Aradale 👻👻👻

Let Us tell you:
Aradale Lunatic Asylum built to house the mentally ill or insane as you would say back on those days. Purposely built on a mountain right here in Ararat, Vic AU with the belief that any winds from the south had a calming, healing effect on their patients and would basically help them heal from their mental illness. Aradale Asylum has two sister facilities: one at Kew the other at Beechworth, both also in Victoria, AU.

Opened in 1867 to house up a large number of patients until its closure in 1993, however one ward remained open for another couple of years thereafter. The building itself comprised of 63 building to make up Aradale, meaning it had to be self sufficient with 30ha Vineyard and their very own winery. Extensive training facilities and 4ha lavender farm. Livestock and own piggery as well as a market would have also been needed! Additionally of course crops and gardens for self grown varieties of food.

The rest is for you to explore (and there is heaps!), broaden your knowledge and experience whatever might happen… 👻
We had a ball and our guides get the thumbs up!!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Now it’s your turn to step into unknown territory.

 

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Bright, Victoria

From the nice scenic drives up North, arriving in Bright, Victoria was one of those super exciting and relaxing days this Winter. With temperatures plummeting and the cold fronts picking up we were lucky enough with beautiful warm weather and a sunny day, trying to get the most of those nice ray’s of sunshine. 😊
We arrived early to make the most of this day so decided to head to the local farmers market, although small and situated alongside the Ovens river in addition providing beautiful scenic walking trails (Cherry and Canyon Walks we highly recommend! The history behind the town is incredible even your kids will love it) in addition to the Main Street and multiple shops also within walking reach. 

Of course Food locations are always the most serious question any travel or visitor to a town will ask you at any given moment so be prepared to list the good stuff!!! 😉 

It was a very memorable day and as it is a beautiful location makes it worth visiting time and time again!

Until next time,

Ginger & Blondie xx 

Birthday Surprise

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While everyone else spends their Sunday lazing around or getting organised for the new week, We got other things we can do with our such valuable time, such as celebrating our gorgeous friends birthday!

Our idea of a gift turned into a clue filled trip away lasting a mere 12 hours filled with incredible memories and so much fun!!!

How it all went down:

We were invited to her birthday celebrations in the city recently and there she got her very first clue … instead of a present as the surprise was yet to come.

CLUE#1
October 15th was your birthday,
Hip Hip and Hooray!
We have a surprise for you,
This is all we can say.
Please pick a day – an entire Saturday will suit best.
So Us three can head North, South, East and West!

We (Andrew and I)  both knew she is similar to Us as she loves beauty as much as I do + the outdoors just like Andrew does, so we came up with organizing a trip filled with clues which she would need to solve in order to find out what the surprise was. The entire trip took place in Healesville, Victoria – Australia.

Yesterday our friend Katherine came to my house at 8 am before we headed to my boyfriend’s place to pick him up and have Us all drive to our first destination. Katherine got blindfolded as we knew she used to live along the way, plus it would have been a bit ‘too boring’ without a blindfold.

Clue #2
Today is the day of the surprise to come true,
We hope you are ready to figure out your next clue.
It comes with a selection of a wide range of foods,
Which without a doubt tickle everyone’s individual mood.
With locations in yet only two states,
But a great place to catch up with your mates.

The answer to this clue was Breakfast at the well known Beechworth Bakery in Healesville, this surprise was of course well received too, as she had only ever been there once before. Don’t get me talking on the food, it is absolutely delicious.

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After breakfast it was time for the next clue 🙂

Clue #3
Now it is off to a location very nice,
Yes, it is another part of this great surprise.
Your wallet, phone and keys you won’t need, but a good mindset indeed.
It is time to unwind and leave the daily chores behind.
Enjoy this special moment to refresh and re-energize.

Her grin when we arrived was priceless. It was a 1 hour Aroma Therapy massage, included with hot stones and the best masseuses available of course at no other location than Piaf Day Spa. She absolutely LOVED it. She was so super relaxed and glowing after her treatment! By then the next clue was already on it’s way:

Clue #4
But wait there is more – believe it or not,
Few places we can go, while owners await,
Our verdict very fast – before it ‘s too late,
Too many to taste  – “Oh my … what will be?  “,
Too dry, too sweet before you pick.
A glass or two of course changed to a bottle,
But please make sure you do not waddle.
Yes, here we are – let it begin.
 ‘Prost’ and ‘Cheers’ is your next hint.

This clue allowed plenty of time and variation, as the hint suggests it included the travel to almost every single winery in the area (LITERALLY!), where we tasted some wines and picked a few favorites 😉

Some of those wineries included, are Boat O’Craigo, a small Australian distillery at Four Pillars before we moved on to another magical place which you might be able to figure out through reading this next clue below.

Clue #5
This place has locations across Australia
and will take Us away on a journey so far.
Young children everywhere will like this one too,
with offerings and tastings that brighten your mood.
From light to dark and sweet to sour
while others rush here every single hour!
It comes with passion and indulgence … let’s not forget creativity
The word has nine letters and tastes super sweet.

