Our Country camping trip

We just got back from a one week camping trip in the country. It was one of our favourite trips we’ve done, although it was freezing with temperatures dropping to -7 overnight and freezing the taps in the caravan parks, it was still an awesome trip with so many new experiences that I can’t wait to share with you…

DAY 1

Our first stop was Wagga Wagga which we spent an afternoon & night and where we enjoyed an olive grove tour at Wollundry Grove Olives. The tour cost’s $5 each and the owner took us through the olive trees, explained a lot about how they grow and how the olives are harvested. We then got shown all the machinery and were told how the olives are processed and then turned into olive oil. We then got to taste some different olive oils and marinated olives.
It was a great little experience!

DAY 2

On our way to our next stop, we stopped in at Coolamon, a sleepy little country town but surprisingly a bit to see there!

For a gold coin donation we took a tour through the Up-To-Date Store, which houses antique clothing, farm machinery, fences and wagons. It was a very interesting place to visit.

Across the road from the Up-To-Date Store, there is a Fire Museum which has all sorts of fire fighter memorabilia from all over the world. Also for a gold coin donation the owner gave us a tour and explained various items to us. We would never usually have gone into a place like this, but considering we were there we gave it a go and actually found it quite interesting.

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The whole purpose we stopped in at Coolamon was for the cheese factory, which we did go to but unfortunately didn’t try any cheese because it was just too expensive! The place itself was gorgeous but we couldn’t justify paying over $30 for only 3 small pieces of cheese!

So back on the road we went, onto our next destination – Griffith.

DAY 2 & 3

The next 2 days were spent exploring Griffith. A place I have been wanting to visit for over 2 years. There was quite a bit to do here, hence why we stayed 2 nights.

Griffith is known mainly for growing oranges, as well as cotton. Everywhere you go there are orange trees and paddocks of cotton as well as vineyards. Unfortunately we went at a bad time as all the cotton was already harvested and the vineyards wern’t producing grapes but on the other hand it was the perfect time to see all the oranges.

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The first place we visited in Griffith was Warburn Estate who make my favourite Moscato: The Gossips Range! So of course I had to buy a bottle!

 

From there we went to Calabria Family Wines for a few tastings and of course we walked out with another bottle of wine!

After a few wine tastings, it was time to taste some food. We went to Riverina Grove. A small grocery like store in an industrial area of Griffith but home to various local made produce such as jams and chutneys. Tastings are allowed. We tasted some yummy olives (which of course I couldn’t leave without).

We drove to a Walnut Farm, unfortunately there were no tours or anything on offer, so we just took some photos and left. Still great to see something different though.

From the walnut farm, we went to Southern Cotton for a cotton tour. For a gold coin donation, we got a 45 minute tour of the factory and were able to watch the ginning process of the cotton. It was an amazing experience and we even got given a packet of cotton seeds to try and grow at home!

From Southern Cotton, we went to Catania Fruit Salad Farm for another tour. The tour costs $15 per person and the tour consists of a video as well as a drive through the farm on a bus but unfortunately for us it was raining the day we went and the owner wasn’t there to give the proper tour so the manager did his best for us but we didn’t get the real tour. It was still great though and we got to try a few different nuts and fruits and honeys etc..the chocolate honey was my favourite so of course I had to bring one home!

The rain started slowing down by now, so we decided to go to Summit Hill Lookout which is also home to Hermit’s Cave.

We had one more stop to make in Griffith – De Bortoli Winery  We went here only because we know the name. We did visit a few vineyards on this trip but what were we meant to do when we were surrounded by beautiful vineyards everywhere we went?
De Bortoli vineyard wasn’t really anything nice to look at considering how well named it is, but we did a tasting and the lady that served us was great, so we walked out with a dessert liqueur.

DAY 4

With Griffith finally explored, we drove toward our next destination. We drove through a town called Ardlethan which is known for the cattle dog. In it’s brochure it said there was a cattle dog statue in the town, so we drove around looking for what we thought would be this grand statue of a cattle dog, but all we found was this:

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So a bit disappointing but still very creative. We drove passed it a couple of times before finally noticing it!

