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RoseTapper

Just Returned From Trip To Australia

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I just got back from visiting my daughter in Sydney, Australia. You would not believe how easy it is to live a gluten-free life there! Most restaurants list whether a meal is gluten free, and they happily accommodate people by substituting different ingredients. In addition, gluten-free bread and pizza were available at almost every restaurant I visited, and the bakeries regularly offer gluten-free cakes. I wasn't made to feel different at all--no one batted an eyelash when I asked for a sandwich made with gluten-free bread. Also, the supermarkets offer an enormous array of gluten-free food, and it's a LOT less expensive than it is here. The products throughout the supermarkets are labeled as to whether or not they contain gluten.

My daughter treated me to High Tea at a nice tea room, and one of the regular types of tea that was offered was a gluten-free tea. I expected to be served rice cakes and dry, tasteless cookies....but, instead, I was served the most wonderful delicacies! The cookies, cakes, tarts, and sandwiches they served me seemed just as delicious and special as the ones served to my daughter (who should eat gluten-free, but she refuses to do so). I can't recommend Sydney, Australia, enough for people with gluten intolerance or celiac--I felt safe....and I didn't feel "different" at all. Wonderful place to visit!

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I just got back from visiting my daughter in Sydney, Australia. You would not believe how easy it is to live a gluten-free life there! Most restaurants list whether a meal is gluten free, and they happily accommodate people by substituting different ingredients. In addition, gluten-free bread and pizza were available at almost every restaurant I visited, and the bakeries regularly offer gluten-free cakes. I wasn't made to feel different at all--no one batted an eyelash when I asked for a sandwich made with gluten-free bread. Also, the supermarkets offer an enormous array of gluten-free food, and it's a LOT less expensive than it is here. The products throughout the supermarkets are labeled as to whether or not they contain gluten.

My daughter treated me to High Tea at a nice tea room, and one of the regular types of tea that was offered was a gluten-free tea. I expected to be served rice cakes and dry, tasteless cookies....but, instead, I was served the most wonderful delicacies! The cookies, cakes, tarts, and sandwiches they served me seemed just as delicious and special as the ones served to my daughter (who should eat gluten-free, but she refuses to do so). I can't recommend Sydney, Australia, enough for people with gluten intolerance or celiac--I felt safe....and I didn't feel "different" at all. Wonderful place to visit!

I am so glad to hear you had such a nice time - I am a born and bred Sydneysider :)

Also your perspective on how easy it has been is good for me since I will be travelling to the US soon. Since the aussie dollar is VERY strong right now so I would have thought you would find Australia quite expensive... when it's like this I find the US cheap. So interesting to hear you found the supermarket food here good value (not that I don't agree, I think it is too, but I was hoping the US prices would be similar) I'll be making my first gluten free trip to the US at the end of this month and I'm a little nervous, though I think as prepared as I can be.

Was that high tea at the Queen Victoria Building? I had that recently myself and loved it (though unfortunately mind must have been contaminated somehow as I was sick later. Oh well)

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So...you're coming to the U.S.? You might encounter a little culture shock because of how poorly celiac is understood here. You might wish to obtain a list of the restaurants that offer gluten-free menus; otherwise, you'll need to ask a LOT of questions at the restaurants you visit.

Yes, the tea was at the Queen Victoria Building, but I didn't get sick afterward. I'm sorry to hear that your food might have been contaminated. I did worry about that a bit as I ordered gluten-free meals at restaurants, because no one seemed all that concerned. I wondered, do they know about contamination?? However, I didn't get sick a single time while I was visiting, and I tend to get sick from just a molecule of gluten. Guess I just got lucky!

As for the price of food, generally food is cheaper in the U.S.; however, gluten-free food is oftentimes priced 2-3 times higher. The gluten-free flours, pasta, bread, and cookies are priced ridiculously high. For example, my favorite breads cost about $9.00 per loaf, and those loaves are fairly small. Coffee at coffee shops, though, is a lot less expensive here. I experienced sticker shock when I saw how much I was expected to fork out for a small cup of coffee in Sydney. Restaurant food here is definitely cheaper, too, and you'll find that things you use every day are also inexpensive (such as deodorant, shampoo, makeup, etc.). If you get a chance to visit a Walmart or Target while you're here, you might want to stock up on sundries. My daughter usually brings an empty suitcase with her so that she can load up on shampoo, conditioner, saline solution, razors, and the like.

I'll definitely be returning to Australia--loved it there! However, I hope you enjoy your visit here. Which cities do you plan to visit?

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I don't know if makeup is so outrageously priced in Oz as it is in in NZ but I always stock up on cosmetics, and shoes too.


