Last November, I was invited to a once-in-a-lifetime event by Honda. Almost everything was kept top secret and the only details we had, prior to the weekend, were our flights and the first destination. We left for Melbourne on Friday afternoon and upon arrival, we were met by our chauffeur that would be taking us to Saint Crispin to meet with the rest of the group. There were about 20 in the group with a mix of media and bloggers. Dinner was absolutely delicious and getting to meet so many different people was such a refreshing experience. As each person was welcome to bring a guest, we met partners, parents, friends, it just made the night that much more intimate.
Once dinner was done, we were finally allowed to reach into our goodie bags which included our itineraries for the weekend ahead. It turned out that they had organised a getaway, tailor made to suit each person. For us, we were heading to Lakehouse Daylesford. Because we both are Sydney-siders, through and through, we had no idea where it was or the reputation it carried. The group started exchanging what experiences they were assigned and when it was our turn, all the Melbournians gasped in excitement. A quick search on Google explained their reactions - we were on our way to a $600 a night hotel in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.
We had a bit of a drive (1.5hrs) from dinner to our accommodation so we quickly gathered our things and headed to our awaiting transportation. Honda provided us all with our own HR-V to use for the length of our trip - ours being the only one equipped with two bicycles mounted onto the back of the car. Once we arrived at the Lakehouse, we were shown to our room and advised that we were welcome to the breakfast buffet each morning and we had a scheduled dinner the next night.
The next morning, once we filled our bellies with some brekky, we followed our itinerary which meant bike riding around the lake. Mind you, I hadn't ridden a bike in over a decade so the thought of it was exciting, yet daunting. Slowly but surely, I was up and going, riding like a 10 year old most likely, having fun all the same.
Our itinerary took to us to places we would have never thought to go. However, since it was a searing hot day, we didn't think the planned 30km bike ride later that day would be the best idea. Instead, we headed back to the hotel to relax by the pool - and I'm so glad we did.
Sunday rolled around so we set out for Wombat Hill - to be honest, I thought there was more to this place but, unless I missed something, it's just a small scenic park. It was perfect for photos though!
For the remaining few hours we had left, we decided to drive back to Melbourne to grab a bite to eat before our flight. The thing Melbourne really beats Sydney with is the artsy vibe oozing off the streets. Everywhere you turn, there's amazing graffiti art that you know is appreciated by the community.
I don't know how I will ever repay Honda for such a breathtaking experience. Through this, I learnt that this company is so much more than just a car brand. They really care about their customers and they are always willing to change, adapt and innovate to suit their needs. Thank you, Honda!