For this weeks instalment of Living in Sydney I will be talking about a trip I took to the farm in the Hunter Valley owned by the grandparents of the children I look after. In case you’re unaware, I am currently working as an au pair for a Sydney-based family, and it was with them that I took this trip. As a result I cannot recommend you go to this particular farm yourself, even though it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and so beautiful. Somehow I just can’t see the grandparents thanking me too much if people simply begin to turn up on their doorsteps begging for a weekend away! However, if you get an opportunity to visit the Hunter Valley and any of the surrounding villages and farmland I would highly recommend doing so!
The farm itself is located in what I would refer to as the middle of nowhere! The nearest town is called Singleton (yes, that’s a place!) and is about 23km away, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that far. However it was the only place I could get phone signal all weekend, so it suddenly began to feel quite a distance when phone signal was a minimum of 23km away! The purpose of our weekend adventure was to get out of the city for a few days, do some odd jobs around the farm and to show me a little of what life is like away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The grandparents had actually gone on a trip to New Zealand for a bit, so our planned visit coincided quite nicely as it meant there was always someone around to feed the various animals and keep up with the maintenance.
All in all, we didn’t get up to a great deal whilst there. We did attend a local village market which was an experience to say the least(!) and we also went on a drive up one of the mountains to escape the heat one afternoon. The parents spent most of their time at the farm doing things such as building a chicken coop, mowing the lawns and cleaning the kitchen and all of this suited me just fine! I helped out occasionally but mostly spent my time chilling at the farmhouse, reading my book on the veranda surrounded by beautiful mountains that were a gorgeous green. The weekend we were there was the official transition date from Summer to Autumn, however Autumn in the Hunter Valley is quite different to Autumn in the UK as on the Sunday we were treated with temperatures of 38 degrees!
On one of the evenings the dad treated me to a quad bike ride up to the highest point of the farm, which was just ace! The three year old was incredibly unimpressed that I also got a turn on the bike as that meant it was her turn to come off, which resulted in a lot of tears! However, with the promise of another ride the next day she eventually came round to the idea and let us be on our way! The ride was so much fun as we bumped through all the fields and dodged the cows who have begun to intrinsically link the sound of the quad bike with moving fields. Annoyingly I didn’t think to take my phone or camera with me to take any photos of the views I was treated with once we reached the top, but let me assure you it was just stunning. Luscious green for miles and miles around, a sky full of pinks and yellows as the sun went down and not another soul to be seen.
After the weekend was up we made our way back to Sydney on the Monday, but not before making a slight detour via Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting. I wont pretend I know much about wine, except from knowing I prefer white to red, but it was quite obvious that this stuff was going to be much more satisfying to the taste buds than the goon (read: the cheapest possible boxed wine) I had become accustomed to over the past few months! We did some free wine tasting with a very knowledgeable and polite guy who made me ashamed to admit I’d ever even touched goon! Feeling a little more educated than I did before I’d entered we left to begin our journey home – but not before the dad had invested in two of his favourite wines as a final treat after a wonderful weekend away! 🙂