Jervis Bay and Canberra

After all the miserable weather as the Blue Mountains, we were pretty desperate for some sunshine. Poor Matt had come all this way and only had one day without a jacket. When we arrived at Woollongong, it was, you guested it, raining. By this time, we were getting pretty sick of being soggy. So we headed across the road to the pub! To do what us Brits do best, drown our sorrows. We treated ourselves to a nice meal and a few beers, while the rain poured down.

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The next day looked much more promising! The sun was shining and it was only spitting a little. So we jumped back in the van and headed to Jervis Bay, in search of the whitest sandy beaches. After somewhat of a GSP muck up, we eventually found an information centre, where the lovely lady inside guided me to the right beach. We made our way to Hyams Beach, and finally the sun was shining.

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When we arrived at the beach, we were pretty amazed by just how white the sand was! It really was gorgeous. We had a walk along the beach, climbed across some of the rock pools, and just enjoyed having the sun on our skin.

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Once we had had our fill of sun, sea, and sand (and were pretty hungry), we set off for our next destination. We had found a little campsite just outside of Canberra. We arrived at the campsite pretty late in the afternoon, and the boys were keen to go to the cinema to see suicide squad. So we spent the evening in Canberra at the cinema.

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On Saturday, we ventured into Canberra again, to visit Parliament House. It was really impressive from the outside, and much to our surprise, we could go inside for a walk around. Inside was even more impressive! Everything was smooth and polished, the staircases were made with gorgeous marble and you could tell every detail had been thoroughly thought through.  We walked around the building, sat down in both the House of Commons and Representatives, and the Senate room. We even walked along the rooftop, which showcased some pretty nice views of Canberra.

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After exploring the Parliament House, we set off for the long drive to Eden which would take us to the edge of New South Wales.

Bye for now

xoxo

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On The Road to The Blue Mountains

Tuesday 2nd August, we set off from Sydney bright and early to pick up the van from our friend’s house.  The train back up the Central Coast gave Matt a glimpse of the sights we would see on the road. I can never get over how beautiful this country. Just a simple train ride and you can see so many beautiful sights.

Once we had picked up the van, we made our way down to the Blue Mountains. Our campsite was in Blackheath which was a fair drive from where we left the van. We didn’t arrive until the evening and the weather was awful! It was super foggy and actually pretty chilly. The camp kitchen at the site had heating! So we made some dinner and had a few drinks in the nice warm kitchen.

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A very foggy view

We woke up the next morning to be greeted by similar miserable weather. We drove to Scenic world, hoping for better conditions, but unfortunately we couldn’t see a thing with all the fog! We decided to skip scenic world and try again tomorrow, as we didn’t want to waste our money. Instead we headed to the lookout for the Three Sisters.

The three sisters are three rock formations, which, due to the joints (vertical weaknesses) and erosion, stand alone. There were apparently originally seven pillars, but the others collapsed over time. We got to the lookout at Echo Park and were greeted with more fog. So we couldn’t actually see the sisters. Instead we headed down the walking track, to try and get a better view.

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Freezing at the Three Sisters

The walk took us all the way down to the sisters, and across a little bridge where we could stand on Swas really cool to stand on it though, and the fog was a little clearer, so we got a glimpse of the national park and its vastness.

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The fog starting to clear

We cut our losses and headed back to the van to try our luck at Wentworth Falls. We arrived there around lunch time, and the weather still wasn’t too promising, so we stopped off for some lunch at the conservation hut. I had a gorgeous homemade pie, which set me up nicely for the rest of the day. By the time we had finished in there the weather had perked up a little. So we headed down the walking track which took us to the falls.

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Wentworth Falls

As we made our way down, the fog started to clear and the weather really brightened up. The falls were beautiful, and we started a little bit of a walk around the cliff face to see some gorgeous views of the national park. It ended up being a really nice afternoon.

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Wentworth Falls

On our way back to the campsite, we took a quick detour to Grovetts Leap, another lookout across the blue mountains. The view was amazing. Just green as far as the eye can see.  What started out as a bleak down, turned out to be pretty awesome.