So we kept going and soon after reached Forbes. We had planned to stop here for a bit and explore the town but unfortunately there wasn’t anything there to explore that interested us, so we kept driving.

We then reached Parkes. Known for their Elvis festival held every February. There is an Elvis museum in the information centre and everything!
In one of the many brochures I accumulated on this trip, I saw an interesting tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere (an hour from Parkes), so we decided to check it out.

Utes in the Paddock is what it’s called and it was awesome! People donate utes to artists who then transform them into amazing art work like this:

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There are 12 in total and it was so worth the drive to see this because it’s like nothing else we’d seen before!

DAY 5

Our next stop in Parkes in the famous Dish (AKA Parke’s Observatory). For those who have seen the movie ‘The Dish‘, you will know what this is.
I personally didn’t like the movie at all but to see the dish up close and personal was pretty amazing. We watched a 3D movie which was nothing about the dish but about the other planets but still pretty interesting to watch.

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After seeing the dish, we drove to Peak Hill to see the open cut goldmine. We had never seen one before so we thought it would be cool to go see this one. And it was pretty cool.

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After Peak Hill we hit the road again but not for long because our next stop was Orange.

We had high hopes for this town thinking there would be a lot to see and do here, but unfortunately for us it was a big fail and we ended up shopping to pass the time.
There was one vineyard we went to for their cheese tastings, Heifer Station – the place was gorgeous and rustic, but the prices were ridiculous, so we left.

DAY 5

We arrived in Mudgee. A beautiful place surrounded by vineyards and I couldn’t wait to explore it.
Our first stop was at High Valley Cheese Co for some complimentary cheese tastings, which were yumo! And conveniently located next door was The cellar by Gilbert where we had some wine tastings.

Baker Williams distillery was next on our list, where we tasted some schnapps, gin & liqueur. It wasn’t really our cup of tea but it was something different!

Aril Estate was next and this is one I was looking forward to. A pomegranate and olive farm! Yum! Here we got to taste various olives, olive oils and pomegranate syrup which I couldn’t leave without. This was a great experience.

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DAY 7

We started off our second day in Mudgee attending St Mary’s Catholic Church.

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From church we went to Honey Haven & Cafe which was a great place! We’d never seen anything quite like it. There were so many honey related items and the tasting table was massive! We enjoyed this shop so much that we had a lovely morning tea there once we had decided on which honey to buy – so much choice but nothing beats original.

Once finished from the amazing honey shop, we went in search for the famous ‘Frog Rock’. Situated on the side of the road, this rock formation in the shape of a frog is how the town got it’s name. Can you see the frog?

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It was then time for more olive tastings at The Olive Nest . Here we tasted olives, as well as olive oils but none of them took our fancy.

Our next stop was our favourite winery of all. Peter Van Gent winery & vineyard. Here we had some tastings and they were quite nice but what we loved about this place is the atmosphere and decor. As soon as we walked in, we were surrounded by massive wine barrels. One was even made hollow so people can walk through it. It was just amazing. Words can’t really explain it, so I’ll show you:

We had now crossed off everything we wanted to see on our list, so we went for a bike ride through Lawson park which also has a sculpture park in it. Along the path there are small sculptures based on travelling around Australia and the object is to guess the places it represents. These are a few:

That night we went to Mudgee Observatory and it was an experience like no other. I didn’t think we would enjoy it as much as we did. We saw Neptune through a massive telescope and also Saturn which was just unbelievable. That was definitely the highlight of the night for me. Seeing Saturn with it’s rings, it looked fake but amazing. I wish I could have taken a photo of it!

DAY 8

Our last day was spent at Katoomba, where we went to Echo Point Lookout to see the three sisters before checking out the main streets in both Katoomba & Leura and going to the Chocolate shop for afternoon tea.

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Our country trip had come to an end but we had the best time! We were only gone for a week but we did so much and saw so much that it felt a lot longer.

Thankfully there were no injuries sustained this time (read my last travel post to find out what I mean).

