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Pub Crawl : Hobart

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What better way is there to see the city and meet some locals than with a pub crawl? We didn’t have any company this time around, unlike our crawls in Mount Gambier, Kalgoorlie Boulder, Geraldton and Darwin, but we still had a great time exploring the pubs and beer gardens of Hobart.

 

Hope & Anchor

This was our first pub for the day and our lunch stop to fuel up for the next few hours. We started with a couple of beers to sip on while we looked around the pub. Built in 1807, it is possibly the oldest pub in Hobart, so there was plenty of cool historical stuff to look at, especially upstairs!

 

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Fluke &Bruce

We were entitled to $5 schooners of Cascade Draught at the Fluke and Bruce Hotel because we were staying at the YHA hostel next door. So that’s where we had our next drink after we’d checked in.

 

This spacious pub had an old charm that came through despite the renovations. There were a few antique images on the walls and the carpet and ceiling were somewhat period, but it maintained a clean and modern feel with the new lick of paint and Ben Harper playing atmospherically.

 

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Customs House

The Telegraph Hotel was closed so we skipped it and went to the Customs House instead. It had a fairly standard exterior for a corner pub but the interior was much more modern than expected.

 

At this point of the evening, Juz moved onto neat rum while Dave continued his beer quest with a Cascade Stout. They had a copy of the Herald Scum so we sat out the front and did the Superquiz.

 

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The Whaler

Previously known as Knopwoods Retreat – a popular place for a meal and a tipple – the Whaler got a change of identify at the end of 2015.  The name honours Hobart’s whaling history and even the location’s history as it was the place where whalers would return to get paid and have a drink.

 

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The Whaler is located on the Waterfront in the Salamanca Precinct. It’s quite a small pub on the inside but it increases its patronage with an outdoor area at the front. It might be an old pub but the renovations have caused it to lose a little bit of its charm. The stained glass window murals above the bar were a nice touch though.

 

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They have a great selection of local Aussie beers and ciders. Dave enjoyed an Ella Pale Ale while Juz tried the Ron de Jeremy rum.

 

The Brick Factory

Just outside of our next pub, we were halted by a South African from Melbourne who wanted to take a picture of Dave’s dreadlocks with his interesting black and white camera. We had a brief chat about photography, travel, and his vocation as a storyteller for schools before we went our separate ways.

 

The Brick Factory is a beautiful and classy place for a drink. The front section is a spacious bar area with booth seating, but as you head towards the Grape Bar at the back, the ceilings start to fall and it has quite a cellar feel, complete with Chesterfield lounges and lots of wine in cabinets.

 

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They have a huge selection of all sorts of spirits, and Juz sampled the Diplomatica rum, which had rich molasses flavours and a honey nut aftertaste. Dave had a dark lager, which got better as it got few degrees warmer.

 

Waterman’s Beer Market

This was an accidental stop on our way to the Victoria Hotel, which ended up being closed anyway. The Beer Market mainly serves beer, but they also have limited wine and spirit options. They have 12 beers on tap, which are frequently updated. Juz hopped back to beer with a Van Diemen’s White Ale while Dave got a nice and hoppy ale.

 

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Outside, they had a great little beer garden covered in Astroturf, with various nooks and crannies and giant games like Jenga and Connect 4. Dave found the urinal hilarious and was a little unsure about using it at first. It’s a one-way mirror that looks out at the beer garden.

 

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The New Sydney Hotel

This place was rumoured to be popular with the locals, and it was evident when we walked it because it was fairly packed. We ordered our drinks at the bar – Dave got a beer and some water to cure his hiccups while Juz got another rum but missed the name. She thinks it might have been Matusalem.

 

Outside in the beer garden, which was more like an alley decked out with stools, there was a huge 2 metre square fire pit with a hills hoist above it, connected to bike chains and cranks. We questioned their intention and they simply said, “to cook meat”. We wish we could be around to see that.

 

 

The Winston

It was clear that this was a local favourite. Located about 20 minutes on foot out of the city, The Winston is an American influenced bar with a great menu of drinks and food.

