The great thing about Father's Day in Australia is it falls on the first Sunday of September. This provides a second opportunity for folks like me who have missed the June occasion observed in other countries, to remember and appreciate Dad. Instead of buying the usual wallet, tablet or electric drill, I decided to make best use of his visit with me in Australia to spend some quality time together. Thus began my search for the best places and activities to spoil Dad on Father's Day across Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and the surrounds of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Here are some of the Father's Day Offers I found to make Dad feel special on Sunday, 2 September in Sydney and New South Wales.
Dining with views of the vineyard / Image courtesy of Verandah Restaurant
My search for a meal overlooking the vineyards for dad brought me to Verandah Restaurant in Hunter Valley where owner, Mr Matt Dillow also cooks and designs the dishes as the Chef. He recommended his best-selling Cumin and Cayenne Baby Calamari with Lime Aioli, Sydney Rock Osyter in 3 forms, liquorice infused slow braised pork belly with quince glaze and horseradish remoulade and Soft centred chocolate soufflé with baileys and almond ice cream.
Matt informed me that he has organised a Father's Day special for all dads of my readers and subscribers who reserve a table for lunch or dinner. Simply mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" and receive a 750ml bottle of Hunter brewed Kolsh for Dad to take home.
Margan Winery / Image courtesy of Margan Hunter Valley Wines
A day trip out to Hunter Valley during the Father's Day weekend would not be complete without some wine tasting with dad. Margan Winery is an award-winning wine producer with over 320 acres of its own vineyards and a state of the art winery, all located in the beautiful sub-region of Broke Fordwich in the Lower Hunter Valley. The vineyard features a stunning rammed earth cellar door where dad can sample new releases and aged vintage wines, some of which have been awarded major wine show trophies both domestically and internationally.
Ms Di Margan informed me that she has organised a Margan Winter Red Wine promotion so visiting dads can save AUD79 and receive a bonus bottle of Botrytis Dessert Wine when they purchase a dozen of Margan Family Reds at AUD224.
Food and entertainment take centre stage / Image courtesy of Sahara Turkish Restaurant
Trying for some exotic cuisine with dad brings to mind the excellent Turkish food I had in Sydney including Nova 96.9's best kebabs joint Sahara Turkish Restaurant in Parramatta. This local favourite of 10 years has been dishing out a range of meats, seafood and vegetarian dishes on its wood charcoal BBQ in addition to its 6 hour slow cooked braised lamb with figs and apricot jus served with couscous and pine nuts.
The restaurant manager, Mr Ozer Ozz, has prepared a Sahara Banquet for dads of my readers and subscribers at a special Father's Day price of AUD35 per person. The meal for a minimum of 4 people includes a Mezze selection of homus, babaghanush, chili ezme dip, herb pide breads, mediterranean salads, followed by Turkish pides and lastly chargrill BBQ platters of Adana, lamb kusbasi and chicken skewers served with sides of pilav rice, ezme salad and garlic sumac aioli. To access this deal, simply mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" when reserving a table for 4 or more people.
An excellent venue to enjoy a family-friendly lunch or dinner with dad after of a day of exploring Sydney's harbourside and attractions is EAT LOVE PIZZA. Located below the Imax Theatre Complex in Darling Harbour, EAT LOVE PIZZA serves traditional gourmet pizzas in a modern contemporary setting.
The restaurant manager shared with me that EAT LOVE PIZZA will be offering a free beer on arrival for every dad on Father's Day. To receive this offer, simply reserve a table for lunch or dinner for 2 September. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other EAT LOVE PIZZA offer or discount and is subjected to availability.
A Father's Day adventure with dad takes me out to the Blue Mountains where endless stretches of sandstone cliffs, dramatic waterfalls and hidden canyons provide a landscape of stunning natural beauty and adventure activities. With 28 years and thousands of adventure tours conducted, the Blue Mountains Adventure Company (BMAC) provides abseiling, canyoning, rock climbing, and bushwalking in Sydney's world heritage backyard.
BMAC's manager, Mr Dylan Jones shared with me a 1-day Abseiling and Rock climbing Combo that would provide adrenalin-packed fun and interesting photos with dad. Simply mention "Dad's Day Deal" when making your booking to receive 20% off the usual price of AUD180 per person for the month of September.
If earthbound adventures are not enough for dad, then the feeling of soaring through the air at gentle speeds over beautiful landscapes might just do it. With some instruction from HangglideOz, this experience can be enjoyed by almost any dad of any age including mine. Australia's most experienced and professional instructional and tandem hanggliding flight centre, HangglideOz has introduced more than seven thousand students and tandem passengers to the sport of hangliding, operating from the Stanwell Park and Wollongong sites since 1987. Mr Tony Armstrong, Chief Pilot and former Australian freestyle champion, pioneered tandem hanggliding in Stanwell Park, and with 33 years' experience, his flying expertise and exemplary safety record is second to none.
