Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Monday, July 16, 2018

LAST DAY OF LUXURY

So after four days of living in luxury and being driven around sight seeing and eating scrumptious meals it was time to head home. We had been in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney a birthday weekend with our daughter, Carol and son-in-law, David.
We drove back to Sydney a different way. We set off from Bowral and headed towards the coast via the Kangaroo Valley and the town of Berry. On the way we stopped at the Fitzroy Falls.
 It was a little cold in the forest but the falls were awesome.

 It was pretty driving through Kangaroo Valley with the fog lifting.

 We stopped  for a coffee in the nice little town of Berry with its quaint shops.

It was unusual to see surf boats on a roof.

We continued on to the beautiful south coast of NSW. We stopped at Austinmere for lunch. I had fond memories of this beach because my parents brought us here every Boxing Day for a picnic on the rocks in the distance and a swim in the rock pools.

I had read about a new section of road which is a bridge over the ocean so I asked Carol and David if we could go this way back to Sydney. They were happy as they had never been on this road before.

Then we drove up the steep hill to Stanwell Tops and we were surprised to see many many para gliders and some hand gliders jumping off the cliff and soaring in the sky. It was fun to watch.
 Looking over Stanwell Park Beach

 It was fun to be here. It had changed a lot from when I lived in Sydney 60 years ago.

 Our wonderful chauffeurs for the weekend.

 This monument to Lawrence Hargraves was here before. It is in memory of the man who pioneered aeronautics. He experimented with box-kites, monoplanes and engines and shared his ideas with the Wright brothers. Much of his work was done here doing the same as the modern day paraglider. Wouldn't he love to join them and see the aeroplanes of today.



Friday, July 6, 2018

A COUNTRY DRIVE

During our four day trip to the Southern Highlands, Carol and David took us for another drive around the district. We stopped in the little village of Robertson for morning coffee. The coffee shop was an old cheese factory converted into a coffee shop and cheese and souvenir shop.
 The old cheese factory.

Inside the old cold room and factory.

 I love the character of the old country houses. This one had the typical verandah and even the owner having a nap in the winter sun.

 A bit further down the main road we came across the "Big Potato", which was a bit worse for wear. It was quite a laugh really. Many Aussie towns have large statues of the products they are famous for. I have seen the big orange, the big banana, the big mango, the big cow, the big prawn and here we have the big potato. What next?

We continued our drive through a beautiful National Park to see the Belmore Falls. When we got there we found the pathway was closed due to damage to the lookout from a past bushfire. That was a disappointment.

 So we continued on to find a winery for lunch. Carol had done the research and found a delightful one at Mount Ashby Estate.

This was the driveway to the Cellar Door and restaurant.
It was a sunny, peaceful area.

 Inside was full so we sat outside in the warm sun. 

We chatted with Carol and David

and had a delightful lunch of Barramundi and Creme Brûlée .
After that we drove back to the hotel for a rest and that evening we had a dinner in the hotel's posh restaurant because it was my birthday. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

TOURING THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS IN NSW.


After we explored the gardens surrounding the Milton Park Country House Hotel, Carol and David took us for a driving tour around the Southern Highlands. The highlands are just south of Sydney about 1.5 hours drive. The scenery is beautiful but in winter it is cold. Us Queenslanders, had to rug up. Luckily we had sunny days.

First stop was a little town called Moss Vale. We checked out the market but wasn't impressed so we pushed on to Hillview Sculpture Park.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much information about the sculptures or the artists.

 We guessed this is St George and the dragon. You can see why it is called Hillview, the park is situated on top of a hill with views of rolling hills and pastures. (See my new header)







It was quite a walk from one to the other sculpture so we managed a little exercise and warmed up. Then the next part of the tour included a few local wineries.

 We enjoyed talking to the owners of the wineries and hearing their stories of pioneering wine growing in the district. This Italian/Australian made very nice Chianti.

Carol found the best restaurant in the area but it was full so we had to wait some time for a free table because we hadn't booked. It was Bendooley Estate Wines and Berklouw Book store as well as the restaurant.

We scored a table next to the fire where we had a two great Pizzas to share for lunch. It was well into the afternoon when we finished so we decided not to go out for dinner. So we stopped by the supermarket in Bowral and stocked up with cheese, salami, apples, crackers and wine for a snack in our hotel room. It was a delightful end to a wonderful day.



Thursday, June 28, 2018

THE BEST BIRTHDAY WEEKEND EVER

Last weekend my daughter and SIL gave us a weekend away for my birthday. We flew to Sydney where they picked us up at the airport and drove us to Bowral in the Southern Highlands just south of Sydney. They had booked us into the Milton Park Country House Hotel & Spa. It was a beautiful 'old world' hotel.
In 1910 the country house was part of a top cattle breeding stud owned by Anthony Horden. It changed hands a few times and was converted into a hotel in 1983. Now it is owned by the consortium,  Yufan Australia. The buildings and gardens have been renovated and it is now a 5 star hotel. The rooms, service and food were excellent.

The entrance to the hotel.

Part of the hotel from the gardens.

When we arrived it was off to the Spa for a massage. It was a special building in the grounds which had the spa, massage rooms and a huge gymnasium.

Walking back to the hotel in the evening was very pretty with many of the bare trees lit up. Then David drove us to a nice Italian Restaurant in town for dinner.

Back at the hotel we relaxed in one of the many lounges in front of the fire.

 The next morning we had breakfast here in the Orangerie Restaurant and then we went exploring the huge gardens.

First we had a peek into the French Pool House.

It was very warm inside but still not enough for me anyway I didn't take swimming costumes or togs as we say in Queensland.

 The gardens


 Carol reminded me that the gardens looked so much better in Spring rather than now in winter. The Wisteria was having a winter nap.

This lovely fountain, just outside our window, came from a park in Paris.

After the stroll through the gardens Carol and David took us for a drive around the district (next post).

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

BIRTHDAY BEAR SWIMS WITH A WHALE SHARK

Our friend Chris had a birthday recently and we were invited to celebrate at their new place in the country. After they spent some years travelling around Australia in a caravan, they have now decided to settle down again in a small country town about three hours drive from here.

They have a big block of land with a huge tree, sheds and a cute little house. Wallabies visit everyday too.

Chris and Helen went on a tour to Western Australia a few weeks ago. While on that tour Chris was very brave and went on an excursion where you snorkel on the Nigaloo Reef and swim with the largest fish in the world, a whale shark. They are not dangerous like other sharks.

So when we arrived at Chris' house  we saw that Bear was dressed in a wet suit with flippers, goggles and a snorkel. There was also a whale Shark close by.

Chris was happy with all of us for being there for lunch with Birthday Bear. (if you are not familiar with our Birthday Bear tradition click here.)

 A big tree and a little house.

Can you see the wallaby in front of our car?

Wally the wallaby comes every day for a snack of seeds......

and a drink from the bird bath.


Chris was happy to have a snorkelling companion
Chris made us a lovely lunch and we sat outside on a beautiful,warm winter's day.