Gloucester River Campground
From beachfronts to mountain tops, great camping spots are in abundance on the Barrington Coast. But one of the most idyllic places to pitch up for the night has to be next to a babbling river and Gloucester River Campground offers that experience in spades.
The picturesque riverside campground among the trees is home to a variety of unique wildlife including red-necked pademelons and lyrebirds which can both be spotted during the day.
Idea for groups or families, this campground offers riverside camping, swimming, walking and picnicking. And in Barb and Elkie’s case, the perfect base camp for touring the area by bike.
The campground has picnic tables, barbecue facilities and toilets, but you’ll need to bring drinking water, cooking water and firewood. Bookings are required and can be made via the National Parks Contact Center on 1300 072 757 or by visiting nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
Gloucester Tops Road
Rain, hail or shine, cycling amongst the lush farmland that surrounds Gloucester Tops Road makes for a thrilling yet challenging adventure. The sweeping vistas and open fields contrast with narrow, tree-lined valleys cut by crystal clear rivers flowing from the Tops.
With varying road surfaces, numerous fords and cattle grids, and the potential for roving herds to block the road, the twists and turns that meander through the luscious rolling hills never deliver a dull moment. Luckily Barb and Elkie are riding gravel bikes that are designed to handle this type of terrain.
The rush of flowing rivers, bellowing of cattle and calls of bird song create a tranquil soundtrack while cycling here. But don’t be fooled by the serenity, ascending the numerous hills can be testing and it’s essential that you carry spare inner tubes, a chain and tool and plenty of drinking water.
Steeped in rich history, the town of Stroud dates back to the 1820s with many of its old buildings now heritage listed. Preserving these architectural gems provide a strong sense of place for the township which is located on the Bucketts Way, south of Gloucester Road.
You’ll find boutique stores and cafes here as well as the more famous buildings like the Stroud Hotel, Court House, Quambi School House and the Post Office.
The Farmer’s Wife Gin Distillery
Saving the best until last, Barb and Elkie stopped into the Farmer’s Wife Distillery to sample hand-crafted, boutique batch gin and to get warm by the fire.
Owner and artisan distiller Kylie Sepos, sources as many local ingredients as possible to make her gin, growing many on her own property. Native sage, myrtles and pepper berry along with her signature native sugar bag honey bestow their magic upon her signature Autumn Dry Gin, layering each sip with a refined local flavour.
Crafted using a one-shot distillation process in a traditional copper pot still, this small-batch gin is a homage to the tradition of gin making and the native flavours of Australia. Kylie says that using copper is essential because it produces a softer, smoother spirit as a result of a chemical reaction in the distillation process. And the beautiful copper still makes for an impressive centerpiece in the distillery building.
The Farmer’s Wife Autumn Dry Gin is something rather special, the rare sugar bag honey inscribes a unique citrus sweetness that delivers a softness and depth to the gin; it’s perfect in a classic G&T but has the complexity and softness to be sipped neat.
Kylie recommends a garnishing her signature G&T with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh rosemary which compliments the Autumn Gin aroma perfectly. Elkie and Barb couldn’t agree more.
Kylie’s commitment to producing spirits sustainably and in the true tradition of copper pot distillation will also be reflected in rum and whisky distillation in the future.
The Farmer’s Wife Distillery is located at the near the village of Allworth, south of Stroud along the scenic Bucketts Way. Tastings are by appointment only, but the gin is available from several stockists across the Barrington Coast region including in Pacific Palms.