15 Best Instagram Photos of 2017

The Best Instagram Photos of 2017

When I say that these are the 15 best Instagram photos of 2017, what I really mean is “here are the most liked photos, plus a few I really love”.

It’s my way of looking back at 2017 and remembering what I’ve done and where I’ve been. Or what I’ve written about, as the case may be.

1. FERGUSSON FALLS, TASMANIA

Fergusson Falls was, by a long shot, the most liked picture over on the Instagram account. It’s not difficult to see why.


You have to hike and camp for a few days through one of Tasmania’s many National Parks just to catch a glimpse of the falls.

And if you’re there in summer, you’re definitely going to be tempted to have a little dip. If you’re a hiking enthusiast and you’ve never been out to Tasmania, may I heartily recommend The Overland Track for the gorgeous vistas and wildlife.

2. PALACE OF FINE ARTS, SAN FRANCISCO

Next up is a San Francisco landmark that doesn’t get enough attention if you ask me. Built in 1915 (and then reconstructed in the ’60s), the Palace of Fine arts reminds me of the Ancient Roman version of a pergola.


You may not be so keen after my description, but it really is a must-see. In a city where there are just too many “must-see’s” to properly get to in one visit.

If you want to pick and choose your favourites, here’s a list of my favourite vantage points in San Francisco.

3. THE MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM, LOS ANGELES

Apparently, this was high on the list of best Instagram photos of 2017 – likewise anyway. Here I am at the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles earlier this year.


It turns out that I haven’t properly grown up yet, and that means I get to play on all of the exhibits that are most likely created for those younger than I.

If you find yourself in a city that’s hosting the Museum of Ice Cream, run, don’t walk.

4. BUDDHIST CHURCH BETSUIN, SAN JOSE

Unlike its Chinese sister, you won’t find many Japan towns scattered around the world. Actually, California has all three of the United States’ Japanese districts.


San Jose’s Japantown hosts some impressive examples of street art, historic shops and fosters art in many forms, including music and dance.

But the local Buddhist Church Betsuin and adjoining Japanese Garden caught my eye.

5. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

My dream of seeing a bear wandering through the woods came true this year.

We were packing up tents and sleeping bags after a fantastic  weekend in Yosemite National Park when Yogi appeared.


Luckily, Mr M had his proper camera at the ready and snapped the little mite on the hunt for pic-a-nic baskets and the like. I assume that’s what bears eat… based on the cartoon.

Of course you don’t feed bears or leave any food or toiletries out for them to get into. It’s dangerous for them and you.

6. THE COLOR FACTORY, SAN FRANCISCO

Get ready to worship at the alter of colour, because this shot came in third in the best Instagram photos rankings.

The Color Factory opened in San Francisco in August and ran through September. It basically gave everyone a chance to embrace their inner child. Then tell it to CALM DOWN ALREADY!


To my mind, the best part was taking advantage of the “museum’s” static cameras, which could send photos straight to your email.

It’s how you capture moments like the above, before you drown in a sea of yellow.

7. MERMAID POOLS, TAHMOOR, AUSTRALIA

One of my favourite hikes in Australia is the Tahmoor Gorge trail up to Mermaid Pools.

It’s steep and confusing in places, if you go the right way you’ll pass a pretty big abandoned engine in the middle of the bush.

A bushwalk then a dip in Mermaid Pools. Perfection.

A post shared by An Aussie in SF: Expat life (@anaussieinsf) on


But the real gems are the Mermaid Pools, a sheer drop from where you’ll be standing. There’s only one way in and another way out.

A handy sign tells hikers that there is “No safe entry or exit from pool” but that doesn’t stop fearless teenagers from leaping down.

Then it’s just a matter of climbing up the rope and scrambling up the rocks again.

8. MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM

We visited Monterey Bay for a little weekend roadtrip and I fell in love with the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

There’s something mesmerising about the fish swimming in patterns.


If you happen to be in the area, you should definitely visit.

