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9 reasons to visit Jumpers and Jazz in July

Looking for a fun-filled winter getaway in Queensland? Head to the Queensland city of Warwick for Jumpers and Jazz in July.

The 10-day festival celebrates winter with all the exuberant colours of nature and delicious flavours of local foods.

Warwick’s streets come alive with fantastic tree sculptures, yarn bombing exhibitions and a huge car display; there’s a church tower covered by knitwear as well.

And to top it off­­—you get jazz music performed by some amazing musicians who’ve come from near or far just for this occasion too.

Jumpers and Jazz in July began in 2004 when the Warwick Art Gallery wrapped trees in textile art to brighten up the cold winter streets.

The exhibition has since grown into a much-anticipated community event, with locals competing to create the most impressive and creative designs.

Whether you’re into jazz music or just want to take in the festive atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

For the latest information on festival dates, visit Jumpers and Jazz in July.

 

trees wrapped in knitted art works

Warwick Art Gallery wraps trees in textile art to brighten up the cold winter streets for Jumpers and Jazz in July. Photo: Warwick Art Gallery

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1.     Technicolour dreamland made of yarns

If you’ve ever been to Jumpers and Jazz in July, you’ll know that the streets of Warwick are transformed into a technicolour dreamland for the duration of the festival.

That’s all thanks to the Yarntopians yarnbombing team of crafters who combine their skills to produce stunning art installations that attract thousands of festival visitors each year.

Their large-scale installations take months to complete and can involve up to 100 contributors.

Knitters and crocheters send them pieces from all over Australia, and their smaller local team gets together regularly to assemble and install everything.

A chief organiser of one festival project in 2022 was my late mother-in-law, Georgie Watts, a long-time parishioner at St Mark’s Anglican Church. Georgie was instigator of St Mark’s display of knitted and crocheted flowers that will adorn the historic church’s tower throughout the 2022 festival. Sadly, Georgie won’t get to see the colourful flowers draped over the church tower. She passed away on 11 June 2022. However, other project members will be sure to make it a grand display.

St Mark's Anglican Church

St Mark’s Anglican Church, Warwick, Queensland.

2.     Art at St Mark’s Anglican Church

St Mark’s Anglican Church is a beautiful heritage-listed church in the heart of Warwick and hosts the annual Art@StMark’s display and sale of high-quality artworks during Jumpers and Jazz in July.

During the 10-day festival, visitors can view and buy art and crafts, and get a bite to eat at their Art Café in the church hall on Grafton Street.

There’s also a Meet the Artists and Official Opening event. For details visit www.warwickanglican.org.au or phone Sharon 0428 614 708.

To book, email artatstmarksno2@gmail.com

 PHOTO GALLERY

3.     Tree Jumper Exhibition

Jumpers and Jazz in July is a great time to check out the Tree Jumper exhibition in Warwick. Up and down the footpath, you’ll find trees wrapped in charming textile artwork.

These yarn-bombed masterpieces are a visual treat for all ages, and they’ll be on display 24 hours a day throughout the festival.

Jumpers and Jazz in July is all about creativity and community participation in the arts, and every year the events and activities continue to grow.

So be sure to check out the program for each day of the winter festival.

 

4.     Grand Automobile Display

If you love cars and music, then you’ll love Jumpers and Jazz in July. This annual winter festival takes place in the charming town of Warwick, Queensland.

The main street of the CBD is closed to traffic, so visitors can admire a static display of veteran, vintage and classic vehicles.

There’s also a selection of classic motorcycles on display, building on Warwick’s growing reputation as the Horsepower Capital of Australia!

During the festival, you can enjoy live jazz performances in various venues around town.

Or if you prefer, you can simply take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the trees dressed in woolly jumpers—it’s all part of the fun!

 

5.     Celebration of local flavours

Jumpers and Jazz in July is a great opportunity to check out some of the best food and drinks Warwick has to offer.

Stroll & Swing on Palmerin features the Celebration of Local Flavours—an opportunity for the region’s primary producers and boutique or cottage industry vendors to showcase their direct-market goods.

Visitors can enjoy a firsthand experience of local produce at the alfresco dining spaces on the street.

Jumpers and Jazz is a great opportunity to support local businesses. Make sure you don’t miss out!

 

6.     Women in Motorsport Track Day Invitation

The Warwick District Sporting Car Club is inviting everyone to spend a day at the Morgan Park Raceway for the Women in Motorsport Track Day.

Anyone interested in getting into motorsports can experience the thrill of motorsport and see how it all works.

The club will provide instructions on general maintenance and give you the opportunity to drive your own day-drive car or be a passenger with an experienced driver in a race car.

This is a great opportunity to jumpstart your interest in car racing and build your confidence in-car operations and functions.

For more details or to register your interest, contact the club secretary at secretary@wdscc.com.au.

 

7.     Markets

Jumpers and Jazz in July has a range of markets where you can find unique, handmade products to help you get into the spirit of the event.

Artisans from all over come to sell their wares and you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Whether you’re looking for a new jumper to keep you warm during the cooler nights of the festival or a piece of art to take home with you, head on down and support local artists while getting into the festival spirit.

  • RETRO ROCKING AT THE GALLERY is a small boutique market coordinated by Warwick Art Gallery. Featuring excellent artisans who present amazing bespoke wares of flair and colour, you’ll be able to find some great gifts for friends and family, or maybe even something special for yourself.
  • SHOWCASING OUR ATELIERS
    If you’re ever feeling creative, or need some inspiration, head to Showcasing our Ateliers. You can meet the artisans and immerse yourself in workshops and demonstrations. It’s a great way to get inspired, and maybe even learn a new skill.
  • SUITCASE RUMMAGE MARKET
    Looking for something a little different at Jumpers and Jazz in July? Check out the Suitcase Rummage Market. This unique market features many pre-loved and vintage items, from clothes and jewellery to books and records. And because they sell all of the goods out of suitcases, you never know what you might find. So head on down and rummage through some bargains.
  • WARWICK POTTERS CRAFT MARKET
    Jumpers and Jazz in July culminates in a large craft market on Palmerin Street, with over 200 stalls selling handmade arts and crafts, food and drink. There is also plenty of entertainment on offer, with live music and a wine bar.

