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  • News bites – 3 June 2020

    Geelong and the Bellarine use local talent to tempt visitors

    Image credit Travmedia/tourism geelong bellarine

    Victoria, along with NSW and the ACT are currently the only states with their borders open. Geelong and the Bellarine has taken advantage of this by promoting some of the passionate tourism businesses in the area.

    Accessible by car, train, ferry and soon to be air, the region is synonymous with world-class food and wine, big city regional feels, small coastal villages, a burgeoning cultural scene, water everywhere you look, wildlife, adventure and nature-based activities, all within a short distance of each other.

    Here are some of our top picks:

    The Whiskery

    This cellar door offers a tasting room and a café in the Bellarine Distillery, set on seven glorious acres. They produce Teddy and the Fox gin and we cannot wait for their own whisky to mature soon. Also available are local wines, beer and ciders along with guided tours and tastings.

    Jack Rabbit Vineyard

    This vineyard wins the award for best views with a panorama that includes the bay to Geelong, the You Yangs and Melbourne. Jack Rabbit’s cool climate wine range includes Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Shiraz Cabernet.

    An a la carte restaurant comes with the wine tasting and with scenery like this you’ll want to take your time to indulge.

    Flying Brick Cider

    This cider house offers a tasting paddle of ciders made from 100 percent fresh fruit unlike the majority of ciders which are nothing more than synthetic carbonated water. A solid selection of beers are on offer along with Friday night live music. Usually open seven days for lunch and tastings. Also open Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner from 6:00pm. Enjoy roots and live music on a Friday night.

    Geelong Bollard Trail

    Image credit Travmedia/tourism geelong bellarine

    This walk along the Geelong Waterfront is peppered with 100 painted bollards which take you back a century. Meet these painted characters who played a part in Geelong’s history from the original Indigenous inhabitants to some more contemporary characters. Artist Jan Mitchell was commissioned to transform these reclaimed timber piers into the current works of art.

    Kangaroo Island’s top tipples

    Image credit Travmedia/Sea Link South Australia

    Although the borders are still not open in South Australia, when they are Kangaroo Island will be well and truly be back to rejuvenating.

    Often referred to as a zoo without fences, KI as the locals call it is a sanctuary for wildlife. There are encounters with some of the friendly natives animals at every corner. See Sea Lions frolicking on the beach at Seal Bay Conservation Park, snorkel with dolphins, see kangaroos snoozing under trees and spot the koalas dozing in the Eucalypts.

    Other activities include sandboarding at Little Sahara sand dunes and some incredible wines to taste from wineries such as the Islander winery, Shoal Bay and Dudleys wines. (The Islander’s So far so good shiraz is one of the best drops you can buy at under $30 per bottle.)  Australia’s first boutique gin distillery KI Spirits offers tastings or call into the KI Brewery for a beer.

    Sea link ferries are offering a range of packages which include taking your car over on the ferry for a self drive stay.

    But you will want to leave the car behind and spend a day tasting. Most of the wines are vegan.

    Bay of Shoals

    North of Kingscote and with a killer view of the Bay of Shoals, this cellar door has some excellent rosés and late harvest Rieslings.The vines are hand pruned and the grapes, handpicked.

    Dudley wines

    Relax on the deck and indulge in a platter of produce whilst tasting a drop from one of the island’s original wineries.

    The Islander Estate

    Jacques Lurton, a renowned Bordeaux winewaker, offers some French style wines made in Australia located in Cyngnet River. Are we allowed to have a favourite? Definitely worth the trip.

    False Cape Wines

    Another deck. Another idyllic Australian setting. False Cape’s deck looks onto the Terra Rosa soils of limestone on the banks of the Wilson River flat. The vineyard is the largest on KI and offers a cellar door with minimal intervention wines.

    There are three boutique wineries on the island:

    Hazyblur Wines which produces Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris planted in 2001.

    Lathami planted Shiraz vines in 2000, followed by southern Italian white variety Fiano, planted in 2009.

    Snow Dragon Wines is a new label for a 25-year-old vineyard, formerly known as Cape d’Estaing. Premium red wines are made from grapes grown exclusively on Kangaroo Island.

    Other alcoholic merchants offer the following:

    Kangaroo Island Spirits – six liqueurs, three vodkas and a premium gin

    Kangaroo Island Ciders – alcoholic ciders and a non-alcoholic sparkling apple juice (cellar door at Emu Ridge Eucalyptus)

    Kangaroo Island Brewery offers KI craft beers while the Drunken Drone Brewery’s Honey Wheat Ale is available at Clifford’s Honey Farm.

    For more inspiration or to start planning your next holiday, talk to your personal travel manager. You can find one near you here.