Summer is here! Which mean summer holidays are upon us and given most of the borders are open again its the perfect time to plan your adventures. When was your last visit to The Limestone Coast? If you can’t remember, it’s clearly time to pack your bags and get on the road. Here are some of our favourite places to go as well as some must-see things to do.
Since there is so much to see and do in this wonderful region of ours, so we thought we’d compile a helpful guide of some absolutely must see and do things, as well as a few of our favourite places in the Limestone Coast. Please let us know if what you think of our suggestions and don’t forget to tag us in your social snaps #koonara
Our Cellar Door – 44 Church Street All freshly painted and looking schmico our Cellar door is primed and ready to see you. You will need to register your visit with a QR code but otherwise it’s business pretty much as usual. With all of our wines available for tasting and a huge array of gifts, clothing and homewares to peruse. There is something for everyone.
While in Penola Wander down Penola’s historic Petticoat Lane, and step back in time to life in the 19th century. See the first settlers’ original cottages and grab a healthy snack from Penola’s community produce garden. Also make sure you say hello to Gertie the Alpaca.
Time for Coffee? If you are looking for a quick lunch check out Moss & Wild a new cafe in the heart of Penola (opposite Koonara) – or if you are after something a bit special Ottelia + Fodder in Coonawarra has Melbourne’s ex-Supernormal chef cooking some amazing food.
More Wine anyone? Bellwether Wines is a must to check out whille you are visiting Coonawarra. Winemaker Sue Bell has sensitively converted the 1868 Glen Roy Shearing Shed into Bellwether’s cellar door and a community kitchen. They have a produce chef on staff to match local produce with wine, and you can even spend the night ‘Glamping’ at their onsite camp grounds. For even more suggestions check our out See & Do page
Naracoorte World Heritage Caves Naracoorte Caves National Park is South Australia’s only World Heritage site. The caves have acted as pitfall traps and owl roosting sites, collecting animals for at least 500,000 years. The Caves preserve the most complete fossil record we have for this period of time, spanning several ice ages, the arrival of humans in the area and the extinction of Australia’s iconic Megafauna roughly 60,000 years ago.
The heart of The Limestone coast you could say. No visit to The Limestone Coast would be complete without a stop in Mount Gambier. With so much to see and do, make sure you spend a few days in the Mount.
The Blue Lake The Blue Lake in Mount Gambier occupies one of the craters of the extinct volcano after which the city has been named. There is a 3.6-kilometre road and walking track around the circumference of the Blue Lake provides access to many viewing points. It’s absolutely amazing at this time of year as the water mysteriously changes to a deep turquoise blue. This is one attraction you will want to share all over Instagram, no filter needed I promise.
Shopping up a storm Be sure to nip into Lima and Co while you are in Mt Gambier. Exquisite fashions, gorgeous pillows and throws, luxe candles and soaps, leather bags, cowhide stools, inspirational reads, or cleansing herbal teas are just a few of the things you will find when you visit. Probably best to send husbands and kids over to the cave gardens while you shop.
Don’t ScRoll past this one Come and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. These guys specialise in everything ScRolls! The most popular and my favourite too is the Classic Cinnascrolls, a cinnamon flavoured ScRoll topped with a vanilla glaze… mmmm I’m salivating just thinking about it.
More Coffee anyone? Because you know how much we love coffee, the latest addition to the coffee scene in Mt Gambier just had to get a mention. Confession on Commercial Street West is a quirky, industrial-chic cafe, with so much lush green jungle foliage you are transported from the moment you enter. It’s totally Melbourne in the Mount.
Robe & Surrounds
No visit to the Limestone coast is complete without a trip to the beautiful coastline of Robe. Stunning one day and perfect the next. We absolutly love Robe in the summertime and think you will too.
Feeling Pekish? Robe has a wealth of great food, wine and shopping. For your morning coffee head to Drift Cafe in the main street. Looking for an afternoon wine? The Governor Robe Attic House on the main street is a good place to rest tired feet. If you fancy locally caught seafood Sails at Robe is an excellent choice.
