An early birthday getaway to Amamoor Homestead

The SO is not usually the most romantic person in the world, so when he told me weeks ago he had a surprise in store for my birthday, I was curious and desperately annoyed that he was keeping the details from me, because I hate surprises.

He finally relented a week or two beforehand and let me in on the secret: we were to go horse riding in the Mary Valley.

I have always loved horses and even though there weren’t many opportunities to ride in Singapore, my parents still managed to get me riding lessons whenever we holidayed in Genting Highlands. However it’s been years since I last got on a horse, so the SO’s treat was a fantastic surprise.

As the drive to Mary Valley Adventure Trails up in Amamoor would take 2 hours, we drove up on Friday night after work and stayed the night at the Amamoor Homestead B&B. It’s a gorgeous property with a dam (and ducks), chicken, fruit trees and cottages, but we stayed in the main house. The owner Ken was very hospitable and organised a wood fire, showed us the spa bath, and organised a bus (the owner of the pub drives it) to take us to the local Kandanga Hotel/pub for dinner (which he, his brother-in-law and a friend joined us).

Kandanga Hotel

Kandanga Hotel

Kandanga Hotel

Kandanga Hotel

Have you ever watched Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert? Remember the scenes when the characters rock into a small town pub full of locals? The atmosphere at the Kandanga Hotel felt a little like that initially, what with the locals crammed in for the raffle (prizes included meat trays and credit at the Hotel) and I being the only Asian in sight, but everyone was very friendly and loud! It was fun watching the punters give each other a ribbing or cheer at the telly screen airing the Broncos vs Rabbitohs game. Shouts of “Go the Rabbitohs!” are still ringing in my ears.

We left early and got the backyard fire going. The SO and I allowed it to burn down, so we could adjust our eyes to the night sky. It was so beautiful and I was shocked by how much we could see. We even found the Southern Cross and watched as the constellations shifted over time.

Amamoor Homestead

Come the morning, Ken had a beautiful breakfast ready for us. We had a choice between two kinds of cereal, then there was a bowl of fruit salad for each of us. And to finish it off, we had scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato and toast.

Amamoor HomesteadGetting to know the people over such a short 24 hours has opened my eyes to how wonderfully open and friendly people in the country are and there is no doubt I would love to visit again to stay for longer.

But first, to the horses!