New Farm Park, Brisbane

Saturday, April 27, 2013

FUN, FRIENDS, FAMILY, FOOD and WINE

We set off on our last leg of our road trip from Tamworth to Windella in the Hunter Valley. 
(We are home now)

The weather and the scenery was superb. After 3 hours we arrived at Windella in the Hunter Valley where we stayed overnight with friends Margaret and Peter. The next morning we drove 15 mins to Pokolbin in the heart of the Valley and met our daughter Carol and SIL David, who drove the short distance of 200km from Sydney to meet us.

photo from  google images.
The first vineyards were planted in the Hunter valley in 1823. The first accommodation was built in 1974.
Today the Hunter Valley is one of the Australia’s most well-known wine regions in Australia and throughout the world. The Hunter Valley has produced many fine, world recognised wines and with over 150 wineries, 65 restaurants and 180 accommodation properties, the Hunter Valley has become a tourism mecca for food and wine lovers alike.
And Carol and David are food and wine lovers. We met them for breakfast at Enzo's restaurant. I liked the sign hanging on the door . I just had to get those two to pose next to the sign.

The food was delicious and served interestingly. The tea was delivered not on a tray but on an old story book.  The apple juice came in a recycled jam jar.


After breakfast we booked into the hotel and then visited wineries, the Smelly Cheese Shop and a Chocolate shop.

wine tasting

grape vines

Carol's friend recommended Robert's restaurant for dinner. So we went there to make a booking. It didn't have a big impressive entrance but a little rustic door.

We entered a very old house converted into a restaurant. There were a few different rooms.

 The back of the old house opened up into a large restaurant but still in keeping with the rustic timber look with a roaring open fire. The dinner was very nicely presented.

The next day we did it all over again. It was a lovely relaxing time and wonderful to be with our daughter and SIL. We were supposed to meet up with our other daughter too from LA. Unfortunately, their plans to visit Sydney were squashed by Bernie's previous employer. So sadly we won't be seeing them this year and it is Banjo's birthday today, he is one.

The Hunter Valley is also a big coal producing area. This is a coal fired power station showing its big carbon footprint. Actually I think it is only steam going into the air here.
The following day we set of for home. we intended taking two days but we got  news that our guest speaker for the Camera Club was not able to attend the meeting in our place tomorrow so we had to drive all day (11 hrs) to get home to prepare a talk for the next day. The last 2hrs in the dark over the ranges was not very pleasant but we made it. Luckily I found a talk that I had prepared earlier in the year so all was well.


32 comments:

  1. Looks like a great trip, Diane.. I'm sure you all enjoyed the winery and area--but being with Carol and David had to be VERY special. So sorry that the LA kids couldn't make it.

    Sorry also that you had to hurry home. I would not have been happy about that!!!! BUT--seems as if it worked out for you.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is truly an amazingly beautiful place. i love the valley and for sure love the sign on the door.. that is enough restaurants to suit any or eveybody. and that last one, with the little door, what a WOW when we went in side... really beautiful. sorry you had to rush to get back home. i had no idea you have coal mines. learn something new every single day. before i met you in blog land, i had no clue what Australia is like, all i knew was from Crocodile Dundee movies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. good food, good wine, family time. love it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Eleven hours driving. Ouch. I just read a really depressing post from someone, and yours has cheered me up.

    PS It is steam, but keep it quiet as the image is useful for propaganda purposes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow the white smoke coming out of the chimeys looks enormous.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great way to finish your trip meeting up with your daughter and sil. Can't believe Banjo is one year old already! Sad you would miss the birthday celebrations though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. lovely trip you both had; shame you couldn't catch up with your other family members too. Yes, I believe it's steam coming out of those huge power stations too. Lovely images and good on you having a spare talk for camera club up your sleeve.

