Hi guys … Ramadan Kareem again!
So I’m sure most of you have seen that I have been on leave for one whole month until now and I must say that the time off was absolutely amazing! My now husband and I planned to go to Australia to spend some time with my parents, to explore Australia and most importantly … to get married!
We went many places but one of my absolute highlights was Hunter Valley. I have to thank my best friend Kat for recommending it to us, as honestly I never really thought of it as a place that I would visit.
We stayed there for a total of three nights and if we hadn’t had other things to do we would have stayed even longer. We visited in May so it was obviously Autumn so that meant fresh, misty sunrises, warm afternoons and spectacular sunsets.
We stayed in the Leisure Inn, Polkolbin as it was like a small apartment with microwave, sink, fridge etc, a outdoor BBQ for use and the apartments overlooked a magnificent lake.
We checked in around 2pm, and got settled. I instantly fell in love with the place because of the views of the hilltops and the three horses that were feeding near our lake. We got in our car and drove around all the little roads and bush walks to do some exploring. We saw many kangaroos during sunset as this is the time that they tend to appear and various types of ducks and birds, not to mention loads of cattle and horses, even some llamas actually!
Now if you love nature, wildlife and the ‘simple life’, then this is truly the place for you. The hills are filled with vineyards, as that is what the Hunter Valley is known for … their wine. I forgot to mention that before sorry. It seemed as though the land was just never ending, just green and green and tinges of red and orange here and there due to the leaves abandoning their trunks for Autumn.
The next morning we woke up bright and early for sunrise and oh boy it was so cold! I made us smoked salmon sandwiches for breakfast and a cup of black tea each and we sat outside in front of the lake, waiting for the mist to rise.
Half way through my sandwiches I saw a small duck waddling towards me and I immediately got excited and saved my crust for him. He was the highlight of my day honestly, ducks are so smart and we tend to underestimate their intelligence a lot.
We went to the Hunter Valley Gardens as soon as it opened to avoid the rush of tourists and I cant recommend it enough to wake up that little bit earlier so you can have the park to yourself.
The Hunter Valley Gardens has smaller gardens within it, ranging from Chinese Gardens, Italian Gardens, Botanical Gardens, even a Fables themed garden, ( we all know which one was my favourite right? ).
The entrance fee is $29 for an adult, which yes I do agree is a bit pricey but then everything in the Hunter Valley is high priced and if you know that you will only come here this one time for a holiday then why not? It is very beautiful.
We did some research online about renting bicycles in the area and found a small company right near where we were staying called Grape mobile. It was $55 per day for one bicycle and they give you a map with certain routes that you can ride through, wineries to stop at for wine tasting, and wonderful view points for your Instagram photos.
Now I’ll be completely honest with you, I kind of struggled cycling up all of the hills that just kept on appearing in front of me, as I’m not in the best of shape these days but once you make it, the view is just something out of a movie.
I really cant find the correct words to explain to you the beauty of this place but I’m sure my photos will help you understand. We were surrounded by nothing but greenery, trees, dirt track roads and open blue skies. It was just breathtaking. The silence is like music to the ears, you literally feel like you are the only person on earth. It was funny actually, many times my husband and I found ourselves going a good twenty minutes without saying a word to each other not because we were sick of each others voice but because we were just in awe of the serenity and beauty of where we were standing.
Now, maybe some of you are wondering why I didn’t write about where we ate and thats because we actually brought all our own food along with us, my mum made us Thai curries, roast chicken dinner and i also bought meat to BBQ and a lot of items to make sandwiches. I have to say if you are on a tight budget like we were then bringing your own food is a sure way to save money. Not only that, but it feels good to just be able to eat in your room and put on a movie especially when its so cold outside.
The next day we decided to hike some trails in the Werakata National Park, it took us around 20 minutes to get there, that was after getting a bit lost on the road and then we walked the Astills trail to get some fresh air. They also have a lovely park and picnic area to have lunch after your walk.
My husband and I love horse riding and so we knew we just had to incorporate it on our little trip no matter what, we found Horse Riding Adventures online and we chose the Sunset Ride for one and a half hours which was $80 per person.
The entrance to the farm itself was beautiful and we instantly found a huge family of kangaroos feasting on the grass and I was jumping in the car. We parked and filled out our details on a form and got saddled up.
My horses name was Cherry and my husbands horse was Big Ted and he was BIG! He also kept farting in front of my horse and I every time we went up hill. hahah
Overall, our time in Hunter Valley was amazing and we already agreed that we will definitely come back to visit another time but this time in Summer, as it will be completely different. To those who are visiting or planning to visit New South Wales, Australia I highly recommend it. It will bring you back to mother nature and really let you appreciate the beauty of the simple life.