Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Melbourne Story - Puffing Billy and Yarra Valley

Took me ages to sort out the pictures I took at Melbourne. Simply because I had to watermark all of them before I post them on my blog. I discovered that I had my pictures stolen and used on other people's blog! 

So here are some of the pictures from Melbourne. Most of the trip I was by myself as hubby was working. But it was so easy to get around Melbourne, so it was not a problem at all!

Also, the day tours are a life saver, which means I don't have to get around myself. Just hop on their comfy bus and be entertained by their guide/bus driver.

So the first trip I took was to the Puffing Billy and Yarra Valley, a "must not to be missed" destination!
First stop was the Dandenong Nasional Park where there were wild parrots! We had a short picnic and we were given seeds to feed the adorable birds. They just fly onto your palm and peck away on the seeds! Not for those who are afraid of birds :P 

Next stop was the Puffing Billy. Its a famous old steam train where we get to sit o the window with our feet outside :) Even the tickets are cool. 

It was really fun. The train was not moving too fast, so it was quite safe to sit on the window sill. Just remember to take off your shoes or you might just lose them along the way!

The head of the steam train. Puffing away!

After that we headed to the winery and vineyards. We were taken to 3, the first 2 were not popular, then again I am not great with wines and vineyards anyway. Yarra Valley wines are famous in our menus FYI :) We had lunch at the first winery.

This is the barrel room of one of the wineries. The "flavours" of the wine is very much determined by the type of wood used on the barrel. They use eg. oak, maple etc. Besides the type of wood, the soil of the vineyards also affects the taste of the wine. 

Finally! The stop I've been waiting for! The Moet Chandon winery and vineyard! This is the front of the winery. Looks very much like a ranch.

The inside of the winery.

 They had a proper tour, which took us around in the winery. The guide explained that Moet Chandon makes mostly sparkling wines, and they have "godly" management that made sure that all of their wines pasts their very stringent tests to ensure the upmost quality. The ones that don't make it, gets relabeled into their lower end brands, which they do not declare which.

Steel towers for making the sparklies. For making sparkling wines, barrels are not used. Instead, they are bottled immediately and put to rest for about 2 years.

Their wine cellar. This is where their sparkling wine rests for about 18 months. The bottles are under extreme high pressure. If you mess around with it, it might just explode and take your fingers out! So we had to walk quietly through to the other end, where it leads to their cafe. 

At the end of their tour, we were brought to their wine bar for the wine tasting. The little cafe overlooks their sprawling vineyards! Absolutely breathtaking!

To go with the wine, they gave us some bread cheese and their special Chandon relish. SO DELICIOUS! It went down so well with the wine. I thought it was the best thing I've ever tasted in my life. They sell the relish at their wine shop and of course I bought one, together with a bottle of sparkly of course :) Price? Unbelievably cheap!

Just look at their sprawling estate! You even get to sit out in the sun and enjoy the view while having lunch. 

I left Yarra Valley very very happy :) 


Anonymous said...


melbourne is lovely. so lovely that sofia has set her mind that is where she wants to go to school to... australia is many things our country is not.



Lin said...

your daughter is very smart and forward thinking! Yes, sadly Melbourne is many many things our country is not.

john marsh said...

melbourne is such a place to hold your vacation . Thanks

yarra valley puffing billy tour