Neroli

"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

------------

Caffeine free 1973

Lactose free 1990

(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's

Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004

Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007

Soy free March 2008

Nightshade free Feb 2009

Citric acid free June 2009

Potato starch free July 2009

(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009

Legume free March 2010

Now tolerant of lactose

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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So...you're coming to the U.S.? You might encounter a little culture shock because of how poorly celiac is understood here. You might wish to obtain a list of the restaurants that offer gluten-free menus; otherwise, you'll need to ask a LOT of questions at the restaurants you visit.

Yes, the tea was at the Queen Victoria Building, but I didn't get sick afterward. I'm sorry to hear that your food might have been contaminated. I did worry about that a bit as I ordered gluten-free meals at restaurants, because no one seemed all that concerned. I wondered, do they know about contamination?? However, I didn't get sick a single time while I was visiting, and I tend to get sick from just a molecule of gluten. Guess I just got lucky!

As for the price of food, generally food is cheaper in the U.S.; however, gluten-free food is oftentimes priced 2-3 times higher. The gluten-free flours, pasta, bread, and cookies are priced ridiculously high. For example, my favorite breads cost about $9.00 per loaf, and those loaves are fairly small. Coffee at coffee shops, though, is a lot less expensive here. I experienced sticker shock when I saw how much I was expected to fork out for a small cup of coffee in Sydney. Restaurant food here is definitely cheaper, too, and you'll find that things you use every day are also inexpensive (such as deodorant, shampoo, makeup, etc.). If you get a chance to visit a Walmart or Target while you're here, you might want to stock up on sundries. My daughter usually brings an empty suitcase with her so that she can load up on shampoo, conditioner, saline solution, razors, and the like.

I'll definitely be returning to Australia--loved it there! However, I hope you enjoy your visit here. Which cities do you plan to visit?

Thank you, this is really helpful. I have done a lot of research - luckily I love the planning stages of a trip - and I'm keeping a notebook with details of places to go in each city. I'll mostly be in LA, Chicago, DC and NYC (with a weekend in Roanoke with friends).

It'll be my third visit to the US (and to those cities) but my first having to eat gluten free. My friends are very supportive though and with all my research I think I'll be fine, or at least, as well prepared to handle things as I can be. This site has really taught me what to consider.

I don't drink coffee but I can imagine your shock at our prices here - I'm always so pleasantly surprised by free re-fills in the US, something almost unheard of here. Well, up until I start bouncing off the walls from the caffeine.

I'm glad you had a good experience at the QVB, I was probably just unlucky. A friend of mine is related to the owners so I will pass on your good experiences. With the cross contamination in restaurants, I think it helps that foods that you find everywhere in the US aren't so common here. It would be unusual to find onion rings on the menu; croutons are rarely included in salads (pretty much only in caesar salad) and we don't get those free nibblies (like corn chips or the bread basket). So those are sources of contamination I know to watch out for since I'd not worry about them here. Ohhhh, it's going to be hard, I used to LOVE the bread baskets in US restaurants!

Mushroom, good reminder about the make up! And I bought two pairs of running shoes last year, for less than the price of one pair here. And that was at full price. Crazy good!

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I just got back from visiting my daughter in Sydney, Australia. You would not believe how easy it is to live a gluten-free life there! Most restaurants list whether a meal is gluten free, and they happily accommodate people by substituting different ingredients. In addition, gluten-free bread and pizza were available at almost every restaurant I visited, and the bakeries regularly offer gluten-free cakes. I wasn't made to feel different at all--no one batted an eyelash when I asked for a sandwich made with gluten-free bread. Also, the supermarkets offer an enormous array of gluten-free food, and it's a LOT less expensive than it is here. The products throughout the supermarkets are labeled as to whether or not they contain gluten.

My daughter treated me to High Tea at a nice tea room, and one of the regular types of tea that was offered was a gluten-free tea. I expected to be served rice cakes and dry, tasteless cookies....but, instead, I was served the most wonderful delicacies! The cookies, cakes, tarts, and sandwiches they served me seemed just as delicious and special as the ones served to my daughter (who should eat gluten-free, but she refuses to do so). I can't recommend Sydney, Australia, enough for people with gluten intolerance or celiac--I felt safe....and I didn't feel "different" at all. Wonderful place to visit!

Hi Rose,

Great to hear you had such a positive gluten free experience over here. The awareness of gluten free here has improved so much in the last 10 years. It is not difficult at all to find gluten free foods whether at the supermarket or in cafes, restaurants etc. Most pizza places now seem to offer gluten free pizza bases. There are several pizza chains such as Crust Pizza and Pizza Capers that do a great gluten-free pizza. They are located in many parts of the country. There are often gluten free recipes in newspapers and magazines. The reason for this I think is because there is a very well organised celiac society in Australia which works very hard to raise awareness as well as celiac societies in each state. In the paper on the weekend it said that an area of downtown Melbourne called Federation Square which has many restaurants has declared itself a gluten free friendly zone and each restaurant there offers gluten free options.

If you ever get down to Melbourne I can give you some suggestions of where to go.