Holiday Experience Since you are on holidays why not indulge and head to Maruya Station. Mayura Station is in the heart of some of the best farming country in Australia. This pristine environment is ideal for producing the ultimate quality, award-winning Wagyu beef. The Tasting Room is a boutique facility offering the ultimate paddock to plate experience. The tasting room is located on-farm at Mayura Station approximately 10 minutes from the Millicent town centre
Time for a beer? After all your wine tasting in Coonawarra you might be looking for a cleansing ale – visit Loophole Brewing’s new brewhouse located next to the Caledonian Inn, or The Black Swan (who also do some amazing cocktails).
Costal shopping Once owned by Dru and Nicole – Loaves and Fishes holds a special place in our hearts. It has a huge range of gifts and homewares, the latest in contemporary living, bedroom, kitchen, beauty, jewellery, baby gifting, affordable art, and packaged regional treats with relaxed coastal style. Make sure you pop in and say hello to Melissa and the team.
We all know how this story goes, your bin is overflowing with packaging and wrapping paper, you have more food waste than you know what to do with and your credit card statement is the stuff nightmares are made of come January.
If there is anything 202 has taught us amidst a global pandemic that surely, it’s the people and moments, we value more than the things and stuff. (Although I think Australia Post might think differently with the amount of buying our feelings, we did this year)
So how can you be a little bit more mindful this year?
Given we live in a culture of now, I know when I want or need something I tend to go and buy it. This makes what may have been a great gift idea for a birthday or Christmas non-existent. Consider gifting experiences to people for things they may not do themselves or things that they would use anyway. Things like Restaurant and Cinema gift vouchers, Memberships to Zoos, attractions or educational programs for the kids. My favourite is shared experiences where you get in on the action too. I’m not going to lie I’m a little partial to some day spa time with Nicole. She has a lovely time and so do I.
Consider how you wrap
While a big part of the emotional connection to Christmas is unwrapping presents, you can still achieve the same effect but by using scarves, or fabrics even pillowcases or tea towels. Tash our Ballarat Rep, tells me that she always sees heaps of scarves at op shops for next to nothing. The receiver can then re-use the scarf or tea towel for practical purposes or maybe even use it to wrap a present they are going to gift.
Have a think about how many people you are catering for and what dishes you will be serving. By being more mindful you can work around what exactly you need to purchase, where leftovers can be used and incorporated into new dishes to ensure you only buy what you need. If you plan ahead you can even avoid the Christmas rush t ensure you have all the non-perishables purchased prior to reduce your time in the shop come Christmas eve. If time permits it’s a great idea to give your fridge and pantry a big of a tidy before Christmas too. This of course lets you see what’s been hiding away in the dark deep corners and what has expired. Nothing worse than going to get something only to find its at the back of the fridge and its growing who knows what (ok that’s just me??)
Ditch the plastic
There will always be leftovers, this much I’m sure of. But instead of going to town with the clingwrap consider using containers with lids or reusable beeswax food wraps. This is a really simple switch to make in your day to day life which is great o carry on into the new year. Ditching the plastic should also apply to the single-use plates and cups, knives and forks you might be tempted to use. Yes, doing the dishes does suck, but some of the best conversations can happen at the sink. You don’t get that with throw away stuff. Consider using reusable glassware outside, we do happen to have the perfect glasses for that.
Ditch the Christmas Cards and Send emails or E’cards
Let’s be honest, sending a card with a generic message really doesn’t mean a great deal, yeas you took the time to hand write it but Chances are its more significant if you actually sit down and compose a message direct to the person. Of course, you may still need to send a few paper cards to Aunt Flo and Uncle Brian who haven’t got the internet yet but reducing the number you send is the perfect start.
There are a host of other ways you can be more eco, from Solar powered Christmas lights, to regifting dud presents, shopping at op shops, gifting to charity instead of gifting full stop the list is endless, but hopefully these few tips will help you make some smarter choices this festive season.
Things can be tough in lockdown so I have created a list of things that can help. Often a toxic build-up can push the body over the edge to sickness in times of stress, so here is a list of things that can reduce the toxic load.
Creating a habit can be the hardest thing, so maybe just pick one or two of these things to start with.
Cut out sugar and reduce non-complex carbs like bread. Sugar is the world’s single biggest addiction. Taking it out of your system for a while has a chance to put your body into Ketosis, where your body breaks down fats instead of sugar for fuel, helping weight loss. But first, you need to remove inflammation from your body, and sugar is the main cause of this. It can really mess with your gut bacteria; which research has shown is the key to a good mood. In fact, there are over 35,000 medical research papers on inflammation and its link to disease.
Vitamin C – 2,000mg (2g) – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that donates an electron to free radicals which neutralizes them. Free radicals would otherwise cause oxidative stress on the body by creating damage in cells. vitamin C protects white blood cells against attacks from pathogens and free radicals. Also shown to help reduce cancer tumours , and the Chinese have been using it successfully to treat COVID-19, yet you won’t see anything about it, as Facebook and YouTube have been shutting down anyone mentioning it..
Glycine – This binds to the part of your body where the toxic herbicide Glyphosate accumulates, allowing it to be excreted from the body. Studies show higher amounts of Glyphosate in urine shortly after taking Glycine, confirming Glyphosate can build up in the body for a very long time..
Glutathione – helps depression, detoxing, and protecting your cells from inflammation (reducing oxidative stress). It binds to Mercury, escorting it harmlessly out of the body.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – Super Detox, anti-depressant. A strong anti-oxidant like Glutathione, It can chelate (bind up and remove) heavy metals across the blood-brain barrier – especially good for getting heavy metals out of the brain, which very few things can do. It can also regenerate used glutathione, making it ready to go again without wasting the body’s energy making it from scratch. Research has shown it can help with autism. Not to be confused with Alpha Linolenic Acid (a form of Omega 3), also known as ALA.
Curcumin – a safe natural antioxidant, good for detoxing heavy metals (especially mercury) and fluoride. Great for reducing all kinds of inflammation, especially those with an overactive immune system. Made from Turmeric, but Turmeric is only 5% Curcumin, and isn’t as bio-available. 
H2 – Molecular Hydrogen –this gas has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on over 150 human diseases, and non-toxic even at high concentrations. Other benefits:
C60 – Specially treated oil (usually olive oil) that has 172 times the oxidation levels of Vitamin C. In studies with rats, it showed they lived nearly twice as long, with none contracting cancer. 
Activated Charcoal Detoxing can be pretty hard on the body, so the key is getting those heavy metal toxins bound up and out before they can cause too many side-effects. It should be taken at least 2 hrs before or after eating, as it can bind up good minerals too. Not to be used for too long, for the same reason. It can be most effective when you are detoxing, going into ketosis, or having hot saunas, as this is when much of the toxins can pass out of the body but can be re-absorbed further down the gut. One expert recommends 1 month out of the year, 1 week at a time. Pyrophyllite clay is said to have a similar absorbent ability as charcoal.
Vibrating plate/bed – The US and Australian army are using vibration to heal soldiers up to 50% faster. One theory is that it helps increase lymphatic drainage, which otherwise doesn’t have a self-drainage, so toxins build up. Vibration has shown to help drain the lymphatic system. Once drained, the body can get back to healing other parts of the body – like wounds. This has also shown to:
Spend less time at the gym for the same results
Increase your strength, especially explosive strength
Lose more fat in less time
Balance your hormones
Increase lymphatic drainage
Increase bone mass and mineral density
Increase flexibility and mobility
Metabolic alterations in bone, stomach, bowel, prostate, kidney, and bladder
Enhance knee neuromuscular control
Immediate improvement in blood circulation
Improve proprioception and balance
Deter Multiple Sclerosis
Increase secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine 
You can buy these things for about $100 these days – just Google “Whole Body Vibration Machine”. 30hz is the frequency that NASA uses on its pilots 
Chlorella This is single-celled freshwater algae, is often referred to as a near-perfect food because of it’s numerous trace nutrients, but also good for binding up Mercury and escorting it out of the body.
Kimchi Research has shown this fermented vegetable dish from Korea can breakdown pesticides. The study found 83.3% of the pesticide had broken down after 3 days and gone completely by day 9.
Exercise I know – I hate this too, but creating a habit is the hardest part, so only do 5 push-ups every morning, but tell yourself you HAVE to do them before you have a shower. Everyone has time for that. Before long, you’ll be doing 10, 20, etc. Jamie Foxx says he stays in shape by doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 50 pull-ups (10 or 15 at a time). 
Infra-Red Sauna – Sweat induced from an infrared heat source is comprised of 20 per cent toxins whereas sweat induced from traditional heating systems is comprised of 3 per cent toxins. Infrared saunas claim the light penetrates the skin more deeply – up to 3 inches (7.5cm) than the heat of a traditional sauna, which leads to more sweat, which leads to a more abundant release of toxins, as well as increases metabolism.
Buy a Plant Peace Lilies suck up a lot of the toxins in our house from the breakdown of plastics. Some studies the toxin in the average house can have the same level as a Chinese city on a bad day. Peace lilies are the best, and other good ones include Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, and Bamboo palm. Peace Lilies are about $10 at Bunnings https://www.bunnings.com.au/130mm-peace-lily-spathiphyllum-chico_p3615383 .
Detox your Mind
Owning it – address those Shame issues – Addiction of any form is nothing to be ashamed about. Vulnerability expert Brene Brown says shame has no place in society anymore. Doing something dumb is vastly different than saying to yourself that you are One is a reflection of your actions – which can be corrected – and the other is a reflection of you as a person, which increases shame. In today’s society, it’s massively detrimental; 33% of people incarcerated have shame issues, but a massive 80% of re-offenders have shame issues.  We need to see addiction as a sickness that needs to be treated, rather than a criminal act. Put simply – Shame isolates, and compassion builds connection.
Gratefulness – this has a huge impact on your mental state of wellbeing. It can boost your happiness and productivity and reduce stress. One study found it “uniquely important to psychological well-being, beyond the effect of the Big Five facets” (environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relationships, purpose in life, and self-acceptance). 
Remove Judgement from your conversations – This is hard, but it is something that can drain your happiness faster than anything without you even knowing it. Author Gabby Bernstein says when you feel yourself judging, say to yourself “I choose to judge nothing that occurs.” It is a slow process, but be patient. To speed up results, try EFT Tapping – no one knows why this works, but many successful people say it works for them, including Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. 
Forgiveness – regardless of how badly the other person has wronged you, forgiveness has nothing to do with them. It’s about you. Letting it go will make you happier, and people will be attracted to your positive vibe. 
Meditation – Start simple with the 4,7,8 breathing technique; in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7, breath out your mouth for 8. This takes your body out of flight or flight mode, making your immune system work better, and reduces anxiety better than any medicine. Insight Timer is a good App for all types of meditation, from gratitude, sleep happiness, etc.
It’s tough out there at the moment, and we at Koonara want you to be healthy and happy.
 This was actually from a friend whose brother is a high ranking official in the Australian Army. They also had the head of medicine in the US Army speak on it to the Australian army. So, kind of 2nd hand, but from I believe to be a reliable source.
Koonara Wines are the first vineyards in Coonawarra to be Certified to Australian Organic Standards.
Koonara Wines owner Dru Reschke, said even though they have been practicing organic viticulture for over 10 years, it’s great to finally receive official certification.
“We have not used any pesticides or herbicides in our Coonawarra vineyards for over a decade, as it can rob the soil of nearly all the good micro-fungi,” Dru said.
“The vineyard is like our bodies; get the nutrition right and it stays healthy and disease pressure drops, and so the number of sprays needed drop as well.”
The European Union recently voted to phase-out Glyphosate, commonly know as Roundup in Australia, over five years with a full ban to be enforced by the end of 2020.
The International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds reports there are around 103 subtypes and 63 weed species with herbicide resistance around the world.
“Going organic can actually be cheaper than regular management of a vineyard. It’s important to get a soil test done and then replace all the missing trace minerals.”
“Our aim was to increase organic material into our soil. Only 1% extra organic matter in the soil will hold an extra 177,000 litres of water per hectare, which is why we find weeds actually help, not hinder the vines.”
“The root systems of weeds are usually no more than 30cm deep, when they die off at the start of summer their roots provide organic straws for oxygen and water to get deeper into the soil, which aids the vines.”
Insects also play and important role in Koonara’s biodiversity plan.
“We have identified five wasp and three spider varieties, and even a Scorpion Fly, which are all completely harmless. These insects larvae feed on our vineyard pests such as Vine Moth – and many of those so-called weeds are also a food source for them.”
“One wasp – the Trichogramma Wasp, is only the size of the sharp end of a pin. It lays its larvae in the Light Brown Apple Moths eggs.”