 

8. St Mary’s Community Contemplative Tree

St Mary’s Catholic Church is a beautiful and unique church located at 163 Palmerin Street, Warwick.

The church was built in 1926 and the museum (1865) is also a must-see.

During Jumpers and Jazz in July, people are invited to participate in the Community Contemplative Tree, while enjoying the vista of yarn-bombed palm trees and church pillars.

Hand-knitted and crochet scarves and beanies can be taken home.

The event is also a great opportunity to learn about the history of the church and the Warwick community.

There are also tours of the church and museum available.

St Mary’s Parish is an involved community of the Warwick township and the historical and architectural value are enormous.

The church and museum are a must-see for anyone visiting Warwick.

 

9. Warwick Art Gallery Exhibitions

The Warwick Art Gallery is a great place to check out some amazing art.

In 2022, the Paper Quilt project is the culmination of their general call out for works on paper that respond to the word “abundance”. It’s on display in the Orange Wall Gallery.

Another exhibition is the Australia Wide 8 Art Quilt Exhibition. This is the latest biennial travelling exhibition in the Australia Wide series, organized by Ozquilt Network Inc.

The exhibition showcases the work of Ozquilt Network members in Australia and overseas. It demonstrates the variety of the ‘stitched and layered textile’.

 

Want more festival information?

There’s so much more happening than my overview here, so be sure to visit the official website (link below) for this year’s dates, the full program and a list of entertainers.

https://www.jumpersandjazz.com.au/

 

Where is Warwick?

Warwick is a town in southeast Queensland, Australia, located 130 kilometres southwest of Brisbane, and 83.5 km south of Toowoomba.

With a population of 15,380 (as of June 2018), Warwick is the administrative centre of the Southern Downs Region local government area.

The surrounding Darling Downs has fostered a strong agricultural industry for which Warwick, together with the larger city of Toowoomba, serves as convenient service centres.

Warwick is accessible via the Warwick train station on the Warwick line or by car from any number of Warwick’s multiple exits off the Warrego Highway.

Once in Warwick, visitors can explore a variety of historical landmarks such as:

For those looking for a more modern activity, there are also a number of shopping and dining options available in the Warwick CBD.

Whatever your interests, Warwick has something to offer everyone.

 

So, what are you waiting for?

Mark the date in your calendar and get ready for a great time in Warwick.

And, when you’re admiring one of the festival’s many intricate designs, remember—it’s all made of yarn by contributors from throughout Australia.

Jumpers and Jazz in July - musicians

Jazz musicians in concert. Photo: Commons.Wikimedia

 

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Journey to Queensland’s lost world of dinosaurs

In Part Two of our series on dinosaurs, Peter Woodland takes you through Charleville and Barcaldine before heading deeper into Queensland where you can find more prehistoric reptile fossils near Winton. Keep reading!

Where to from Lightning Ridge? North! We’re heading to Winton, but there are a few interesting stops on the way.

I’d head north from Lightning Ridge through Hebel, Dirranbandi and Ballon on the A2 highway.

The most direct and shortest route to Longreach and Winton is the A2 and it will take you through historic Barcaldine, home of the 1893 Shearers Strike and the birth of the Australian Labor Party.

However, let’s not rush. Just north of Boatman, I’d take a left turn to Charleville.

 

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Get up close and personal with the cosmos and bilbies

Trail of dinosaurs - the Bilby experience

Bilby. Photo: Creative Commons

I’d do that because there are a couple of attractions in Charleville that I think are worth a look and we’re not in a hurry, are we?

Charlieville boasts the Cosmos Centre. It is an open-air astronomical observatory that is a treat for young and old.

We nomads know the night sky is an unfathomable wonder, way out there, but the Cosmos Centre will take you even closer.

There are other observatories around Australia, but I don’t know of one with as consistently clear skies as Charleville.

The next morning, you can visit the Charleville Bilby Experience at the local railway station.

These little critters are adorable and surprisingly little known.

If, however, Australia is serious about guarding and preserving this wide brown land we are fortunate to be custodians of, we could start with the bilby.

Clear your mind of the Easter Bunny; take the legend of the Easter Bilby home to your families and grandchildren.

Destined for dinosaurs

Dinosaurs - australovenitor

Australovenitor at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. Photo: Creative Commons

Heading north again, we return to the A2 and will eventually arrive in Barcaldine.

It’s only a short trip to Longreach and, then, Winton.

There are attractions in both of these centres worth dallying for, but we’re interested in dinosaurs and they are tantalisingly close.

Stay at the home of Waltzing Matilda

In Winton, apart from the tourist parks, there are several hotels and motels from which to choose. Of note is the historic North Gregory Hotel.

Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda while staying nearby at Dagworth Station and it is reliably reported that it was first recited at the North Gregory on April 6, 1895.

On the subject, the Waltzing Matilda Centre, in Winton’s main street, is a trove of detail about the era and the human faces behind this quintessential Australian piece.

Trail of dinosaurs - hotel in Winton

North Gregory Hotel. Photo: Creative Commons

See world-class dinosaur attractions

Now as to the Dinosaurs, I hear you ask.

The area around Winton was, again, on the edge of that erstwhile sea, mentioned previously, during the early to mid-Cretaceous, 145mya to 110mya.

It abounds in dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptile fossils.

The district boasts the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History and Lark Quarry.

These attractions are spectacular, world-class facilities and both are an easy drive from the centre of Winton.

Dinosaurs - two models

Dinosaurs at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History near Winton. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Dinosaurs - Lark Quarry

Lark Quarry, Winton. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

WINTON PHOTO GALLERY

Explore further afield

If you wish to venture further afield while based in Winton, new discoveries and a comprehensive display of some of the denizens of the Eromanga Sea can be found in Boulia.

Alternatively, head to Eromanga and the Eromanga Natural History Museum to meet Cooper, the largest dinosaur found in Australia to date.

 

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Explore dinosaur trails less travelled

Have you ever wanted to take a journey in the footsteps of giants? One that is less travelled by man, and full of prehistoric wonder!

Well, now’s your chance because Australia’s dinosaur trails have opened up in this amazing world.

But if you’re already a dedicated traveller, there may be none of the well-known trails left in your repertoire.

So why not invent one of your own? May I suggest a slightly different trail?

If you’re a grey nomad or any other southern self-contained gadabout and you’re heading north to sunny Queensland, start your trail at Lightning Ridge in far northern NSW.

