Thursday, November 29, 2012

Discovering the Backroads Trail

This Sunday from 10am until 5pm Australia’s newest tourism region and gourmet food trail, the Backroads Trail is inviting locals and visitors to the inaugural open day. Officially launched in early October, the Backroads Trail is now open for business.

Stretching from Echuca-Moama, up through Mathoura and along the north side of the Murray River to Barham-Koondrook and everywhere in between including Womboota, Bunnaloo and Caldwell, the Backroads Trail has been five years in the making.

Don and Jo Hearn from the award winning Restdown Winery were the driving forces behind the establishment of the trail.

This weekend people have the opportunity to visit some or all of the fifteen or more small businesses along the trail that are opening their doors on Sunday. Near Moama, people can visit Pacdon Park and sample their gourmet British Smallgoods; Sevilo Grove for farm tours and olive oil; Bright on the Murray Bed and Breakfast, a 120 year old homestead on the bank of the Murray River.

Heading west along the Perricoota Road is the impressive Perricoota Station available for accommodation and functions. Further towards Barham and Caldwell on Jungle Lane is Restdown Wines with their underground cellar door and picturesque 1.4km wetlands walking trail.

The Old School Winery and Meadery (honey wines) near Womboota offers cellar door sales, a mead-mulling demonstration as well as pottery and art studios.
Around Bunnaloo you can purchase cold-extracted high quality honey from the Bassett Family Apiaries and enjoy a farm tour at Graythorn Poll Dorsets.

Mathoura on the eastern edge of the Backroads Trail is home to the delicious seedless Imperial mandarins and other seasonal local produce at Mathoura Mandarins.

Local Barham small businesses included on the Trail are; the Kurrnung Citrus Honesty Box filled with a variety of seasonal oranges and grapefruit in Lilford Lane; Norm and Jan Thomas’ Hill House Farmstay; Bundarra Berkshires Free Range Pork on East Barham Road; Border Packers just over the bridge in Koondrook for locally grown citrus; Ash and Linda Williams’ Barham River Cruises aboard “The Matilda” and the Myers Family Barham Avocados at Horseshoe Bend out on the Gonn Road.

Along the way you are encouraged to stop and read any of the nineteen interpretive panels at twelve different sign-posted sites as they explain the history of the region from the geological formation of the natural landscape through to the modern day sustainable farming practices.

Rural art and history is well represented on the Backroads Trail with the Farmgate Sculptures made from recycled farm machinery (and a creative sense of humour) at the entrance of a number of properties along the trail.
The redgum chainsaw sculpture trail along the banks of the Murray River at Barham and Koondrook provides a short history of the area’s pioneers and local wildlife.

Local museum the Border Flywheelers in Jamieson Avenue has an extensive collection of tractors, machinery and other artefacts used by the farming communities of the Murray Darling Basin. Art galleries include Grant’s in Mellool Street, Barham; an open artist studio displaying Grant Walker’s fine pen and ink rural landscapes as well as work by other local artists.

If you’re heading out along the Backroads Trail for a Sunday drive this weekend (or any other day) brochures and maps can be picked up from the Wakool Shire Office in Murray Street Barham, local visitor information centres in the region or downloaded straight from the website:

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