Posts Tagged With: straya

Wine Tasting in Huntah Valley

Our journey to Hunter Valley (or “huntah” depending on what side of the equator you are from) started with a beautiful scenic drive north away from the city, through the country for about two hours until we reached our destination, the Brimbadeen Estate, a local winery that had cabins built into the hillside for incredible views in our little cosy cottage.  The hosts were lovely, bringing us welcome baskets and wine with goodies we could sample while we stayed with them. Cute!  We checked out the surrounding countryside that night, and I was treated to the finer points of a “footie” match, Aussie rugby is one mean sport!  We also got caught up with our election news, there is a big federal election going on here in Australia right now, and its pretty entertaining to watch how different Aussie Politics are both in the election and in the sports game we were watching!  The next day we got an early start on planning our route of wine destruction.

First stop was Iron Gate estate, a winery I had never heard of but that David was familiar with.  Oh my god did they ever let us sample the whole place!  We must have had ten tastings at the first place alone!  I laughed while thinking “We’re not in Canada anymore” because we didn’t even have to pay for our tastings, nothing in the entire day!  It’s enough to make someone guilty enough to buy a couple of bottles of wine!  Our next stop was my pick, I’ve always been a fan of Lindemann’s, so made it a priority to stop there, where we sampled yet another few wines and I hit the jackpot with a ten-dollar bottle barrel of wine, which I picked through and made some excellent purchases! We needed lunch at that point, and there is a gorgeous café just off the cellar doors of the winery, so we ate gourmet pizza and drank yet more excellent wine.
The boozy afternoon was not done yet, as we still had a cheese shop to check out (yummy but expensive) and another brewery, AND another winery!  The brewery was a super fun place to visit, very historic, we got the ever-sophisticated “beer flights” and I sampled ginger beah, wheat beah, and a few other delicious choices! Mmmm. Beer.
The last stop was De Bertolli wines, where I couldn’t resist but pick up another very cheap bottle of delicious wine – I’m hooked!  We decided to have a wine party, complete with meats and cheeses, while we watched the election results (lol) so we headed to the supermarket and laid out elaborate cheesy dinner plans to go with our copious amounts of wine.  It was a fantastic day, I really got a sense of what Hunter Valley had to offer and was able to sample and buy some of the best wines coming out of the country, i feel pretty spoiled by my experience there with an incredible view and excellent company.  The credit has to go to David for this trip, he planned it all out and it was fun b/c he’d never been there either despite being so close to it, like the Niagara region for us Canadians! Thanks David for taking me exploring in your country, I’m loving ‘straya’ more and more every day I stay here 🙂
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Much Needed Week off in Sydney

I Love this CITY! My time in Sydney so far has been really relaxing, a perfect recovery breath in the midst of all my travels.  I’ve settled into apartment life with my friend David, who lives close to the city in the suburb of Leichhardt, the little Italy area which reminds me of Toronto a lot. I’ve spent a bit of time this week recovering from my Asian Bird Flu as I lovingly refer to it, I’ve been feeling sick-ish on and off since Malaysia and am happy to have some time to sleep and get myself over whatever is attacking my insides at the moment!  In my first few days I had dinner overlooking the Opera House (very memorable!) and saw all around the harbor area, saw Bondi Beach and sampled some of the nightlife there, explored Leichhardt and the Little Italy area, read, relaxed, recuperated and generally tried to save $$ cause there are lots of things I want to do in Melbourne and NZ, i need to make sure I have enough to do the other things I want to do.  I’ve been watching lots of Australian movies (Chopper, Ned Kelly, The Castle, Crocodile Dundee) and got to sample a famous meat pie from Harry’s down on Finger Wharf one night as well. Also in the books, I’m planning to visit Melbourne at the end of September before I jet off to the last country on my list, and some visits to friends who live in or near Sydney as well!

This weekend on the agenda is the beautiful Hunter Valley, a wine region not too far from the city which produces some of the best wines in the country, including the Sparkling Shiraz which is exclusive to the area. Mmmm. Wine.
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Night Ride 2 Magnetic Island

I got off the island at Hervey Bay, and was dropped off at the bus station to await my coach.  But first, I had to stop and get some reading material for my long bus ride!  I settled in for a long haul up the coast, doing an overnight bus that left at 9pm, arriving at my destination around 1pm the next day. It wasn’t too bad, all things considered.  I slept + read my book and ate bus-made peanut butter sandwiches. Mmm.

The greyhound rolled into Townsville and I was dropped off right at the ferry terminal, which was convenient but I’d just missed the ferry! I hoped this far-flung Magnetic Island was worth it, after all the trouble to get here!  I boarded the ferry and sat on the windy top, happy to be outside in the sunshine after more than half a day on a bus!  The public bus on the island dropped me off right at my hostel, Base Backpacker.  It was one of the most scenic places I’ve stayed, right on the shore, and my dorm was a little cabin! Cute!  When I got there, I decided to explore and looked around the surrounding area.  I hiked up the hilly terrain into the sleepy town, and watched the sun set over the beach, which looked over the coast of Australia.  It was a beautiful view, and a perfect stopover on my long trip to Cairns.  I slept like a baby in my little cabin dorm, too bad I didn’t have more time to explore this little island, which is not actually magentic, but had some properties in the sand that was said to throw off compasses, so was named for it.  Looks like a perfect and popular spot for weddings, it’s so picturesque!
The ferry back was fantastic, the weather was warm, and it was ONLY  a six hour bus ride to Cairns. Luckily I was into a good book, so the time flew and before I knew it, I was in Cairns!  The small city immediately charmed me, and I made my way to the big hostel in the middle of town, Gilligans, which was definitely the swankiest hostel I’d stayed in on my whole trip! I was excited to explore Cairns the next day and check out the city.
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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