20 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - Our 20th Anniversary - part 3

For this part of Our family roadtrip (you can catch up on part 1 and part 2 here), I thought I'd write about our 20th wedding anniversary, which was the main reason for our big adventure in the first place.

For as long as my Hubby and I can remember we have always wanted to visit the Barossa Valley. Over the years we have travelled to the Hunter Valley (NSW) wineries many many times, have visited wineries in the Yarra Valley (VIC), travelled around the Tamar Valley wine route when we went to Tasmania, as well as bought wines from other wine regions in Australia and overseas, but we always seemed to put travelling to South Australia off as a "one of these days we'll go on a road trip and visit the Barossa Valley"

So when we thought about where we wanted to stay for our anniversary, it was only appropriate that we book a cute B&B in the Barossa Valley.

I instantly fell in love with the Barossa's rolling hills, big blue skies and vineyards as far as the eye could see. The wine region is located in a rural farming area, so when you don't see a vineyard you notice hay fields and bales dotting the countryside.

We were surprised that for such a touristy destination, it wasn't too busy. Maybe it was due to the time of year we were there, but most vineyards were very welcoming & laid back, and the region itself didn't have the big tourist groups or coaches, unlike the vineyards in the Hunter Valley.

For our anniversary we stayed in a sweet little B&B in Tanunda. The girls decided to share a "double" bed choosing to stay together in the same room, rather than have their own room with their teddies. The rooms were huge, and very comfortable. Hubby and I loved it!

L to r: The girls in their big bed, our B&B, something naughty for
our anniversary, Hubby enjoying the goodies we picked up for our anniversary dinner

We decided to dine at Jacob's Creek winery for our lunch. It's such a gorgeous location, the restaurant windows overlook the vineyards and rolling hills surrounding the vineyards. We couldn't have asked for better weather, it was just gorgeous!

Picture perfect!

L to R: Cheers to us!, more vineyards, driving into Tanunda, just another hay bale!

After a delicious lunch we walked around the vineyards taking in the beautiful scenery and some pics, then we sampled some of their wines.

 L to R: The "Whispering Wall" dam, Lavender farm, the girls loved running through the vineyards,
and lazing on the big bean bags outside the restaurant at Jacobs Creek.
Afterwards we drove out to Lyndoch Lavender farm where we walked around smelling 90 different varieties of Lavender they had growing on the farm. Followed by a visit to the "Whispering wall", a water supply dam built for the Barossa. The unique topography and curved design of the wall allows sound vibrations to pass along it. You could have one person on one side whisper to someone on the opposite side, and hear them as if they were standing right next to you!

The following day we visited a beautiful rose garden at Lyndoch Hill which grows over 30,000 roses, found a boutique winery (Whistler Wines) where we bought a nice bottle of wine (an anniversary present from my Mum), then headed to Maggie Beers farm shop for a nice lunch. Hubby and Popette were in their element trying all the jams, chutneys, pates, olives, vino cotto, verjuice, sauces etc.

While eating our scrumptious lunch we sat overlooking a lovely pond home to some turtles - the girls last count was 12 swimming around.

Unfortunately we missed out on meeting Maggie, but we did get to watch a cooking demonstration in the kitchen Maggie used for filming "The Cook & The Chef". We got to try caramelised onions, baked pumpkin & pan fried mushrooms done in Verjuice. As well as baked apples in Vino Cotto. Cherub was very excited seeing them cook her favourite - mushrooms, but hugely disappointed in the taste!

After a little more wine tasting at Wolf Blass, we returned to our B&B where the girls got to watch TV (they haven't watched much staying at the caravan parks) before heading out for a pub meal for dinner.

We all loved the Barossa Valley, such a lovely spot not just for us wine consuming parents, but for all the family. I wished we had spent longer there.


The next instalment of "Our family roadtrip" will be published in the new year! So keep your eyes open.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our holiday, and it's made you want to go on your own roadtrip and discover our beautiful country.

Just want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy & Safe New Year!!


*There was no endorsement or sponsorship made by any of the places that were mentioned in this post.

13 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - part 2

If you missed my post last weekI thought I would share some of our adventure with you, including some of our favourite places to stay and visit over the next couple of weeks.

When I was little we would have our family holiday once a year, usually during Christmas school holidays.

We would often go to places like Umina or Berowra, which seemed so far away and was the only time we really got to the beach, or my parents would take us on a big drive out to the country to somewhere like Jindabyne or Berridale. Never to Victoria or South Australia!

We never experienced camping in a tent, or sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows while looking at the stars.

While we were in Adelaide we stayed at a couple of different tourist parks, which are so different to what I stayed in when I was little.

Most of them now have jumping pillows, a pool or splash zone, games rooms and a playground. The girls loved it of course! We gave them a little more freedom than usual, allowing them to walk over to the playground or ride their scooters around the park without us. It was also a good way of teaching them to look out for cars.


Adelaide - it's a gorgeous city. If you've never been, it's full of buildings with lots of character both old and new, a lot of churches (why it's known as the City of Churches) but yet still has a country feel to it.

Catching the tram into Adelaide CBD and seeing the sights

Hubby and I liked it's nice relaxed pace, unlike Sydney. We also loved its vicinity to the beaches, country, and vineyards. It's so lovely, I could actually live there!

Places to go in and around Adelaide:-

1. Buy an ice cream from Copenhagen ice creamery and walk down to Ramsgate beach to watch the sunset or enjoy a meal, just gorgeous!

2. Hahndorf - 34 mins from Adelaide is the charming little village of Hahndorf. It's classified as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement, and has some lovely pubs that serve up a hearty german-style lunch, little brick-a-brack stores that sell german knick knacks, cuckoo clocks, stein mugs etc, a great cheese shop (where you can do a spot of taste testing), a lolly & ice cream shops, art galleries, bakeries etc.

