How great is our country? Seriously! I have had two weekend trips in as many months that have left me breathless with its beauty (and diversity).
The Hawkesbury River has a little piece of my heart after a girls’ trip took us to the New South Wales sleepy river system community. We caught a plane from the local airport, two trains and then a boat to get to our renovated home called ‘Margaret’. ‘Margy’ is elegant and welcoming and we sat on her white wooden decks and watched and listened to the cold waters of Milson Passage lapping at the jetty out the front. My bestie has embarked on a waterfront home make over and in the process bought into a life that is slower and ebbs and flows with the tides.
We hiked. We drank far too much champagne. We played board games. We talked by the old fire. We reminisced and talked about our problems with our kids. We went on boat rides to look at shipwrecks and dense vegetation. It was nothing like the Sunshine Coast and it blew my mind. My buddy cooked us honest soul food such as tuna melts, that was simply tinned tuna mixed with mayonnaise spread thickly over rosemary sourdough and covered in grated cheese. It was one of the best meals of my life and I will crave tuna melts until the day I die.
The second trip was to Orange where some friends have swapped Coast life for wine time. They bought a winery called Mayfield and the tree change has them glowing despite working harder than they ever have. Red and brown leaves crunched under our boots as we vineyard hopped, tasting the local grapes and learning of the tough life of farmers and the clever ways of science behind each bottle of wine. We saw black faced baby cows and ate and ate. Holiday food tastes better and Orange is a foodie town. We wrapped big scarves around our necks and devoured cheese and hearty stews. We stood in a paddock surrounded by sweeping hills of green lush native forest and rows of grapes in the gullies. As we raised our glasses a herd of wallabies bounded past. It was a ‘pinch me’ moment that could feature in a Qantas ad with a choir singing at full pelt.
We boarded a plane with full hearts and stomachs, and minds that had been stretched to begin day dreaming of our next holiday in our Great Brown Land.