Abode Hotels - A+ Magazine Spring/Summer 2020-21

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photo: Lean Timms

Level 1, North Building 180 London Circuit, Canberra

A+ Magazine Spring/Summer 2020-21





Quirky, yet proud. Discover what makes the nation's capital tick and how you can look like a local.

The summer that was. Looking back on the 2019/20 Australian bushfire season, and how best to prepare this year.

24 WHAT'S ON We've rounded up a range of events, exhibitions and places worth a visit during your next stay.

42 PANDEMIC PERSPECTIVES Learn how two representatives from industries hit the hardest across the pandemic stayed positive.

36 SOUTH COAST SUMMER LOVIN' Enjoy the serenity and scenery while you sip your way around the South Coast this summer.





Providing the perfect mid-week or weekend getaway, regional escapes are right around the corner.

Abode Hotels welcomes Abode Belconnen, bringing 152 new guest rooms to Canberra's north-west.

Editor Jasmine De Martin

A+ Magazine is published biannually by:

Art Direction + Design Samantha Crowe Words Jasmine De Martin, Kristy Hodder, Kali Gatehouse and Phillip Borges Advertising Enquiries magazine@abodehotels.com.au Cover Photograph UlaĹ&#x; Kesebir & Merve TĂźrkan, 2020 This page Top centre: DESIGN Canberra open studios, 5Foot Photography. Bottom centre: Quarterdeck at Narooma, Destination NSW. Left: No.10 Restaurant + Bar Belconnen dining. Right: Wine tasting at Clonakilla, Destination NSW.


While we take every care to ensure details are correct, the publisher will take no responsibility for errors or omissions, including operators who may have closed. Where prices or dates are quoted, they are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change. Thanks to all who have contributed to this issue. All Rights Reserved.



GoBoating on Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: VisitCanberra.



Welcome to A+ Magazine, a predominantly Canberra-centric showcase and guide to what’s happening around Australia’s capital city and surrounding region. Produced biannually by Iconic Hotels, A+ Magazine offers our valued Abode Hotels guests a snapshot of what’s on offer during their stay in the nation’s capital, as well as a myriad of reasons to return. This issue, we welcome a new hotel and restaurant to the family. Offering 152 apartment style guest rooms, Abode Belconnen is located in Canberra’s north-west and is the eighth hotel to join the Abode Hotels portfolio. We also celebrate the opening of No.10 Restaurant + Bar, located on the ground floor of Abode Belconnen. The restaurant is at the heart of the hotel and a new mixed-use residential precinct, offering a seasonal menu, weekly specials and happy hour promotions. Also this issue, we explore the cute quirks of Canberra, the changed landscape of travel, make mention of the pandemic and how it has affected industries in interesting ways. We seek tips from a local winemaker on the best suited spring / summer seasonal drops of the region, and recommend a few events and exhibitions hosted in the city and surrounds worth catching. Thanks for choosing to stay with Abode Hotels. I invite you to explore A+ Magazine, take it home with you, and be inspired by what’s on offer in Canberra and surrounds.

RIEN DONKIN, General Manager Iconic Hotels


Patricia Piccinini's Skywhale (2013). Photo: Nick D, WikiCommons



Look like a local Welcome to Canberra, the political home of Australia. A place that combines a country ethos with a city lifestyle. A proud and quirky bunch, Canberrans are passionate about craft beer, weekend lake walks, free events and a north-south divide that spans more than just where you went to high school. Being a local independent hotel brand with six out of eight hotels situated in the nation’s capital, we thought we’d spend some time sharing our thoughts about our city and the ‘typical’ Canberran way.


nterstate, Canberra has a strong politically robotic reputation, which is not entirely inaccurate. With government buildings, regular sightings of the national and territory flags, and a near 40% of the population working in the public service sector, there is little to establish a counter argument. However, Canberra is not a ‘what you see, is what you get’ city. With an engaged, proud, and supportive community, you will be hard pressed to find a person that doesn’t smile at you or isn’t willing to lend a helping hand. This Canberran pride runs deep in the veins of the city. You will see store fronts selling Canberra made and grown products from fresh farm produce to custom designed décor.