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Wentworth Falls

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Walking along the cliff at Wentworth Falls

The next day we decided to try our look again at Scenic World. The weather was pretty misty again, but we were hopeful that it would clear the same way as the day before. We descended into the rainforest via the worlds steepest railway! That was fun. A bit scary being on the front row, but a fun way to start the day. It was considerably clearer down in the rainforest, so we decided to take the longest boardwalk around the forest. Seeing the native plants, and learning about the mining that used to take place there was really interesting.

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Blue Mountains

 

We took the cable car back up to the main building. On the cable car we got some pretty nice views of the national park, however it was still misty; but it was world heritage listed mist 😉 as our guide informed us. Once we were back in the building we sat down for a coffee to left the mist (and now rain) pass before we made our way to the Sky Way.

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Katoomba Falls

The sky way took us across the forest to the other mountain, where we got even better views of the forest below, and Katoomba falls. We got off at the other end and headed down the walk way to the falls. By this time the weather had started to perk up a little so we got some good views of the falls and the forest. We walked along the top of the falls before heading back to the sky way, back to the main building.

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Katoomba Falls

The Blue Mountains were truly amazing; I only wish the weather had been a little better. However, we still had an amazing time and learnt so much. After scenic world, we continued on the road to our next camp in Woollongong.

Bye for now xoxo

Sight Seeing in Sydney

So, we had already had a glimpse of Sydney’s sights from the Sky Tower, but on Sunday, we decided to go and get a closer look by walking around Circular Quay. First of all, we headed down to the Rocks, to browse the markets.

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The Rocks Market

The markets showcase original artworks, clothes designed and made by the stallholders, and handmade food and drinks. Matt and myself treated ourselves to some homemade lemonade that was delicious and refreshing.

After browsing the market, we walked we headed down to the harbour to see the Opera house from across the water. We got a nice view, and enjoyed listening to the buskers along the way, before we carried on around the harbour to the opera house.

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On the way to the Opera House

The opera house was a lot different to what I expected. When you get closer you see that the building isn’t a pure white, it is actually made of different tiles, combining white and an off-white colour. It took three years to develop, and they are made of a porous material which make it self-cleaning. The sail-like structures are separate, whereas I always thought of it as one building. The different sections house different showrooms, and a restaurant. We had a look around inside, but  did not go on the full tour.

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Front Steps to the Opera House

After having a mooch around inside, we sat out in the sun and enjoyed a glass of wine at the Opera Bar. The weather was beautiful, so we sat there for a few hours, just taking in the sights, before walking back to the hostel through the botanical garden.

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Looking windswept on the Manly Ferry

On Monday, we boarded the Manly ferry, for the 30 minute trip from the harbour to Manly Wharf. The trip in famous for its views of the harbour, it was great to see the harbour bridge, opera house, and the city all from that angle. The weather wasn’t the best, but it was still worth the trip.

Once we made it to Manly, we spent some time on the beach and walked around the shops before heading back to the city for our final activity in Sydney, the harbour bridge climb! We were booked onto the last climb of the evening, so had a bit of waiting to do; which did absolutely nothing good for my nerves! I was terrified!

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Manly Beach

I didn’t feel much better once I had all the gear on. I was excited and nervous all bundled into one. After going through the safety talks and a practice of walking up and down the steep stairs, we headed out. We had to walk across a thin wooden walkway, to the first set of stairs. After that we had to make our way across on of the steel beams alongside the railway, minding our heads along the way, to another set of stairs.

Climbing the stairs felt a bit odd. You could only climb each set of stairs after the person in front of you had finished, leaving big gaps between you. It was one of the worse bits of the climb, but was over pretty quickly. After that it was the climb up the bridge arc.

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The three of us on Harbour Bridge

By this time, the sun had gone down and the city lights were gleaming. The climb from there was spectacular. The views were just insane; I’ve never seen anything like it. The city was beautiful at night and we could see Sydney for miles and miles. The opera house looked amazing too! Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any camera or anything with us on the climb, they took a few photos for us though.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

 The climb was an awesome experience that I would recommend to everyone! It was worth the sickening nerves I had all day, it was worth the sweaty palms as I first stepped on to the wooden walkway and it was well worth the money. It was the best thing we did during our time in Sydney, and a great way to end the trip.

