Adventure Bay and decided to look for a restaurant, there aren’t too many restaurants on Bruny Island and this one had pretty good reviews. We almost missed it because it looked more like a local pub than a Hotel and restaurant. The view out the window is beautiful (although admittedly it would be tough to find a view that isn’t beautiful on Bruny) and the service is friendly and helpful.
We ordered the scallops and the flake and chips. The fish and chips were lovely. I got 15 huge, delicious, crowned scallops. They were fresh, simply cooked and full of flavour.
I know it’s a long way to go for scallops, but my word they were gorgeous! If you are ever in the vicinity of Bruny Island – I recommend that you go – and you know what to order!

Captain Cook Caravan Park, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania

We stayed in a 1 bedroom cabin in this camping and caravan park. The cabin was clean and well maintained. Ours had a separate kitchen with cooker, fridge, freezer and microwave. There is also a TV and a sofa. The seating area out the front has a barbecue. The sea is directly across the road and the sound of the waves as you sit there in the morning or evening is gorgeous.
The bed was comfortable and the water in the shower was hot and strong.
Reception is open limited hours and the nearby shop and restaurant close early…. So bring snacks! There is no wifi. However this is easily compensated for by the empty pristine beaches, the beautiful walks, the nearby penguins and the white wallabies.
We had such a fantastic time in Tasmania and Bruny Island in particular.
These photos were both taken from the vicinity of the Park

Meriton Serviced Apartments, Campbell Street, Sydney

Sydney hotels are pretty pricey if you choose not to go down the backpacker route. However, if you are staying more than a single night, serviced apartments offer a great alternative. Meriton do them well. We stayed 5 nights in these ones in Campbell Street and were impressed. The position was great; just on the edge of Chinatown and the CBD. It is possible to walk almost anywhere in Central Sydney from here and if you don’t like to walk, it is only a couple of minutes from Central Station.
The rooms are huge, the bathrooms modern, and the water hot and plentiful. There is loads of cupboard space and the aircon is efficient. There was a washing machine and dryer in the room too, they even supplied a little tube of washing powder!
The 1GB limit on wifi use per day was enough even for our data hungry devices.
We shall be looking up Meriton Serviced Apartments for future stays in Australian cities.