Don’t be fooled by what appears to be a reserved and suited day during the week, Canberrans fill their afternoons with laughter, friends and community. The reserved and suited, soon becomes vibrant and fashionable. Restaurants are booked out and clubs and bars fill to capacity, the night sky becomes flooded with the smell of food and sounds of laughter and conversation. The Canberran passion for food and wine is very real and runs deep. Our appreciation for the perfectly cooked portion of beef complemented with a rich velvety wine is unmatched. We are spoilt for choice, with world class vineyards just 40 minutes north of the city and amazing local farmers producing the highest quality cheeses,


Top right: Lake Burley Griffin. Damian Breach for VisitCanberra. Bottom left: Penny University, Kingston. Photo: Rohan Thomson.

vegetables, and meat; our passion for quality ingredients is unrivalled. With all the food and socialising comes the Canberran athleticism. This isn’t your average John and Julie from down the road going for a run or bike ride. This is John, Julie and a hoard of runners going for a run, in the middle of winter, in short shorts, round the lake, on repeat. Running is an engrained Canberran ritual. Riddled with running and cycle tracks, Canberra buzzes with the sounds of panting breath and zipping lycra. We celebrate the ‘bush capital’ stereotype and take full advantage of the Canberran landscape and beautiful surrounding environment. This planned city has been designed around the bush and beauty of the Australian landscape. As envisioned by Sir Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra is nested around a man-made lake, a central parliament and national cultural attraction zone and many green spaces. Suburbs are spread across the territory, linked by arterial roads. Mini business and


shopping hubs cater for multiple suburbs, meaning Canberran’s don’t have to go far to find what they need. We celebrate all four seasons, hold a festival for almost anything, and get quite passionate over markets – of any variety. We are a metropolitan city amongst regional Australian and we love it, and hope you do, too.

Top 10 Canberra quirks Canberrans are a quirky, but kind bunch.



We have a committee specifically responsible for making street, suburb and place names. The ACT Place Names Committee creates names that are of people who have significantly contributed to Australia, or names that are truly representative of Australia, like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander words or flora and fauna.

Disc Golf. Yes, this is actually a thing. There are parks throughout Canberra with what appears to be empty chain bins or strange animal feeders, which are in fact targets for Disc Golf/Frisbee Golf. Look it up, you'll become addicted.

2. We pride ourselves on knowing everything about Sharron or John from down the road. Six degrees of separation doesn’t exist in Canberra. We know you, and if we don't, we know someone who knows why you're here.

3. Weird public art is everywhere. From what appears to be a bunch of scrap metal on the side of the road, to a suspiciously shaped owl watching over Canberra’s north, public art is everywhere and sometimes questionable.

5. Disorientating downpours. Canberra is generally a dry place, so we rejoice when it rains, however it affects our ability to drive. Rain causes people to suddenly drive with their faces pressed against the windscreen and forget how to merge or use an indicator.

Bruce Armstrong's 'Owl', 2011 on Benjamin Way, Belconnen. Photo: artsACT.

6. Canberrans love traffic lights and roundabouts. If you can believe it, there is even a roundabout with traffic lights in it. In true Canberran fashion, even our Pride “crossing” is a roundabout.

7. Travelling outside your suburb is considered travelling far. Not because of the actual distance, but a mixture of local pride and the fact that each suburb has its own facilities and shopping centres.

10. Excitement transcends borders. The rivalry between north and south Canberra is only ever quelled by the excitement of a new café, restaurant, or bar opening.

8. Scraping ice. A license or credit card is the perfect tool for scraping ice off your windscreen on winter mornings. A true Canberran understands the intent of buying an ice scraper and never making the purchase.


With over 800 roundabouts, Braddon's Pride roundabout is perhaps Canberra's most notable. Photo: Nick D, WikiCommons.

Canberran number plates all start with Y. If you see a white number plate with blue numbers starting in Y, they're Canberran.