Bye for now

xoxo

Board Walk from Bondi Beach

Saturday morning, we headed to the train station and made our way to Bondi Beach.  We arrived at Bondi bright and early, so went for a stroll down the beach. We checked out the art work along the way, which I thought was REALLY cool, then relaxed on the beach for a while; as the camel rides walked around us.

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Bondi Beach Art

Once we had enjoyed the beach for a while (and had enough of the camel smell!), we decided to do the 6km boardwalk from Bondi beach to Coogee beach. The coastal walk offers exquisite views, and is usually made up of six sections. However, on our walk, areas where sectioned off due to storm damage. It wasn’t too bad though, we just took small detours (on of which was pretty steep!).

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The walk starts at the bottom of Notts Avenue and passes the iceberg pools. After that we would have continued on the cliff walk, but the pathway was blocked for maintenance after storm damage. Some of the pathway had crumbled away, and the railings had been knocked down. We took a detour until we were back on the walkway.

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Bondi Beach

We stopped at Bronte for some fish and chips, and to sit on the grass and enjoy the sunshine. I had calamari rings and chips, which were just what I needed to get me the rest of the way! Marks Park had some gorgeous coastal views. The rock formations on the cliffs were nice and flat so you could walk across them (carefully) for an even better view.

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The walk took us a few hours, but that included our stop for lunch, and numerous photos. It was a gorgeous walk along the coast, with some really beautiful views. Once we arrived at Coogee, we rewarded ourselves with a nice cold beer at the Pavilion, before jumping on the bus back to Sydney CBD. It was so nice to be back at the beach, but we had much more of Sydney left to see!

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Enjoying Bondi Beach

Bye for now

xoxo

Arriving in Sydney

So after 8 months in Australia, we finally made it to Sydney! Ryan and myself arrived on Thursday 28th of July, and would be meeting our friend Matt from the airport the following day for a busy weekend in the city before we hit the road.

So Ryan and I, arrived at Base Sydney around lunch time on Thursday, which was obviously too early to check in. We dropped our bags off and decided to go for a wonder. The shopping arcades are in gorgeous buildings, one in particular, was just a short walk from the hostel. The Queen Victoria building is a late nineteenth century building which houses high end fashion stores, cafes and restaurants. It conveniently connects underground with other shopping arcades around the CBD.

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We didn’t venture too far, as we knew we would be exploring more the next day when Matt arrived. We did however, find a delicious little chocolate bar called Choc Pot. Like we always do, we ordered wayyy too much. I had a gorgeous hot chocolate and a beautiful cherry apple pie pancake, then had to waddle down the street back to the hostel.

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Friday, Matt arrived at the hostel bright and early, and because the staff are awesome, we managed to get him checked in straight away and stick his bags up in the room. We headed out for the day to browse the city a bit more. We walked around the shops and tried to get Matt used to life in Australia. We headed toward Hyde Park for a nice stroll around, and we relaxed in the sun by the fountain for a while.

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After our walk we found ourselves at Sydney’s Australia Museum. The museum was really good, very similar to the Natural History Museum in London, but with a lot more Australia! I really enjoyed learning about the Aussie wildlife (obviously), the boys enjoyed running around and playing the interactive pieces; because you know, boys will be boys. It killed a few hours and was actually really interesting. Once we had finished in there, we headed back out to Hyde Park.

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As a bit of a last minute decision, we headed up to the Sydney Tower Eye. We paid our ticket and headed through a walkway towards the 4D film. The film showed a rainbow lorikeet flying thorough Sydney, showcasing the city. It was really fun, and gave us some ideas of what to do during our stay. After the film we headed up to the Sky Tower. The Tower provided a 360 degree view of the city.  Up there we saw our first glimpse of the Sydney Opera house, and the Harbour Bridge (little did we know we would be a heck of a lot closer to that bridge in a few days).

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So that was a nice way to start off our time in Sydney! Just getting our bearings and doing a spot of sightseeing.  We had a lot more to pack in over the next few days!

Bye for now

Xoxo

Central Coast, A Hidden Gem

Just a quick post today, but I really felt like I needed to write about the Central Coast, even though e only stayed for a few days, and it was a very relaxed visit, it was a beautiful place to pass through.

