Tag Archives: Featured

Nosh Houses: Clare to Sevenhill to Mintaro to Saddleworth

Well, I love food. And on the rare occasion we ‘go out for food’ I like to indulge myself and order something that I don’t cook regularly (that could be an endless list!)

I will start by telling you about our experience at a Clare cafe, a Sevenhill Hotel, a Pub in Mintaro and a cafe in Saddleworth.

In Clare we do like to frequent  Zest Cafe – 260 Main North Rd (at the rear of an open arcade). It has lovely food, good atmosphere, happy staff and importantly for us, dog friendly (as Jeda comes everywhere with us). We have taken friends there after showing them Clare’s main street and sat and enjoyed beautiful food whilst catching up. On the occasion in the photo it was Valentines Day….(ooohh that’s coming up again!) and we enjoyed a beautiful (and very rare) breakfast out! It was yum!

The next excursion was my birthday (2017) when my beloved took me to lunch at Sevenhill Hotel – Main North Road at Sevenhill. Instead of eating in the main dining area we were treated to a dining experience….in the cellar! It was quieter, cooler and more cosy (being December). AND we were surrounded by the Clare Valley’s best wines!!! I spent a lot of my time reading all the wine labels. The meal was lovely and staff very friendly (even at the busy Christmas time rush).

Further afar from Clare is the historic town of Mintaro. Love this town and it’s buildings. In the middle of town is The Magpie & Stump Hotel – Burra Street. It has been newly renovated (originally built 1851) and open 7 days a week. It’s a must do when ‘cellar dooring’ around the Valley. We have taken friends there and enjoyed sitting inside as well as outside in the beer garden.  Lunch burgers are recommended along with an array of wines and beers. We have been there on weekends and sometimes the wait for your meal is a bit long but then they are a lot busier too. Take a walk around Mintaro and enjoy the stone buildings, the Maze, Martindale Hall built 1879-1880, a living museum.

On a Sunday after visiting the Saddleworth Country Market, we stopped at Saddleworth Cafe – 12 Belvidere Road. It’s also a grocery store. As we had Jeda with us we were able to sit outside and have our morning tea watching the passers by. The pancakes we had were beautiful (note Jeda eyeing them off!) I enjoyed wandering through the Saddleworth Community Hub Shop (it is jam-packed with retro clothes and bric-a-brac, plants, gifts etc). Also the op shop is in the main street. There’s enough to do here to keep you busy most of a Sunday – also a museum and a pub!

Next post will be some cellar doors that offer meals … and good ones at that!!

#zestcafe #saddleworthcountrymarket #saddleworthcafe #saddleworthcommunityhubshop #sevenhillhotel #magpieandstumphotel #martindalehall

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Cellar Door: Mad Bastard Wines

My first blog in this new category is: Mad Bastard Wines, within walking distance to Clare CBD.

We visited here over a year ago, at the beginning of our education in all things WINE! It was Christmas, it was busy, but the person who served us our wine tasting took the time to have a chat and was very friendly. We (moi) really liked their Rieslings & Mataro Rose.  And LOVED the wine glasses!!

We left with a box full (it was Christmas after all). I thought the signs at the front entrance & up the driveway showed a wicked sense of humour, someone maybe who doesn’t take life too seriously. The owner Mark Barry (son of Jim Barry, the family company) as his website says: determined to do things differently with emphasis on quality & distinctive wines.

Cellar Door is open daily 10am – 4pm. 400 Main North Road, Clare SA.  Visit his website before visiting: Mad Bastard Wines

Our 1st Christmas on Da Block!

It’s been a year of 1sts! 1 year since we purchased our ‘base’ here in the beautiful Clare Valley, SA and 1 year since we’ve been classified as ‘Itinerants’. The time has gone so quickly (apparently that happens as you get older!! :P) 

We have achieved much, have lots more to do, have enjoyed 3 months away in the winter doing our first love – travelling, and are about to celebrate 1 year of ‘block ownership’! It’s warming up too, which is typical for SA, yet a couple of days ago we were wearing our Ugg boots and sweaters!?

I have posted a few photos of our 1st flowers in our ‘live or die garden bed’, a pano of a rainbow over the shed one arvo and some food of course!!

Next year I will be introducing a new category, Cellar Doors & Nosh Houses of the Clare Region!!! We have ‘made’ ourselves venture out on Sunday arvos to sample what visitors to the Valley already know: how good the wineries and food joints are here!! We are by no means experts on wines, just know what we like (just like food!).

So to anyone out there following my blog/website, thank you and I hope you will follow us again next year. Maybe next year I will be able to catch up on Photographs to add to my Catalogs. Please follow me on Facebook @Ozontheroadphotos

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Birdsville Races September 2018

Yes I am aware it’s now November!! I have been a tad busy of late but finally got some photos together of our Birdsville Races trip this year. We had been to the Big Red Bash in July, did a bolt over to the coast for a couple of weeks then a bolt back to Birdsville!! Note to self: it’s a bit of a distance – don’t do that again!!!