 

Because this was our last stop, we had dinner. Dave ordered the novel Winston burger with deep fried bacon, grilled chicken, and dill ranch sauce between two waffles – served in a dog bowl. He also got a beer, but currently cannot remember what he got because at that stage of the night, he was a little trolleyed. Juz ordered the buffalo chicken burger with blue cheese sauce and fries, as well as some buffalo wings and onion rings to share with Dave. For drinks, she had a Dictador rum.

 

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We walked home after our huge dinner, got settled in the hostel and chilled out for the rest of the night.

 

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Rum : The Bundaberg Distillery

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Huzzah!  We arrived in Bundaberg on an absolutely stunning May morning and it would have been absolute poppycock if we didn’t go and visit the home of a great Aussie legend, Bundaberg Rum.  After spending the day seeing the sights and exploring the Capricorn Coast, we stopped in at the Bundaberg Distillery for a tour with Tammy and Chauntelle, and some serious a’rum’atherapy.

 

The History of Rum in Australia

The first inklings of rum began in the 17th century when English settlers in the West Indies started to produce a clear alcoholic drink from sugar cane.  They would still import sherry and port in oak barrels, but when returning them to the homeland, they would return them filled with rum, thus creating dark rum.

 

By the late 1700s, rum had become a popular drink, particularly amongst sailors on the First Fleet.  A monopoly over the rum trade was held by the NSW Corps (aka Rum Corps), and when Governor William Bligh cracked down on the rum trade, the head of the Rum Corps staged a revolt on the Government House in Sydney.  This event is known as the Rum Rebellion and it was Australia’s one and only military coup.

 

The Rum Corps ruled the colony until 1810 when Britain sent over another bloke, Lachlan Macquarie, to step in as Governor and disband the Rum Corps.

 

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The Distillery

Established in 1888, the Bundaberg Distillery uses molasses from a neighbouring sugar mill to make delicious rum.  These days, the raw molasses is stored in three massive wells that can hold a total of 10 million litres.  When we were in the molasses building, we were overwhelmed at the volume of thick, sticky goo that was held in the well, despite it being nowhere near half full.

 

BDC-Molasses-Well

Source: http://www.bundabergrumshowcase.com.au/

 

Once the molasses is clarified and cleaned of impurities, it’s mixed with yeast to ferment.  The yeast that they use is the same strain that they used back in 1888, and they even make use of a ‘yeast bank’ in England (National Collection of Yeast Cultures) to ensure that their yeast is pure and true.

 

Once the yeast and molasses are combined in a fermenting vat, it turns into a frothy cappuccino as the yeast consumes the sugars in the molasses and poops out alcohol.  This mixture is only 50% alcohol so it’s double distilled to maximise the alcohol content before being put into enormous American white oak vats to mature.  Each vat costs $100,000 to build and is employed for 80-100 years.  The oldest vat at the distillery, which is affectionately referred to as a ‘she’, is around 70 years old.  There’s 300 vats on site and each one holds 75,000 litres, which means there is over 22 million litres of Bundy Rum maturing on site.

 

bundaberg-rum-huge-vats Photographer: Peter Lik

 

Since its birth, the distillery has seen a few catastrophes.  In 1907, a devastating fire blazed at the site, lighting up the entire town, and to this day, the cause of the fire is unknown.  Despite the nearby river, water was not readily available to fight the fire so it was left to burn, along with 150,000 gallons of rum and all of the company’s machinery.  They were back up and running within a year.  There was another fire around 30 years later, caused by a bolt of lightning, and just as it did in 1907, the fire lit up the town and could be seen from hundreds of kilometres away.

 

In 2013 when floods covered Bundaberg, the distillery not only donated a large sum of money to assist with the recovery efforts, but they also released limited edition Road to Recovery bottles of five year old rum, with local street names printed on the labels.  Every house that was affected by the floods received a bottle, and any leftover were sold to raise more money.

