Have a damn good time in The Regionals

by Sunday, October 7, 2018

I’m just in from touring The Regionals, as I wrap up our school holidays. We’ve been blessed with visiting the small country towns, or ‘regionals’ of Australia, and I just can’t help but sing their praises. There is a huge push to encourage Aussies to sample more of their backyard, to support our country communities, and whilst I may not be pushing anyone’s barrow I can attest to having a damn good time. Totally encourage you to follow suit.

Jamestown, the birthplace of RM Williams, was calling my name as I was able to take my wool-growing Fresh Farmer Hubby to the Jamestown Show that’s been running for over 100 years. I can’t tell you how beautiful the drive was heading out from Adelaide Airport. May I say, 10 points to whoever organised the dual language street signs – so important in this day and age of booming Chinese tourism. And I also love, at Adelaide Airport, the local produce shop. Why doesn’t every local airport have a shop, even a shelf, pushing produce grown in that area. Everyone wins. Anyway, I’m raving on.

We stayed in a great hotel in the city that I can totally recommend: The Mayfair. The rooftop bar, restaurant and service were first class. Plus it’s close to the markets. We left there and headed to The Clare Valley, past one amazing winery after another. If only we could’ve sampled each one, but the Jamestown Country Races were calling our name and onto the Show for the long weekend.

Country races and shows are the epicentre of these towns. Many a great relationship has begun in these social hubs and girls, if you’re keen to find your farmer, get thee to one of these social soirees.

Jamestown was recently put on the map by Elon Musk building the world’s largest battery here. But there’s plenty more to see here: great pubs, like The Commercial, awesome shops like The Depot and Belalie Flowers. The B&Bs are full of history and The Cockburn gets a big thumbs-up from me. I’m going back to stay at nearby Anlaby Station soon and hope to soak up the exquisite gardens and hospitality. Can’t wait.

Later in the week, I hit the Great Ocean Road with my lovely friend Lydia Lassila whom you may know as the Olympic-medal-winning aerial skier (currently on “Survivor”). Looking for somewhere to build their ‘forever home’ and realising that, with technology, they could live anywhere… they settled in Lorne. Such a beautiful and busy spot, rain, hail or shine. I was floored by the location of The Swingbridge Cafe, right on the water and famous for its chai. It’s also close to the Mantra Hotel where we visited friends staying with children. Such a brilliant holiday spot, right on the beach, I cannot speak highly enough of this whole town and of course, you all know the joys of The Great Ocean Road. My point is… stay a while.

One last thing to pop on your To Do List is to visit the You Yangs Regional Park and Serendip Sanctuary – 15 minutes from Avalon Airport (which is about to go international), just near Lara and Little River train stations. I can’t think of a park so close to the city where you can instantly see Emus, ‘roos, koalas, and go bike riding, picnicking or just enjoy an open BBQ. Did you know that it is becoming quite rare in parks these days to allow an open flame? I didn’t, so I thought I’d mention it.

Anyway, I hope life is treating you well this week. I’m still a headless chook looking after cheeky children on holidays and working. But I promise, jumping in the car and taking my blossoms to a local town is always a blessing.

Safe travels to you…

THIS WEEK, ON JOURNEYS TO COME…

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ASK THE CONCIERGE: Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade, Portugal

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