Australian Vegan Things
Calling anyone in Australia, or who's been there before!
I'm about to head over on a holiday, visiting Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, and would love to know of any vegan-friendly shops, restaurants or products I should seek out. I'm really looking forward to trying some new things, and I've heard there's a greater variety and selection of vegan friendly things over there, so would love to know what to look for.
Sorry to disappoint you, but Australia is not really the most vegan friendly of places. I don't know about Melbourne, but I'm sort of near Sydney. I do recommend visiting a suburb of Sydney called Newtown- its a very alternate and trendy little place with quite a few vegan shops and cafes. I also recommend visiting Byron Bay (a few hours from Sydney) which is a bit hippy-ish but very nice and vegan friendly. You must also visit the Blue Mountains (where I live!- about 2 hours west of Sydney). It is extraordinarily beautiful if you are into nature (the views, heritage and bushwalks are amazing).
As to Canberra, it is actually a bit of a hole. Really not much to do there, its kind of country-meets-city (there are quite a few rednecks out that way). You might find that there will be a lack of vegan options (lack of everything actually), but cafes/restaurants should be accommodating to your needs.
In terms of vegan products, we are actually quite limited compared to the US, but we do manage. Products are generally a bit pricey (as they are usually imported). We don't have any large health food providers like Wholefoods, but most places will have small healthfood stores that offer a range of goods, and the major supermarkets do have healthfood sections and all sell a few types of soy milks (Vitasoy brand is nice) and one soy ice cream (So Good Bliss- its divine!). Some supermarkets also sell Tofuti, and all of them have a few kinds of tofu.
The best thing about Australian would have to be the fresh produce though (you must try the Kensington Pride mangoes, they are amazing). Once again though, produce is also expensive as we are in a drought.
When are you visiting? You must let me know if you are coming to the Blue Mountains, I can show you the sights! If you have anymore questions, post them or feel free to email me (I think my addy is listed in my profile..)
EDIT: Hey I just realized that you're from NZ not US! So perhaps we do have more vegan options than you are used to. :)
It seems like your best choice in Sydney comes from Happy Cow.
Vegan's Choice Grocery at 113 King St, Newtown, NSW
Harris Farm is my favorite for fresh fruit and vegs. There are quite a few Harris Farm stores around NSW. They also have a good selection of tofu and snack foods (check labels, obviously). There's also Healthy Life, but it can be pricey (do you have them in NZ? I can't remember). If you go to Newcastle, there's a place called Bibina in Warners Bay that has a lot of cool imported food. Strathfield (near Sydney) has a lot of Asian and Indian supermarkets.
Will you be doing your own cooking, or do you have to rely on restaurants? All of Australia's Ethiopian restaurants are in Canberra and Melbourne (or so I've heard). They're not necessarily vegan restaurants, but they should have vegan options. Same with Indian restaurants, which are all over.
Sorry I'm not much help. I don't get out much. :)
You can email me if you have any questions. permanentgrin at gmail