Kestrel Downs

I was contemplating on whether I should do a post on our accommodation at Kangaroo Island. Not because the house was not good but I didn’t take much photos of it. Everyday was jam-packed, and when we were back, we just wanted to rest in the cosy house. After much thought, it would be such a shame not to share such an amazing place so read on…

Note: Most of the photos were taken from the website.

The sun set at around 5pm so it was almost pitch dark outside when we were on our way to the house. For many moments, we thought we were lost. We had to drive by the main “road” (It is not the usual pavement road and with no street lights) which will lead us to a narrow path through a dense forestation and up to the house. If we were going in the wrong direction, there was almost no way for us to reverse out. Luckily, we were on the right track.

1-Aerial-View-Kestrel-DownsSee how far the drive was. The main road is on the left.

p1Beautiful morning

We were determined to wake up early to catch the sunrise the next day. But now, let’s get back to the house and its facilities. The house consists of eco-friendly design features including solar power, surround verandah and pure rain water throughout.

3125_021-Relax-in-comfortSpacious living area. We spent most our nights here over wines and chocolates.

3125_041-Dine-to-water-views-2Dinning area. One of our favourite spot to enjoy the great view outside.

14-kitchen-w-red-apple-kestrel-downsSuper spacious kitchen. The only disadvantage is there is no dishwasher so we had to wash our dishes in the cold water every morning and evening.

There are 3 bedrooms in the house but I only managed to find photos of 2 of the rooms. Sadly, the room that I stayed in cannot be found.

3125_164-Master-bedroomMaster bedroom

3125_102-Single-bedroom-wake-to-mallee-woodland-view-1Third bedroom which we used to hang our coats

Bathroom-Mar2016-1280x800px-Kestrel-downsShower. The toilet is separate.

Note: There is only one shower and toilet in the house so you have to plan your shower time well.

p15The weather outside was rather chilly especially at night hence there were lots of millipedes trying to get inside out toasty house.

Website: Kestrel Downs

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South Australia Road Trip – Day 5

Day 5 was super pack day. Maybe we knew we only had 2 days in Kangaroo Island so we wanted to get the best out of it.

p1The morning view that greeted us at Kestrel Downs

We had a hearty breakfast and off we went to explore the wineries. It’s never too early to have good wines.

Our first stop, Dudley Wines. We were wowed by the scenery outside, stayed outside for almost 10 mins before stepping in.

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p4Quick stopover at Baudin Beach

p5Spotted wild kangaroos along the way

Finally time for lunch. The Deck Cafe is famous for its beautiful scenery. Watch the boats, the birdlife, and sit back and relax and watch life go by. It is located in the beautiful American River, right on the wharf. Serving locally caught King George Whiting and many other fresh and delicious foods.

p6The Pelicans family

p7Fish Burger

p8Fish and Chips

We were super full from our lunch but we could not resist some fresh oysters.

p9The Oyster Farm Shop is just round the corner of The Deck Cafe.

p10I had a dozen of fresh oysters by myself. It was seriously good!

We continued our journey after the super heavy lunch. Next stop, Clifford’s Honey Farm

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Clifford’s Honey Farm not only sell honey but also interesting honey byproducts like honey beer. The farm is also famous for their honey ice cream which the baby enjoyed it more than the adults.

Moving on, we went to Kangaroo Island Spirits.

p12Not sure what to expect from the entrance

It was getting dark after having a few drinks at KI Spirits so we headed back to our accommodation. Did I mention that it was our friend’s birthday? We had one of the most luxurious dinner for the trip.

p13Mussels from the Oyster Farm Shop cooked in white wine

p14Happy Birthday HL!

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Golding Wines

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in wine. My views of the wines and cellar doors are based on my personal experience. It’s mostly on my interaction with the staff and owners.

p7My first impression of the winery was WOW! Blue sky, pretty flowers and autumn leaves.

There was a tour group doing wine tasting when we reached. However, we managed to find a cosy spot for ourselves.

p6Cheers to good wines

p7The little baby also found a good spot for himself.

p4A nice background for photo and a good  promotion strategy. Double win!

 

Our purchases:

p8Lil’ Late Harvest

The parcel of fruit for our 2013 Lil’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc was the last arrival at the winery for Vintage 2013 after being left on the vine to mature until early May.

The extra time ripening under the late autumn sun intensified the fruit characters, delivering an elegant wine with luscious mouth feel.

On the nose it has lifted aromas of apricot and guava. The palate is laden with tropical fruit flavours, followed by a bright and crisp finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

p9The East End Rose

Made from 100% estate grown Pinot Noir, this gorgeously crisp Rosé sits pretty in the glass with a pale salmon hue. On the nose you will find the classic Pinot characters of strawberries and cream, while the palate remains savoury with a mouth wateringly crisp and dry finish.

Ticking all the boxes for a delicate cool climate Rosé, this Adelaide Hills drop has Friday night drinks written all over it. Ice it down, drink it up and exhale!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website: Golding Wines

Opening Hours: Open from 11am – 5pm daily. May close early on days when there is a private event held at night

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The Whispering Wall

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The Whispering Wall is the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir. Built between 1899 and 1903, the dam has surprising acoustic properties. Sounds at one end of the dam can be heard clearly at the other end, more than 100 metres away. Its curved, slender shape and quiet location induces conditions that contribute to the transmission of sound.