If you’re already in North Queensland, simply start at the other end.

 

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Start at Lightning Ridge

Dinosaur Trails - Cretaceous Australia.

Cretaceous Australia. Photo: Creative Commons

Lightning Ridge is the source of some of Australia’s most spectacular dinosaur fossils; spectacular because they are opalised.

The district is a productive sight for Australian opals and that can add another dimension to your visit.

Most dinosaur discoveries at Lightning Ridge are from the Early to Mid Cretaceous periods, between 145mya and 110mya.

At this time central Australia was covered by a vast, relatively shallow, inland sea. Lightning Ridge would have been on the south-eastern shore of this sea.

These opal fields are the source of several important dinosaur fossil finds. Most recently, the small ornithopod dinosaur, Weewarrasaurus pobeni, was announced in 2019.

This dinosaur was small, approximately dog-sized and likely travelled in family groups or herds for protection. We know it from two fragments of a jawbone and some teeth.

Dinosaur fossils found in an opal mine

Prior to that, fossils of what appears to be a herd of larger ornithopod dinosaurs were found deep underground in an opal mine.

This dinosaur, Fostoria dhimbangunmal, is related to the well-known Muttaburrasaurus from North-western Queensland.

Over 60 bones have been discovered for this species representing four individuals.

The species name is a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘sheepyard’ from the locality where the fossils were found.

Numerous other fragments and bones of extinct dinosaurs remain to be identified in the district. Perhaps the most tantalising of these is ‘Lightning Claw’.

This dinosaur is known from very little evidence and none sufficient to flesh it out or officially give it a name.

It is assumed to be a large theropod, a Megaraptor, perhaps the largest of a type of dinosaur rarely found in the Australian fossil record.

Lightning claw

Lightning Claw. Photo: Creative Commons

Things to see and do at Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge has several caravan parks. Check out the fossicking heaps at the Tourist Information Centre.

The John Murray Gallery is a must, and a good meal can be had at the Lightning Ridge Bowls Club.

In particular, I’d recommend Piccolo Italian Restaurant. The food is superb but whatever you do, don’t ask for connolis.

This is a proud Roman restaurant and they don’t do that sort of Sicilian fare, as I discovered when I asked. They were polite but very definite.

Try the Car Door Tours; an economical, quaint way to see the sights.

When you get to Lightning Ridge, ask about the new Australian Opal Centre.

This is a proposed, state-of-the-art museum to be built into the earth at Lightning Ridge. Construction is due to start in 2022.

Lightning Ridge - Car Door Tours

The Car Door Tours at Lighting Ridge are a must-see attraction. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Lightning Ridge - John Murray Gallery Mural

John Murray Gallery mural at Lightning Ridge. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Explore Australia’s lesser-known dinosaur trails

So you’re looking for a destination that’s off the beaten path, why not explore some of Australia’s lesser-known dinosaur trails?

These areas are home to prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth, and offer an unforgettable experience for travellers of all ages.

Lightning Ridge

Sunset at Lightning Ridge with a labyrinth. Photo: Shutterstock

 

PART TWO: DINOSAURS IN QLD

 

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The story behind Maryborough’s coat of arms

Did you know that Maryborough, Queensland, has its own coat of arms? If you’re visiting the Heritage City, you can see its coat of arms on a wall facing the Town Hall Green. Titled ‘The Crest’, it is one of 40+ murals that make up the Maryborough Mural Trail. To learn more about this piece of local history, read on! Our contributor, PETER WOODLAND, shares some insights into the fascinating world of heraldry.

The surprising number of Australian cities with coats of arms

According to the Heraldry of the World wiki 108 Australian cities have coats of arms.

There are, in fact, at least 394 Australian cities with a population of more than 10,000 people and there are another 88 towns with a population of more than 5000.

Perhaps, in your travels, keep your eye out for municipal coats of arms. It could be just one more enjoyable pastime, as you while away the kilometers.

Who can have a coat of arms?

In Australia, anyone can adopt a coat of arms of their own design. However, there are some limitations to that process.

The said coat of arms is not theirs exclusively. It can be used and copied by anyone unless some copyright applies.

If the coat of arms they adopt is the same as one borne by an armiger whose coat of arms was granted by the College of Arms in London or by some other official body in other parts of the world, then its use is illegal.

It may come as a surprise to many that family coats of arms are very rare in the British domain.

Just because your name is Fortesque-Smythe, for example, it does not follow that you can use the coat of arms of someone else called Fortesque-Smythe.

You have to be able to trace a direct line through the eldest child, usually male, in each generation, back to the original “owner” of the arms.

In the British world, arms are granted to an individual, an enterprise or an institution, not to families.

That is just one of many “rules’ one has to get used to in the world of heraldry.

What is heraldry?

Heraldry began as the use of a distinctive shield or, perhaps, coat to identify a combatant on a battlefield.

They were simple and brightly or unusually coloured so that your side knew who you were.

The best coats of arms to this day follow that custom of simplicity.

Perhaps the aspect of heraldry most difficult to understand is the blazon.

This is words written in a particular style to describe the coat of arms.

It includes old and foreign words and follows an order of precedent.

This is one such blazon:

Quarterly, 1 and 4 Gules three Pallets Argent and 2 and 3 Azure, three Bars wavy Argent a Cross embattled counter embattled throughout Or and overall a Maltese Cross Azure

That is the blazon for the shield from the coat of arms of the City of Maryborough, in Queensland, Australia. It means:

A shield divided into quarters. The first and fourth quarters are red and silver (white) alternating vertical stripes. The second and third quarters are blue and silver (white) alternating horizontal wavy stripes. The quarters are divided by a gold cross that is embattled. That is, its edges are “jagged” as in the top of a traditional castle wall. Over the top of all this is a blue Maltese cross.

This is Maryborough’s coat of arms:

Coat of Arms - Maryborough, Qld

 

As you can see there are several other elements to Maryborough’s coat of arms. These elements are part of the original grant.

Some of them such as the two supporters on either side and the “ground” or compartment, they are standing on are rare in an individual’s coats of arms. They have to be granted by the sovereign.

Another element is a helmet and there are rules about what sort of helmet individuals can use. On the other hand, it does not have to be a medieval “knights” helmet. It could be a miner’s hard-hat, for instance, if appropriate.

