HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Now that 2015 is finally done and dusted I can look back at the year with nostalgia and with future hopes for a travel frenzy 2016.
2015 was a very challenging but wonderful year. I did have huge travel plans for the year, which somehow were altered when I decided to fling myself into my career (in the entertainment industry). This allowed me to work on some amazing productions that gave me the opportunity to travel to parts of my own country that I might not have seen otherwise. I did however find working left me emotionally and physically exhausted. In this new year I’m planning a quieter work year and more travel adventures, especially focusing on international travel.
Here’s the list of the adventures I did in 2015:
Mornington Peninsula Wine Region
For two weeks, early in the summer, I spent my days hanging out in wineries all across the Mornington Peninsula, including Red Hill, Flinders and Rye. Unfortunately I was working for most of it, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the amazing food, produce and wine that this area is famous for. This time cemented my appreciation and love of pinot noir!
Now Melbourne and Sydney have a healthy rivalry for which is the better city, and being a Melbourne girl I’m biased! I can’t imagine ever-living in Sydney, but by gosh it’s a wonderful place to visit. The amazing harbour area, the famous bridge, great food and coffee culture. I loved exploring the wharf area around The Rocks, which is filled with art galleries, coffee shops and on the weekend wonderful markets.
Brisbane (or Bris-vegas as I often refer to it) was a welcomed escape when work got overwhelming and exhausting. I was lucky enough to co-inside my stay with the annual Brisbane Festival, which brings together some of the best local and international performance work, from circus, dance, opera, cabaret and theatre. The two favourite things I did was drive up to the top of Mount Coot-tha which has an observation point where you can see the whole Brisbane city and river, and the other was catching the free CityHopper ferry along the Brisbane river enjoying the cool breeze and the view from the water.
I was lucky enough to visit Hobart twice this year, once during the winter and then in the late spring. The initial trip was for Dark Mofo, an annual arts festival presented by MONA – The Museum of Old and New Arts that presents the best ‘Dark’ arts of the international and local scene to bring visitors into the unknown and under-used spaces of Hobart in the dark evenings of winter. Hobart embraces the festival wholeheartedly, and it seems like the festival takes over the city. The best experience I had was exploring the Patricia Piccinini and Peter Hennessey exhibition in the nooks of an old building.
The second visit was purely for pleasure. I was able to enjoy strolling along Salamanca Place, watch boats on the wharf, and enjoying the best local wine and food produce for which Tasmania is famous. Visiting Mona- the Museum of Old and New Art- was something that I had been wanting to do for some time now. (Read the full post about reasons to visit MONA here.) And it was everything I could have hoped for and more!!
A two-week road trip in Tasmania bought us to the quaint town on Launceston. This is the perfect location to explore the best of Tassie produce with it being located within the Tamar Valley wine region, famed for its cool climate wines and being one of the best routes in the world, as well as its proximity to the Tamar River Estuary allowing access to some of the best and most fresh seafood.
The town is soaked in its colonial history and many of its local sights focus on the estates and homesteads from this period. A highlight was exploring the Woolmer’s Estate where I had a private tour of the house and then was free to explore all the outhouses and discover the mysteries of this fine settlement. (I promise I’ll write more about this place soon!)
The final step on my Tassie road trip was a foodie delight. Unfortunately at the time I was beginning to fall sick and wasn’t up for much adventuring. My stomach however was still in holiday mode, and luckily I found my way to Mrs. Jones on the foreshore of the Devenport beach, located on the upper level of the Devenport Surf Lifesavers club. At this restaurant I had the best meal I had all year- an exquisite duck curry- that I would travel back to Tassie just to eat this dish. Feeling so satisfied and excited by the choice of meal the next day I returned to sip a glass of wine and devour a plate of fresh oysters before boarding the plane home!
Hepburn Springs and Daylesford
I’m blessed to refer to this destination as my second home, as my parents wisely purchased a gorgeous cottage in the middle of the forest. I’ve been able to spend quality time there this year exploring the township, the coffee spots, the local wineries and the mineral springs. This is a beautiful spot for a weekend retreat from Melbourne where pampering and great food are the key. (Check out the perfect 48 hour itinerary here!) Lavendula lavender farm is my favourite place to wander around and relax for the afternoon with a glass of bubbles and a plate of lavender scones.
My fella’s family lives very close to the spectacular wine region the Yarra Valley so we spent a considerable amount of time in the area. One of our favourite weekend treats is to go for a drive in the region and stop off at local wineries and produce stores. The most indulgent spot is the Yarra Valley Dairy cheese/wine/produce store read more about it here!
2015 was a little more low-key travel wise than I had hoped it would be. Originally my family were arranged to go to Europe later in the year to visit Italy and the UK, and I had intended to stay on to spend time in Iceland and Berlin, but unfortunately an illness in the family prevented this trip. Thankfully it was nothing serious but did mean our plans were disrupted.
The dream for 2016 is to travel more internationally. I have a trip booked to Bali, Indonesia in April as I scored myself $108 flights Melbourne to Bali which is just obscene!!!!! The plan at this point is to use Bali as a bouncing board to other parts of South East Asia such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
Can’t wait to share all these adventures with you! Happy New Year!! xxx