 

Bundaberg Distillery Co. is also very proud to be environmentally aware, recycling water and waste whenever possible, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, producing recyclable packaging using alternative materials, and encouraging staff to recycle and participate in environmental initiatives like Clean Up Australia Day.

 

The Rum

If you have ever wondered why there’s a polar bear on the Bundaberg label, it’s because Bundaberg Rum can warm even the chilliest of chills, and it was also an attempt to win over Aussies in the southern states.  These days, the bear remains the spirit of the company and the burn on the rum is nicknamed the bear bite.

 

After we had strolled the museum and explored the distillery, it was time to head into the bar to samples two rums of our choice.  We each chose two rums and promised the other that they could have a taste as well.  These are the rums we chose:

 

  • Blenders 2015 – released the Saturday before our arrival, this gorgeous rum has a sweet smell and bear bite entry, with a sweet port finish that is mellow and worth savouring. If you see it at the shops, buy two bottles – one to enjoy now and another to start your collection.
  • Blenders 2014 – this rum was light yellow in colour and tasted much like whiskey. Dave really enjoyed this one.
  • Two Eighty – named after the amount of barrels that were made of this limited edition, it had a smooth honey taste with a bear bite finish.
  • Mutiny – this spiced rum was made to mix with cola. It’s very smooth and sweet with the flavours of vanilla.

 

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The Essentials

It was awesome to visit the home and birthplace of an Aussie legend.  It was also great to witness the fitness of another Big Thing – the Big Bundy bottle that stands outside the Visitor Centre.

 

Tours run every day, every hour on the hour between 10am and 3pm (or 2pm on weekends and public holidays).  For more information and to plan your visit, check out their website: http://www.bundabergrum.com.au/

 

The Tablelands

The Tablelands – Part 1 : Ravenshoe to Mareeba

The Tablelands

 

We were absolutely thrilled when we hit the Tablelands.  The contrast in scenery from the dry, dusty outback to moist, green rolling hills was refreshing to our eyes, but also sparked nostalgia for the Victorian countryside.  Known as the ‘food bowl of the tropics’, the Tablelands has the perfect environment for dairy farming and growing crops like tropical fruit and coffee, so the gourmet food and wine trails are fantastic.  The natural beauty of the region is also undeniable and includes waterfall circuits, stunning rainforests, craters, lakes and unique wildlife.

 

The Tablelands was immediately put on our list of favourite places in Australia, and as we planned our travels, we were happy to realise that we’d be passing through the region twice!  This is our first instalment of the Tablelands, starting from Ravenshoe, and following the road north through Atherton and Mareeba.  Our next instalment will include Kuranda, Yungaburra, Malanda and Milla Milla – stay tuned.

 

Ravenshoe

It was too early in the morning for us to go exploring Ravenshoe, but we were still stoked about being in the highest town in Queensland.  This cute, little town sits at an altitude of 920m above sea level and is surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest.  On our way out, we passed the highest pub in Queensland, and lamented that it was too early in the day for a bevy.

 

The Tablelands

 

Millstream Falls

This was our first stop from the west, and as we walked down the winding path to the falls, we sucked in the delicious forest air.  Millstream Falls is the widest single drop waterfall in the world.

 

Mount Hypipamee National Park

On the way to Atherton, we stopped in at Mount Hypipamee National Park to check out the crater of the same name, and Dinner Falls.  We were surrounded by lush foliage, bush turkeys scratching around in the undergrowth and the soothing scents of the forest.

 

The Tablelands

 

The Mount Hypipamee Crater was very deep, with a manky, green pool at the bottom.  This crater is actually a diatreme, which is a volcanic pipe that was created by a gaseous explosion.  Dinner Falls was also a treat to see, and once we got back to the Troopy, it was time for breakfast.

 

The Tablelands

 

Atherton

Atherton is a great little town that was named after a bloke called John Atherton, who settled in the area in the 1870s.  It’s the ‘capital’ of the Tablelands and the population sits at around 7000 people.  There are two major supermarkets, a few parks that are perfect for picnics, and a central visitor information centre staffed by helpful locals. There are also several attractions in and around town that are definitely worth checking out.