Above the helmet is a torse or twisted piece of cloth or some other cloth buffer. On the torse sits the crest.

I bet you wondered when I was going to use that word because many of us talk about the crest as being the whole thing.

The crest can be almost anything, if appropriate and is often used as a badge by the armiger (owner of the arms).

It might serve as a monogram on clothing, a signet ring, a logo on personal stationery or anything you desire.

In the case of Maryborough, it is the schooner “Blue Jacket”, at sea, on a circle of spiky (embattled) gold circles, with two sticks of sugar cane.

Lastly, there is the motto, beneath the shield. The motto can say almost anything and can be in any language, Klingon, if you wish.

Mottos can be tricky though because it is supposedly a statement of deeply held views and character.

Don’t give yourself a motto about bravery, if, in reality, you ascribe to the view that “He who runs away lives to fight another day.”

Maryborough’s motto is Latin and it means: Faith, Strength and Courage

 

 

Maryborough received a badge when these arms were granted and this is it:

coat of arms - maryborough badge

The badge repeats the colours and symbols of the arms.

Granted?

Granted, I hear you ask. Yes, granted!

In Australia “official” coats of arms are granted by a British College of Arms.

The gentlemen responsible for the design and grant of the arms to Maryborough were:

Sir Alexander Colin Cole, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, upon whom has been conferred the Territorial Decoration, Garter Principal King of Arms, Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Clarenceux King of Arms and John Philip Brooke Brooke-Little, Esquire, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Norroy and Ulster, King of Arms.

Make your own coat of arms

Municipal coats of arms can be fun to look for, and they can also be a great way to learn more about the places you visit.

If you’re feeling creative, there’s no reason why you can’t come up with your own arms for yourself or your town or city.

Just make sure you follow all the “rules”. After all, you wouldn’t want to get in trouble with the arms authorities!

 

 

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

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So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our latest history and culture travel posts here.

Croquet clubs make for great travel destinations

Have you ever played croquet? No?! Well, it’s definitely time to add it to your bucket list!

While visiting the Queensland city of Bundaberg, members of the Bundaberg Croquet Club introduced me to the classic game and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

The club members were friendly and happy to show me (pictured right below) basic moves of the game that date back hundreds of years.

Bundaberg Croquet Club president Jennifer Lee said not only was croquet a lot of fun, but it was also the perfect addition to any holiday, whether in Bundaberg or anywhere else.

“Whether playing on your own or with friends, croquet is a great way to enjoy leisurely days outdoors,” Jennifer said.

“It’s a fun and challenging game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

 

Croquet

Newbies learn about croquet at Bundaberg.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through Amazon links in this post.

A brief history of Croquet

Croquet has been around for centuries, having become popular in Europe in the 1800s.

Its roots can be found in Ireland. The name “crookey” comes from crook + oy ( hooked stick).

A Dutch folktale mentions how players would use an indoor clay court with football-sized wooden balls and one metal ring to play Beugelen or Maillette–two different games that emerged in Europe as well.

Introduced to England by John Jaques, the game of croquet became an instant hit with middle-class attendees at The Great Exhibition of 1851.

Croquet played an important role in the lives of Victorian aristocracy, with many wealthy individuals building courts within their expansive estates.

Over time, different variations of the game developed for different audiences.

For example, there are now games specifically designed for children and seniors.

Today, the game remains a popular game enjoyed by all ages, and it is still associated with elegance and refinement.

The Bundaberg Croquet Club at 29 Quay Street, Bundaberg West, is as busy today as it was when founded in 1900.

croquet - postcard scene

A card depicting a game of croquet on the beach, by Lucien Tanquerey, 1910-1919, Wikimedia Commons.

How to play

Croquet is typically played on a lawn or other open space, and involves hitting balls with mallets through hoops.

The game is relatively easy to learn, but it takes practice to master.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • Each player starts with two balls, and the first player to get both balls through all the hoops wins the game.
  • There are many different ways to score points, and players can also knock other players’ balls out of bounds.

Court etiquette

Croquet is an engaging sport that requires skill, strategy, and tact.

Whether you’re an experienced player or a newcomer just learning the rules, it is important to be mindful of the proper etiquette when playing a game.

Some basic tips for maintaining good etiquette on the court include following the correct order of shots, staying alert during your opponent’s turns, and knowing how to give and receive compliments.

With these simple guidelines in mind, you can ensure that every game is enjoyable, both for yourself and everyone else on the court.

The benefits of playing croquet

Croquet is a recreational activity that offers a wealth of benefits.

First, the game requires players to exercise both their bodies and their minds.

Whether you are playing singles or doubles, Croquet requires you to balance, coordinate your movement, and think strategically in order to succeed.

No matter your age, skill level or fitness level, you can enjoy the sport at your own pace while exercising your body.

Additionally, Croquet is a sociable activity that encourages good sportsmanship and interaction between players.

How to get involved

If you’re looking to get started with this exciting game, there are several ways to get involved.

One option is to find a club in your area and sign up for lessons or training sessions.

Another way to learn about the game is by watching instructional videos online.

You could also use resources like books, magazines, and other Croquet-related materials to gain a deeper understanding of the game.

Pack a Croquet set for your next trip

When planning your next trip, consider packing a Croquet set along with your other supplies.

Croquet is a great game to play while travelling throughout Australia.

It’s a great way to meet new people and can be easily set up and played in a variety of locations, wherever there is open space in parks or open areas.

To set up the game, simply place the hoops in a square formation, with each hoop placed about seven yards apart.

The first player then hits their ball through all the hoops, in order, before returning to the start point and hitting the ball through the hoops again.

You can find croquet sets at Amazon Australia or most local sports stores, so it is easy to get started.

Just be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated on those hot days.

croquet - modern equipment

Modern croquet equipment. Photo by Winnywinn, 2008, Wikimedia Commons.

Visit Bundaberg Croquet Club

And, if you’re passing through Bundaberg, be sure to visit the Bundaberg Croquet Club and meet the friendly members who are keen to introduce new people to the game.

Visitors can play a casual game for just $10.

President Jennifer Lee said local members were always happy to help beginners, so you’ll be up and playing in no time.

There is also a clubhouse, which makes for a perfect place to relax after playing. It’s also available to hire for events.