My sister who is also a celiac just got back from the U.S. and South America. She found South American easier than the U.S. In New York she basically lived at the New York deli's where she could make up a salad herself. Also she went to Carls Junior Burgers (? is that what it's called???) where you could get a gluten free burger wrapped in lettuce off the low carb menu. THe fries were also gluten free. She found Las Vegas difficult. Wholefoods stores were also very good.

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I am heading to Perth for 6 months does anyone have any information about products i sould look out for in the shopping centres and restaurants i can eat safely in??

Michelle

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I am heading to Perth for 6 months does anyone have any information about products i sould look out for in the shopping centres and restaurants i can eat safely in??

Michelle

Hi Michelle. Are you from the US? Australia is pretty easy. Supermarkets will have a health food section, and most of the gluten free products are located there. But there are are also many regular products throughout the store that do not contain gluten - some will be labelled gluten free and others it will be clear by the ingredients. In general, products in australia have way fewer ingredients than in the US (I'm generalising to be sure but that's been my experience) and we also have a much smaller range of everything, so you should not be overwhelmed by the offerings in our supermarkets. Check out the "International Room" thread, there's a long one called "Australians and New Zealanders Hellooooo", if you go to the last half dozen or so pages we talk a lot about recent products and where they are stocked.

If you're from the UK, you'll find we have a lot less pre-made stuff.

I had had a look at the Coeliac website and they don't have a list of restaurants for WA available for download, only to members. http://www.coeliac.org.au/wa/index.html Maybe someone from Perth can help.

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Hi, Michelle,

We came to Perth from the States, and we are having a great time here. We went to the Coeliac Western Australia office in Bentley for information http://www.coeliac.org.au/wa/ . They had a restaurant list that was very helpful for us when we stopped by to become members (they may be willing to give you a copy . . . or I can try to find my copy . . . they didn't list much for where we live now . . . although we have found places that suit us well). Different parts of the city offer different things. Do you know where you will be staying?

We initially stayed in Northbridge and stumbled onto the ReStore - they have a gluten free section, and their deli is good. One of the family members is coeliac, so the store personnel were happy to answer my many questions.

We have also found plenty of food at the Coles, Woolworths and IGAs (standard grocery stores) where we have been. We have also found that stores (both health food stores and our local IGA) are willing to special order stuff for us too . . . it can just take a bit of patience, as everything seems to take a bit to arrive (usually from the East Coast)! And finally, we have enjoyed going to farmer's markets. We are often able to speak directly to the people that are growing and processing the foods there, so they can really answer your questions you may have . . . and they have great food too!

Where are you coming from, and do you eat gluten free processed foods that you hope to find here? And where will you be staying (generally) and will you have car transport? I can try to get you more specific information if you want. We love Perth. I hope you have a great time during your stay!


My super silly red siren is my guiding light. She has been a tremendous lesson for me in how gluten affects different people in very different ways. She is a super duper silly girl that was simply born that way. I have no idea why I am so blessed to have her guidance.

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I am From Dublin, Ireland.

I live in monaghan the last while which is near northern Ireland so i can get a lot of products from the U.K supermarkets and they are lovely.

Pricey but lovely.

I am staying in Fremantle in Perth for 5-6 months before i move around to travel. Although im looking forward to this i am nervous of becoming sick and will try bring out things like sauces and dried packet stood from home. Baggage allowance is 20kg and we are going for the year so its going to be tough...

I will check out that other post if i find it i'l make a list of what i can so i will know then. Thank you both

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I am From Dublin, Ireland.

I live in monaghan the last while which is near northern Ireland so i can get a lot of products from the U.K supermarkets and they are lovely.

Pricey but lovely.

I am staying in Fremantle in Perth for 5-6 months before i move around to travel. Although im looking forward to this i am nervous of becoming sick and will try bring out things like sauces and dried packet stood from home. Baggage allowance is 20kg and we are going for the year so its going to be tough...

I will check out that other post if i find it i'l make a list of what i can so i will know then. Thank you both

Please don't worry, I'm sure you'll do fine. Things are well labeled here, and restaurants have a high level of awareness.

With regards to bringing stuff, be careful what you bring. Australia has extremely strict quarantine regulations. You must declare all foods, and they may confiscate some things. There's more info here: http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/travel/entering-australia/cant-take

I've been fine bringing in things like bread, biscuits etc, but sauces could possibly be a problem if they contained meat etc.

I really wouldn't worry too much about bringing stuff Michelle, beyond preparation for the flight and when you first arrive. While I enjoy the extra large range of baked goods etc that you can get in the UK, you can get all the staples here, as well as plenty of things like crackers etc if you need portable snacks. I would say that Australia and the UK were equally easy to be gluten free, but the UK has more pre-made stuff (and that applies to regular food too, there are so many more 'ready meals' available in UK supermarkets than are available in Australia, I guess in general we're used to cooking from scratch). It's nothing like as tricky as visiting the US.

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