 

The Crystal Caves and Fascinating Facets

An award-winning tourist attraction and we could see why.  The Crystal Caves are a fantasy wonderland located right on the main street of Atherton and would make any fossil fanatic or gemstone buff squeal with delight.  Fascinating Facets is almost like a museum on its own with a fabulous display of fossils, gemstones and jewellery, and you just have to try the chocolate – YUM!

 

The Crystal Caves

 

The Peanut Place

Queensland produces 95% of Australia’s peanuts, and considering that it’s the main ingredient n peanut butter, one of Juz’s favourite things, we had to check out the Peanut Place.

 

Despite the suspiciously shaped mascot standing at the front of the store, which also happens to be the Big Peanut, we found their variety of peanut products to be very impressive – sweet nuts, savoury nuts, nut butter, nut ice cream, boiled nuts, roasted, salted, the list goes on.  They were featured on the front cover of the local newspaper for their delicious chocolate peanut butter spread, and we also sampled the peanut ice cream.  As you can imagine, nearly everything they sell has peanuts in them so anaphylactics can wait in the car.

 

The Tablelands

 

Tinaroo Lake

This man-made dam is a great place for a family picnic.  There are picnic benches, shady trees, BBQs and a big playground, and you can even hire a boat for a paddle on the lake.

 

Mareeba

Another cute town in the Tablelands, they say that Mareeba is where the rainforest meets the outback.  The area is occupied by a variety of crops, such as mangoes, sugarcane, avocadoes, exotic fruits, as well as coffee plantations. There is also a fantastic Heritage Museum at the Visitor Centre that sheds light on the local tobacco and mining industries, aboriginal culture and pioneer history, with lots of historical memorabilia on display.  Entry is by gold coin donation – and it’s well worth it.

 

The Tablelands

 

Our day was to include a visit to Coffee Works, Mount Uncle Distillery and de Brueys Wines so we prepared for the day by visiting Curcio’s Drive-Thru Bakery to break the fast with chunky curry pies, and bacon–infused sausage rolls at very reasonable prices.

 

The Tablelands

 

Coffee Works

You could easily spend the whole day at Coffee Works.  While there is a colourful gift shop and café onsite, entry to Coffee World will take you on the ultimate coffee-lovers adventure.  Not only will you have unlimited access to their variety of coffees, teas, chocolate and liqueurs, but you will discover things about coffee that you never dreamed of in the museum.  Their collection of coffee paraphernalia is biggest in the world, with many being either one of a kind, or the last one remaining in the world.  Amazing…

 

Coffee Works

 

Mount Uncle’s Distillery

For those why love a bit of spirit, you can’t go past Mount Uncle’s Distillery.  Their vodka is pristine, their gin is sublime, and regardless of whether you’re a rum gulper or a whiskey sipper, you’ll enjoy the Iridium Gold Rum.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

De Brueys Boutique Wines

Usually, wine and grapes go hand in hand but not at De Brueys.  Their wines, ports and liqueurs don’t contain grapes; instead they’re made from exotic fruits like mango, lychee and bush cherry.  They even have a wine made from jaboticaba, a cauliflora fruit from Brazil.  If you like Irish Cream, then you’ll love their Temptation Range.  While we really enjoyed Envy with its delicious honeydew melon flavour, the Coffee Temptation was our clear winner and we left with a bottle.

 

The Tablelands

 

As we made our way to camp, the sun was setting over the distant hills, and we drove past the Mareeba Wetlands just in time for the sky to burst with the colours of mangoes and bananas.

 

Information & Accommodation

The Atherton Information Centre is located on the corner of Main & Silo Rd Atherton.  They are open daily from 9am to 5pm.  For more information, visit www.athertoninformationcentre.com.au

The Mareeba Heritage Museum & Tourist Information Centre is open daily from 8am to 4pm and is at 345 Byrnes Street, Mareeba.  To find out more, visit www.mareebaheritagecentre.com.au

 

Rifle Creek Rest Area

Just south of Mount Molloy is a spacious rest area.  Cold showers and toilets are provided, a small donation for the convenience is appreciated.

