This week started out with a trip to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting day. Picked up nice and early again by our very friendly tour guide, Ronnie, and off we went. Unfortunately it was a rainy start to the day, but a perfect day to taste some wine at the cellar door! As my wine knowledge was zero, I was especially looking forward to learning all the tips and tricks to tasting and knowing about wine.

Travelling north from Sydney, our first stop was the McGuigan Winery. On entering we were treated to a quick tour of their wine-making facilities and then escorted through to a lovely bar where the tasting commenced. What a beautiful selection of wine we had, very spoilt indeed. I learnt the proper way to judge the alcohol content – the “legs” as they say – and how to get the most flavour out of it when sipping. My dad would be very proud!

After this we visited another two wineries: Drayton’s Family Wines and Wynwood Estate… and also a few cheese shops, where I ended up buying a selection of cheese to take home for Christmas! (If I have the willpower not to eat them before then, that is!) Overall a really fascinating – and delicious – day. The surroundings were picture postcard beautiful. It’s a really good day trip to do if you just feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for some quiet country time and scenery.

After a day of wine tasting, I had a few fun-filled days at the Backpacker By STA Travel store in Sydney. What a great city to work in – I do love my time here: who doesn’t love talking to people about epic travel adventures! Once I said goodbye to my STA George Street family, I boarded a bus for my Loka Tour up the coast. Find out more about Loka


Barrington Tops and tubing

I was super-pumped about getting to the North Coast of NSW with a bunch of fellow travellers I’d only just met! Where better than Twistops Retreat in Barrington Tops National Park, a few hours north of Sydney. We approached this awesome hillside house with a view like no other I’d ever experienced; breathtaking is an understatement! What a friendly welcome too! One of the things I enjoyed most about Twistops Retreat was the lack of hierarchy. During the entire stay it was as though a few of your mates were hosting you for the weekend in their country house!

Anyway, bags down and straight into our wetsuits. Time for tubing! As I said, the location is just incredible and now we were in huge rubber rings floating right through the middle of it. Everyone loved it! Rushing through the rapids, some people falling out, others keeping themselves afloat… it was fantastic.

We were then picked up down river and taken back up to the house, where a nice warm shower awaited us. The evening consisted of so much fun with my new ‘friends’ and all the staff involved in some awesome games and much laughter. When I awoke the next day, the sun was shining and so I tried my hand at some archery and even a spot of fishing too! Also went on a bush walk through that epic Barrington Tops landscape and ended the day with a BBQ by the Barrington River. There really is quite an array of activities to do at Twistops. A really nice way to discover some unique experiences.

Next Stop: Spot X

With the last tour group about to leave, I jumped on the bus and continued my journey up the beautiful coast of New South Wales. Now, I’ve just arrived at Spot X Surf Camp in Arrawarra for a few days of surfing, adventuring and camping out. Stay tuned folks!

Follow Matt on his amazing journey around Sydney and New South Wales by following #60dayadventure or see the latest updates here!

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