A friend of mine had kindly offered to let us crash at her place for a few nights before we headed to Sydney. She took us to The Entrance, to see the wild pelican feeding. That was an experience! The entrance is near the start of the Central Coast, so the place gets a bit of passing tourism. The pelican feeding takes place every day at 3.30pm, and allows people to get really close to these magnificent birds.

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However, getting close to the birds also means getting close to flying bits of their fishy dinner! It was a fun and interesting experience. The birds were obviously very comfortable around people, as they weren’t afraid to get close to people; some even pushed people out of the way to get close to the feeders.

Pelican feeding at the Entrance

 After visiting our friend, we decided to camp for a couple of nights, before Sydney, on the Central Coast. We headed to Patonga in our van, and the drive was amazing. Some of the views were just beautiful. We drove along the coast most of the way, or through forests, before we got to our campsite.

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By the time we got to camp the sun was just about to go down, which was beautiful to watch from our spot on site, just in front of the water’s edge where the pelicans were gathered. We had a couple of friendly ducks who came over to say Hi, and make their presence known.

 

Patonga

 

The next morning, we had our breakfast taking in the views, then had a stroll around the area. We had a walk along the beaches, before stopping at the pub for a beer. Patonga is a really nice, quiet seaside town. 

After Patonga we spent a night at Canton Beach. It was just a short stop over before heading to Sydney the next day, but again it was a gorgeous spot, right on the water front. 

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I only wish we had been able to explore more of the Central Coast, because I feel like it is a hidden gem. I didn’t see any other backpackers or many tourists at all for that matter, mostly Australians enjoying  a few days away, or their Christmas in July. I feel like the locals are keeping Central Coast a nice hidden spot for themselves, and I don’t blame them one bit.

Bye now

Xoxo

The Land of Over Indulgence – The Hunter Valley

It was a bit of a drive from our campsite to the next stop in Hunter Valley, and we had to go shopping along the way. By the time we got to the Cessnock campsite, it was around 2pm. The lovely couple who owned the site greeted us and gave us lots of information about the area. They gave us a list of the different food and wine tours available and told us that if we booked on their recommendation we would get a discount; unfortunately, we had already booked our tour (but it was worth every penny!)

They also informed us that the small brewery down the road offered a tour and tasting for $10 at 4pm, perfect timing if you ask me. We got the van set up, freshened ourselves up and headed down to Potters Brewery for the 4pm tour. The brewery was really small; all the vats were right next to the bar but looked awesome. The place had an excellent charm, as did the staff, and even more so the beer.

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Taps at Potters Brewery

We enjoyed a couple of beers, whilst one of the brewers talked us through the beer making process. It was really interesting to learn about the different ingredients and how the different hops and grains could create a variety of flavours and colours. All in all, a very informative tour, well worth the $10. I found their dark ale to be my favourite, but after the tour ended we headed over to their regular bar where I tried another beer called the Slaked Magpie. This beer tasted almost like an espresso martini, just thicker. It was delicious, but just like a dessert in a pint glass! I only managed to drink one it was that indulgent, but for anyone visiting there, I highly recommend giving it a try.

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Potters Brewery

The following morning, we were booked on to a winery tour with All Around The Vines. We were picked up from the campsite at 10am on the dot, and found that we were the only people on the tour! It is “winter” at the moment, so places have been considerably less crowded which is nice for us. So off we went on our little private tour of the Hunter Valley. Our driver, Warren, was excellent! Really friendly, and he also knew his stuff. We chatted away happily, he asked us if there were any particular places we wanted to see, and having had a few suggestions from friends, there were a couple of places we talked about seeing.

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Calais Estate

First stop was the Calais Estate, a gorgeous little boutique winery. Being the first ones in the door (10am drinking is totally acceptable in Hunter Valley), we were given a warm welcome. We were given a number of wines to taste and even treated to their two ciders (affectionately named after their two dogs). The wines were delicious, we ended up buying a desert wine which was like liquid gold, and one of the ciders. Although my heart was with the delicious chardonnay, which we ended up going back for the next day!

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Calais Estate

After Calais, we continued on to Mcguigans which was a little more commercialised and more well known. I wasn’t as big a fan of Mcguigans, the wine was nice, but the experience wasn’t as personal as at Calais. We soon continued on our tour and headed to an organic winery called Tamburlaine. The guy who served us there was a character! Very cheeky and funny, and he also knew his stuff about wine. He was very informative and gave us little scenarios for when we might enjoy each wine. We had a good giggle there, and it being our third tasting of the day, we headed out for lunch shortly after.