❤ MeLzY

 

 

 

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Our Victorian Journey – Stop 3: The Mornington Peninsula

So I guess if you’ve read the title of this post you will have figured out that Hubby decided he was OK enough to continue on with our Victorian trip and so we finally made it to the Mornington Peninsula.

But before we left the Yarra Valley we couldn’t go without first visiting the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & ice creamery!

The views outside were stunning enough but inside was just heaven!

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So having had our chocolate fix, we were ready for the long drive to Frankston, where we stayed for the next 5 nights which made it easier for us not having to move the caravan too much.

Our jam packed itinerary had to be amended to suit Hubby, so all the cycling tracks got scrapped, as did most of the bush walking tracks. We stuck to drives and small walks. It wasn’t what we had planned but we made the most of it while we were there and still did and saw a lot.

Frankston was a lovely place to stay. It had a great esplanade boardwalk and a long jetty which we strolled one morning.

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It also had lots of little sculptures scattered around, which was fun to see.

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We continued to drive along the peninsula to Mornington where we saw all the awesome coloured beach huts.

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These beach huts are famous throughout the Mornington Peninsula and they are found on every beach. They are so fun to see with all there different colours and patterns.

We stopped in at Benton Rise Farm, which is a fruit & veg market in an old rattler train. Unfortunately it was closed the day we went but it was interesting to see either way.

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Another stop we made was at Arthur’s Seat for the Arthur’s Seat Eagle which showed us views of the whole peninsula beneath us. It was spectacular and relaxing.

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After Arthur’s Seat Eagle we stopped at Main Ridge Dairy for some yum goats cheese.

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We had a cheese tasting plate and they were all so great it was hard to choose a favourite.

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As I’ve mentioned before, we love our cheese and prefer to do cheese tastings then wine tastings and so of course we hadn’t had enough of cheese after this plate, we then went to Red Hill cheese for another tasting plate.

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Unfortunately this tasting plate was not nearly as good as the first one, but we really enjoyed the experience of it.

So by then we figured we could do a little walking and so we went to Montalto Vineyard & Sculpture park. We walked through their beautifully manicured gardens set amongst the vineyards and viewed their wonderful sculptures. It is something we had never seen before, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.

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We then walked inside the vineyard restaurant and had a taste of some cider and different kinds of oils. A place we highly recommend.

Another stop we made was in Sorrento for the Millionaires Walk. This was an interesting/ strange walk as we were literally walking along a cliff in peoples backyards, looking below on their private jettys.

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During our stay in Frankston, we took a day to drive to the CBD considering it was only about an hour away and had an enjoyable day in the city.
Before returning to Frankston, we drove to the cold-e-sac where the TV show Neighbours is filmed and it was so great seeing the houses up close in person.

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Our final day in the Peninsula was a nice one. We started the day at the Peninsula Hot Springs which was just so relaxing and a wonderful experience. It consisted of about 20-25 different hot baths with varying temperatures. Some went as high as 50 degrees!

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Having relaxed in the hot baths for a few hours, we then drove to Cape Schanck for some scenic walking tracks.

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Pulpit Rock

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The blowhole

From Frankston we had originally planned to continue on to the other side to the Bellarine Peninsula and then onto the Great Ocean Road but considering we had already done the Great Ocean Road before, we decided to cut the trip short and go straight home so Hubby can rest and recover properly.

 

Our Victorian Journey – Stop 2: The Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is another place I’ve always wanted to visit. Hubby and I aren’t really wine drinkers but we love seeing the rolling vineyards and the Yarra Valley didn’t disappoint in that area.

We visited Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse (because we like a bit of cider) and it was just the most gorgeous place. One of the nicest vineyards we’ve ever visited.

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We bought a tasting paddle with 4 different ciders on it – it was quite the experience as we had never done this before.

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So after we got a little wobbly (yes, it doesn’t take much), we went down the road to Yarra Valley Dairy for some cheese tastings, which we can never pass up.

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The cheese was just delightful and of course we couldn’t leave without buying some yummy feta (our favourite cheese!)

Our next stop whilst staying in the Yarra Valley was the Dandenong Ranges.