Croquet is also the perfect way to enjoy the Australian sunshine and take in the beautiful scenery near the Bundaberg Croquet Club, right next to the picturesque Burnett River.

Who knows, you might just get hooked on this historic game and make some wonderful new friends.

To find out more about the club visit https://www.croquetqld.org/clubs/wide-bay-burnett/bundaberg-croquet-club, phone (07) 4152 8472, or email bundaberg@croquetqld.org

croquet - card depicting children

A card depicting children playing Croquet. Photographer unknown. Source: University of British Columbia Library. Wikimedia Commons.

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your taste buds, creativity, and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest history and culture travel blogs here.

Add some Western Australia culture to your bucket list

Western Australia is a vast and beautiful part of the world, with plenty to offer travellers looking for new cultural experiences.

From bustling city life to countryside exploration and everything in between, Western Australia has something for everyone.

Here are nine new cultural experiences you can enjoy in Western Australia.

1. Perth’s Van Gough exhibition

One of the most visited multi-sensory experiences in the world is coming to Perth this autumn from May 27 to July 3, 2022.

Van Gogh Alive is an immersive, multi-sensory art experience that turns the life and works of the post-impressionist artist into a larger-than-life experience using large-scale projections, an ambient soundscape, dazzling lights and fragrance.

The exhibition will take place at the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth’s CBD in a specially designed and constructed 25,000 square foot immersive gallery, which will display over 3,000 images beamed across walls, floors and ceilings.

Tickets for this limited edition season are available to purchase through https://vangoghalive.com.au/perth/

2. Street mural that will take your breath away

An incredible new street mural is brightening up the wall of Perth’s iconic all-inclusive venue, The Court Hotel.

Located in the cultural hub of Northbridge, opposite the new Western Australia Museum Boola Bardip, the colourful artwork represents the diversity of Perth’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Created by world-renowned Fremantle-based artist Jackson Harvey, the thematic direction of the artwork was created after a series of workshops and consultations with the local LGBTQIA+ community.

Colour features strongly in the design, as well as a two-storey sized unicorn, as the colours of each specific community flag are depicted in a stunning scene of flora and fauna.

The mural design also aims to speak to the local history of the all-inclusive venue and the community, by incorporating the building’s existing Pride Flag into the mural. https://www.thecourt.com.au/

3. The Beaufort opens in Mount Lawley

The Beaufort is a new multi-level, state-of-the-art hospitality venue that has opened its doors on the vibrant Beaufort Street strip in the city-fringing suburb of Mount Lawley.

Taking over a former 1950s warehouse space, the $10 million venue is the second hospitality project from the award-winning team behind The Old Synagogue in Fremantle. Set over three levels, The Beaufort offers patrons multiple venues to explore.

The ground floor features an outdoor beer and wine garden, which leads upstairs to the second level, the heart of the building and the main bar and dance floor area which surrounds the central tiered jungle.

Further upstairs is a large rooftop terrace space known as the Candy Bar, and hidden within the depths of the building is a concealed speakeasy called Cypher – which plays live music each night and has one of the largest spirit collections in Perth.

The venue is also home to Lotus—a modern south-east Asian restaurant serving a unique sharing style menu that is also set over three levels.
https://www.thebeaufort.com.au/

4. Hi-Fi Listening Bar opens in Northbridge, Western Australia

Perth has recently welcomed the opening of its first hi-fi record listening bar—Astral Weeks.

Located down an alleyway in Northbridge’s Chinatown Precinct, the former herbalist’s shop has been transformed into a 60-seat vinyl-based listening bar.

The hand-built Line Magnetic hi-fi system sits mounted behind the bar, with the venue’s interiors designed to enhance the acoustics experience—with insulated ceilings, carpeted floors and acoustics panels on the walls.

The drinks menu includes a selection of lo-fi wines, craft beers, spirits and sake served by bartenders who are all either musicians or DJs, who have also curated the bar’s vast vinyl record collection.
https://astral-weeks.com.au/

5. Mandurah brewery and distillery makes waves

The coastal city of Mandurah, located just an hour south of Perth’s CBD, has recently welcomed the opening of its first microbrewery and distillery, with both venues taking advantage of the city’s idyllic waterside setting.

Boundary Island Brewery is on the water’s edge at the Mandurah Quay Resort and overlooks the stunning Peel Estuary and its namesake, Boundary Island.

The venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a range of specialty pizzas prepared in a state-of-the-art pizza oven.

Mandurah Cruises has also launched a new tour to connect their iconic dolphin experience straight to the brewery.

Little Stiller is on the Mandurah Terrace, overlooking the Mandurah Estuary, and produces four specially crafted gins and two vodkas, distilled onsite using locally sourced botanicals.

The boutique venue offers a Little Stiller tasting plate experience, as well as a range of classic cocktails with a fun twist.

A selection of bao buns is on the menu for those feeling hungry, as well as sharing style offerings.

6. Exclusive wine experience at Margaret River, Western Australia

Gralyn Estate in the renowned Margaret River region of Western Australia has recently reopened its original underground cellar door to offer a new intimate and premium wine tasting experience.

Gralyn Estate was the first winery in the region to open a cellar door in 1978, and the original cellar door had been closed to the public for many years since a new modern cellar door was built upstairs.

Wine lovers now have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and be treated to the rare opportunity to taste museum wines dating back to 1980 in a small group setting.

During the 90-minute experience guests will taste a selection of cornerstone varietals, namely chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, or premium fortified wines, including the Artizan Rare Muscat which was just recently received the prestigious accolade of ‘Wine of the Year’ at the 2022 London Wine Competition.

The tasting’s hero wine will then be sealed and recorked for guests to take home. https://gralyn.com.au/

7. Beerfarm brews up its next special edition native series

Beerfarm brewery in the Margaret River region of Western Australia has released a special edition Native Series of brews, a Quandong and Samphire Gose.

The Beerfarm brewers worked alongside Fervor, a regional pop-up dining experience that sources local produce presented in unique locations, and Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) to source the ingredients for the eighth edition of the Native Series.

BAC is a small community in Western Australia’s Great Southern region in Goreng Country.

The country that surrounds Badgebup is plentiful with Quandong trees and fresh Samphire from the saline wetlands, which were used to produce the special edition sour brew.

