When you’re keen to explore the outdoors but the weather isn’t on your side, how about a road trip?
There almost endless places to choose from, and this week we’re revisiting some of our favourite places that are an hour or less from the capital. Between them, there’s a range of cafes, pubs and restaurants that will keep you occupied and well fed.
The village of Hall is just a short hop from the ACT border. Despite its proximity to the busier areas of Belconnen and Gungahlin, Hall is full of rural charm and character. Surrounded by hobby farms, it’s a perfect place to while away a few pleasant hours soaking up its rich history and fabulous country hospitality. Check out the Hartley Hall Markets on the first Sunday of each month. They’re a treasure trove of home-made and home-grown goods, and one of Australia’s biggest.
Gundaroo is the perfect place to enjoy a country-style lunch. There are tantalisingly good food and wine experiences to be had. Cork Street Café is the ideal setting for a casual meal – don’t miss their pizza – while Grazing offers fine dining that showcases fresh local ingredients and wine.
A walk down the main street provides a crash-course in the interesting history of the area. With a hotel, a general store, a park and several churches, a range of building styles from stone to locally fired brick are easy to explore in this character-filled village surrounded by rolling countryside.
3. Poachers Way Food and Wine Trail
This is a touring route designed with fans of quality food and wine in mind. It takes in the villages around Canberra, including Bungendore, Hall, Murrumbateman and Gundaroo. On offer is an impressive range of food, wine, crafts and galleries. The self-drive trail takes you through some of the prettiest countryside in NSW focused on the cool-climate wine growing region around Canberra.
4. Murrumbateman wineries
This is one for the wine lovers, with so many wineries to choose from. Recommendations include the Four Winds Vineyard for its wood-fired pizzas, the Shaw Vineyard Estate for its lovely setting, and Eden Road Wines for its knowledgeable staff.
The quiet and sleepy village of Collector is just a short distance from the Hume Highway between Canberra and Goulburn, but it feels like it’s a million miles away from the noise and speed of the highway. Home to just a few hundred people, it’s a top spot to stop on your next road trip, or for a mini day trip on its own. Drop in to the Bushranger Hotel for an excellent pub-style meal in the bistro, or check out Some Cafe’s paddock-to-plate menu. Collector may be small, but there are plenty of reasons to visit the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location.