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It has always been in our plan to visit the Whispering Wall but our schedule was so tight that we just can’t seems to fit it in. We decided to go on our way to Cape Jervis and we were glad that we did. It was quite early when we arrived and there was no one around except us.

p2Enjoying the calmness

As we were the only one around, we had a great time “whispering” to one another from the one end to another. We tried, tested and confirmed it works!

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To visit the Whispering Wall, travel to Williamstown in the Barossa Valley and follow the signposts from the main street.

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South Australia Road Trip – Day 4

We woke up super early as it was a long drive from our accommodation from Barrosa Valley to Cape Jervis Port for our ferry ride to Kangaroo Island.

With some good planning, we managed to squeeze in some sightseeing and visit a winery along the way.

p6The Whispering Wall

p7Golding Wines

The plan was to have our lunch at Golding Kitchen. We read good reviews of their wood-oven pizzas. However we didn’t realize that the kitchen was only open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and most public holidays. Sadly, we didn’t get to eat the pizza but we had a good wine tasting experience.

p9Doubling up my coat as a rain coat

SeaLink, Kangaroo Island’s vehicle and passenger ferry service operates daily (except Christmas Day) between Cape Jervis (two hours south of Adelaide) and Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. The whole journey took around 45mins.

IMG_9551See how closely the cars are parked but stressful drivers

p12The ride was super choppy due to the earlier rain

There were 5 of us (4 adults and 1 kid) and 3 were suffering from sea sickness (I am not one of them :P). When we reached Kangaroo Island, our main priority was to get some food for our dinner and get to the accommodation as quickly as possible.

We finally reached our accommodation after a pretty long ride and called it a day.

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Charles Melton Wines

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in wine. My views of the wines and cellar doors are based on my personal experience. It’s mostly on my interaction with the staff and owners.

5One of the wineries that left me with a deep impression

1. The Outdoor Area 

One of the greatest biosecurity threats to vineyards in South Australia is Grape phylloxera (Daktulsphaira vitifoliae). This tiny insect pest destroys grapevines and ornamental vines by feeding on their roots. Almost 75% of vines in South Australia are susceptible to attack. Once vines are infested, they will die within six years.  There is no eradicative treatment, so infested vineyards must be replanted on phylloxera-resistant or tolerant rootstock.

Most owners will not allow you to step into their vineyards worrying that you might spread any pest from other areas to their vineyards.

p1This is how close we can get to the vineyard

2. Staff 

Generally, all staff at the cellar doors are very friendly. They have great knowledge on their wines and have good recommendations on other wineries to visit. However, I especially like the girl that was serving us at Charles Melton. It was a plus that she knows where is Singapore as her dad worked in MBS. It’s like talking to a friend over wines.

3. The name of the wines 

p3When you have a Father in Law, it’s only right to have a Mother in Law (La Belle Mere in French)

I guess it is pretty obvious which wines that we bought.

Father in Law – Lovely deepish colour. Good bright purple hues. A touch of sweet tar and roses on the nose with a whiff of vanilla bean. Quietly aromatic at the moment the bouquet will sweeten further and gain volume with some time in the bottle. A beautiful smooth entry into the mouth with red berry soft fruit flavours on the mid palate and just the slightest grip of proper tannin. Mid to longer term potential if you wish but a rounded composed drink now.

La Belle Mere – Gentle floral musky/quince nose with a dusting of toasty oak sitting lightly alongside. A soft plump mid palate with a touch of traditional Barossa ripeness and some Christmas cake spice and dark fruits. A finish of rounded tannins and smoky sweet fruit. Will richen and build with a few years in the cellar.

Website: Charles Melton Wines

Opening Hours: Open from 11am – 5pm daily

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Grant Burge Wines

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in wine. My views of the wines and cellar doors are based on my personal experience. It’s mostly on my interaction with the staff and owners.

Grant Burge wines can be bought in Singapore and our friends had tried them before. Hence, they were pretty excited about the visit. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of red wines so I didn’t really go for the tasting.

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8Hello beautiful sunset

GrantBurge_Horizontal_HolyTrinity

Our purchase

The Holy Trinity is a richly flavoured and elegantly structured GSM that continues the long and lauded heritage for this traditional blend in the Barossa Valley. The nose is awash with ripe plums, Christmas pudding and liqueur cherries with sweet spices and a hint of savoury, earthy notes that add to the complexity. The palate is rich and juicy with vibrant flavours of fresh plums and berries, chai tea and fruitcake, with fine tannins that run the length of the palate. The dense, mouth-filling mid-palate and long, textural finish combine to create a wine that is rich and elegant, sweet and savoury, and will sit beautifully on any table now or cellar gracefully for the future.

Website: Grant Burge Wines

Opening Hours: Open from 10am to 5pm daily. Except Good Friday and Christmas Day

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