The drive was quite windy but also very beautiful, lined either side with hundreds of palms and ferns.

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We stopped at Sky High to see the view as we had climbed a fair bit by then and we could just see Melbourne CBD because it was still quite early and foggy.

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From there we drove to Olinda Falls to see some waterfalls. It wasn’t a very long walk from the car park, which is always better.

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The upper falls
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The lower falls

So this is where our trip got a little tricky. Hubby decided to go where you’re not really meant to just to get a better photo and of course he slipped on a wet log and fell on his ribs. So the rest of this day was mainly spent in some unknown hospital in the middle of nowhere.
After waiting half the afternoon for the results, he finally got the all clear and we were back on the road. But unfortunately it wasn’t so fun anymore because he was in quite a lot of pain which made the trip hard for us to enjoy from that point on.

From the hospital we drove to see the famous Puffing Billy steam train but of course missed it by a couple of minutes because Hubby couldn’t walk very fast. It seemed the day had turned against us and so we headed back to the caravan park.

Whether to continue on with our trip or not was now in the hands of Hubby and how he felt the next morning.

Stay tuned to find out whether our trip continued or not.

❤ MeLzY

 

 

Our Victorian Journey – Stop 1: Mansfield

Our main destination for our Victorian trip was the Mornington Peninsula. It looked absolutely beautiful in the tourist books and online and I couldn’t wait to get there. I researched everything and everywhere about the peninsula and had a nice long itinerary ready to go.

We decided it was a long way to go just for the Peninsula and so we decided to add a few stops before and after it and extend the trip a little longer to about 2-3 weeks.

So our first stop was Mansfield. A nice small quaint little country town but also the town to go to if you want to get to the famous Craigs Hut (from the Man from Snowy River movie). Also the town to go to for the snow season at Mt Buller.

Craigs Hut is the sole reason we stopped at Mansfield. We have been wanting to see this historic place for a decade and never thought we would get there, but after a very long and windy dirt track – we finally made it!

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We took the same shot of the famous Ken Duncan photo
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Inside the famous hut

It was just so unbelievable to me that we were actually standing there. The views were breathtaking, which made the drive up so worth it.

While in Mansfield we drove up to Mt Buller snowfields. There wasn’t any snow yet (we were 1 week early), but the views were amazing.

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Mt Buller is like it’s own little village up in the mountains.

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All in all, Mansfield was a great 1 night stop over, worth it if only to see Craigs Hut because there isn’t really much else to see and do there, but the area is quiet and relaxing aswell.

Stay tuned for stop 2.

❤ MeLzY

 

5 days in the South Coast of NSW

Having recently bought ourselves a caravan to do even more travelling then we already do, we decided to give it it’s first real test with a 5 day trip down the South Coast.

First we stayed at Lake Tabourie Holiday Park for 2 nights, which was situated right on the lake, with walking access to Wairo beach. It was a beautiful place to stay.

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We rode our bikes along the hard sand which was a little harder than anticipated at times, but we had fun doing it.

Whilst staying in Lake Tabourie, we spent a day in the town of Ulladullah which was only a 10 minute drive away and then drove to verious places to take in some beautiful views.

Burrill Beach

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Mollymook Beach

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Ulladullah Lighthouse/ Gari Bagan Walk

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After spending 2 nights in Lake Tabourie, we drove a little further South and stayed 3 nights at Batemans Bay Easts Riverside Holiday Park and this park, like the last one was too situated on the water, but this time we could actually see it. It was a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere to camp along the water.

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Our view from our caravan
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The beautiful sunset from our caravan

Whilst staying in Batemans Bay, we did more sightseeing around the area and found these nice little towns with beautiful views.

Burrewarra Point

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Tuross Head

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One Tree Point

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Bodalla

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Bingi Bingi

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Part of a shipwreck

Duesbury Beach

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Narooma

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Australia Rock

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Mystery Bay

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Tilba Tilba

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Although we had already been to these areas previously, we still managed to find places we had missed the first time around and those that we saw again, we found them just as enjoyable as the first time.

So the caravan did it’s job well and we are already planning our next big caravan trip to the Mornington Penninsula, so stay tuned for that post!