 

Rocky Creek Memorial Park

A few clicks north of Tolga, this war memorial park is right next door to a rest area that can get rather busy during peak season.  Phone reception and clean toilets are on offer, as well as the opportunity to give a small donation for the convenience.

 

The Tablelands

 

Stay tuned for The Tablelands – Part 2, which will include Kuranda, Yungaburra, Malanda and Millaa Millaa.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

Taste : Mt Uncle Distillery

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

Located in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands, Mt Uncle Distillery is North Queensland’s first and oldest distillery.  Their delicious liqueurs & spirits are made with locally sourced ingredients and are fermented and distilled on site.

 

The Distillery

The distillery opened in 2004 and is located on what used to be a cattle property that adjoins Mt Uncle, hence the name.  The logo comes from the old cattle brand that they would burn onto the cows’ butts. The owner and master distiller, Mark Watkins was available to show us around the distillery and walk us through the process of making his award-winning products.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

The distillery includes a 12,000 litre jacketed fermenter that ferments the wash with a naturally occurring yeast to about 10% alcohol over 2 weeks.  The wash is then transferred to a 1,500 litre copper pot still – aka the Mothership.  The distillation process produces three products – the head comes first and contains all the bad alcohol (acetone), the heart is the good stuff at between 68% and 90% alcohol, and the tails is everything under 68%.  The tails smell like wet dog, but is reused in the next batch so the alcohol content doesn’t go to waste.

 

After the distillation, the spirits travel on different paths.  Clear spirits like the gin and vodka are chill-filtered at -6°C while the rum and whiskey get barrelled.  The Barrelling Room – aka the Crypt – was perfumed with Angels Share and stacked to the ceiling with barrels.  The whiskey is aged in hybrid barrels with a French oak body and American oak head for 5 years while the rum is aged in American oak.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

The Spirits

After our tour of the distillery, we took a seat at the bar in anticipation of the tasting.  Mark introduced us to Fruitcake, his super cute pet rainbow lorikeet, who then proceeded to trash the tasting area and terrorise the till, squawking at anyone who came close to his precious coins.  With the till draw shut (with Fruitcake inside), we commenced the tasting:

 

  • Anjea Vodka – made from local Ironbark honey and local sugarcane, it was very smooth and sophisticated.
  • Botanic Australis Gin – Using a 300 year old London dry recipe, Mark added 14 Aussie botanicals to give this gin a truly unique flavour. While it smells like orange cake, the flavours were full of lilli pilli and strawberry gum, citrus from the lemon scented gum and lemon myrtle.  This is a very special gin.
  • Platinum White Rum – sweet and smooth with a lovely malty scent.
  • Iridium Gold Rum – Despite the whiskey scent, it was all rum with a sweet, smooth entry. Perfect for both rum and whiskey drinkers.
  • Big Black Cock (BBC) Whiskey – this single malt whiskey was smooth with a burst of spirit.
  • SexyCat Marshmallow Liqueur – bring on the musk lollies! A wonderfully sweet liqueur with a gorgeous rose pink colour. Perfect for 21st birthdays, hens nights, or a big gay fiesta, Sexycat is the first and only marshmallow liqueur in the world and it’s Mt Uncle’s best seller.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

The Essentials

Mt Uncle Distillery is open 7 days from 10am to 4:30pm and the address is 1819 Chewko Road, Walkamin QLD. Lunchtime is the best time to visit Mt Uncle Distillery – after your tasting, have lunch at Bridges Café and sample their huge selection of teas from around the world.

 

For more information, contact Mt Uncle Distillery on 07 486 8008 or email them at info@mtuncle.com.  Mt Uncle’s also do weddings and events – to enquire, email events@mtuncle.com.

