By EM RUSCIANO
When I was contacted to take part in an “Instameet” I initially thought it had something to do with online dating and I had visions of speed dating over Skype with men who have glamour pictures of their mothers behind them.
Turns out an Instameet involves getting a whole lot of people together – who have a bit of social media cred – and getting them to take photos of a particular subject matter. They then post it on their Instagram for their followers to enjoy/be envious of. We had a few communal hash tags going and it was all in the name of encouraging you lot to look at “Monday as the new Sunday”.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is brought to you by our partners at Great Ocean Road marketing. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Our subject matter was the Great Ocean Road. I know.. I hate me a little bit too.
We had three days of road tripping ahead of us, which would involve wineries, hot springs, nature walks, gourmet meals, horse back riding.. I’m not helping you like me again am I?
As we board our white Europcar people movers, I heard a very distinctive voice say “G’day love, I’m Lynne and this is Ada”. All of a sudden I was at the diner in Summer Bay because… yes friends, Home and Away royalty sat before me: Lynne McGranger who plays Irene and Ada Nicodemou who plays Leah were my car buddies.
We were also joined by Melbourne-based DJ Andy Murphy, Melbourne artistic duo Melissa Findley and Steen Jones, model Alex Davis and talented photographers and Instagram super stars Pauly Vella, Lauren Bath, Matt and Mia Glastonbury. Our combined Instagram following and audience for our weekend: more than 600,000 Instagram users.
DAY ONE: Melbourne to Timboon to Warrnambool to Port Fairy (and back to Warrnambool)
Our first stop, after two hours of Ada threatening to chunder every five minutes, was the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. We were served one HELL of a tasting plate/anit-pasto, we were able to legitimately do day-time whiskey shots (Lynne was VERY good at this) and ate home made ice cream.
Once the eating Olympics finished we rolled back into the cars and headed toward Warrnambool. On arrival at the hotel I was faced with three difficult choices in the activities department. 1. Horse-back riding on the beach. 2. Sunset at Tower Hill nature reserve. 3. Geothermal mineral hot springs conveniently located at our hotel.
While I’ve always loved the idea of donning a white chiffon gown, growing my hair long and delicately galloping along a stunning beach atop my pure white palomino, it was bloody cold and so it will come as no shock that I chose the in-house geothermal spa.
In “Warrnie” we stayed at the Deep Blue . It was perfectly lovely, the aforementioned in-house hot springs is a pretty big bonus.
After my taking giant bath I was pretty hungry so we all headed into Port Fairy to visit Victoria’s oldest Inn, Merrijig Kitchen. We ate for Australia there; three courses off their local seasonal menu and a few local bio-dynamic and organic wines.