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Tamburlaine

We had lunch at Hunter Valley Gardens, and visited the cellar door there too. They even had an array of flavoured spirits to try. The cellar door felt closer to a bottle shop, again there wasn’t that personal touch you got from the smaller wineries. 

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We continues on the tour to Constables winery, another boutique winery. The lady here was great! She was very chatty and had an excellent sense of humour. She gave us an array of wines to taste, and by this time we had a taste for what we enjoyed. I was more keen on the sweeter whites, but I really want to learn to enjoy reds. Constables happened to have a red that I rather enjoyed so we ended up buying a few bottles of that; the labels included Matilda, a funky cow, which was a piece of art work in the winery, so that swayed me a little too!

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Matilda at Constables

After Constables, I thought we would be heading back to camp. The tour only usually included 4 or 5 wineries. Warren, being the champion he was, took us to one last stop on the way back. Peterson House specialised in sparkling wines. I loved it there, all the grounds were gorgeous, and the ladies that worked there were so lovely. We had a lovely chat, giggle, and tasted some delicious bubbly wines. With our bellies full, we headed back to camp after a wonderful day. Once we got back to the van, we didn’t take much rocking, once my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.

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The view at Petersons House

We were leaving the Hunter Valley the next day, but decided to stop off at a couple of recommended spots on our way out. First up was Meerea Park, which was on the Roche Estate, home to other cellar doors such as Tempas Two. Gorgeous, grand place, and then we rock up in our bright green van. We turned a few heads there that’s for sure. We didn’t spend too long there, it was a little fancy for us back packers.

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Meerea Park

Second on the agenda was Tyrrells. Again, a beautiful spot, lines of beautiful roses as you drive up the drive way, however, it had a much friendlier feel to it. An American girl started our tasters (I say our, I mean mine, Ryan was designated driver), she was super nice! She showed me down the wine list and gave me a few wines to try based on what she thought I’d enjoy. In the end I settled with a gorgeous port, which had a reasonable price tag too! That was a nice surprise.

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Tyrrell’s cellar door

We wanted to visit Wandin estate, where a friend of ours got married, however we drove up to find that they only opened during the weekend. We snuck a brief look around the grounds, which were beautiful, before carrying on to lunch.

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Wandin Estate

Major Lane Smokehouse, was another recommendation, so we stopped there for lunch. The turning to the smokehouse was a little hidden, and if you weren’t looking for it you probably wouldn’t see it. When we pulled down the drive way, we were worried we had gone the wrong way, but we made it and boy was it worth it. I ordered the lamb pie, and it was AMAZING. Ryan had a trio of sausages, which was equally as good, and all the sausage were made on site. The food was excellent, and a nice way to round off the trip.

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Majors Lane Smokehouse

Hunter Valley was one of the most indulgent places I have ever been too. I’m pretty sure I consumed my body weight in wine, cheese, and other delectable delights during the few days we were there. I felt like I needed a few days to sleep off everything I had consumed, which was great as we had planned to stay with friends in Nelson Bay and Gorokan for a few nights.

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Hunter Valley was a Great Success!

Bye for now

xoxo

 

 

 

A Discovery of Beer in Port Macquarie

Once I had gotten over the excitement of horse riding, I decided that Valery Trails was going to be pretty hard to beat. We set off for Port Macquarie from our little campsite at Nambucca Heads. I had already picked up a map from the (somewhat creepy) honey place, so I had a few ideas for activities.

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Black Duck at Port Macquarie

First on my list was a little place that was recommended to me by a friend, and it’s also in the Australia Lonely Planet guide. The Black Duck Brewery, sits on a little industrial estate just as we drove into Port Macquarie. We arrived a little early (keen as we were), because it was a Sunday. The book did not list their later Sunday hours, only the week day ones. It didn’t take long for the owners to arrive, and much to my excitement, with their big Great Dane boy alongside them!
We aren’t, wait no, past tense, we weren’t beer drinkers. I’m game for pretty much anything, so I’ll give most things a try; Ryan however, is a little more picky when it comes to food and drink. When the Dane jumped out the back of the car, I was already sold. “These people like good big dogs, they must be right”. We waited a little while for the owners to set up before we headed in, and while we were waiting Murphy (I later learnt his name) came over to greet us, sniff out the van, and drool on my knees. It was like having my pooch back!

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Black Duck’s beers on tap

Once we got inside we were greeted by a lovely lady, Kate. She gave us a little talk about the beer and asked what beers we would like to try. The tasting paddles were four beers each, and there were 11 available; so naturally we had a paddle each and shared them. Kate slipped us the other three for free so we could try all of the beers available! She set them up in order of lightest first and told us about them as we tasted.

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Our tasting paddles

I thought I would end up preferring the lighter crisp beers, as I usually drink cider, but I ended up really enjoying the creamier pale ales and the dark ale. After trying the whole list, we picked two each and ordered our four pack J  Then we sat down to an amazing pizza! Best to soak the beer 😉

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My delicious tandoori pizza

We had an awesome time at Black Duck, Al and Kate were so lovely, they gave us lots of maps and tips on what to do in the area. So with all their advice in mind, and beer in our bellies, we headed to our campsite for the afternoon.

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One of the gorgeous views on our coastal walk

The next day we got up bright and early for our coastal walk. We walked from Flynns beach, up to the lighthouse. The walk was difficult in places, with really uneven ground, however the views were so worth it! We found a gorgeous little spot just before the lighthouse, with some rock pools. We sat up on the rocks to eat our lunch, and while we were there we watched a pod of dolphins go by right beneath us. I’ve seen lots of dolphins and whales since I’ve been in Australia, but I still get excited every single time. It’s amazing for me to see them out in the wild.

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The walk took us pretty much all day. We stopped at the beaches along the way and enjoyed the scenery, or else the walk probably wouldn’t take as long. That evening we cooked ourselves some proper dinner and even met a couple of nice girls, stayed up and played cards with them.

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Gorgeous little rock pool at Port Macquarie

The next morning, we set off from Port Macquarie, but not before visiting The Little Brewing Company, home of Wicked Elf beers. The brewery offered only a small tour, and not as many beers on offer, but with plenty of knowledge and information. It was interesting to learn about the different flavours in beer and how to appreciate the hops, and the slight bitterness. I don’t think I would be as keen to drink it if I didn’t know how to appreciate it.

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Wicked Elf’s display

As we headed further out of Port Macquarie, we decided to visit our first vineyard (little did we know it would be the first of many!). Bago Vineyard was a little south west of Port Macquarie, but well worth the detour. The folks there were super friendly, we chatted as they poured; before I knew it I had tasted the entire wine list! This was my first ever experience at wine tasting, so they taught me the order in which to try them, which wines are crisp, which are fruity, and which go well with different types of food. It was really nice to learn how to appreciate a good wine. They make all their wine on the site which was interesting.

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We ordered a cheese platter and sat out in the sun enjoying a wine of our choice, (well Ryan was on water as the designated driver). The grounds are gorgeous, and they even have a maze with a little treasure hunt in there. It was a really nice place to start off our wine tasting. I have to admit, I was worried that turning up in our bright green van to a vineyard, might turn some heads and cause a few comments, but the people there were just lovely.

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With my belly full of beer, wine and cheese, we headed off to our campsite at Bonny Hills. It was our stop off for the night before our drive down to Hunter Valley, but this site was gorgeous. We pulled on to our pitch, overlooking the sea, and as the sun went down, I could see just why this was a popular site, even though we weren’t near much.

Bye for now

xoxo

Very happy girl at Valery Trails.

PONY TIME!!! I mean, I went for a nice sophisticated two hour hack through the wilderness. After leaving Coffs Harbour, we drove inland a little to find Valery Trails. This horse riding centre had been recommended to me by a friend, and the staff at the YHA said it was a great place too. I was eager to get back in the saddle, so I was already sold.

However, no one warned us about the long gravel track we would have to drive on in order to get there! The poor van rattled all the way up there, but got us there in time (no thanks to the sat nav!) safe and sound.

