Blissful Second (Post#3) : Killara Estate (Yarra Valley) – Feast Time
We went to Killara Estate in Yarra Valley as part of wine itinerary tour. Aside from tasting wine we had our lunch here. The photo above was some people enjoying the lunch at the time we were in the restaurant. Photo captured last February 2013.
Since the season in Australia is switching from spring to summer, it is the same period to enjoy harvesting season. And when that season happened while I was in Melbourne therefore it is common to be invited by my friend to go somewhere and enjoy fruit picking.
This time I was invited to join the strawberry and cherry picking. Back home I already experienced strawberry picking but not the cherry. Since I was curious what was it like I accepted the invitation.
It was beautiful Saturday that day and my friends picked me up in my hotel. From St Kilda Road going to the City we took left to Kingsway. Then we left the city by taking Western Gate Freeway, we turned right to West Ring Road then to Western Freeway, then we took Bacchus Marsh Road where the farm we were targeting is located.
–Western Freeway before turning to Bacchus Marsh Road
We arrived in Naturipe Farm, almost lunch time. Instead of going straight to the farm, we decided to have lunch first. Different families came one by one and all of us met at the table area in the farm. And the exciting part was when the foods were being prepared and all were Filipino menus which I really love. When food were ready I jumped into the table and helped myself in grabbing one by one, because it’s too many, I was confused which one to eat first, but in the end I got full. It was a great lunch as I felt again to be part of a huge family in Melbourne.
–At Naturipe Farm
After all were done for lunch, all the food were packed and the whole group went ahead to the farm. I was surprised to discovered that there were too many people dropped by to the farm, it seems the fruit picking activities has been a headline to the city as we need to line-up in a queue just to get inside the farm to pay the entrance in cherry picking, while the strawberry picking was free. Though the sun started to heat-up, we remain in the queue until we got our chance to enter to the farm. We paid the entrance fee and plastic boxes with the bucket.
After we passed the long queue, we went straight to cherry picking area. We showed our receipt to person in charge at the entrance and directed us where was the picking area. As I saw the vines of cherries. I was excited and started looking at the cherries. I looked for dark red cherries as they were the cherries that’s really sweet. Our group even inside the cherry farm, did not stop in taking photos, everyone were posting their selves in different parts of cherry vines. All of us seems happy in picking the cherries and to be honest I myself enjoyed the activities as well.
We took hours in cherry farm before moving to Strawberry farm. Here my eyes become bigger as I saw huge strawberries and I felt that all of them were calling me to “Hey you!!! What are you waiting for? Pick me now!!!” I grab all the strawberries that huge and red. I even eat strawberries while picking it, the taste are sweet even it’s not red and I wonder how it happened? Well that secret I leave with the nature I just keep picking the fruits. When I felt that my bucket seems heavy enough I stopped and waited with others to go to the counter to pay all what we got.
–Fruits that I picked (I already ate a lot :))
After paying at the counter we met each other again and said our goodbyes for another great and wonderful experience with the people who I call family in Australia.
Since I was back in Melbourne last October 2014, I got another chance to see more of Victoria in Australia. It was Melbourne Cup that day again, and the people who close to me or let say my friends in Melbourne planned to go somewhere so we can spent the holiday in a worthwhile trip. The plan was fishing. I never joined nor engaged fishing activities before. Though even I was hesitant to confirm that I will be going, I decided to go.
While we were on our way to the trout farm, I checked my phone’s GPS, I was curious which road we took and where we were heading. The trout farm is located in Dandenong Ranges specifically in Macclesfield. I was picked up at my place along St Kilda Road around 8AM. Then we picked up another friend in Malvern. After that we hit the road again and from the city we took Monash Freeway. Then we turned left and took Wellington Rd, we followed the road as is, when we reached Clematis we turned right and took Belgrave-Gembrook Rd. We turned left again when we reached Macclesfield Rd and in few minutes we turned left and took a little rough road of Paton Rd until we reach the destination. Well every time I traveled I like looking at the GPS apps when data is available because at least I was able to recognize the place that I passed and the place where I had been. Seeing the places and knowing its names made a sense to me.
