Australia, New South Wales

Renners Down Under: Week 5, Wine Tasting and City Break-ing

10th April 2018

I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now, because, ya know, real life had to happen at some point! Week 5 feels like it was so long ago now!!

So Let’s Rewind!

Dad and I spent our final night in Nambucca Heads with our family and on Monday morning we packed up and got back on the road. The next destination was one that I was very much looking forward to. The Hunter Valley for wine tasting!

We arrived late afternoon to Pokolbin Village, where most of the main accommodation seems to be. We had a gorgeous little cabin, the sun was shining and I headed to the pool for a few hours. I needed to rest up ready for a big day of drinking all of the wine the following day!

We woke up to kangaroos eating their breakfast in the back garden, I don’t care what anyone says – wild kangaroos don’t get old! These Aussies don’t appreciate them.

Bring me the wine!

Wine tasting was so much fun, and I have a whole post coming on just that but here it is in brief. We started the day with a tour of Tyrrells, a vineyard that has been there FOREVER! They showed us around where the grapes are grown, where the grapes are mixed and mushed in big pots. Next we saw the cellars with the most enormous barrels of wine were kept. It was pretty interesting, I was mainly glad to hear that the grapes are no longer crushed by human foot. It’s just for the movies!

Like a kid at Christmas

Now we get to the good part, drinking the wine! I always ask for the driest of the dry white wines, and if the rose isn’t sweet I’ll give that a whirl. Dad is also all over the dry whites and likes a red. Between us we’ve got  all wine related bases covered!

Turns out … I’m a cheap date

At the cellar door the sommelier poured me two glasses of the same wine but different ages. Thinking he was clever he challenged me to pick the oldest one. It wasn’t hard, it tasted like dust! I can confirm I am not  one for vintage wines. I want the cheaper and more cheerful tangy ones without the after taste of moth balls!

We visited 4 more vineyards throughout the day, stopping for a delicious cheese board in the sunshine. It was so much fun and somehow, I wasn’t too drunk by the end! My only negative of the day is when we got back to our apartment, the only restaurant within walking distance was a steak house. They didn’t have a single veggie option on the menu, which I couldn’t believe! I ate chicken in the end and then was so poorly from it. Very bad end to a brilliant day!

Sydney here we come

The next day we packed up the car for the final time and got on with our final road trip of our holiday. Hunter Valley to Sydney! It was absolutely pouring with rain, which was such a contrast to the glorious weather the day before. We certainly timed it right!

Luckily my playlist skills are epic and so we had good music to get us through the rain and into the city.

We got to Sydney and I was hangry. Really, really hangry so we dropped off the hire car and went to find food. We got an early night and got up to explore the city the next day.

First stop was Hyde Park Barracks. Now a museum it was the first place the British convicts were brought to. I can confirm, we checked the database and luckily still no sign of any family members being brought over as criminals!

All clear!

It was interesting but we had headsets giving us the guided tour, in Fremantle Prison in WA we had a tour with a human guide and I have to say, it was much better!

Next we walked around Hyde Park, and headed to the main event. The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. I’d seen them before when we were flying in to Sydney airport but they were still impressive! There was literally the biggest cruise ship I have ever, ever seen in the Quay. It was insane! Since I have been back and there is always a giant boat there. But it still blows my mind. I think a cruise is my worst nightmare of a holiday, and we’ve all seen the Titanic!

Anyway, from the Opera House we walked around to the Botanical Gardens which I LOVE! There is a pond, a wild flower garden and even a palm tree section! Heavenly! Also, if you walk all the way around there is an epic view of the Harbour Bridge. It was quite grey and cloudy but the view is still epic. We sat for a coffee, dad has been educating me and weaning me off my mocha’s. I’m now a proud ‘long black with almond milk’ drinker!

We walked back in to the city and found ourselves a nice bar to enjoy happy hour. It was our last night together so it seems only right we spent it with wine. *Sad face*

Drowning my sorrows!

And not only because dad would be leaving in 24 hours. During our afternoon I found out the bad news I am too old to get my second year visa! No amount of farming will work as I need to have finished my 88 days before I turn 31. And 31 is fast approaching my friends!

So dad helped to drown my sorrows in dry white wine and we rolled ourselves back to the hotel.

Friday was our last day, I was mentally preparing myself to move back into a hostel when a friend saved my bacon and let me borrow his apartment while he was going on holiday. He lives in Bondi, which luckily is where we were planning on spending our last day.

The big finale … Bondi beach day!

We dumped my bags and headed straight to the beach. First stop the iconic Bondi Icebergs pool. It was a bit cold for swimming so we just stopped for a look on the way to find breakfast. After a bloody good brunch we hit the famous Bondi to Coogee beach trail. Walking along is basically a beach crawl. The sea is so blue, the waves are crashing in over the rocks and it’s every bit as good as everyone makes out. There are multiple outdoor pools along the way – all of which have been added to my ‘Sydney Swimming Pool Bucket List’.

The path is mainly concrete so dead easy to walk on, it’s also easy to break your phone screen on. My iPhone fell out of my pocket and managed to smash beyond belief. I was not impressed. We then spent the end of our day hunting down somewhere to replace an iPhone screen. Absolute fail.

Not the end of the day we expected! And with my new iPhone screen in place I dropped off my dad at his hotel for the airport pick up and headed back to Bondi.

My Bridget Jones moment.

You know when she is lying on the couch singing ‘All By Myself’… that was basically my first Friday night in Sydney. Minus the break up and the wine.

I had a Sons of Anarchy marathon and an early night feeling sorry for myself I was on my own.

The weekend went so fast, I had recruitment meetings scheduled for the upcoming Monday so Saturday was spent trying to find a ‘corporate’ looking outfit. No more denim shorts and flip flops for me!

Sunday was spent on a yacht with my friend and her group of friends. We set off from Darling Harbour and sailed under the Harbour Bridge and parked up on a little bay.

It was a really nice chance to make some friends and get my head around the fact that I technically now live in Sydney!

Like, really live in Sydney!




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