One does not simply cross the invisible north-south boundary at Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, without good reason. Photo: Dietmar Rabich.



Welcome to the family We let you in on the secret in our autumn / winter issue of A+ Magazine, and although a lot has happened since then, we’re thrilled that even despite such a tumultuous year, we welcome our newest hotel, Abode Belconnen, and Canberra’s second No.10 Restaurant + Bar to the family.

Left: No.10 Restaurant + Bar dining. Right: Lake Ginninderra. Photo: Rohan Thomson.



he eighth property to join the Abode Hotels family, following the opening of Abode Malua Bay earlier this year, Abode Belconnen is located in Canberra’s north-west and offers 152 stylishly appointed self-contained, apartment style rooms, ideal for both corporate and leisure travellers. Like all Abode Hotels, Abode Belconnen provides several room types to accommodate for all needs, including rooms for families or corporate groups, pet friendly rooms and studios designed specifically for the mobility impaired. All guest rooms include kitchenette and washer/dryer facilities, as well as free and unlimited WiFi and STAYCAST streaming – enabling guests to connect their device to the TV and enjoy all their favourite movies and shows. An Abode Pantry and access to Pantry Online is also available to all guests.

In line with Abode Hotels’ seven existing properties, including five located across Canberra and two New South Wales based, Abode Belconnen prioritises convenience, accessibility and reliability, offering guests value for money and consistent service. The opening of Abode Belconnen brings with it the highly anticipated launch of Number 10, number 2 – Canberra’s second No.10 Restaurant + Bar. Its onsite presence allows Abode Belconnen guests to enjoy bed and breakfast packages during their stay, as well as convenient access for lunch or dinner. Just like its Woden counterpart, the Belconnen No.10 Restaurant + Bar offers a dynamic menu of fresh, tasty food, presented in a relaxed and friendly setting, with various menu items featuring ingredients sourced locally from Canberra and surrounds.

Since its 2016 opening, the OG No.10 Restaurant + Bar in Woden has evolved to become a well-trusted smart, casual eatery where locals and guests alike are invited to meet, eat, drink and relax. This feeling is no different over in Belconnen, where the team at the new venue welcome guests and ensure an equally enjoyable experience. Part of a mixed-use precinct, Abode Belconnen and No.10 Restaurant + Bar are surrounded by residential and commercial spaces, and in an Abode Hotels first, guests have access to an onsite pool, available to both residents and hotel guests. The hotel and eatery are also just a short walk away from a major shopping precinct, parks, nature walks and Lake Ginninderra.

abodehotels.com.au number10restaurantandbar.com




Build it up Our newest hotel, Abode Belconnen is part of one of the largest mixed residential-commercial developments in Australia. Making progress on a site at that scale is impressive, so we’ve compiled some stats that show just how big this build is.

Currently more than 350,000 hours worked on the project Average workforce is 250-300 people on site each day

380,000 tonnes of dirt removed

41,325 cubic metres of concrete

The equivalent of 13,500 loads with

The equivalent of 22 Olympic

truck and trailer

swimming pools

6,125 tonnes of reinforcement

60,000 square metres of façade

The equivalent of 437 public

The equivalent of 133 standard

transport buses

residential blocks in new sub-divisions

720 kilometres of electrical cabling

350 kilometres of hydraulic pipework

Enough to go from Canberra to

Same distance as driving from

Sydney nearly three times

Canberra to Mallacoota

Belconnen's Republic precinct from above.



In sanitiser we trust If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that the simple act of hand washing can save lives. Widely recognised as essential in preventing the spread of infection, good hand hygiene is just good practice, pandemic or not.