Native Series #8 Quandong & Samphire Gose is available to purchase from the brewery, as well as select bottle shops.
https://www.beerfarm.com.au/

8. Corvo opens in Claremont

Taking over the former Billie H in the Claremont Quarter precinct in Western Australia, Corvo is a European-inspired bar and kitchen.

The owner and sommelier has spent time with Marco Pierre White, and the chef has spent time in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe.

The space is designed for wining and dining, with a seasonal European style menu featuring fine local produce, and a wine list of almost 300 selections, as well as cocktails, beers and bar snacks.
https://corvobar.com.au/

9. European-inspired bar and restaurant you’ll love

A popular venue in Perth’s city-fringing suburb of Subiaco has recently reopened with a new bar and restaurant offering.

Dilly Dally has undergone a major refurbishment, with Bar Loiter opening at the back of the venue.

The new Italian-inspired bar and restaurant offer seated dining, a long wine table, plus an alfresco space—which was created by removing parts of the roof during the renovation.

Bar Loiter offers a menu of house-made Italian share plates, alongside a drinks selection of cocktails, wine and craft beer on tap.
https://www.dillydally.com.au/bar-loiter/

 

So if you’re looking for a cultural experience that’s a little different from the norm, Western Australia is definitely worth checking out.

With so many new Western Australian attractions on offer, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.

And who knows—maybe you’ll even become a regular visitor!

Western Australia - vineyard

Vineyards in Western Australia are worth checking out!

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

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So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest history and culture travel blogs here.

Unearth the Gems of Lightning Ridge

Opals aren’t the only gems of Lightning Ridge — discover natural desert wonders and eccentric monuments, and unearth underground art galleries and a moonscape of mines in this New South Wales outback town.

Go beneath the surface

The best way to see the outback is by getting your hands a little dirty.

Travel underground to discover the buried history of this opal-mining town, touring working mines and digging for your own precious stones.

Opal mining began in Lightning Ridge in the late 1800s and its century-old mines are still the source of many of Australia’s iridescent black opals.

Head underground and explore an original working opal mine at The Lost Treasure Opal Mine Adventure.

Marvel at the layers of opal clay and sandstone roof — hand dug by one person — and imagine what it would be like toiling here day in, day out.

Feel the anticipation of a surprise discovery as you have a go at fossicking through their spoil heaps for a gem of your own.

Run by passionate residents, Outback Opal Tours offers several guided experiences, from town trips to visits to working mines.

The popular Full Day Tour provides a ‘wild west’ experience at the rough-and-ready Grawin, Glengarry and Sheepyard opal fields, as well as visits to three authentic bush pubs.

Lightning Ridge - dusk

Soak it all in at Lightning Ridge

Relax in the therapeutic waters of Lightning Ridge’s artesian bore baths, naturally heated to a constant temperature of 41.5°C.

These two-million-year-old natural springs are part of the Great Artesian Basin, one of the largest and deepest freshwaters basins in the world; natural pressure sends bubbles of mineral-rich thermal waters up into many pools across NSW’s outback.

Free and always open (except between 10 am and midday on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for cleaning), the circular spa is a wondrous place to take in the shimmering night sky as you soak up the health-giving waters and chat with locals and visitors alike.

Hit the road

Lightning Ridge’s expansive roads lead to sights that will stay with you long after you leave.

The self-drive Car Door Tour is like a treasure map – outback style ― simply follow the coloured car doors that pepper the dirt roads along one of the four separate routes.

Meet the characters behind the Opal Tree and the Beer Can House on the Green Car Door Tour. Or visit miners’ cottages, abandoned mine shafts, a graveyard of rusty treasures and Stanley the Emu on the Yellow Car Door Tour.

You can also commune with 2,500 varieties of cactus at Bevan’s Cactus Gardens and take a walk-in mine tour on the Blue Car Door Tour.

Connect with the minds of the region’s creatives at the Bottle House & Mining Museum, Ridge’s Castle and Amigo’s Castle on the Red Car Door Tour.

Lightning Ridge - houe of bottles

 Bottle House & Mining Museum

See art like never before

The Chambers of the Black Hand is a subterranean gallery 11 metres below the earth’s surface in a 100-year-old former opal mine.

Over the past 19 years, former Royal Marine and deep-sea diver Ron Canlin has etched countless artistic carvings into the walls of these opal caves.

From native animals to Lord of the Rings characters to dinosaurs and more, this unique experience is like Mount Rushmore of the outback.

More inspiration awaits at the John Murray Art Gallery, where the former Sydney artist showcases his realist paintings that capture outback NSW with vibrant colour and quirky scenes.

Share a yarn with the locals

Find a pub at Lightning Ridge, pull up a stool and find out what life is really like out west.

Tour around the working Grawin opal fields, then head over to Grawin’s ‘Club in the Scrub’ for a drink – it’s been a hub for the community since 1976.

Wander around the cactus garden, play a round of golf at its unique desert course and there’s even a pet-friendly rest stop with a hot shower if you’re camping in the region.

Another top spot for lunch is the Glengarry Hilton for lunch; not quite like its hotel chain namesake, this tin-shed bush pub offers cold brews and a classic outback feed.

Nobby’s Bar is a classic outback drinking hole and a quintessential taste of country life in Lightning Ridge – enter in the meat raffle while you’re there.

The Lightning Ridge Opal Festival, a four-day celebration of the opal industry, is held each July and is another way to connect with the culture of the area.

The event has been running since 1971 when local miner Derek Foster and his wife Hazel created a program of activities to mark the town’s character.

Highlights include an opal and gem expo, with more than 150 outdoor stalls selling gemstones and jewellery, and the colourful black-tie Opal Queen Ball.

#destinationnsw #lightningridge #artesian bore baths

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your taste buds, creativity and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest history and culture travel blogs here.

Explore NSW’s best kept secrets

When was the last time you really connected with New South Wales (NSW)?

Sure, you may have taken a trip to inner Sydney or one of the other popular tourist destinations, but did you get out of the inner city and explore what else the beautiful state has to offer?

This year, take some time to refresh your connection to NSW by exploring some of its incredible history and culture.

From Surry Hills to Wagga Wagga, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing adventure!

1. Dine like a local in Surry Hills

From a captivating underworld history to on-trend tipples in chic spaces, the inner-city suburb of Surry Hills in NSW is full of bold contrasts.