We met up with some ‘mates on the road’ friends we hadn’t seen in years and set up camp in the same spot we camped back in 2014! Near a tap about half way to racetrack & town.  In case anyone wants to know: there are 10 taps along the town common to the river.

We watched the common and town grow from a few hundred to around 7000! We aren’t into racing, but it’s really the atmosphere at the Hotel, the vendors and entertainment that contributes to make it a special event. Fred Brophy’s Boxing Troupe, The Old Hospital puts on a Pancake Palace, Salty the Blacksmith, the RFDS Fun Run, Riversands Wines from St George have a stall and all the food vendors including wood fired pizzas, chinese, RFDS food tent, Donuts, Kebabs etc plus a Western Outfitters – it’s all here!

Every couple of weeks the Fruit & Vege truck makes a visit and the locals and visitors can top up on fresh produce at reasonable prices.

The races are held over two days, but they have things happening the week prior. A bus service runs for these two days from the town, out along the common to the racetrack and back for a RFDS donation. Brilliant. Alcohol tickets are purchased at the Birdsville Hotel before going to the racetrack.

Surprisingly I had a win!!! Broke even (plus a bit) on a hunch.

We spent a few more days after the races watching the almost immediate evacuation of Birdsville! By then the roads were clear but a bit rugged due to so much traffic (as they were after the Big Red Bash). The town and occupants of Birdsville do a marvelous job in all respects: from the council services, the accommodations, the fuel and food services to cater for so many people. They should be proud of their community.

My advice to anyone heading to the BRB or Races in Birdsville: arrive early and leave later. Take everything you need (fuel up BEFORE Windorah, Birdsville or Marree) but support the locals as best you can. Most importantly: enjoy the Outback Hospitality!

Birdsville Hotel

The Big Red Bash, Birdsville – July 2018

It’s taken me awhile but I’ve finally sorted all my photos from our trip, including the Big Red Bash at Birdsville.

We arrived nearly a week early (avoiding the rush). B had volunteered already, and I applied once we got there. He was on setup and pack down duties (3 shifts) and I was allocated a early Road Marshall shift and two Toilet ‘Angel’ shifts. My tip is to get in early for applying for volunteer roles as the good ones go early!! You save yourself the price of a ticket, yes, but you feel like you are more involved with the whole experience by meeting all the event co-ordinators and management of the event plus you meet some great people along the way.

Because B’s first shift was the Friday before the Bash concert days (Tues, Wed & Thurs) we headed out early Friday, so we were able to choose our camp spot easily after 4pm that day – we were in the Dog Section closest to the dunes. We spent 8 days out at Bashville all up, so it’s important to have enough food & water – there are food vendors and composting toilets but no water.

Our campsite in large Dog Section nearest to Big Red dunes

The whole experience was fantastic (even my toilet duties!) The concerts were great, the daytime activities kept kids & adults busy. They had the RFDS Drag Races, the Nutbush Guinness Book of Records attempt (which we achieved!) kids shows with the Crackup Sisters and Amber Lawrence, Mal Leyland was there to introduce his 1966 movie “Wheels across the Wilderness” and they also held the Air Guitar Championships.  There is ample information on the official website www.bigredbash.com.au as well as the Facebook site ‘Travelling to the Big Red Bash’. If you are a volunteer you also get access to the Volunteers Facebook site.

The artists were all brilliant. First night featured Adam Brand & Busby Marau. Second night: Amber Lawrence, Travis Collins, The Wolfe Brothers, Russell Morris, The Angels & Hoodoo Gurus. Third night: Black Sorrows, Kate, Jon, Darryl Braithwaite & John Farnham.

Another small tip: allow time rolling in and rolling out. Don’t be in a rush. People were lined up to leave Friday morning for hours. We left after lunch and had a clear run. We stayed on the Birdsville Common before and after the Bash, you are best to be self contained as no facilities out there. Best of all, there are 12 water taps all the way from town boundary to the Diamantina River on the east side of the road.

If anyone would like to know more about our experience in case you too are contemplating attending the Bash please send me a message or email. Next years artists will be announced in October and dates for applications for volunteering should be soon after.

We’re back!!! Bbrrrrrr!!!

So, after 12 weeks away in Queensland & New South Wales we have returned to South Australia and our block a tad too early!!! It’s freezing!!!!! 😦

I am still trying to wade through the zillion photos I took (I have RSI of my Delete finger!!). Will post photos of our experience at the Big Red Bash near Birdsville as soon as I can – it was a fantastic experience and a ‘must do’ for anyone interested in the most remote concert in Australia! Volunteering made it even more fun, and a feeling of being involved in something really special.

