Last weekend Stew and I joined our friends Alicia and Jonny on a little road trip to the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney. The Hunter Valley is a beautiful wine region containing some of the best vineyards in the whole of Australia. The scenery is just fantastic with rolling hills, acres of vines, farm yard animals and even the occasional wild kangaroo!
The four of us stayed in a lovely villa called Hooper’s Lane. Stew found it after searching endlessly online, and it is such a gem. They were by far cheaper than anywhere else and the place was so pretty, set in the middle of no where surrounded by a forest and many fields. We had a lake right outside our front door and near the entrance were olive trees. Unfortunately they weren’t in season to pick, however there were lime, lemon and orange trees in our driveway which made for great cocktail mixers!
Our first evening was spent at a local brewery sampling some of their beers before buying a case to drink in the comfort of our fantastic home for the weekend. We played Monopoly, ate steak and got quite merry!
The following day we hired bikes from a local company who very kindly dropped them off at our villa for us and then picked them up the day after. I would highly recommend doing this if you ever stay in the Hunter Valley. No one wants to be driving around when you can try so many wines!
It was such a beautiful day and so fun (if a little strenuous at times) to be riding around the countryside. It actually reminded me of home a little bit. It really didn’t look like Australia… apart from when we saw some wild kangaroos casually hopping around the olive groves!
My favourite vineyard was also a brewery called Hope Estate. The man that helped us try many (many, many, many!!) wines was really helpful and funny. They also brew lots of their own beers including a gluten free beer. I was intrigued by a few of them so decided to join the boys and get taster board of four for just $10. Bearing in mind one beer costs the same in Sydney this was a pretty good deal. We actually went back to this winery the next day to pick up a couple of bottles of our favourite wines as we couldn’t carry them on our bikes on the day.
Tempus Two was another fave purely for their beautiful bottles! Apparently their wines are sold in Tesco and Sainsburys so I’ll definitely look out for them when I’m back.
All in all it was an amazing weekend of cycling, soaking up the sun, tasting countless wines, try yummy cheese and chocolate. Perfect! Would love to do something similar in the south of France and stay in a chateau.