❤ MeLzY

 

 

 

Adelaide – Day 6

Our last day in Adelaide began at the Central Markets. It’s a place full of fresh fruit and vegetables only. It was nice to see but it wasn’t all that great really. There were pallet jacks everywhere blocking the walk ways and it got a little annoying by the end having to dodge them but the fruit was great!

For those who watch Married at first sight, this is Jesse’s dad’s shop.

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Our last stop for our trip was the awesome Harbour Town Outlet centre where I had the best shopping day ever! This outlet centre, unlike all the other one’s I’ve been to, actually had the shops I like and they are actually quite cheap too! I loved it!

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From Harbour Town it was time to farewell Adelaide and head back to the airport and wait for our hour delayed flight (not a great way to end the holiday).

Overall Adelaide was a nice place to visit, I didn’t love it so I doubt I’ll ever go back but it was nice to visit at least once. The weather was great to us the whole time we were there (it only rained once), which made it all the more enjoyable.

I would recommend Adelaide for a short holiday. 6 days was plenty of time to see everything we wanted to. We may have missed out on a couple of places but we saw everything we had written down before hand.

You can see day 1 here, day 2 here, day 3 here, day 4 here & day 5 here.

I would love to hear your Adelaide adventures if you have been there.

❤ MeLzY

 

Adelaide – Day 5

Day 5 was our other favourite day filled with so much to see and do, it was quite exciting because we couldn’t wait to go to the place where Mcleods Daughters was filmed!

So first we drove 1 hour to Kingsford Homestead to see the house/farm that was used as the Mcleod property AKA Drover’s Run.

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The famous house used for Mcleods Daughters (Drover’s Run)
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This is the house on the property where Meg & Jodi lived (on the show)
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This was the shearing shed used on the show

A 10 minute drive from here took us to Freeling where all other buildings used in the show lived and for the show was named Gungellan which was funny because in the show they say ‘Gungellan is a 2 hour drive from Drover’s Run.

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This was very exciting to see !
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This was used as the Gungellan Hotel
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The famous windmill & bathtub used on Drover’s Run now moved into Freeling’s town for tourists.
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Used as Gungellan Town Hall for the show
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This was the coolest because the name used on the show was still on it! Obviously not in use anymore but at least they left it there as memorabilia. 

We went from the home of Mcleods Daughter’s to the Barossa Valley which was only a further half an hour drive.

We started with the streets lined with Palm trees, which made us think we were in California more than the Barossa Valley but it was pretty to see nonetheless.

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The streets lined with palm trees led us to the Barossa sculpture park, which was also Menglers Hill look out. The sculptures were interesting but unsure why they were there really and why some you can tell what they are and others you can’t.

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For lunch we went to Kies Family Wines only because they had the more ‘normal’ menu out of a lot of the vineyards there (and there are a lot!)

The food was lovely and whilst we were there we did a little wine tasting.

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Each table had a little monkey with a saying – very cute!

Our next stop was Maggie Beer’s farm shop! For those who havn’t heard of her – this is Maggie Beer:

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She has her own cooking show and is a judge on Masterchef. Whilst in her shop we got to sit in on a cooking demonstration in the kitchen set that she uses on her show. She wasn’t the one cooking though, it was her assistant, but we learnt a few handy tips and got to taste the food at the end.

Throughout her shop there are numerous samples of all her jams and all sorts of things to try and she even has her own ice cream, which we had to try (of course).

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From Maggie Beer’s place, we went to a number of different vineyards to do some wine tasting.

The places we visited were very nice and the views were just gorgeous.

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We stopped in at Chateau Tanunda just for a sneak peek!

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Before we left the Barossa, we drove past the big rocking horse, unfortunately we couldn’t get out of the car to see it properly because it was pouring down rain but it was pretty cool to see from the car too.

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And that completes day 5, leaving us with only one more day of Adelaide adventures before coming back home, but it was a great day with plenty to see and do.

See day 1 here, day 2 here, day 3 here and day 4 here.

Stay tuned for day 6!

❤ MeLzY