When we reached the trout farm almost 10am, we were the first group visitors arrived in the place and first batch in our group. I helped out in taking stuff from the car of my friend and we went to the kiosk inside the farm to pay our entrance. Then we went to the selected tables we chose as our group were quite big. I helped out to stuff the table and took some time in frying sausages. These kind of activities in the farm were really nice for group of people or families because these were really nice way to have friends bonding or family bonding.
Then, one by one each batch in our group were coming and since it’s holiday in Victoria, a lot of people took the opportunity to go to the same farm we were to have some break. I thought at first that I was not going to enjoy the activity but I made mistake. I was really happy when we were there because the whole group were there, chatting, laughing and eating.
Since most in the group brought foods, there were many menus, deserts and finger foods. My eyes were popping out and my mind confused as I really don’t know what to choose, all menus in the tables were all Filipino foods which I really love.
After lunch, we went to the fishing area where we spent most of our time in the afternoon. Most of us took the fishing rods and tried to catch a fish. The activity was so enjoyable because most of us were surprised once someone from us were able to catch a fish. I did not tried to catch a fish, I just posed so that I will look like I was catching a fish. Everybody were laughing when someone scream because of surprised reaction as their fishing rod caught a fish.
One of the great feature of the farm was it has fish pond where you can do a guaranteed fishing and it is guaranteed that you will be able to catch one. And most of us tried to control catching a fish because every fish that will be caught must be paid and the payment is based on the weight. We were smiling and joking that this was the kind of fishing activity that you did not worry if there will be fish to catch, you will worried for how much you were going to pay after you finished catching fish.
After fishing time, we spent talking and eating again, until I left the group for sometime and walk around the farm so I can find some scenic spot for photo shots as my souvenir in the place.
–Photo shots inside the farm
I returned to my group and helped out for packing all the stuff we used. After half-an hour we left the trout farm and we hit the road to the city, same route we took when we were on our way to the farm. I was dropped off first at my place.
I had a great time again with friends in Melbourne. I’m thankful again for a wonderful place, lots of memories and I will surely treasure all of them. Until next adventure.
Panoramic View (Post#16) : Killara Estate, Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley, region in Victoria state of Australia and famous because of its wineries. During our tour in the said place, one of the itinerary was Killara Estate where we tasted some wines and had lunch as well. In the location I found a scenery that’s soothing to my eyes which was the Killara Estate farm or wineries. Photo captured last February 2013.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#16) : Mount Tangisan
I am a member of mountaineering group in my country wherein we used to help and aid group of people and mostly students who live in remote areas that does not have easy access of help from other charity groups. Unlike other communities that easily receive help and easily reach out by other non-government group we made a simple vow to help others. Because we used to climb mountains and we are exposed in difficulties, challenges and quite adventurer, our group combined some of the climbs with charity events. There were cases that it’s only charity focus. When we went to San Pedro in San Jose, Tarlac we did a charity activities for the students in the area. The place is actually quite remote as we passed huge farm and to my surprise I never expected such community as no concrete roads towards the place, we drove long rough road in the middle of farms. Beside the community, Mount Tangisan is also to be found. Since it’s near the area, the group decided to trek the mountain. Photo above captured last July 2012.
On my 6th day in Melbourne Australia, I tried my best to plan to see some of Victorian atmosphere. Victoria is just one of the state of Australia where Melbourne can be found. It was Saturday and I am still on doubt what to do in my weekends. I haven’t search on anything yet. But when I’m checking some brochures from the hotel where I am staying, it gives me some idea about a day tour. Since I am in Australia for work and not really for leisure stuff, I have to maximize my weekend. But I was quite busy the whole day of Thursday and Friday. Went home late at Friday and slept late after talking to my family back home.
Enough of my sentiments and justifications. Using the brochures in my hand, I search related and similar offerings. Since I am a budget traveler, I looked for most affordable and yet seemed funny and comedy tour for the day. I found one, I joined the “The Wines Guys Winery Tour”, at first I thought it read as wise guys and then its wines guys. Based on their website, the tourist guides are mixed of wise guys, wine experts and comedian. Because of that description I got curious on the tour aside from the adventure it includes.I booked the tour and joined the next day schedule, meaning I booked Saturday and joined Sunday Tour (yeah that how I planned it).