We did a bee-line for Brisbane (been every road from east to west) to get a few things done and a flying visit with family and friends, before we headed back out to Birdsville for the Races. Another bucket list item (our 2nd time) and better as we got to spend time with friends we met years ago in WA. We four are freakishly alike in a lot of ways which made it more fun. On the trip back south we had a couple of ‘issues’ with truck & van which made B real chirpy! Now at least we have found the worst road in SA to tow a van on!!!

We have a bit of work to do here on da block but I will try to get some photos together to share the fun of the Big Red Bash for those who may be interested in it next year…..9-11 July 2019. NB: the artists will be announced in October….stay tuned!!! http://www.bigredbash.com.au

Arrived back at da Block and giving the rig a much needed wash down!

South Oz to Outback Queensland!!!

Well, what a trip! As with most travels on the road there are ups and downs…we did have a number of ‘downs’ pre-trip (not worth going into) but one thing that did cause concern was our batteries.

Day 2 – Peterborough Rest Area, SA – woke up to low voltage throughout van – and it was freezing!! Turned on diesel heater – no go, lights dim, loo wouldn’t flush!! Bugger! So it was a mad dash on a Saturday morning to nearest battery shop (Port Pirie) for 4 new batteries. B installed Sat arvo and then we were off again! Big thanks to Neville Coe of Coe’s Autoelectrical!

Then on to the Flinders Ranges…we thought! Held up for 4 hours just outside of Port Augusta due to Bike Race. Eventually we made it to our favourite stop: Willow Springs Station.  We did a 3 month work stint here many years ago and when we return we are always made to feel like family.

Sunset views @ Willows Springs Station

Check out their website (above) to see what’s on offer: from bush camp sites to 4×4 tracks to hiking trails to doing absolutely nothing! I took Jeda’s photo @ 8wks at the woolshed, so tried to replicate the photo again 4 1/2 yrs later, but not with much success!

Jeda @ 8weeks and recently 4 1/2 years

After a few days there it was onwards to Blinman, Parachilna, Farina, Lyndhurst (for fuel) & Marree. Had read a bit about the restoration of Farina and the underground bakery so stopped over a couple of nights to check out the ruins and of course the bakery! Absolutely beautiful fresh baked bread daily (only a few months a year so check website) – highly recommended!!!

Farina’s freshly baked bread

Stopped a night in carpark of Marree Hotel. Shouted ourselves dinner in the pub. By around 5pm the carpark was full of travellers! And by 8am the next day most had gone! From here we headed up the Birdsville Track. Smoko at Clayton Station – they have a lovely spa tub that is worth a stopover, stopped a night at Cooper Creek (no creek!), onwards past Mungeranie as we had stopped here before. Only took us 2 days and we arrived in Birdsville late afternoon.

We did have a mishap on the track though. Scored a broken rear window from a Road Train. It happens (1st time for us). B taped it up best he could till we could get it repaired.  Only a few days before the road had been closed due to rain. Graders were working frantically making sure traffic could get through due to Big Red Bash starting soon.

Smashed rear window

We parked up on the Birdsville Common with thousands of others! Did some long needed washing and minor repairs. Then it was time to sign in to the Big Red Bash Volunteers Hall in town. B signed in and I volunteered at the time as they had a number of people unable to attend or fulfill their roles. I was allotted Road Marshall for one shift and two shifts on Toilet Duties (Loo Angels).

Then too soon it was time to head out to the Big Red Bash site for B’s first setup shift. I will post a separate blog about the bash when I get time to edit my thousands of photos!! Let’s just say it was BRILLIANT!!! The concerts were great, the performers were terrific, but the event as a whole was a wonderful experience. We met some lovely volunteers and had a great time, made even better because we were able to take Jeda. I even hung out in the ‘mosh pit’ for a few performances (took me back to 25 long years ago!!)

After the Bash, we went back to Birdsville common for a day or so then we headed up to Boulia for the Camel Races. Free camping included with your ticket. By the time we arrived there were hundreds of campers there. We spent 6 days and loved it. They had entertainers for 2 nights but it was so cold we bailed early for a warm caravan!

Relaxing before the race meet begins

From Boulia we headed to Middleton, Winton (Hotel), Barcaldine, Anakie, Duaringa (Hotel), Lake Victoria, Mt Perry to Hervey Bay. Recommend Winton Hotel carpark for free camping and a great pub meal (find info on Wikicamps).

To sum up – yes outback Queensland is dry, dusty and remote – and beautiful. It is DEFINITELY a  must do for all Travellers. Don’t be put off by distance, dirt or cost. Support the people of the Outback by visiting their ‘backyard’.