After our trip to the Chocolatier at Healesville off we were for some more wine tastings 🙂

Yarrawood Estate, Balgownie Estate Vinyard Resort & Spa, Fergusson Winery and Restaurant , De Bortoli which allowed some space for a mini cheese factory allowing Us to taste some of their cheese, we then  Sutherland Estate

We then continued on to visit Shantell Vinyard right next door… then it was off to the last two wineries, Dixons Creek Winery (Graeme Miller Wines) and last but not least Mandala Wines

We had the most incredible time, chatting to the winemakers and vinyard owners and getting a whole heap of knowledge from them and how they operate in this so diverse yet competitive industry.

By now we were all a bit tired and wanted some time to simply relax, so off it was to Maroondah Reservoir, before the last surprise was announced:

Dinner at Yarra Valley Harvest.

It was amazing, the entire trip was so much fun and we definitely created the best and most amazing memories yet, in addition we set the stakes quite high too  😉

 

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For anyone wanting to know some details:

The riddle was written by myself and has copyright restrictions!

The trip was planned by both my amazing partner Andrew (applause for him please) and myself

Biggest thanks to Andrew for this amazing day!

AK. xx

In the search of gold…

In the search of gold…

Whenever I am off work for a few days, it always seems like as if I had been away for a literally a week!

Why is that?

Because I enjoy the time I am away up to it’s finest detail. This past week was again one of those weeks where I simply packed the car up with a tent and sleeping bag, picked up my Partner and told him to drive… this way  – pointing on the beautiful gold mining town of Ballarat on the Melway. Okay fine… maybe not quite like this as we did have it planned to start off with.

It was a somewhat slow drive towards the City, through the tunnel and over the bridge…it then turned into a long drive as we drove past two exits which would have cost us less time to get there…two hours later with a slight scenic tour past Geelong we arrived within Ballarat, Victoria.

#Soprecious. #Sobeautiful. #Soamazing.

We did book a tent site at the nice Eureka Stockade Holiday Park, we have previously stayed there. To be truly honest with you…I enjoy camping and sleeping in a tent as long as the place we are staying at has a decent Bathroom with showers! Call me cray but it’s one of those things I can’t live without…a nice shower to start off my day…my partner did make the experience of what happens otherwise!

So anyway back to this incredibly perfect trip… we arrived at Ballarat, and drove straight to Sovereign Hill. Basically what it is for those who have no idea, Sovereign Hill is a ‘living’ museum..please don’t relate it to the film “Night at the Museum” with Robin Williams where everything comes to life, however the result sort of is the same…in a way.

The people at Sovereign Hill are dressed up in the costumes of the 1850’s, as the museum covers the first nine years of the gold rush in Ballarat so do the people dress in the different year’s of the gold rush history i.e corset dresses + maiden dresses, for then men it was suit and tie or work wear.

The Museum offers a lot of opportunities to gain the knowledge of what is was like back in those days. As it was a Mining Town with men, women and children flocking to the area in their search for gold, so came the opportunity to go through a Gold mine tour at Sovereign Hill, at one point we were thirty meters underground, as it was quite a hot two days with just above thirty degrees which made the gold mining tour extremely relaxing +  allowed us to ‘cool off’ just a tiny bit. Yes, the Gold Mining Tours are guided but there is also a tour available which is self-guided.

Ballarat’s well known Sovereign Hill interactive museum allows visitors to walk through the Main Street and adjoining streets set in  the 1850’s, I did feel slightly out of place at the start walking past those in their corset dresses and here I’m in my denim shorts, sandals and blouse…not quite so 1850.

At Sovereign Hill the chance to visit the Gold museum across the road also exists, which allows visitors to see theWelcome Nugget’ + the ‘Welcome Stranger Nugget’ as well as read up on the history of when and where the gold was found in the area…trust me when I say that I was and still am highly tempted in buying a metal detector, shovel, and prospector’s license…this license is essential or you might find yourself in a lot of trouble!

The days we got to spent at this amazing place was truly one to remember because

WE FOUND GOLD!

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What am I writin’… we did not… or did we?

Sssshhhhh… you make up your own answer 😉

#visitballarat #inthesearchforgold #museum #interactive

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Now it is your opportunity to take the kids, pack the car, take your prospector’s license (just kidding with that one) and head to Ballarat, visit the Gold museum, take an underground mine tour, read up on the history, do some candle making + dipping, see how candy is made by hand, see the gold pouring, take a coach ride, the the musket firing, see the red coat soldiers parade down the main street, do a guided tour of Sovereign Hill, enjoy the Sound + Light Show or pan for gold – you might be lucky! Sovereign Hill offers so much for adults and children alike I could write a book about it.

One last tip though.. when visiting Ballarat it is worth staying at least two days to be able to enjoy it all.

Have a great start to this wonderful week!

A. xx