To help dads enjoy the airborne freedom, Tony informed me that he is offering a 30 minutes tandem flight at AUD220 including photos and insurance. It's AUD25 off the regular price and includes AUD45 worth of photos of dad in action. This offer can be easily purchased as a gift voucher which is emailed to you. Simply contact Tony to book your flight and voucher for dad.
PO Box 1, Thirroul NSW QLD 2515
Bookings phone Tony at 0417 939 200 or email email@example.com
The fish bar with a green heart / Image courtesy of Lovefish
Can't have an outing with dad in Sydney without a go at the seafood. Awarded Top 10 Green Restaurant by SMH Good Food Guide 2012, Lovefish sources local seafood from ethical and sustainable fisheries to showcase the highest quality seasonal produce. Simplicity, consistency and quality ensure that the produce shines.
Ms Michelle Grand-Milkovic shared her signature dishes with me including her salmon poori rolls with sheep's milk yoghurt and mango pickle, lotus root prawn toast with moreton bay bug popcorn and black sesame, and salt and pepper Hawkesbury loligo squid with pickled green paw paw. Dad gets to enjoy his seafood with a complimentary glass of wine as Michelle's gift to dad by quoting "Father's Day Offer" when making the reservations.
Dad has always been a fan of swordplay and Sydney Sabre Centre offers the ideal setting for him to exchange his kitchen knife for a real sticker. In addition to learning competitive sword fighting with a sabre from the pros in a fully equipped fencing centre, dad will also get some needed exercise to work off the excess calories from the Father's Day binging.
The Centre's Director, Ms Frances Chow has organised a 1-hour Introductory Fencing Class at AUD35 per person to get dad started in Australia's first dedicated training facility for sabre fencing. Classes can be purchased by calling or email.
Level 1, 112-116 Parramatta Road, Stanmore, NSW 2048
Bookings phone (02) 8094 9837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cut Bar & Grill
Prime Australian beef / Image courtesy of The Cut Bar & Grill
With dad being a steak-guy, the search for the very best Australian beef brought me to The Cut Bar & Grill. Located in the heart of The Rocks, renowned Head Chef James Privett makes prime Australian beef the hero, with his slow roasted Sher F1 rib, served table side from a custom designed trolley and charcuterie featuring wagyu bresaola, serrano jamon and prosciutto di San Daniele.
To quench dad's thirst, Jacksons on George offers over 100 beers available from 27 countries. With beers from China to Denmark to Brazil, 17 beers on tap and 16 of the best Belgian beers for those that fancy something top of the range, Jacksons has a beer to satisfy all of dad's curiosities and tastes.
To help dads and families bond while enjoying a stubby, Mr Damon Crawford, the General Manager offers "The Beer Hall of Fame". It is a fun challenge that requires dad and team of family members, friends or other dads drink 100 of the different beers available. The prize is a permanent personalised plaque on the wall in George Street Bar for everyone to see, a Jacksons on George Beer Hall of Fame T-Shirt and invitations to parties and special events. Dad can begin the challenge on Father's Day and then continue during other visits, or complete on the day with his team. Just make sure dad doesn't get behind a wheel after all that happy hour.
Dad enjoys cheese so much I sometimes wonder if he's French. Perhaps the best way to indulge in cheeses is to learn how to make it them yourself. The Cheesemaking Workshop can teach dad cheesemaking in a day at their shop in Northbridge. Head Cheesemaker, Ms Susan Meagher will help take the mystery out of Cheesemaking. She informed me that dad will learn to make camembert, fetta, mascarpone, ricotta, quark (cream cheese) and a Greek style yoghurt.
Making your own cheese / Image courtesy of The Cheesemaking Workshop
Cheesemaking is a simple process and no experience is required. Susan uses no preservatives or additives in the cheeses and they are very cost affective, saving about 50% on buying cheese. She and her team provide all the course notes, morning tea, lunch and lots of cheese tasting throughout the day from 10am to about 4pm. To help make Father's Day interesting for all dads of my readers and subscribers, Susan has prepared 3 Father's Day Cheesemaking Gift Certificates.
*1 x Gift Certificate for Dad - AUD150 (usually AUD175)
*2 x Gift Certificate for Dad and Child - AUD275 (usually AUD350)
*3 x Gift Certificate for 3 generations of Dad, Child and Granddad or Nan - AUD375 (usually AUD475)
Simply mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" when booking with Susan to redeem this offer.
Why? Dads can be a tough lot to buy gifts for. This Father's Day I've decided to find the best ways to spend quality time with dad in Australia. Here are some ways I've found to spoil dad on Father's Day in Sydney and New South Wales.