It was Sunday, I am a bit earlier when I arrived at the meeting place at Federation Square (Flinder St and Russel St) specifically at the front of Ian Potter entrance. Since I arrived early I thought no one aside from me will go to the tour until I was surprised that other people around will go as well. And take note, all the tourist who signed up the tour at that time was all females, no guys except for our guide named Nick.
Let’s talk about Nick, he looks good. He’s nice and funny. He took cares of us during our trip from the city to Yarra Valley while inside the mini van. He made the atmosphere amiable and happy. All of us while traveling seems having a great time.
While on board I tried my best to find out where we are while on our way to our destination. I used my iPhone 3GS to see the current location we are passing by. One thing I remembered that we took Maroondah Highway to go to Yarra Valley.
First stop, Coombe Farm.
Coombe Farm is the first winery I ever visited in my entire life, since I never been really to Winery tour before. Here I experienced to taste Australian made wines fresh from their wineries. Here we tasted 8 kinds of Wines in a row. And even its my first time to drink wine (since I don’t drink), all the wines poured in my cup, I sipped them all. And this one considered another experience on my part. Here are listed that I tasted in Coombe Farm. Sparkling Wines, White Wines (2011 Pinot Gris, 2010 Arneis, 2011 Chardonnay) Rose Wines (2010 Rose), Red Wines (2011 Pinot Noir, 2010 Merlot, 2010 POLO Cabernet Merlot). My personal favorite is White Wine 2011 Pinot Gris which is a good combination for hot and spicy foods). After tasting, we bought our souvenirs then we took pictures.
Wines from Coombe Farm
My Tourist Group
Around Coombe Farm
The Tour Guide
Second Stop, St. Hubert
Coombe Farm and St. Huberts distance is insignificant, they are actually neighborhood. Like what we have experience in Coombe Farm there is facilitator from St. Huberts (I forgot her name) who also tackles some basic information of their wines. We tasted like 7 wines in St. Huberts. Here are the list of wines that I got, 2006 Pinot Nor Chardonnay (Sparkling), 2012 Rousanne, 2012 Chardonnay, 2011 The Stag Pinot Noir, 2011 Pinot Noir, 2010 Cabernet Merlot and 2012 Late Harvest Viognier. And my favorite is the last one, 2012 Late Harvest Viognier.
Outside St. Huberts winery
My Tourist Group at St. Huberts
Some wines at St. Huberts
Thirst Stop, Kilara Estates
This winery is far from the two wineries that I mentioned above. We had our group lunch in this winery as well. It was a great one, it has great views of the whole farm and the nearby ranges. Before lunch, we tasted 3 wines but I can’t recall the two. My most favorite of all three wines is the Kilara Sparkling, it’s a sweet wine.
Designated person explains their wines (forgot his name)
Some cars found outside Kilara Estates (not sure what brand these cars is)
Lunch at Kilara Estates
Wine Glass (I fell in love with the glass, I think most of them are all nice and beautiful)
Around Kilara Estates
Fourth and last Stop, Seville Hill.
Here at the winery, I also found their wine barrels. Like what I had seen in the movies. We tasted a lot of wines in Seville Hill. Here are the list: 2008 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 2012 Rose, 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Reserve Chardonnay, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Pinot Noir, 2008 Reserve Shiraz, 2005 Vintage Port and 2010 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. And the winner for my taste, is the last one as well. The location of Seville Hill is really great. And here we passed a lot of wineries. There is a picnic place beside the wineries, and during our visit, there was a wedding happened a day before.
Some wines from Seville Hill
While on our way to the City, our guide named Nick (I found out that his profession aside from tour guiding, he was doing acting as well). He prepared a test for all of us (is it not nice taking quizzes after a the tour?) Well that was fact, we took short test about the wines, and I answered them all as guesses. Well we had a great time in this tour, I found some beauty in Yarra Valley, I like farms and they call it wineries. I learned stuff from the tour like, every wine has a complementary food along with it. You will not just buy for the sake of buying it, but choose well according to the food you are preparing or you are eating.
Well this was just the beginning of my Down Under Adventure. Until then.