Harvestcare's latest product range, incorporating natural hand sanitisers.


ue to COVID-19, a dramatic increase in the promotion of the benefits of hand washing, supported by a healthy squirt of hand sanitiser, has resulted in lots of clean hands, possibly lots of dry skin, and depleted soap and sanitiser stock worldwide. Hand sanitisers and sanitiser products are hot property in a pandemic. Heightened hand washing and sanitising has led to supply chain demand that could not have been predicted. Suddenly, much like toilet paper panic purchasing circa April 2020, sanitiser products were selling quickly. With sanitiser product demand at an all-time high, stocks dwindling and hospitals and health practices getting nervous about supply shortages, something interesting happened. Responding to the crisis, across the globe, smart businesses shifted gear and came to the rescue. On a local level, we saw Canberra companies expand their product line to incorporate masse production of sanitiser, like the good folk at The Refoundry. Passionate about reducing plastic waste and creating hair and body care products with no nasties, The Refoundry, was immediately impacted by the pandemic. Chief executive officer, Tammy Ven Dange, states “We were about to start a pilot program for our non-plastic, singleuse, bathroom amenities for hotels. Then, the entire industry went into hibernation almost overnight,”

“We only use natural preservatives in our products, and therefore the shelf-life is shorter than chemical-based alternatives. If we waited for the hotel industry to return to normal, there was a high risk that we could lose our existing inventory. Because of this, we knew that we could not wait it out.” Noting the sanitiser shortage and increase in wholesale and direct to consumer demand, Tammy and The Refoundry team added hand sanitiser to one of their product lines, Harvestcare. They also added moisturising products like hand balm, to mitigate increased dry skin irritation as a result of all the hand washing and sanitiser use. They worked around the clock to respond to the market changes and had their first sanitiser product ready to sell just nine days after the first COVID-19 case in Canberra was announced. Within five days of loading their sanitiser product to their website, all product sold out. 90% of sales for the line is through retailers, with a high proportion of purchasers noting they place high value on the product being a non-plastic, natural, local line. Tammy’s swift business shift has helped Canberrans keep up their sani-appreciation rituals and support local businesses at the same time. Similarly responding to the call out, local distillery Underground Spirits switched production of all spirits, to


focus on production of hand sanitiser for use by frontline medical staff in the ACT in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Head of the team Dr Toby Angstmann, created a new product line and complete hygiene system dedicated to providing sanitiser products for medical teams and the wider community in response to the pandemic and associated demand for sanitiser. The new arm of the business is called AUS – Australian Underground Spirits, and ticks all the boxes in terms of the locally made, enviro-conscious and tech driven product focus. The AUS team hope to lead an industry shift into broad uptake of bag in box packaging that will benefit the community and the environment. From distilling gin and vodka to making hand sanitiser and hospital grade cleaning products, Underground Spirits have shown global community spirt in their response to the sani-shortage. We raise our washed and sanitised hands in applause to these local companies rising to the occasion in such environmentally friendly and ethical ways. harvestcare.com.au spiritofcanberra.com.au

Dr Toby Angstmann. Photo: Underground Spirits.


"Our Harvestcare products are “good for you and Mother Nature.” When someone buys our products, they’re also supporting a lot of local businesses – not just ours. And that’s exactly what we all need to do right now to help our economy during these unprecedent times." - Tammy Ven Dange, CEO of The Refoundry




NETIER NATIONAL CAPITAL RALLY netiernationalcapitalrally.com.au


What's on Welcoming warmer weather and longer days, spring signals the break from winter hibernation for the nation’s capital and surrounds. Having spent many months socially distancing, working from home or adjusting to new life patterns, the seasonal change provides a chance for us all to move more and worry less. Correct at time of print, and definitely susceptible to change or cancelation with short notice at the discretion of the venue or event organiser, we’ve rounded up a range of events, exhibitions and places worth a visit during your time with Abode Hotels. Please check the event, exhibition or venue website for current opening hours and information ahead of your visit.

Floriade blooms. Photo: Visit Canberra.



Floriade: Reimagined With life looking a little different this year, Australia’s biggest celebration of spring has taken on a new format to keep the spirit of this crowd-favourite festival blooming. Over the cooler months, Floriade’s horticulture team and over 90 Canberra community groups got creative, planting hundreds of thousands of colourful bulbs to create a Tulip Trail through Canberra’s city and suburbs. Offering locals this first glimpse of the festival away from its traditional location in Commonwealth Park, Floriade invites visitors to safely experience the beauty of spring and connect with their community during an undoubtedly challenging time. Floriade: Reimagined offers a mix of virtual and in-person experiences for all ages to enjoy, including horticulture and sustainability workshops, lifestyle talks, fitness classes, an e-marketplace, and the annual gnome hunt.

