Trip 18 – Winter fun in the sun, with wine and friends

We’ve been talking about it for ages, but we finally managed to do it last weekend…  Our great friends Gail and Tracey (and Abby and Chris) have relatives, Gail’s sister Trish and brother in-law Ian, living in Ferguson Valley, basically midway between Bunbury and Collie.  Only 2hrs away, it’s a perfect lazy Friday arvo trip for a lovely weekend away.  Ian and Trish have a lovely block of land, located in the hills, with a house located within metres of the babbling creek..  Being in the valley, the temperature drops quickly, however, the fireplace and plenty of wine look after that problem.  Jules, Georgia and I towed our van down (George tented though), and after setting up, we shared some wine and stories, before heading to the Dardy -(Dardanup)- pub for a meal.

Saturday morning started slowly.  Some say that wine consumption is inversely proportional to the speed at which one wakes up in the morning, but I think that’s bullshit and blamed the cold instead.  Once risen, we took a lovely, though reasonably strenuous walk through Ian and Trish’s property to take in the views to Bunbury from the ridge line.

The creek, which is literally less the 5mtrs from Trish and Ian’s back door.

Another shot of the creek, this one looking upstream

The view to Bunbury from the ridge line at the top of Trish and Ian’s property


Coffee and a quick clean up later and we were ready to do some rubber necking, following the tourist trail to some local wineries and eating houses.  WA is well known for the Margaret River wine region, but I was surprised at how many there were, and how good the Ferguson Valley wineries are.  With our insiders knowledge and local introductions provided by Trish, we started at The Green Door where the GSM and Tempranillo are gold.

The other side of The Green Door.  I believe the owners found the door in Morocco and were planing to install it in their house, however, the door must be nearly 3mtrs tall, so now it’s the deserved centre of attention at the wine cellar door.

The vines and view at Ferguson Hart Estate


The views from the cellar door at The Green Door are beautiful, as was the hospitality, but unfortunately we had a lunch arrangement to make so we had to run.  Next stop, Ferguson Falls Winery and Cafe for woodfired pizzas and, yep you guessed it, more wine.  As I was skipper I was being pretty restrained with tasting but the Shiraz topped the range here for me.  Next stop, Ferguson Hart Estate which is run by the parents of Jez, a workmate of Gail and me.  Again, the Reserve Shiraz was our pick of the range here.  Our final stop for the whirlwind tourist run was Hackersley Estate Wines, however, we were here more for the food than the wines (although the wines were nice).  Aaron (the chef) and Adrie (who runs everything else) are good friends of Trish and Ian’s and they had to ensure we tried Aaron’s chocolate mud cake….  One word, YUM-BLOODY-DELICIOUS, not only that, the cellar door/restaurant sits on a small hill, overlooking a lovely dam with green grass, small jetty, wild kangaroos in the paddock, in the warm winters afternoon sun – you get the picture.  Aaron and Adrie have established a well known, but seemingly local knowledge, 5 course menu which takes a couple of hours to enjoy.  That’ll be the highlight of our next trip to Ferguson for sure.

Hackersley Estate views

Hackersley Estate views

Hackersley Estate views

The wall of the cellar door, Hackersley Estate


Back at Trish’s place, we gathered our spoils of war, many nice bottles of wine, opened them to air, and then promptly preceded to empty them of their contents.  Aaron and Adrie joined us for a lovely slow roasted lamb with veges – cooked by Trish and Ian –  the rest of the night was great fun, lots of laughter, escalating stories of previous heroics and general micky taking.  Again, the cold weather meant Sunday morning was a bit slower than normal, but some coffee and brekky later, we were ready to face the road home.  Gail and family decided to drop by Gnomesville which apparently is now a national tourist destination, whilst Jules and I headed west, dropping in on her aunt and uncle in Collie before taking the more scenic back roads home.

The best wine rack, with wine of course, is a friends wine rack!!  And going by the wine in this 144 bottle setup, Trish and Ian are our new besties for life!  Note, this doesn’t include Ian’s special wine fridges which he judiciously guarded the whole weekend…

4 Replies to “Trip 18 – Winter fun in the sun, with wine and friends”

  1. LOL! Great description of the weekend and the Beautiful Ferguson Valley. Thanks Budgies – we loved having you guys stay and you’re welcome anytime ??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *