We left Sydney early in the morning, stopped off at Burnt Orange in Chatswood for breakfast and then headed to Kmart. Unfortunately it was forecast to rain all weekend, and as I only have flip-flops and sandals, I needed some wellies. I also grabbed a raincoat while I was there because the festival didn't allow umbrellas in so you don't block people's view.
After stocking up on our wet-weather gear, we started the drive up to the Hunter Valley along the Pacific Coast Highway. The entire drive up very much reminded me of back home - it was incredibly green and looked like the countryside in the UK. We drove up the highway singing along to the Hot Dub Spotify playlist, which was made up of every major hit since 1954 - so there were some perfect tunes to belt out at the tops of our voices!
Eventually after about an hour and a half we reached our hotel. We decided to go super last minute, my friend Laura said she was going with a group of friends and told us to book tickets when L & N were are mine for pancake night. We eventually booked tickets and then realized we needed to book a hotel and everywhere was full!
The only place we could find that was within a half hour drive of the festival venue, was a Best Western motel (#notsoluxlife). It's actually a four star hotel, but Australian's don't seem to really understand the star ratings. Although it was very basic, the beds were super comfy and it was perfect for what we needed (a place to shower, sleep for a few hours, and keep our stuff that we didn't want to take to the festival).
We checked in and dropped our stuff, and then drove over to Hope Estate. I was designated driver - I've been trying to cut down on drinking and driving always forces me to do that, so I had my one glass of wine when we got to the festival, and then stuck to water.
When we first arrived at Hope Estate the sun was out, so I put my flip-flops on...then after walking about ten steps realized it was way too muddy despite the sunshine, so changed into my chic black Kmart wellies. It was a good job I changed...because about an hour later it started pouring with rain and didn't stop until the next morning - check out how muddy it got just within the first couple of hours!
We bought a bottle of wine, and found a spot on the grass to sit and wait for Laura and the gang. We actually didn't take many photos of the day - all of them are in this post - mainly because we were having far too much fun! Since my move over here I've been trying to take less photos and savour the experiences more. Don't get me wrong, I still love taking photos, especially for memories-sake, but it really is so liberating being able to enjoy an event and not worrying about getting those perfect #instaworthy shots on a DSLR.
I feel like so many blogs these days are carbon copies of each other, they lack the soul and personality that they used to have. My own blog started to follow this pattern too, and I want to do my absolute best to try and keep my own personality and soul shining through Lux Life. After all, the whole reason I started it was to keep my memories here.
And that means sometimes there will be posts like this where there are just a small-ish collection of photos from my phone and small camera, where I left my heavy DSLR at home, and other times there may be posts that are random collections of my thoughts. And then of course there will be the #instaworthy travel posts and reviews where I show you the very best of the places I visit (and tell you about the bad stuff too).
Anyway, I digress. Laura & Co arrived and we all sat and laughed and moaned about the rain like true Brits (there were only two Aussies in a group of around 8 Brits). We decided to get an ice-cream, a proper soft cone covered in sprinkles. It was delish, even in the rain.
Things really kicked off when Miami Horror came on in the evening, and then PNAU absolutely killed it!
And finally, the man himself...DJ Tom Loud, aka Hot Dub Time Machine. DJ Tom Loud is pretty big in Australia, he basically plays every major hit from every year from 1954 until now, and adds in some extra ones too. The thing is he doesn't just play the songs one after the other, it's a whole show that gets the entire audience dancing along to every single tune, even the old ones. Clips from the original music videos play on big screens, and the transitions inbetween each song are just awesome!
The night was absolutely epic, I can't even describe how amazing it was! The only thing I wasn't so keen on, was that every single person was off their face and f***** up on drugs. Everyone's rude arrogant and selfish behaviour literally made me hate all Australians for that night.
The thing is, Australians get really messed up. I mean, there was a girl behind me whose eyes were rolled back into her head and her friends had to hold her up...then there was a guy who decided it would be a really great idea to throw TWO glass bottles of wine high up into the air to then land on people in the crowd.
We got back to the hotel around midnight, and had the most amazing brunch the next morning at Marmook and Poom Poom's in Maitland. A seriously good breaky, and so good I didn't even take a photo before eating it!
If you wanna go to Hot Dub Wine Machine yourself, there's one happening in Somerset Valley in Queensland on 1st April, and the Swan Valley in Western Australia (literally a 30min drive from Perth) on 8th April! You can buy tickets here, and I promise you it's worth the money - I'm so glad I decided to go!
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*This post is not sponsored. We paid for everything ourselves.