Down Under

Hello From Down Under!

We are sitting on the deck of our Gunya Maia rental cabin in Suffolk Park – outside of Byron Bay enjoying a wonderful rich cup of Ashton’s coffee from the Farmer’s Market in Bangalow.

Bangalow is a little artsy town on the top of the hill above Byron and a great little side trip up into the Highlands.

I find myself listening to the birds come alive and smelling the essence of the kaffir lime tree in the yard… and having my first glass of the day, a glass of Byron Bay Ginger Cranberry Necktar. ( Don’t worry: It’s on the list of what to duplicate back home!)

Last evening we sat under the stars – listening to Adele and sampling some of Australia’s wonderful cheeses and wines from the Hunter Valley.

Four of our favorites so far:

Pear Tree – Milk Maids Pinot Gris

The Little Wine Company – Sangiovese Rose

Piggs Peake – House of Sticks Shirz

Tyrrell’s – Lost Block Cabernet 

And there’s something new for me that I must bring back to our little restaurant world:

Labna – a lovely rich and salty Yogurt cheese with the consistency of mozzarella…


If I have to pick one find on this journey – that would be it!

Our first night here was in Palm Beach – a sleepy little community about an hour and a half outside of Sydney. We sat on the deck of this beautiful old stone and wood home enjoying family and friends and the view of the old boat shed.

Marie whipped up a lovely salad and I ventured into the local prawns with a kaffir lime, garlic and sweet chile glaze. What a way to spend an evening!

The weather has been spotty at best so driving into the country and finding lovely products and produce to start the evening’s test kitchen has been the focus of the day. (Looking for the elusive Koala has been right up there on the list. But it is day 6 and not a one in sight!)

Let me tell you – finding an abundance of ingredients to have at any meal is will put you in the poor house in a matter of minutes. These country roads are a “Farm To Table” paradise.

Scott is off working on his prints with Andrew Kidman at his charming little farm up in the hills of Uki. We wondered driving up there, why a surf photographer, filmmaker would live this far out from the coast. Then we arrived only 30 minutes later to find that not only was the drive up from Byron Bay a hop and skip, but the views and aromas could suck any sea faring bloke right in!

My advice? Start by the sea and, when the rain comes in, go to Nimbin for some good old stuck in the 70's happiness. Even the owls cruise in for some action. You know me and the sea don't like to part ways for anything… But when to rain comes - it comes!!!

We headed to the Highlands for some Koala luvin.... The koala pictured here is Constable. He was rescued by the local police- hence the name!

He is blind from the various diseases affecting the Koala and lives at the rescue sanctuary in Lismore.

We saw the Koalas being cared for at the sanctuary. What a wonderful day!!!!

So here we are, smiling big and bellies full, having eaten a wonderful meal on top of the valley at a "Farm to Table" restaurant called Harvest.

What a delicious and amazing adventure it’s been.