How does one recoup from four days of lounging on the beach and intense sun bathing? By visiting Australia's fabulous wine country obviously!
Please forgive the ignorant confession I'm about to share: I didn't know Australia had a wine country...didn't even know they produced wine. I figured it was too hot for grapevines to get the amount of water needed to flourish. I know, I'm an uncultured swine! Thankfully I've been properly educated in all (most) things Australian wine and I'm happy to answer any (no, I'm not) questions regarding wine from Down Undah.
We decided on Hunter Valley, and by "we" I mean Nick, because it was on the way to his parent's home where we were spending Christmas. Hunter Valley is located about 3 hours away from Sydney and is one of Australia's major wine regions. Known mostly for the production of Semillon and Chiraz wines, Hunter Valley is home to a ton of awesome wineries who offer cellar door wine tastings and tours of their picturesque vineyards. Our favorite vineyard was a boutique Scottish family owned cellar called McLeish Estate. S/O to Jessica McLeish for giving us a wonderful tasting and sending us complimentary appetizers during our dinner!
That last paragraph ends the educational portion of this blog.
Moving on to what I enjoyed the most about Hunter Valley - the scenery. Hunter Valley is a valley (obviously) surrounded by emerald hills and a dramatic sky line seemingly plucked straight from a Christopher Nolan film. After roasting in the sun for four days, it was a welcomed relief to hang in Hunter and experience cooler temperatures and soft misted winds. Plus, THERE WERE WILD KANGAROOS CHILLIN' EVERYWHERE! And if you've read my post on Peppermint the koala you can already imagine what seeing kangaroos outside of our Airbnb did to me.
We spent about two days in the Hunter, but I'm positive we didn't even scratch the surface of all it had to offer. Hunter Valley offers a multitude of courses and tours that will intrigue any visitor - courses like: Cheese Tasting, Chocolate Tasting, cooking courses, luxury car driven tours, horseback tours, one of the largest Hunter Valley outdoor gardens, outdoor concerts, arts and crafts fairs, hot air balloon tours and much more! It's a great destination for romantic or quick family getaways.
Hunter Valley was a great segue to the third destination of our adventure and I'm so grateful to have experienced it! I'm also grateful for the relaxation the valley provided because I was about to meet my boyfriend's family for the first time and I was teetering on the edge of instant death and constipated from the anxiety.