Adventures in Oz

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Day two: Cheers!


This morning we got up for a good breakfast to properly brace ourselves for a full day of drinking YES! We booked the Bubbly Grape wine tour and they picked us up from the hotel, which is so convenient and ensures we both get to drink without worrying about the car! Meet Jonathan with Bubbly Grape tours, he was amazing!

20120705-174051.jpg. The weather attempted to play along today, it only drizzled a bit and the clouds lifted periodically for some pics of the mountains.


20120705-174711.jpg. We learned some facts about the area etc. there are approximately 30,000 people in Bleinheim, 120 vineyards, 50 cellar doors and over 500 contract growers who sell their wines.

20120705-175518.jpg. The first winery we stopped at, Lawson’s Dry Hills had great Sauvignon Blanc that has even won awards in Washington DC!

20120705-175814.jpg. My hair was only about 40% dry in this picture, watch it transform as the day progresses.

20120705-180008.jpg. Another fun fact, 4-5 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc are made from one vine, this equates to about a kilogram of grapes.

20120705-180248.jpg. So another reason Marlborough is right up my alley…grapes that make full bodied red wines don’t grow here…woo hooo! I’m a big white wine drinker and prefer Pinot noir if I’m going to drink red wine. The Marlborough region is growing more famous for its Pinot noir.

20120705-180604.jpg. In the pic below you can see big ole fans that are used to prevent the cold air and consequently the frost from settling on the grapes (causing them to lose the crop). Vineyards that don’t have the fans use helicopters to keep the air moving, of a night when frost is predicted there may be as many as 120 helicopters in the area!!

20120705-181045.jpg There are also three mussel factories here that run 24/7 and yield three tonnes of mussels a day, wow!


20120705-181413.jpg. There was an art gallery at one of the cellar doors and the artist was in painting. Just gorgeous paintings!


20120705-181659.jpg. We had a great day, that about sums it up…so I will leave you with a few more pictures until tomorrow (fingers crossed we will have free wifi…we are getting up early and driving 7 hours down the west coast to the glaciers).






July 5, 2012 Posted by | regular | Leave a comment

Day one: Journey to Marlborough


For those of you who don’t know I’m gearing up for a move back to the US, so my adventures in Oz are winding down. With this comes the drama of packing, wrapping up my clientobligations andmy very last day at the AU firm (woo hoooo)! I’m taking a hiatus from all of this to enjoy a new Zealand getaway with my other half. Tuesday at midnight we arrived in Christchurch, I’d love to say we kept the party going but with the two hour time difference from Sydney and a full day running around and cleaning to prepare for the trip we only managed to get in bed! Wednesday I had every intention of getting up early and driving to Kaikoura for some whale watching but of course we overslept. I wasn’t too disappointed because it was raining and the cruise would have been cancelled or I would have gone and been irritated to be in the rain for 3 hours. Instead we had breakfast in Christchurch, rode around the city for a bit and checked out the visitors center. As a reminder, there was a huge (7.1) earthquake in Christchurch in September 2010 and the city hasn’t been the same since. My coworkers and others I know from new Zealand said the rebuilding was still in progress so we only planned to fly in and out of Christchurch and not spend much time here , that said I was impressed by the city and not put off by the aftershock that woke us up this am ;-).

20120704-221247.jpg We drove 6 hours up the east coast to Blenheim, the Marlborough region know for Sauvignon Blanc (this is likely to be the highlight of the trip for me!). Australia is a gorgeous country but it doesn’t have anything on New Zealand! It’s just so green! And there really isn’t anything like the combination of mountains and the ocean! Along the way we stopped at Ohua Point, a lookout point right off the highway and there were so many seals! I’m going to have to get a picture of the warning road sign to look out for seals (bizarre!).

20120704-221802.jpg. This has also been referred to as the baby seal day care as there are far more baby seals here and the adults are usually out hunting.

20120704-221930.jpg The seals easily blend in with the rocks, but hopefully you can spot them?


The weather really didn’t cooperate with us today but hopefully tomorrow we can get some more outdoor pictures.

We are staying at a boutique hotel tonight and it as a pleasant surprise! So I’ll leave you with some pictures and a Happy 4th of July! I hope someone is out there grilling out for us! Since we have access to wifi hopefully I will be able to blog about our wine tour tomorrow!



July 5, 2012 Posted by | regular | 2 Comments