 

Mt Uncle Distillery

 

The Diversion Dam

Town Profile : Kununurra

With a name that means Big Water, Kununurra is located on the Ord River at the eastern end of the Kimberley.  It’s a true outback town with an agricultural background that dates back to 1887.  The Ord River supplies the area with lots of fresh water and farming in the area includes mangoes, melons and sugar cane.

 

Kununurra Markets

 

The Ord Irrigation Scheme started in the 1960s with the construction of the Diversion Dam just outside of Kununurra to supply water to about 9,000 hectares of farmland in the Ivanhoe Plain.  A decade later, the Ord Dam was built and increased the irrigated farmland by 10,000 hectares.  In the 1990s, a hydro-electric station was built to supply power to the surrounding towns and mining operation.  They are currently working on the next stage of the project which has been in the works for the last 30 years.  The Government of Western Australia and the Commonwealth have contributed over $500 million to construct a major irrigation channel that is hoped to improve infrastructure and supply remote aboriginal communities.  There is also newly released agricultural land available for development, which brings to the total area of farmland in the region to over 29,000 hectares, with Lake Argyle being the water supply.

 

Kununurra is the only known location of Zebra Rock, fine grained siliceous argillite with bands or spots of red on white.  The origin of zebra rock has puzzled geologists for the last 40 years but they believe it was formed 600 million years ago.

 

While we were in Kununurra, we took the Troopy in for some mechanical work after our bungle near the Bungle Bungles and the folk at Kimberley Mechanical & Tilt Tray Services did an awesome job at repairing our free-wheeling hub, as well as a bunch of other stuff that was close to falling apart.

 

KMTT - best mechanics in town!

 

POINTS OF INTEREST

Celebrity Tree Park & Lily Creek Lagoon

Celebrity Tree Park opened in 1984 and is a large grassed area with various tree species scattered through the park.  Most trees in the park were planted by a celebrity; Andrew Daddo, Rolf Harris, John Farnham or Princess Anne.

 

The park overlooks Lily Creek Lagoon, and from here you can see the Sleeping Buddha rock formation in the distance.

 

 

Mirima National Park (Hidden Valley)

Only 3km from town, Hidden Valley was declared a National Park in 1982 to protect the natural rock formations that are similar to the Bungle Bungles.  We did all three of the walking trails in the park – two of which were lookouts and one was a bush tucker trail.

 

Hidden Valley National Park

 

Kelly’s Knob

Next to Mirima National Park is another rocky peak called Kelly’s Knob.  Drive up and look out over Kununurra.

 

Diversion Dam

This was the first part of the Ord Irrigation Scheme and was completed in 1962.  The dam regulates the water level of Lake Kununurra to manage seasonal floods and also divert water to irrigate the surrounding farmland.

 

 

Lake Argyle

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw it.  Australia’s biggest man-made lake – so huge that it’s actually classified as an inland sea.  It covers 1000 square kilometres and has 21 times more water than Sydney Harbour.  It is home to a variety of wildlife like wallabies, freshwater crocodiles, and about 240 bird species, which is about a third of Australia’s total known bird species.

 

Lake Argyle exists because of the Ord River Dam, which was completed in the early 1970s as the second installation of the Ord Irrigation Scheme. The dam is a rockfill dam with an impervious core made of clay, stands 98 metres high from the foundations and contains a tunnel that runs from the Intake Tower to the valve anchor.  There is also the Ord Hydro Station, which was built in the 1990s and supplies power to the Argyle village, Kununurra, Wyndham and the nearby diamond mine.

 

We spent the afternoon in Picnic Park, which is on the lower side of the dam.  It was lush, shady and green with a few BBQs to cook lunch (and dinner).  Afterwards, as we slowly made our way back to the main road, we stopped at lookouts, watched boats cruising between the steep, rocky walls and checked out Dead Horse Spring.