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Eager to get going, I signed all the paper work, fitted myself with a helmet, and played with the farm dog until it was time to ride. I was paired with Bonnie, the dominant (and somewhat stroppy) mare of the group. She wasn’t a fan of folks up her backside, and liked to do things her way. We got on pretty well! After a couple of attempts to knock me off with the trees and me reassuring her I was going no where, we soon got used to each other.

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The two hour hack took us up through Pine Creek rainforest; through low hanging vines, across creeks and over vast fields. We even got to trot and canter. I haven’t been riding since I was back at University, so that first canter really was exhilarating; reminded me just why I fell in love with riding. Its so different canter up hill, compared to cantering around the smooth riding school!

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I had the most amazing time, and Ryan even ended up enjoying it! The staff were amazing and super friendly. I would highly recommend Valery Trails as a great day out for anyone near Coffs Harbour, our two hour hack only cost $65 each.

After the hack we were pretty tired and sore, so we made our way down to Port Macquarie. We did, however, stop at The Honey Place along the way. It has to been one of the creepiest things ever! There was a viewing area for a working hive which was pretty cool, but then there were also some creepy looking dolls and mannequins which I really wasn’t fond of.

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Needless to say, we didn’t spend much time there. We carried on to our campsite at Nambucca Heads, where we settled down for the night.

Bye for now

xoxo

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Big Banana, Kangaroos, and Coffs Harbour

Once we had said our goodbyes to John and Peg, we set off for Coffs Harbour. The site wasn’t too far from Coffs so we decided to take a few stops along the way.

Our first stop was recommended to us by John; Sealy lookout. Its was a steep drive up to through the forest and you would almost miss the first lookout if you weren’t paying attention. We got out the van and made the short walk to the first lookout. The view was pretty, but we were just above someone’s house, so it did feel a little unusual.

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Sealy Lookout

After taking a few pictures we headed back to the van to continue to the hotspot we were looking for, the Forest Sky Pier . The pier extends 21 meters from the lookout and is 15 meters above the forest floor. The impressive panoramic view extends from the mountains to Coffs Harbour coastline. It was an amazing view of where we were heading!

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Forest Sky Pier lookout

We so set off again back on Pacific highway, and it wasn’t long until we ended up at another of Australia’s big things. The Big Banana is part of a small theme park and sits proudly on the side of the Pacific highway. Of course we had to stop and check it out.

More big things 😂🍌 #coffsharbour #newsouthwales #bigbanana #australia #travel

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Much to our delight, we found there was a sweets shop, a cheese making shop, and many other fun things!

Big Banana (1)

Not long after that, we found ourselves in Coffs Harbour, looking for somewhere to stay. Eventually we found the YHA hostel would let us camp on their site, but still use the hostel facilities which was awesome! The cleanest hostel I have ever been in! It was worth it just for the glorious showers. The staff were super friendly and helpful; they even gave us some tips on where to go while at Coffs.

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Emerald Beach

On the staff’s recommendation, the next morning, we headed back up the coast to Emerald beach. A beautiful little beach with a resident mob of roos! Of course we had to check out the kangaroos! They were all chilling in the morning sun, up on the cliff. One of them even had a joey! As an animal nut, I was super excited.

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Mommy Roo and Joey ❤

We spent a bit of time with the roos, and on the beach, before heading back down to Coffs. On the way back down, we stopped at a little chocolate factory called Carobana. We arrived on a day when they don’t have much going on, so it was super quiet. There were however, lots of tasters! We brought a pack of honeycomb nibbles for the road too 🙂

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Carobana chocolate factory

Eventually, we parked the car back at the hostel and headed out for the rest of the day. We walked to the marina, which wasn’t too far from the hostel. From the marina we walked the track to Muttonbird island. It wasn’t a far walk, but it was super steep! My calves felt it afterwards 😉 It was worth it though, because we got to see the resident pod of dolphins swim by while we were eating out lunch.

We continued our walk by heading back past the hostel to the creek. The creek walk was gorgeous, and took us all the way to the botanical gardens.

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Coffs Creek walk

It was a long walk but it was worth it for the views along the creek. It was a lovely walk, and a nice way to round off the day before heading back to the hostel.

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Coffs botanical garden

After a long day of activities and walking, we chilled out in the hostel for the evening, ready for another early start the next day; and onwards to the next campsite!

Bye for now

xoxo