Home' Open Road NSW Central Coast and Hunter : OR0317 Contents My journey into the past continues at the Rymill Coonawarra
winery. It’s actually next-door to the property at which Mary
McKillop first started teaching, and the family who established
the winery make regular appearances in her story. Over five
generations, this family has excelled at wine-making and their
high achievements don’t end there. John Riddoch Rymill was a
famed explorer and led the 1934 British Graham Land
Expedition, mapping over 1000km of the Antarctic Peninsula.
There’s nothing as pleasurable as a fine cheese platter
enjoyed in the shade of a quiet garden, so it’s with reluctance I
leave Rymill having wiled away the afternoon doing just that.
I head for my last stop, Mount Gambier, a town that’s famous
for its magnificent ‘holes’ in the ground.
The Blue Lake is mind-boggling in colour, the Umpherston
Sinkhole Garden is filled with wonderful hydrangeas (just like
my late grandfather’s garden) and the Mount Schank volcano
crater walk is spectacular. However, it’s the chocolate and lolly
fed cows that I’ll truly never forget. I find them on a visit to
Mayura Station – a Wagyu cattle farm about 40 minutes south-
west. Chef Mark Wright (incidentally, also a friend of Tom
Tilbury) runs a small, set-menu restaurant where various cuts
of Wagyu beef are prepared while he explains the history of the
breed and how they are fed a mix of grain, lolly snakes and
chocolate for 500 days. I can honestly say I’ve never had a
better dining experience. His food is stunningly prepared, the
presentations are really interesting, and the Wagyu dishes are
unbelievable. It’s definitely worth the wallet splurge.
After experiencing four sublime days on the Limestone Coast,
I feel like I could have easily spent 20. Between its two major
wine regions, the almost unending coastline and the wonderful
emerging food scene, the southern coast of South Australia is
the perfect mix of adventure, comfort and sophistication.
Take a five-day Southern Ocean Drive, with four nights’
stay in Barossa, Robe, Port Fairy and Apollo Bay, plus five
days’ car rental of a Hyundai i20 or similar. To book, call
1300 292 803 or go to nrmatravel.com.au
Valid for travel from April 1 to November 30, 2017. Price is $770 per person
twin share and based on low season; will vary depending on date of travel.
Picturesque sights include
the dormant volcano of
Mount Schank (above),
the drive into the Rymill
(below) and Granite Island
at sunset (bottom).
There are over 15 beaches between
Mount Gambier and Adelaide that you
can officially drive a 4WD onto, including
Australia’s longest beach drive,
stretching from Kingston SE for 160km
to the Murray River mouth. Most of
these beaches are quiet, but on summer
public holidays (like Australia Day) four
in Adelaide turn into car parks. In a
great local initiative, entry to these four
beaches costs $6 per vehicle, but only if
there’s someone there to collect it and
the temperature is forecast to be above
25 degrees. When there is, the money
goes to local community groups.
The Limestone Coast is deservedly
becoming more recognised as a
gourmet destination. Here are our
THE TASTING ROOM
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday
nights, or by appointment, chef Mark
Wright prepares stunning Wagyu
courses on Mayura Station.
PORT ELLIOT BAKERY
With a huge range of
speciality pies and
delectable pastries, it’s the
sort of bakery that isn’t
unfamiliar with a line out the door.
GATHER FOOD AND WINE
Using local produce, wild gathered food
and traditional bush tucker, this great
restaurant is in Robe’s historic quarter.
What the Barn lacks in interior design it
makes up for in its wine list and the best
steaks in Mount Gambier. barn.com.au
Robe’s Long Beach
26 OPEN ROAD
We tour the limestone
cave formed over hundreds
of millions of years
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