 

Lake Argyle

 

FOOD & DRINK

Gulliver’s Tavern

Our first night in Kununurra screamed for a night at the pub.  Of all the pubs in Kununurra, Gulliver’s was recommended the most in terms of food and atmosphere.  When we got there, we could see why.  The bar is decorated with a line of motorbikes (so was the IGA, weirdly enough), and the beer garden is spacious with a big screen to watch sports or music video clips.

 

Dinner was a steak sandwich and a chicken parmigiana, both of which were delicious (even though the parma lacked ham and the schnitzel was put on top of the chips).  The steak sanga was a soft foccacia bun stuffed with smokey bacon, tender steak, egg and bacon, cheese, lettuce and BBQ sauce.  The chicken parma was nice and thick but a little overcooked, and put on top of the chips (much to Juz’s annoyance).  The drinks were cheap and hit the spot nicely.

 

 

The Hoochery Distillery

We were taken to the Hoochery by some locals and got two tasting paddles at $5 each, as well as some spiked cake.  Check out our post on the oldest distillery in WA.

 

The Barra Shak

We received a very strong recommendation to go to the Barra Shak and we weren’t disappointed.  Check out our post on the Barra Shak.

 

 

INFORMATION & ACCOMMODATION

The Visitor Centre is located at 75 Coolibah Drive, across the road from the Tuckerbox IGA.  If you’re looking for cheap diesel, check out the Ord River District Co-Op just north of town.

 

Lake Kununurra – Lakeview Drive, 08 9168 1031

Kimberley Croc YHA – 120 Konkerberry Drive, 08 9168 2702 

 

Crossing the border

 

Tasting paddles - The Hoochery

Experience : The Hoochery Distillery

We were taken to the Hoochery by Jarrod and Crystal on our way to Keep River, and we were excited about our first real distillery experience.

 

The Hoochery

 

About the Hoochery

Located about 15km north of Kununurra, the Hoochery is the oldest legal still in Western Australia and produces 100% Australian Ord River Rum.  It is a family owned and operated business that tries to use locally grown products whenever possible.

 

The owner, Raymond Dessert III (Spike) arrived in the Kimberley in 1972 and settled down to develop his business in seeds.  With the rise of the sugar cane industry in the Ord River Valley and an inspiring trip down to the wineries of southern Australia, Spike returned to Kununurra to create Ord River Rum using local sugar cane, wet season rainwater and yeast.

 

These days, the Hoochery is open 7 days a week until the start of the wet season, offering counter lunches, cake and tasting paddles in their rustic showroom and eating area.  Distillery tours run daily and farm tours are also available.

 

243 Weaber Plains Road, Kununurra

Phone: 08 9168 2467

Website: www.hoochery.com.au

 

The Hoochery

 

The Hooch

We got two tasting paddles at $5 each and tried the entire selection (except for the Aquardiente Verde Liquer, which tastes like aniseed).

 

  • Kimberley Moon Premium White Rum – 40%. Clear liquid matured in oak barrels for a smooth and light flavour… almost like vodka!
  • Ord River Rum (Premium) – 40%. It had a great smell and the flavour was full of oak, honey and dates.  It had a strong, spirited kick with a bit of burn.
  • Spike’s Reserve – 43%. Aged for 10 years, it had a sweet smell and a smooth entry but exploded with spirit and burn at the end.
  • Ord River Rum (Overproof) – 56.4%. Charcoal filtered for full flavour and a smooth finish, this rum was sweet like honey, almost viscous and very spirited.  There was a pleasant oaky flavour as well.
  • Ord River Rum (Barrel Strength) – 70%. WOW! This stuff will melt your face and blow your socks off!
  • Cane Royale Liqueur – 28%. Full of coffee, chocolate and rum, this stuff was divine and perfect for drizzling on top of your dessert.

 

 

The Cake

We got to sample some of their famous rum cake, as well as a slice of the spiced mango cake.

 

Juz’s first impression of the rum cake was that it needed more rum – it tasted very much like a plain chocolate cake.  She loved the spiced mango cake – the nutmeg really stood out even though it was super sweet, and it reminded her of Christmas.