12 September – 11 October 2020 (NightFest, 2 October 2020) Various locations around Canberra floriadeaustralia.com


Hands on workshops. Photo: 5Foot Photography


DESIGN Canberra Festival Explore world class design on our doorstep. From architecture and interiors to world class contemporary craft, this Canberra festival covers all things design. Running from Monday, November 9 through Sunday, November 29, DESIGN Canberra celebrates our capital as a global design hub. With some of the nation’s best food, wine and brews, it has all the ingredients for a perfect weekend getaway. The festival will see more than 150 (mostly free) events, exhibitions, talks, tours, collaborations, artist studios and workshops take place across 21 days. The program celebrates Canberra's epic design history, including the city’s renowned 50s architecture and a thriving community of studio artists. With so much art, architecture and new design popping up in Canberra this spring, we suggest you pack a bag, take a trip south and spend a couple of days exploring the idea of a perfectly designed world.

9 – 29 November 2020 Various locations around Canberra designcanberra.com.au


Inge King Figure in oak 1949 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1988


Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now Celebrating art made by women, Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now brings together more than 350 works, drawn from the National Gallery of Australia's collection and other collections from across Australia. The exhibition forms part of the Gallery's major #knowmyname initiative to increase the representation of artists who identify as women in its artistic program, highlighting the contributions these artists make to our culture and challenging the male-dominated narrative in contemporary Australian art. Showcasing lesser-known and leading artists such as Margaret Preston, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Tracey Moffatt and Gemma Smith, the exhibition features a range of artistic mediums and expressions, including paintings, sculpture, photographs, performances, and interactive talks.

14 November 2020 – 31 January 2021 National Gallery of Australia, Parkes nga.gov.au



Grapest 5k Run Potentially one of Australia’s best fun runs. The Grapest 5k Run is punny, entertaining and a grape way to spend an evening with friends. This national event is coming to Canberra in 2020 and includes 5k and 10k scenic runs around a select winery. After the steady 5k or 10k run, you can walk, run, skip or stumble your way to the tasting stations located at the end of the trail. You’ll work up a thirst to sample some of the region’s best wines and truly appreciate the dignity of running with friends and strangers in the shared pursuit of a glass of wine. But the fun doesn’t end there. As the sun sets, live entertainment begins, giving everyone a chance to “put on some grape dance moves” and party into the evening. Hosted by Canberra’s oldest winery, Lake George Winery, the Grapest 5k Run is scheduled for 21 November 2020. This is your chance to prove that you will run for wine, enjoy a day full to the brim with wine tastings, “running” and live entertainment.

21 November 2020 Lake George Winery, Lake George NSW centauroutdoorevents.com.au



Mogo Wildlife Park Located along the picturesque South Coast of New South Wales, Mogo Wildlife Park is the perfect place to spend the day with family and friends learning about wildlife from across the globe. Ever wondered what rhino skin feels like or how soft a red panda really is? With an Up Close and Personal Encounter experience, you can be face-to-face with some of your favourite animals and hand feed lions, meet squirrel monkeys or play with servals. If photography is more your angle, Mogo Zoom Through the Lens Experience offers the perfect opportunity to learn from professional nature photographers. Join in and learn new techniques while taking photos of the amazing wildlife. Open seven days a week with Tumbili Terrace CafĂŠ onsite, enjoy meeting an amazing array of animals from around the globe, learn new animal facts and spend quality time in a beautiful South Coast setting.