One way to connect to this precinct’s pulse is to share food and stories at a progressive dinner with Sydney local, Maree Sheehan.

Her Sydney Connection walking tour for six takes you to excellent eateries that surprise you with sensational dishes that will make you feel right at home.

Soak up the thriving Surry Hills scene, strolling from place to place along the tree-lined streets, listening to Maree’s enthralling tales of gangsters, wine and food.

On any given night, you might sip a Rye Me A River cocktail at Tilly May’s, taste fluffy souffle at LoLuk Bistro or savour Korean charcoal chicken at Soul Dining.

2. Learn about Indigenous botanicals

Step back in time to a memorable Indigenous experience at Firescreek Botanical Winery in NSW.

The Aboriginal Bush Tucker and Wine Making Experience takes you on a cultural and botanical journey, guided by a local Darkinjung Elder and Firescreek’s winemaker.

Encircled by peaceful gardens, feel every sense come alive as you listen to the didgeridoo being played.

Gather around to sample NSW’s native botanicals from an authentic Coolamon bowl and learn how seasonal ingredients are transformed into Firescreek’s award-winning wines.

Taste rare vintages of Australian botanical-infused wines you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

NSW - Australian Aboriginal men playing Aboriginal music on didgeridoo

Australian Aboriginal men playing Aboriginal music on didgeridoo and wooden instruments.

3. Cycle along Sapphire’s secret trails

Feel at one with the landscape as you pedal along sandy coastal trails through sun-dappled forests on a cycling tour of the Sapphire Coast.

The Sapphire Coast Guiding Co. E-Bike tour winds through Mimosa Rocks National Park and finishes at Tathra Beach.

Spot kangaroos in the dunes, stop at lofty lookouts to admire vast ocean panoramas and rest overlooking the mouth of the Bega River while enjoying morning tea.

Along the two-kilometre journey, your local guide will share stories about the ancient landscape, wildlife, and history of this pristine paradise.

4. Have a spiritual awakening on the South Coast

Connect to knowledge passed down from generation to generation on an immersive Indigenous tour of Yuin country on the NSW South Coast.

The Yuin Retreat by Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness is an unforgettable two-night adventure, which you can share with other travellers or book as a private group for 6-8 people.

Your lead guide is Dwayne ‘Naja’ Bannon-Harrison, who has gleaned deep insights from nine generations before him.

The retreat involves journeys across Yuin country following Songlines.

Learning from the profound knowledge of Bannon-Harrison, you will feel enriched, with a deeper knowledge of the place, a fresh perspective on Indigenous history and a stronger awareness of your individual self and your spiritual connection to the land.

Each night, relax and reflect in a glamping tent or private cabin in either Narooma, Mystery Bay, Tilba or Bermagui – you’ll receive exact accommodation locations when you book.

5. Fly high with our NSW outback heroes

Feel your heart swell with pride as you hear the stories of our incredible NSW outback heroes from the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Dubbo.

A high-tech new visitor experience there immerses you in the moment as doctors, nurses and pilots deliver urgent medical care across the vast 7.69 million square kilometre area of the NSW outback.

Don’t miss the short film depicting real patients telling how the service saved their lives.

Children will also love the retired aircraft to explore and trying to communicate through the pedal-powered radio.

6. Walk in the footsteps of the Wiradjuri people of NSW

Tune into the spirit of the land as you embark on an Aboriginal Walkabout Tour in Wagga Wagga, NSW, with Wiradjuri man, Mark Saddler.

Run by Bundyi Cultural Knowledge Tours, learn about one of the oldest living cultures in the world as you follow in the footsteps of Saddler along the ancient Marrambidya Bila (Murrumbidgee River) and practice some Wiradjuri words.

Journey to several Wiradjuri places of cultural significance, spot wildlife and hear Saddler’s teachings about bush food, scar trees, tool making and artefacts along the way.

 

So what are you waiting for?

NSW is full of beautiful places to explore, interesting people to meet, and new experiences waiting to be had.

If you’re feeling disconnected from your work or life, a trip to NSW may be the perfect way to refresh your connection and jumpstart your creativity.

 

***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your taste buds, creativity and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest history and culture travel blogs here.

 

When two worlds combine: a revolution of wine and art

Could there be a more fruitful pairing than wine and art?

With ‘paint and sip’ studios popping up all over the country, Australian wine and art enthusiasts can’t get enough of this captivating combo.

From the Mornington Peninsula to Margaret River, many of the premium wineries that make up the Ultimate Winery Experiences collective take guests beyond the cellar door for in-depth journeys of the wine and art kind.

Read on for four of the best.

Contemplating Wine and Art at Montalto

Mornington Peninsula, VIC

wine and art_sculpture

Montalto Sculpture Trail

Montalto, together with the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, has launched a series of lunchtime wine and art events called Contemplating Art.

Share a moment out of the ordinary as you take a journey with extraordinary artists and their works, in a relaxed environment overlooking the renowned Montalto Sculpture Trail.

Each event showcases an accomplished artist in conversation, exploring the artist’s background, inspiration, techniques and works over a long lunch in The Restaurant at Montalto.

For the first event in the series, Montalto welcomes artist Patricia Piccinini with Danny Lacy, Gallery Director of MPRG, on Thursday 12 May 2022.

Danny was the Guest Judge of the Montalto Sculpture Prize 2021, and along with Creative Director Neil Williams will take guests on a guided walk of the Montalto Sculpture Trail before lunch.

Patricia Piccinini is a Melbourne based artist, who is best known for her mutant life-like creatures rendered in silicone and hair.

From the start of her career, her work has combined the cute and the grotesque, pitting our impulse to nurture against revulsion, encouraging us to see the beauty of all created forms, however monstrous, deformed or artificial.

Click here to find out more.

Wine & Surrealism

d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale, SA

Sip on impeccable McLaren Vale vino and explore a surrealist exhibition featuring 25 authentic Salvador Dali bronze sculptures and graphic artworks, at the famous d’Arenberg Cube.

Also on display are paintings by Australia’s own surrealist Charles Billich, whose artworks hang in the Vatican, The White House and the United Nations.

A lifelong passion for Surrealism, Charles Billich’s artworks provide the perfect juxtaposition for the magnificent Salvador Dali sculptures.

