Our favourite bit about the Queen’s Birthday long weekend is the fact that it’s not even Queen Lizzie’s birthday. Any opportunity for a public holiday, right Australia? We think The Queens Birthday long weekend is the perfect time for a little adventure and exploration in the Pyrenees for our Regional Victorian friends. We look forward to having our Melbourne friends join us again soon.
Indulge in the delicacies
Among the towering tall forests and natural surrounds of the Pyrenees Ranges you will find some top places to eat, any time of day. From award winning Hotels, contemporary cafes, vineyards with spectacular views or unique Farmgates offering delicious fresh local produce.
You will never forget your first Summerfield Winery pizza fresh from the wood fired oven and featuring local and ‘only the best’ ingredients. The chef is a genius with flavour–and don’t forget to try the cakes and sweets: THE Vanilla Slice and Carrot cake are always a favourite.
You can’t visit the Pyrenees without dining at the award winning Avoca Hotel. Their winter menu have mouth watering dishes including the house smoked duck breast with chestnut gnocchi, kale and baby beets. Yum!
There are many yummy treats at Sweet Pyrenees. Owners, Sue and Tony handcraft quality confectionery from the finest ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible. Their product has amazing flavour and texture and you will never be able to stop at one!
A visit to Skinny Sisters is a party in your mouth. The menu consists of all day breakfasts, burgers and delicious feasts but what they are really known for is their cakes and slices that are made completely from scratch. Think housemade passionfruit slice, lemon curd muffins and cherry ripe cake.
Beaufort Country Bakehouse has a reputation for the best pies and sausage rolls. If you have ever said “they don’t make pies like they used to” you must stop in here. In the evenings, pop into Cafe Fifty6 for their Taste Of Italy Menu Friday and Saturday Nights. All ingredients are made fresh on site.
New to Beaufort is Popp’s Place located in a restored service station. Selling their very own coffee ( Popps Place Special Brew) you can dine in or drive thru. We highly recommend stopping in to try the dishes that remind you of soul warming Sundays at your grandparents house. Those favourite dishes that use simple ingredients that taste good together and spark the imagination.
Enjoy Fresh Air
Long weekends are made for slowing down. Get the family together, pack your woollies, and discover the natural beauty of walking trails and tracks in magnificent parks and forests in the Pyrenees. Explore the wonderfully diverse natural attractions at your own pace.
Everyone knows about the fabulous wines of Victoria’s Pyrenees Region, but the state and national parks really are the region’s best kept secrets. But the best thing is, they’re easily accessible and simply beautiful. Here are a few of our favourites. Be sure to pack your camera as you are sure to wonder past scenic lookouts and spectacular views.
Welcoming Cellar Doors
There are over 20 cellar doors scattered across the Pyrenees Region. A visit to the local cellar doors will have you meeting passionate winemakers, listening to their stories and letting the amazing variety of wines take your tastebuds on an adventure. The wineries along the Rotundone Road takes you on a journey through the Australian bush to visit three boutique wineries that are best known for its dense, purple and peppery Shiraz.
Find yourself in the township of Moonambel where you can stop in at Peerick Vineyard, Dalwhinnie Vineyard and Grape Farm Winery. On Saturday, you can easily spend an entire afternoon at Taltarni, enjoying live music, platters and of course amazing wines. Bigibila Winery has a cosy cellar door with wood fire, windows overlooking some of the best views in the region and fun garden games that will bring out your competitive nature. Equus Vineyard is more than just a cellar door, co owner, Patricia Mullins is a lady of many talents. Not only is she a world renowned childrens book illustrator, she also restores wooden horses. At cellar door you can taste wine, buy an autographed book for your children or grandchildren and wonder around the antique wooden horse and carousel horse museum at cellar door.
A little further north, you will find yourself at Sallys Paddock Vineyard that has a reputation for producing outstanding quality red varietals and blends. Open all weekend for tastings, platters, coffee and cake and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. On Sundays you can find local man, Graeme Akers, playing his banjo at cellar door.
When in Avoca, don’t go past Blue Pyrenees Estate. The chef has a passion for local produce and has developed a menu that inspires people to keep returning. Blue Pyrenees offer tasting paddles, guided cellar door tastings, casual platters as well as coffee and cake. Mount Avoca Vineyard is a must-do when journeying around Avoca – enjoy their cellar door or have a picnic on the lawn while the kids enjoy the playground. Other boutique wineries around the village of Avoca include Lamplough Estate and St Ignatius Vineyard. Find the full list of cellar doors and winery map here.
Check Out Creative Spaces
Unfortunatley the annual Pyrenees Art Exhibition can’t go ahead this weekend but our cosy little galleries housed in historic Railway precincts are still open for business. This month, Art Trax in Beaufort will be exhbiting works by a talented local artist, Lesley Hunter. Lesley finds inspiration for many different things and places which is showcased in this exhibition.
This weekend you’ll also see works by Cathy Brown at Gallery 127 in Avoca. In her exhibition, Black to Life, Cathy encapsulates diversity of style and contrast between dark moody narrative artworks and the vibrancy of the Australian landscape painted plein air.
Dotted around the region, you can find open private art studios where you have the chance to look inside the studios, workshops and hidden spaces and purchase one off pieces of artwork straight from the artist. Angela Gerrard will welcome you into her studio space filled with pastel paintings.Enjoy afternoon tea in her newly opened tea rooms on Sunday and Monday. It is the perfect weather scones and coffee! Dawn Lim’s studio is a pleaseure to explore. Dawn uses a variety of mediums, making her own cold wax to combine with oil paint and she also paints with acrylics or oil. This gives her artwork a point of difference.
Move over pub crawls and wine weekends; distillery hopping is the latest tourism trend to take flight in Victoria. And this Saturday is World Gin Day which collides perfectly with the long weekend. Your first stop is Mrs Bakers Still House. This trailblazing distillery is surrounded by vineyards – inspiring the owners to stay true to the region through the use of local produce or indigenous spices wherever possible. Family owned, family run. Mrs Baker’s Still House is located at Wimmera hills winery; where Jane and Benjamin Baker planted a vineyard and raised their kids on the farm. In 2016 they delved into their next adventure, the distillation of gins and liqueurs.
Visit the cellar door for wine and gin tastings. Take some time to walk the trails on the hill and take in the beautiful scenery.
Fabulous antique shops
Forget Antiques Roadshow: our country roads and villages are dotted with fabulous antique shops and fairs that are perfect for finding that just-right light fitting, chaise longue, dinner set or little tin box that will fit your collection just so. Both Avoca and Beaufort are lined with antique shops so if you’re planning to cover some ground, take a trailer! Beaufort’s Big Garage Sale is a browsers paradise, the more you look the more you’ll find. Westbury Antiques in Avoca are housed in a classical goldfields building which provides a perfect setting for the English period furniture and decorative arts that they specialise in and import regularly. You can view more Antique and Collectable Shops on our website.