Open seven days a week 222 Tomakin Road, Mogo NSW mogozoo.com.au



Congo Crafts 35th Annual Exhibition Congo Crafts, is holding its 35th Annual Exhibition, showcasing a diverse range of functional and decorative stoneware ceramics and paintings on canvas. Congo Crafts Gallery opened in 1980, and has been continuously exhibiting works ever since. All the ceramics and paintings have been created by Jim Simms in his Congo studio, and he has been working in the arts for over forty years. Strongly influenced by Japanese, Korean and Chinese ceramics, Jim continues to produce a range of beautiful pieces, and is noted for the quality of his glazes. Each year he experiments with new matt and gloss finishes, resulting in a varied and stunning palette of rich and more subtle colourings. Each wood-fired piece is uniquely burnished by the ash and flames of the firing. Jim has many happy local, national and international clients who have admired and collected his work over a number of years.

29 November – 13 December 2020, Wednesday to Monday (Gallery: December 2020 and January 2021, Wednesday to Monday 11:00am – 5:00pm, or by appointment) 721 Congo Road, Congo NSW congocrafts.com.au

Summer-type tea bowl, white, Shino-type glaze by Jim Simms. Photo: Supplied.



Life Through The Lens Film Australia was one of the country’s top producers of television documentaries and educational programs, and Life Through the Lens is a showcase of photographs from its broad collection. Captured between 1913 and 2008 by some of the biggest names in the Australian film industry, including Fred Schepisi, Phillip Noyce, Peter Weir, Jan Sharp and Gillian Armstrong, the images were taken during the production of various documentaries and depict life in Australia and how it has changed over time. Spanning the evolving political, social and cultural landscape, these images tell stories of shaping a nation. Life Through the Lens is on display now, in the Liversidge Space at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) in Canberra.

1 August 2020 – 30 June 2021 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Acton nfsa.gov.au



Netier National Capital Rally Canberra’s annual high-octane motorsport event, the Netier National Capital Rally, returns in 2020. Part of the Australian Rally Championship (ARC), the Netier National Capital Rally has been attracting competitors and spectators to Canberra from across Australia since 1995 to witness the speed and thrill of the largest motorsport event hosted in the nation’s capital. Held across one action-packed weekend, the rally will take place just outside of Canberra in Kowen Forest and Tidbinbilla, across a series of special stages. With the aim of the game to be the fastest team through each stage or to complete stages to a predetermined time, the rally course leaves little room for error. Catch all the action at the Service Park and Rally Headquarters, hosted at Abode Woden, in Canberra’s south, where spectators and fans can meet some of their favourite rally drivers in person.

27 – 29 November 2020 Kowen Forest and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Service Park and Rally HQ at Abode Woden netiernationalcapitalrally.com.au



No Lights No Lycra Under the cover of darkness set your spirit fingers free! Dancing in the dark is the perfect opportunity to work on your moves without inhibition or judgment. No Lights No Lycra is a place to dance freely in the company of others, experiencing the joy of dancing in a non-threatening, drug and alcohol-free environment. Their mission is to create an all-inclusive atmosphere promoting a healthy mind and healthy body. With no bookings necessary, just show up when you’re in the mood to “shake your tail feather”, bring a water bottle and wear whatever you feel like from Athleisure to your favourite tutu. No lights, no judgement. No worries. All ages weekly classes are held at the Canberra Dance Theatre and Weston Creek Community Centre, with times and schedules noted via the No Lights No Lycra website.

Various locations around Canberra nolightsnolycra.com



need to talk? Want to get involved? MENSLINK.ORG.AU 02 6287 2226



















South Coast summer lovin' Knowing that you don’t need to travel far for a memorable travel experience, we take a look at what’s on offer in our own backyard, while simultaneously continuing to support our New South Wales South Coast neighbours.

Bursting with hidden gems that add a certain pizzazz to the casual eateries of the coast, we’re pretty certain you’ll be amazed by the impressive food and drink offerings you’ll encounter when visiting some of the South Coast’s small towns.

In normal times, you can also expect live music on select days, which is a joy to hear as you watch the colour gradient of the sunset spill over the marina.

Take your time discovering everything from unassuming local pubs holding over 20 gins, to house smoked beef briskets and Sunday roasts, as you drink and dine your way around the coastline, before settling in for the night at the newly opened Abode Malua Bay.

