I had the opportunity to visit Australia and New Zealand last month and have reunions with different friends. I’ll start off blogging with my trip to Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia.
The Hunter Valley, north of Sydney in New South Wales, is one of Australia’s major wine regions, with a viticultural history dating back to the early 1800s. Known for varietals such as Semillon and Shiraz, it’s home to numerous wineries, including world-renowned brands and family-run boutique operations. Most are located south of the Hunter River and offer cellar door wine tastings and vineyard tours. [Source]
On the morning of the 15th, we all piled into my friend Armar’s car in his home in Sydney (where we were staying) and he drove us for about a couple of hours to the Hunter Valley region.
Upon reaching Hunter Valley, our first agenda was lunch. Through my research I found out that there were a bunch of restaurants in Broke Road, Polbokin, so we drove there, jumped out, checked out the restaurants, and decided to eat at the Goldfish Bar & Kitchen.
My boss had told me that I should definitely try the oysters in Australia, so I ordered some Sydney rock oysters.
These were sooo good! I loved how fresh the oysters tasted, and it tasted even better with its sauce. It was Armar’s first time to try oysters, and he was impressed.
One more thing my boss told me to try in Australia was wagyu beef, so we ordered some.
This was also very good – so soft and tasty!
Our last order wasn’t Australian – some pizza because who doesn’t like pizza?
We went for chorizo because we love Spanish food. This was also really good. We had picked a great restaurant to celebrate Yna’s birthday in. The food was great and the bill amounted to $99 (including two glasses of wine), which isn’t that pricey for four people.
Not only was the food good, but the restaurant itself was cozy. It wasn’t very crowded, and we had a table outdoors which gave us a view of the vineyards, which unlike the others we had passed on the way, actually had some leaves on them. Since Spring had just sprung, there were no grapes yet, but it was nice to see some greens.
After lunch, we walked towards the vineyards to take photos.
After that, we decided to look around for the Hunter Valley Gardens but got confused about where it was. We did find this fountain, though.
Looks really pretty, right?
We decided not to waste time and drive to Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, which a friend of mine told me had a beautiful view. She wasn’t kidding. My jaw dropped the moment we reached the summit which had a breathtaking view overlooking the valley.
Trust me, the pictures do not do it justice. It is way more beautiful in person.
Then we walked inside to try some of their wine. Since Armar was our designated driver and Yna was pregnant, only Arlyn and I could do wine tasting. We’re not really huge wine drinkers, so we went with the $5 Audrey Tasting Experience, which gave you 6 choices of wine from the options below:
I am no wine connoisseur so my opinions on the wine won’t matter. But I thought the vin de vie had a very pretty bottle, but it was too sweet. We ended up really liking an 11 year old cuvee blanc, which was a white bubbly. They had few bottles of it left. We bought two bottles, so our tasting experience became free of charge.
After that we drove off and looked for the chocolate shop that we had passed on the way into the valley. We had some iced and hot chocolate before finally driving back home to Sydney.
It was a really great experience, and I’m really grateful to Armar and Yna for the time and effort!