    ReplyDelete
  8. that's a winning combinations isn't it? looks like a lovely day. glad you made it home in time and lucky that you found a preprepared speech.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's great to see Carol and David again, they sure make a cute couple. The scenery on your trip is spectacular Diane, looks like another wonderful trip and one I have traveled vicariously. Thank you my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh dear, I just read that you were supposed to meet up with your LA family. So sorry that those plans didn't work out. Happy Birthday to little Banjo. Hope it won't be too long before you get to see them. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you will see them sooner than you think.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This looks like a great way to finish up your trip (the Valley, not the long drive on the last day). I'm glad your daughter and son-in-law could join you, even if your other daughter couldn't make it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A nice day despite the disappointment. The shot of autumn colours is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ouch those long days are hard but oh my what a wonderful visit with your kids! Cheese, wine, chocolate - nothing bad about that. Thank you for taking us along!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such wonderful photos, I liked them and even though I don't drink wine I do like wine tours and tastings.....

    ReplyDelete
  15. Diane, sounds like a fun time with your daughter and SIL. Sorry, the rest of the family did not make it. Happy Birthday to Banjo! Wonderful photos and post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dianeb, Carol has your smile!

    Happy birthday to Banjo and I hope that his father's 'squashing' by his 'previous employer' means only good things for his career in LA??

    ReplyDelete
  17. It is a lovely part of the world. I read somewhere recently that the NSW Wine producers are not too happy because the top Sydney restaurants are not selecting their wines, preferring instead the ones from the colder climates.

    I am actually rather fond of the way that coal mining, power stations and farming coexist in the Hunter and in the Mudgee area too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nice post, I like it to travel along with you, always very interesting stories. Nice header too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great road trip; enjoyed vicariously traveling with you. It's great fun to enjoy life along with grownup kids isn't it?

    Sorry the other family couldn't make it. I'm feeling a little lonely for family right now (even if it is all our own fault) so I can greatly empathize.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You go to such wonderful places. It's great reading the account of your adventures. It makes me want to pack up and hit the road.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So happy that you're home safe and sound Diane, sounds like you had a super time. Carol and David sound just like my son and his wife, they love the wine trips and restaurants in Sydney. We are so lucky here in -Australia with the big wide roads, makes travel do much more pleasant. That was a mammoth drive home, hope the talk went well the next day.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful place ! and meeting with Carol was certainly much fun !

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've never explored the Hunter Valley but it looks very inviting, even for those who are more interested in drinking in the scenery than testing the wine.

    Pleased you made it home safely, no fun driving so long, especially through mountains and darkness.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh I am so happy you were able to spend time with one daughter I am sorry about the other one not being able to make it. I know you had a great time by the awesome photos. B

    ReplyDelete
  25. I was sorry to read that the last day of your holiday had to be 11 hours of driving to get back home. Too bad! And too bad that you won't be seeing Fox and Banjo this year. That truly made me very unhappy to read.

    On a happier note, your time with your other daughter and SiL looked to be great fun. Being with the children always makes me feel lighter and younger.

    Your daughters are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  26. That looks like a wonderful way to spend a couple of days; just sorry it had to end with such a rush to get home; however, I'm glad all turned out well in the end. It's sad you won't be seeing your "LA family" though . . . hopefully next year a visit can be arranged. Those grandkids are growing up fast!

    ReplyDelete
  27. A beautiful corner of the world Diane .... It reminds me of our Barossa Valley area. I can't believe little Banjo is one year old already.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your trip is exactly the type of jaunt I like - exploring our regional towns and uncovering their "hidden treasures".

    Given your judo expertise you'll be very familiar with the term "sensei".

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Friends & wine & food is the best combination :)))

    ReplyDelete
  31. What great photographs - it is almost like being sat in the car with you exploring a distant land. We are off on our travels again tomorrow - I just hope I can do half as good a job of recording the journey as you have.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love visiting wine growing regions and wineries --this looks absolutely beautiful! It must have been so ice to spend the time with Carol and her husband.

    ReplyDelete