Fun, casual and meaty! These three words alone perfectly summarise the experience you can expect to have at Smokey Dan’s.

The perfect holiday haven, Abode Malua Bay offers 52 stylishly appointed apartment-style rooms, where a pet friendly policy ensures fur babies are always welcome. Now, get your stretchy pants ready and prepare to fall into a food and drink coma as we take you through our favourite bars and eateries down South. JJ’s at The Marina Located in nearby Batemans Bay, only a hop, skip and a jump away from Abode Malua Bay, JJ’s at The Marina, is a picture-perfect spot to settle in for some coastal dining. Every seat in the house affords breathtaking water views overlooking the marina, whether you choose to dine inside or alfresco. Start your evening off with a glass (or bottle) of wine accompanied by freshly shucked oysters, before moving on to the extensive cocktail list and South Coast inspired menu, with its focus on local and regionally sourced produce and seafood.


Smokey Dan’s

Located in the small town of Tomakin, Smokey Dan’s offers friendly service, a relaxed atmosphere, and plenty of room for the kids to play safely outside. Presenting an exciting menu focusing on their signature authentic smoked food selection, you can expect a range of pizzas and burgers and a Sunday spit roast, accompanied by some live music. As you indulge in all this meaty goodness, you’re sure to get a little thirsty, and you’re in luck, because beers are available on tap, along with a nice selection of wine and some playful cocktails. Takeaway options are also available, if you are after a quiet night in to STAYCAST and chill at Abode Malua Bay. Harvest Bar Situated in the picturesque seaside town of Milton, Harvest Bar is a place where all your drink related dreams can come true. Indulge in a variety of local and international wines, amazing cocktails, and craft beer on tap.


The boutique wine bar and eatery offers a warm and relaxed setting, complemented by the tapas style menu, and performances from local musicians. Capturing the beauty of the rolling green hills and sunsets at dusk, alfresco dining is available and perfect for those warm summer nights. Or dine indoors and admire the cosy industrial fit out, featuring long wooden tables and native florals, as you watch the staff do what they do best make cocktails! Quarterdeck With such a rich history, perhaps a tiki bar isn’t what you’d expect to find in an old oyster shed in Narooma’s historic Wagonga Inlet, but gosh you’ll be happy it’s there. Arguably the most visually unique venue on the South Coast, with its bright coloured tables and walls coated in family memorabilia and nautical and tiki artefacts, this family run bar and restaurant pays homage to its surroundings with a menu influenced by local produce, like the region’s famous oysters. With waterfront views and the sound of the inlet tide lapping below, a trip to Quaterdeck is one you won’t be forgetting any time soon. The Ruse The newcomer on the coast, The Ruse first opened its doors in December 2019 and has already amassed a large and loyal customer base – not surprising considering its enviable waterfront location overlooking Ulladulla Harbour, Central American inspired menu, and stunning interior.


Although The Ruse is new to the hospitality scene, for owners Ben and Erin, this isn’t their first rodeo. Perfectly paired, Erin has a background in tourism and hospitality PR and marketing, while Ben is no stranger to mixing drinks, having managed bars and restaurants previously, and having also competed in a range of cocktail competitions prior to making the move to the beautiful South Coast. The Dromedary Hotel Fondly known as The Drom or Tibla Pub, this local watering hole is home to a whole lot of history. Built during the gold rush era in the 1890s, you’ll find The Dromedary Hotel in the heritage village of Central Tilba, and it makes for the perfect spot to stop by for a beverage over lunch during a day of adventuring. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Gulaga, The Dromedary Hotel has a reputation for impressive pub fare, an extensive and unique range of gins, and a carefully curated wine list. No two visits to The Drom will ever be the same, because with a passion for showcasing local and national products, the team are always trialing new and exciting food and beverage offerings to share with their guests. jjsatthemarina.business.site facebook.com/smokeydansbbq harvestbarmilton.com quarterdecknarooma.com.au theruse.com.au dromedaryhotel.com.au

Left and right: The Ruse at Ulladulla. Photo: Supplied.


