Frosty mornings over green rolling hills will put you in the mood to relax in front of a toasty fireplace with wine in hand!
Shorter days and cooler weather are now setting in and there is the temptation to curl up at home and stay warm until the chilly weather departs but we recommend rugging up and exploring the Pyrenees outdoors and then perching yourself in a cosy cellar door to savour the rich red wines the region is famous for.
Keep warm with our guide to the best things to do in the Pyrenees during the cooler months.
Check out Australia’s first glow in the dark Silo Art
Avoca has become the 47th painted silo and displays an image of the Barking Owl which is native to the Pyrenees Ranges.
By highlighting native flora and fauna from the region, artist Jimmi Buscombe and Avoca Community Arts & Gardens, who commissioned the design, hope to build awareness about the rare and endangered species.
The silo has two separate glow in the dark features that can be experienced after dark. With the days getting shorter, winter is a great time of year to experience Avoca’s new interactive silo art. First, set behind the owl is a Glow in the dark starburst sky. The starburst sky and the owls eyes both glow in the dark when charged by the silo’s installed floodlights.
There is also an interactive glow wall set on the Pyrenees Ranges below the owl where you can draw your own artworks using nothing more than light from a torch or phone torch. Please note: torches need to have powerful light to work effectively.
Head indoors and explore Pyrenees Galleries
For the perfect way to spend a winter day, head indoors and explore galleries hidden inside historic Railway Stations. Beaufort is home to a fantastic arts community so we recommend kicking off your day at Beaufort’s Art Trax Gallery, housing wonderful pieces of art created by local and regional artists. Further down the road you will find the private art studio of Angela Gerrard where you can attend workshops or even enjoy afternoon tea in the studio on Sundays. The neighbouring town of Avoca is home to Gallery 127 which is located in the restored Avoca Railway Station. Here you will find monthly exhibitions from some of Victoria’s most talented artists.
To finish off your art tour, drop into Dawn Lim’s private studio in Avoca who gets a lot of her inspiration from the landscapes around the Pyrenees. A great place to pick up a one of a kind local souvenir.
Snuggle up and stay awhile
As the temperature drops, curl up in one of the regions hideaways. Just a 45-minute drive from Ballarat, cosy up in Graylings Gift, a lovingly restored 19th century church. Relax in the vintage clawfoot bath by the wood fire and then snuggle up with a good book. Boasting epic views of Mount Cole, The Glut Farm is the perfect base to get out of the city for a magical winter escape. Try cooking woodfired pizzas in the outdoor oven or wander through the extensive kitchen garden to pick your ingredients fresh for dinner. Check out our variety of cosy winter stays for a winter getaway in the Pyrenees.
Warm you up winter walks
From waterfalls to wildlife, the cooler months are the perfect time to explore Mount Cole and Pyrenees State Forests. Winter isn’t just for curling up inside. With meandering paths through lush rainforests and green bushland, discover the Pyrenees on foot where you can listen to the birds, encounter native wildlife, stop to take in the views or find a secret waterfall. Here are some of our favourite walks.
Cosy Cellar Doors
Nestled among the rolling green hills of the Pyrenees Ranges, just an hour’s drive from Ballarat, Taltarni Vineyards award-winning cellar door with an open fire place is the perfect place to defrost and unwind this winter with a glass (or two) of seriously good wine. Housed in modern architecture in a rustic shed, this cellar door is a surprise in all the right ways. Here you will be filled with warm vibes in historic charm.
The award-winning Blue Pyrenees is the ultimate destination for an epic winter feast. Indulge in their platters that have a strong focus on local produce. Sallys Paddock is a boutique winery that offer warm friendly service and on Saturdays over lunch-time, you can find local musician, Graeme Akers, playing his guitar and banjo in the Cellar Door. Check out the Pyrenees Wine Map with over 25 cellar doors to explore.
Indulge in a Winter Feast
As winter sets in, so does the urge to cosy up with food, and lots of it. From decadent platters, to fine-dining in historic hotels, wood fired pizzas in cellar doors and casual lunch spots curled up by the fire, winter feasts await in the Pyrenees. For the ultimate comfort food, head to The Avoca Hotel, they’ve got you covered. We can’t go past the house smoked duck breast with chestnut gnocchi, kale and baby beets. Tucked away in Moonambel, Summerfield Winery is the ultimate place to enjoy gourmet wood-fired pizzas featuring locally sourced and foraged produce and an impressive range of the estates award winning wines. For the sweet tooth, Skinny Sister Café is a must stop with an enormous variety of sweets and cakes baked daily.
Here is our full list of cosy places to eat this winter.
Make new friends at Cave Hill Creek Winter Camp
It’s back. Winter Camp is returning Mon 4 – Fri 8 July at Cave Hill Creek. A giant 4 night sleepover of fun, making new friends and getting outdoors in the school holidays for kids aged 8-14. Get your kids out of the house and away from a screen for the school holidays. There is a great range of outdoor activities for your children to experience: stand atop your crate stack tower, climb the giant’s ladder, balance on the low ropes, splash in a canoe, abseil down the cliff, ride a bike in the forest and shoot some archery. At Cave Hill Creek Winter Camp attendees can hang out around the campfire, climb a mountain, go on a night walk, perform in the talent show, and build friendships. Let your kids experience the thrill of trying something new, go exploring, be independent and join us on an adventure.
Get in quick, we expect this camp to book out quickly. Summer Camp #18 sold out in 4 days!
While many markets are closed over the cold winter months, the good news is that the Avoca Riverside Market continues to run through the winter months
Throw on a warm jacket and scarf and wander the banks of the Avoca River with a freshly brewed coffee from one of Avoca’s friendly cafes. Held on the fourth Sunday of each month you will a variety of stalls providing wine, crafts, fresh food, plants, garden care and more.
Wander Local Produce
There’s no better way to experience the Pyrenees food culture and gourmet offerings than taking a self guided tour around the Pyrenees Farmgate Trail. Meet the makers and creators and be immersed in the stories and tastes of Pyrenees produce.