3. Strawberry picking at Beerenberg farm - This was one of the girls highlights from our holiday. They loved being able to pick fresh strawberries from the farm and do some taste testing of the different chutneys, sauces, jams and pickles.

4. Haigh's chocolate factory tour - it's free, and includes free samples of chocolate - need I say more. Another one of our favourite places! OK, the chocolate is delicious and worth the high price once you see the effort that is gone into making them.

5. Glenelg beach - Unfortunately it was too cold for us to have a swim, but the jetty was a great spot to watch the sunset, there's also a great playground for the kids right next to the jetty, and a good variety of cafes & restaurants nearby.

Glenelg beach

6. Adelaide Central Markets - if you are a foodie, you will love the markets! There's so many different types of stalls to see.

We were dying to try something yummy at Poh's Jamface, which didn't disappoint. They had some delicious cakes and tarts on offer. If you don't have a sweet tooth, there's also stacks of fresh fruit & vegetables, artisan baked breads and desserts, cheeses, coffee, lollies, seafood, meat, olive oil, wines, etc.

Jamface's dessert window
Hubby and Popette were in foodie heaven sampling the different cheeses and snacking on olives while walking around the markets.

7. Tram - the girls loved catching the tram in to Adelaide's CBD. It stops right near Adelaide Central Markets as well as Rundle Mall.

8. Adelaide Zoo - The Zoo has a wonderful setting, and collection of animals, including the beautiful Pandas and amazing Australian Rainforest enclosure. We watched the Macaw flying show while eating our lunch on the lawn. The girls were excited to see the Lemurs and Meerkats, while I was very excited to see the Pandas. It was a lovely day out.

9. Rundle Mall - when we were there, it was buzzing with buskers, tourists and shoppers. We loved the beautiful old buildings and spacious mall. The girls played on the mall pigs and silver balls sculptures. From the mall we strolled towards North Terrace to see the beautifully ornate buildings of the University of Adelaide, and quickly popped in to the Art Gallery of SA taking in their wonderful collection of European, Australian, Persian and Asian art.

10. West beach - yet another beach! The caravan park where we were staying was situated right next to West beach. It was lovely to walk along first thing in the morning and find shells with the girls, then late afternoon / early evening we would walk along the sand watching the sunset (yet again!) or take a walk along the boardwalk.

There is so many other places I could mention, but I will leave it here for now!

06 December 2016

Our family roadtrip - part 1


After spending a month away we have finally returned home! At the end of our journey we had driven 6553kms in and around 3 states (NSW, VIC & SA). Not only had it been the longest trip in the car, but also the longest break we have had together as a family.

We have seen some pretty spectacular parts of Australia, and made plenty of lovely memories which I'm sure we will treasure for a long time.

During the time my husband and I have been together, we have travelled to some beautiful places both in Australia and overseas so to experience a trip like this with our two girls, in our own country, has been amazing.

If you had been following me on my Instagram account you would have seen some pics of random places we had visited.

There's so much to see in our country, and so many wonderful places to visit. I thought I would share some of our adventure with you, including some of our favourite places to stay and visit.


Narrandera, NSW (pron. nar-ran-dra, not nerrin-derr-a like Popette kept saying) was our first overnight stop. It's a beautiful country town with colonial style buildings, and home to Australia's largest playable guitar. It was also home to a flying training school run by the RAAF in WWII, which provided introductory flight instruction to new pilots.

A Tiger Moth commemorating the No. 8 Flying school from WWII.

Here we had our very first night camping in our new tent. I know you are wondering if it took us 3 minutes to get the tent up...well after a couple weeks of getting used to it, we were getting close to it!

It was the girls first proper night of camping, so they were very excited to be in their sleeping bags and have their own room in the tent. It took a long time for them to calm down and stop talking!

While Hubby and I sat back and looked up at the millions of stars that night, Popette came out for extra cuddles and saw her first falling star!

Our campsite at Narrandera


Driving towards Hay the area became noticeably more arid and flat...I mean really flat, the vista went on for miles, and miles. Around Hay we saw damage from the recent floods, plus a lot of farmers harvesting their fields. There was huge round bales of hay everywhere we looked.

Amazingly there wasn't much roadkill on this section of the Sturt, however we did see an abundance of birds, mainly kites, wedge-tail eagles, cockatoos, galahs and ravens. We also saw a mob of Emus, which was exciting seeing them in the wild.

Emus out Hubby's window

After a mandatory ice cream stop at Balranald, we got back on the Sturt Highway and was about 5kms out of town when Hubby almost ran over a goanna. He was at least 1.5 meters long, Cherub's account - it took up half the road!


Mildura, Victoria

We decided to spend a few nights in Mildura and let the girls have a rest from being in the car.

We had read about the paddle steamers, so we were excited to go down to the pier and see if we could spot one, the girls loved riding their scooters along the boardwalk.

We also visited Orange World where we learnt a lot from Mario our guide. It was sad to hear that he only makes 20 cents per kilo for his juicy oranges, so he's now planting more mandarins as he gets $1 a kilo.

Hubby and I enjoyed cruising along the Murray River, and visiting an old goal (over the NSW border) at Wentworth. So much to see in this gorgeous town.

P.S Melbourne - one of the oldest steam driven paddle steamers still operating in Australia.
L to R: Old Wentworth Goal, Tractor tour of Orange world, Big Lizzie and brekky at our camp site.
Aboard the cruise

The lovely sights and surrounds of Mildura

After an enjoyable, but chilly, stay in Mildura it was time for us to hit the road and get to Adelaide!

See next week's post for part 2 of our road trip.