30 May 2024

Here's why you should plan your next weekend away in Murrumbateman

| Morgan Kenyon
horseriding group passing dam

Murrumbateman proudly sports more than 20 award-winning wineries, but the region has even more to offer for those looking to immerse themselves just a little deeper. Photo: Burnelee Excursions on Horseback.

Nestled in the midst of Yass Valley’s picture-perfect, cool climate wine country is the little town of Murrumbateman.

Originally a gold mining destination, these days the village acts as a hub for growers, producers, artisans and crafters of all kinds. And while it’s certainly not just a tourist town, Murrumbateman does attract a strong share of Yass Valley’s weekend visitors, drawn in by a plethora of places to eat, drink, explore and be merry.

For lovers of all things farm life, The Vintner’s Daughter winery and Blackwattle Alpaca Farm run exclusive tours and behind-the-scenes homestead experiences for the entire family.

Burnelee Excursions on Horseback is a unique way to explore the valley’s many beautiful trails and grasslands, through bush rides, muster experiences and twilight excursions.

And if that sweet tooth needs sating, Murrumbateman Chocolate Co is sure to have a handcrafted wonder (or three) to salivate over.

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David Faulks of nearby Tallagandra Hill Winery says Murrumbateman’s overt celebration of distinct, diverse beauty is what makes it truly special.

“Murrumbateman has a unique natural charm,” he says.

“The village itself has everything a local or visitor might need. There are plenty of food, retail, health and wellness opportunities, and a level of authenticity to its products and services rarely seen.

“We are so easily accessible from Canberra, but there’s a really different vibe throughout the village and into the hills beyond, fuelled by diverse passions, skills, knowledge and personalities.”

David runs the winery alongside his wife, Mary McAvoy. Fostering a philosophy of We Love Local, they run live music shows and wine festivals throughout the year, having featured the likes of Jimmy Barnes, The Waifs and Kate Ceberano.

“What makes Murrumbateman so different, I think, is the collaboration between local growers, producers and creators,” he says.

“We see ourselves as partners rather than competitors and that’s not just amongst the wineries, it includes the chocolatiers, beekeepers, farmers, artists, musicians and everyone in between.

“Most of us across the Yass Valley, whether in Murrumbateman, Sutton or Gundaroo, are quite small. But we recognise that together we are mighty and being so connected is what makes us strong.”

Region Media‘s own Sally Hopman has been a Yass Valley resident for eight years. From her little cottage on Murrumbateman’s outskirts, she feels blessed to take in the region’s natural beauty each day.

“Many people move out to Murrumbateman because it has the feel of a rural village, yet is only a short drive from the nation’s capital,” she says.

“With many homes on large blocks or acres, it is heavily treed, giving that country atmosphere. There’s also a strong creative spirit thanks to people moving out here so they have room for their passion – from painters to sculptors, writers and poets.”

Sally notes a strong community spirit, with a nod to Murrumbateman Field Days, which runs each spring to raise funds for local charities and community groups.

“Murrumbateman Field Days is run by volunteers, many of whom have been doing it all their lives.

“It attracts thousands of people and is also used to showcase the region’s cool climate wine and other produce.”

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Murrumbateman has indeed grown from what Sally says was a “one-servo town” to a true village township with its own retail precinct in Fairley Square, a school, motel, gyms, and medical centre.

“The square has introduced our very own Two Before Ten, Clementine Bakery, and Thyme to Taste, which sells local wines, cheese and other produce,” she says.

“It’s the community spirit of the place that makes it so special, including the collaboration between local producers of wine, olives, alpaca fleece, berries, flowers and more, who band together to provide a total experience for visitors.”

For more information on things to do in Murrumbateman, check out Yass Valley.

Original Article published by Morgan Kenyon on Riotact.

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