A contemporary art gallery called the Alternate Realities Museum can be found on the ground floor of the d’Arenberg Cube, where you can embark on a self-guided wine and art tour through tactile displays, such as a wine aroma room, a virtual fermenter, and a 360° video room.

Wine and art buffs dining in d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant receive free admission to the Dali Exhibition, while pre-booked wine masterclass guests gain access to the Dali exhibition for $10.

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

Moorilla at MONA, Tasmania

Moorilla winery shares its site with the innovative Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), home to Australia’s largest private art collection.

Kick-off your Moorilla Experience by sailing from Hobart to Mona on their super-flash, high-speed ferry.

Take your time on a self-guided exploration of the subterranean galleries and then head to your one-course lunch of seasonal local produce, matched with a glass of wine from Moorilla’s Muse or Praxis Series.

Fed and watered, you’ll then delve into Moorilla’s backstory with your expert host and get acquainted with the finer points of old and new artisanal winemaking techniques.

You’ll be treated to a tasting of ten different Moorilla/Domaine A wines—elegant, fragrant and often experimental.

Wine and Art at Leeuwin

Margaret River, Western Australia

Family-owned Leeuwin Estate in beautiful Margaret River celebrates fine wine, food and its long association with wine and art.

wine and art - art gallery

Leeuwin Art Gallery

Take a guided stroll through the Leeuwin Art Gallery to view the unique collection of more than 100 contemporary Australian Artworks that have featured on the winery’s iconic ‘Art Series’ labels, while also learning about the famous Leeuwin Concert Series, featuring alfresco performances from the world’s leading musicians and entertainers.

Many notable names from the art fraternity can be found in the Leeuwin Art Gallery.

Sir Sidney Nolan, when approached at the beginning of the series, advised he was not a graphic artist and did not paint for wine labels.

He was also a red wine buff and was sent two unlabelled bottles of the 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon – one of Leeuwin’s best vintages.

He responded that for this wine he would happily provide a painting. This resulted in his Dolphin Rock appearing on the label.

Leeuwin Immersion Experience provides insight into the history of the Margaret River region, the winemaking philosophy and the commitment to the arts of this family-owned Estate.

 

Discover more at www.ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au

 

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your tastebuds, creativity and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, whether it’s wine and art or something else that appeals to your interest in history and culture, check out some of my latest blogs here.

 

 

New multi-cultural cuisine, cycling tours and more

We’re always on the lookout for good cuisine and new experiences when travelling.

Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall spot or a Michelin-starred restaurant, we love tasting local cuisine as we explore Australia.

In April 2022 we were excited to hear that across NSW there’s a new sense of connection as city chefs step inside country kitchens and multi-cultural cuisine flourishes on the Central Coast.

And, from restored pubs to cycling tours and high tea on the coast, there are a lot of new things happening in the state.

We spoke to Destination NSW and this is what they had to say!

Cuisine

Savour flavour on the Central Coast

A swag of feel-good new eateries has launched on the Central Coast.

On The Entrance waterfront, Tango tempts locals and travellers alike with vibrant South American cuisine.

At Ettalong, Chica Chica serves Latin American cuisine and innovative cocktails, while Innerglow Kiosk specialises in restorative small-batch cold-pressed juices.

City chef ventures to Byron Bay

The Eltham Hotel in the lush Byron Bay hinterland welcomes sought-after Melbourne chef Tim Goegan into the kitchen, supporting culinary star Andrew McConnell.

The team works closely with local farmers to enrich their cuisine with beach-to-plate produce such as saltbush and seaweed butter.

Villas in the vineyard

New luxury villas grace the beautiful Leogate Estate at the foot of the Brokenback Ranges in the Hunter Valley.

The inviting villas have decks with dramatic views of the Brokenback Vineyard and elegant interiors with a luxurious king-size bed, separate lounge and kitchenette.

Urban hot spot

In Newcastle’s trendy suburb of Wickham, popular coffee house, Dark Horse Wickham is collaborating with local fashion label House of Lita.

Inside the bold black-and-white space, there are dreamy clothing designs, classic cuisine and of course, Dark Horse Blend coffee.

Fine dine at the brewery

Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. in Port Stephens is launching a fine-dining experience, Restaurant William, with executive chef Kumar KC, formerly of Sydney’s Spice Temple.

The menu will evolve weekly with a fusion of international flavours such as Chinese and Korean, with a modern Australian bent.

High tea in Port Stephens

Also, at Murray’s Craft Brewing Co., visitors can book a sophisticated high tea.

Seated inside the whimsical Agnes High Tea Pavillion, guests devour delicate morsels by a talented Singaporean pastry chef, with accompanying drinks packages including sparkling wine, Champagne or cocktails.

Matt Moran’s new country pub

Celebrity chef Matt Moran has bought the historic Rockley Pub, south of Bathurst — the small village of Rockley is close to Moran’s heart as he has deep family connections to the region.

Moran has recently opened the front bar, with hearty counter meals and craft beer, and harbours big plans for the rest of the venue.

New digs in Narooma

Merivale has been acquiring South Coast venues in the coastal hamlet of Narooma.

One of the town’s oldest buildings, Lynch’s Hotel, is the latest to be purchased by the hospitality group, adding to their collection, which includes Quarterdeck, The Whale Inn, and The Inlet.

Experiences

Roll into the Central Coast

A new roller-skating venue has opened in Erina.

Housed in an airy space with mirrored walls, disco balls, and a retail outlet selling skating accessories, Rollerfit Erina offers a fantastic kids’ skating class with coaching and games, plus adult roller-dance classes.

Cycle through Country NSW

An inspiring cycling route now weaves through the beautiful Central West.

The Orange Villages Bike Trail is a 360km six-day trail around Mount Canobolas with eateries, vineyards, museums and accommodation dotted along the way. F

or a guided experience, book an e-bike tour with Central West Tours to learn local secrets about history, food, art and wine.

Toast of the town

One of Sydney’s favourite bakeries is set to start kneading dough on the NSW Central Coast, with Sonoma Bakery opening a new location in Terrigal later this month.

Sonoma’s co-founder Andrew Connole is originally from the Central Coast, so it’s a homecoming for him.

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

My blog acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your creativity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest travel and leisure blogs here.