Happy New Year
After Christmas I headed to Robe, a beautiful fishing town about 330 kilometres south east of Adelaide on the Limestone Coast. It is an old town, with all its colonial houses from the 1850s/1860s but with a young feel. Plus being here around New Year, there was a great vibe around the place.
We went camping. well bush camping in the nearby conservation park which was idyllic although I must admit, I did miss showering daily. However it was wonderful to have a break from my laptop, spend time with the family (hubby, in-laws and 2 year old) and take in the scenery; on the beach, through walks and taking time out of a usually busy life. Although the surf was not brilliant, we still managed to get in the water and catch a few waves. For me, surfing even only a few waves was a blessing due to a recent back injury. At the start of December, as a result of too much running and not enough core work, I ended up damaging my L4/L5 so I was not sure I would have had the strength and ability to surf.
Apart from surfing, we kept ourselves very busy over the five days with a little exploring and chilling:
- Browsing through the shops: Lots of craft shops, a gallery, newsagent, boutique clothes store and a surf shop line the main street. I picked up a good 2/3 O’Neill wetsuit at Steve’s Place on sale.
- Beaches: in a fishing village, of course there will be beaches. We surfed off Backs Beach one morning which needed 4wd access. Town Beach is pretty spectacular with open lawn, toilets and a playground within a few minutes walk. Long Beach was full of people getting into the New Year’s spirit on the 31st. It was so busy, you had to indicate to pull off the ‘main’ track down the beach. Plenty of room here to build sandcastles and holes to keep a child entertained!
- Walk across to Lake Butler, the Marina and Robe Obelisk: One afternoon we headed south to Lake Butler where there also a Marina. Just at the back, you climb up a hill, past the jetty and up to Cape Dombey where you can see the famous Robe Obelisk built in 1852. I must admit we didn’t walk all the way up to the top of the Cape as the three of us were walking in the hot sun with a 2 year old without pram and sufficient water. So we headed back to the Marina for a milkshake and water.
- Drive to Beachport and Southend: In search of waves and to explore we headed to Beachport where there is a great playground, named after a local woman who used to supply hot water to visitors (when no one else provided any) and lots of sweets to the children. Apart from that, there’s the jetty, lovely beach and a few shops. We then went to Southend where we again dug holes, built sandcastles and chilled. No waves were to be had but fun was bountiful!
- Taste some culinary delights: along the high street there are a number of cafes, bars and restaurants plus a tasty fish and chips shop. There is also an ice cream store (Robe Ice Cream Shop) with a cool and relaxed outdoor setting. I felt I was in some kind of magical fairy garden eating my ice cream, in what was a welcome sun trap on a windy day. You can buy ice cream to take away or have it served in a cup or cone. The chocolate mint was my favourite.
- We dropped into No 4 for a coffee and headed back for lunch and a beer (Amber Dark and Sweet from Robe Town Brewery). Tasty food, well priced and lovely outdoor space out the back with plenty of toys (plastic wagons, rakes, buckets plus books) for toddlers. Plus there were plenty of high chairs available. Being such a child friendly restaurant meant it was also perfect for adults who could chill and relax while their little ones played with the toys and tried to share with other boys and girls. I loved the decor inside, especially how they displayed the wine choices on the same wall (with bottles of those wines) grouped into sparkling, rosé, red and white. On New Year’s Eve, we had fish and chips from Robe Seafood & Takeaway
- Watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve: On New Year’s Eve, starting just after 9:15, a wonderful firework display started off the jetty. People came across the road from the pub to watch the scene. We all had a great view across the water with holiday makers lining the path from the Chinese landing to Town Beach.
- Taste local wines: Next to the Gallery on the high street, Woodsoak wines had set up a table displaying their award winning wines. The owners; Sonia and Will were so friendly talking to us about their wines; how they planted the vines in 1998. The label looked familiar but I couldn’t think where I had seen it before and on talking more to the owners I realised that one of their sparklings had been on tasting at Young Gun of Wine Uncut the month earlier where I had met sparkling winemaker; Peta Baverstock .The couple own 55 acres, which has been in the family for 60 years. On the property there is Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Merlot. They sell most but keep 10% back for their own label. In 2010 they launched the label and the rosé having been producing a Pinot Noir and Shiraz since 2008. The first vintage of the Cabernet was 2009. The grapes for the sparkling wines are handpicked while the others are machine harvested. Sonia is originally from India but moved around the world due to her father’s job as a town planner. She ended up going to boarding school and befriending a girl there who invited her back to her home town of Robe one school holiday. And that is how the couple met. Fast forward many years, three children later and their range includes:
-Santi Sauvignon Blanc
-Pyaar Pinot Noir
-Blanc de Noirs Méthode Traditionnelle
-Sparkling Shiraz Méthode TranditionnelleI really loved their Pinot Noir Rosé. I find it so unique to have a rosé made form Pinot Noir. It was well structured with fruit flavour , refreshing acidity with a dry finish. We bought a bottle, perfect value at $19 and it was quickly finished during dinner! I liked hearing the story of the name ‘Woodsoak’ which comes from ‘Wood’, the name of the family who would get ‘soaked’ with whisky. And I love the names of the wines; Zaahira means ‘sparkling and shiny’, Mayur means peacock and Santi means ‘peace’.From the 10% back they produce 200 cases (of 12) of the still wines, 500 cases (of 12) of the Zaahira and 150 to 200 cases (of 6) of the Emblem range (Blanc de Noirs Méthode Traditionnelle and Sparkling Shiraz Méthode Traditionnelle’). At the moment, unfortunately don’t think you can buy these wines in Adelaide but hopefully as more people discover the delights of Woodsoak, this will change!
Robe is a lovely family holiday town with plenty to do for children and adults. A great getaway for a long weekend. Happy New Year 2018!