9. SOLVANG, CALIFORNIA

You can’t pass up a Dutch town smack in the middle of California. There are too many enticing windmills, slowly drawing your car towards it!

Solvang’s on the way to LA for us, so a quick stop on our road trip was in order.


After you’ve finished admiring the traditional architecture, enjoying a pastry in one of the MANY bakeries, or downing a pint, the best way back to your car is via horse and carriage.

10. ALCATRAZ ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO

We all know that there’s a prison on Alcatraz Island, but what about the guards who worked there and their families?

I always assumed that they caught a boat back to the mainland at the end of their shifts. Apparently not.


The burnt out shell of a building in the background shows the Officer’s Recreation hall. It’s where they’d go with their families for dances and big events.

11. BRUNY ISLAND, TASMANIA

Just kicking back on a boat off the coast of Bruny Island, having a whale of a time.


My Tasmania road trip included a stopover on Bruny Island, where Third Brother and I took a little marine life cruise.

As if seeing the seals and sea birds weren’t enough, we were also lucky enough to catch this beautiful whale frolicking like nobody’s business.

12. ARTS DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES

While most of my favourites (and yours) were all about nature, this one bucks the trend.


The LA Arts District houses museums and art studios, and an absolute treasure trove of street art by locals.

It’s an outdoor gallery showcasing an array of styles that’s free to stroll around any time of the day or night.

13. RODEO BEACH, MARIN COUNTY

California has miles of gorgeous coastline. You can drive just about anywhere along the coast and snap fantastic shots.

But it seems Rodeo Beach was a favourite with my Instagram crowd.


Maybe it was the combination of the surfers and the fact that there are some great scenic hiking trails as well.

Or it could have been the WWII barracks, forts and battery guns. None of which were even pictured.

14.  OAKDALE, CALIFORNIA

This year was all about road trips it seems. On the way home from Sonora for a wedding, we stopped for a little break.

To make it worth my while, we stopped at a cheese factory that had a few animals scattered around.


Including a Koi pond, where you can feed the fish. We had a nice conversation with an enthusiastic little boy who was making sure his marine friends would not go hungry.

15. PURISIMA CREEK TRAIL, SAN FRANCISCO

Let’s finish this off with a green part of San Francisco. Often when you think of the city, your mental picture is just that – buildings.

But there are fabulous green spaces both in the city and down the peninsula.


A break in the trees presents you with this view, and you’ll have to work to get it too. This hike isn’t for the feint-hearted by any stretch.

22 thoughts on “15 Best Instagram Photos of 2017

  1. The ice cream museum and color factory looked so fun! And you got such a GREAT shot of the whale! I didn’t get that lucky when I went on a whale watching tour.

    1. Whale and dolphin photos are so difficult to get! You have to be in the right place and your camera has to behave.

    1. It’s funny how I felt like I didn’t do much at all this year. But looking back on a post like this is really helpful to see just how much we got to experience.

    1. Haha, thanks Ness. My favourite is probably the bear. I don’t know, my favourite changes every day. Happy New Year to you xx

  2. What a splendid selection of pics and I love the Aussie-American balance. Thank you for the MOIC pics which inspired me to go to the San Francisco version – that was one of the highlights of my trip. Still gutted I couldn’t get into the Color Factory but I lived vicariously through your pics! Here’s to more fabulous photos and amazing adventures in 2018!

    1. Thanks Sammie! I love doing this post at the end of the year. It reminds me of all the awesome opportunities I’ve had. And I get to feel like I’m OK at taking photos. Sometimes 😉

      I walked past the SF MOIC the other day and it’s still open! I kind of want to see if I can go through this one now.

  3. Gosh I enjoyed looking at these again and especially seeing your happy face in some! A great mix of places and spaces there! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 1/52 and next week’s optional prompt is Word or Intention for 2018.

    1. I loved looking back through all of my photos to choose these! It was lots of fun reliving some memories. Although it feels like I came back to Australia years ago, not just in January of last year. Strange how the year felt like it absolutely flew but that the beginning of it is almost gone from my memory.

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