It’s been a difficult few days but with the funeral behind us we try to slow down and enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle of life. Our friends and hosts suggest a nice Sunday drive to a winery and an area called the wetlands. Sounds good…..but I ask will there be kangaroos on this trip? I’m Canadian and imagine them to be just like squirrels are in Canada, so surely they will be hanging around.
It is the start of autumn in Victoria and the colours are beginning to change. We have just left Niagara where spring is valiantly trying to emerge and put the long winter behind us. We call ahead to ensure there is a cheese tray because in my opinion Australia has some of the world’s finest cheeses and I need my fix. Our first stop is Tallis Wine in Dookie, Victoria where environmental awareness, red volcanic loam and handcrafted old world winemaking practices make this worth the trip. Tallis is taking steps towards organic viticulture through the use mulch and beneficial insects in the vineyard. We enjoy our tasting but are distracted by the breathtaking autumn views. The panoramic window behind the tasting bar makes me think that Tallis must be a lovely place to work. Our regional tasting platter is ready so I choose the Silent Showman Shiraz 2010 to settle in and enjoy the outdoor terrace overlooking their hiking trail.The afternoon is turning out to be a little slice of heaven.
Feeling quite zen like, it is time to move on and go see the sunset over the wetlands. On our way we see sheep, cows and alpacas but the best sighting is the kangaroos. They are plentiful and we try to photograph them as they hop across the country road in front of us. We click away with very little luck as they move too fast. No one will ever believe that I saw dozens of kangaroos in the wild without the photographic proof…..no even an Instagram that is clear.
As we arrive into the wetlands we are taken by the expansive size of the area, 8,750 hectare. Winton Wetlands, according to the Benalla Master Plan was a food bowl for indigenous peoples. In later years it was Victoria’s largest water storage supplying water to farm crops. Now it is a 10 year wetland restoration project with the goal of promoting nature based recreation and tourism. Part of their plan is to provide a stunning backdrop for hiking, cycling, birdwatching and sightseeing. The sun is setting and we imagine what it would be like to cycle through this incredible natural beauty. Time to get out of the car, cameras in hand and try to capture the images that surround us. The autumn sun sets so quickly we are all speechless as we snap away.