Bushfire blackened sky. Photo: Marcel Peeters, Flickr.



A summer to remember Aussie summers can be scorchers, and last year our country played witness to one of the worst bushfire seasons on record. The 2019/2020 Australian bushfires enveloped over 18 million hectares of land, killing over 1 billion animals, destroying over 2,500 properties, and taking the lives of 33 people, including 5 firefighters who risked their lives trying to hold back the flames.


n warmer weather, we remember the devastating effects the fires had on so many communities. We remember the properties burnt, the animals and livestock affected, and the people who fought for their lives and homes, during this time. Even if you live in a community that is not typically affected by the bushfire season, it is always advisable to be aware and proactive in preparing your family and home for the potential of a bushfire. Generally beginning in October and ending in March each year, there are many helpful steps you can take to help minimise future damage and loss. The ACT Emergency Services Agency has created a four-step bushfire survival plan which helps to clarify and organise your home’s defence and fire evacuation plan. STEP 1 – Discuss What will you do in a bushfire? Discuss a plan of action and create an equipment checklist, ensuring all items are readily available and in working condition. STEP 2 – Prepare Prepare your home inside and out; regularly trim hedges, overhanging trees and shrubs, cut grass, clear gutters, remove excess material that could be a fire hazard, and ensure you have a hose long enough to reach around your entire home. STEP 3 – Know If there is a fire in your area, you can find the alert level information on the ACTESA website, radio and on the ‘Fires near me’ app.

If you happen to be in the path of a bushfire, having an emergency plan can assist you to make more informed decisions about staying to protect your home, or leaving to find shelter or safer ground. If you do need to leave, do not return to your home until advised to do so. There is still a high risk of inhaling toxic fumes, smoke and ash, after the fire has passed. Inhaling these elements can cause smoke inhalation and other serious health conditions. In true Aussie spirit, Australians love to lend a helping hand. Support for the 2019/2020 bushfire affected communities came in giant waves. People wanted to contribute financially, physically and virtually, however possible. Volunteer-based organisations are always seeking assistance, such as the Rural Bushfire Service, State Emergency Services and BlazeAid, an organisation that helps rural Australian families and individuals affected by natural disasters, like bushfires and floods, rebuild fences and other structures that may have been damaged in the disaster. There are also organisations like the WWF-Australia, where you can adopt a koala and help contribute to saving bushfire affected Australian wildlife. If you are unsure or like variety, organisations such as The Centre for Volunteering have over 2,000 member organisations regularly seeking new volunteers.

blazeaid.com.au donate.wwf.org.au volunteering.com.au Sources: esa.act.gov.au

STEP 4 – Keep Keep bushfire information numbers, websites, and the app to stay up to date on conditions in your area. Conditions can change rapidly.



Genessis Sierra Cortes, Braddon Merchant, ACT

How did COVID-19 affect your industry? COVID-19 affected the hospitality industry in a way that I never considered possible. Overnight it felt like the food and beverage industry disappeared. I never imagined there would be a time where you couldn’t sit in at a restaurant, café or bar. Can you tell us what you did to get through? The hardest part was letting my team know that there would be no more shifts and having no knowledge of when this would change. I was very clear that this would be something that would last for at least a couple of months and I personally offered my home as a place to stay for our team members that are international students. During the stand down period, we all kept in touch. We made sure to keep learning and talking about food, produce, and wine, making sure that we didn’t lose our excitement for the industry. What has your experience been like? An emotional roller coaster. It has been incredibly hard to see and hear the struggles of my colleagues within the industry, however, on the other hand it was beautiful to see how the Canberra community came through and supported hospitality. During the six weeks that I was stood down, I took it as a nice unplanned break. I gave myself time to sleep in (a luxury in hospitality), I started doing yoga, cooking, reading and almost depleted my cellar in the process! How has this experienced changed the way you view hospitality and what do you see for the future of the industry?


This experience has changed the way I see the industry as we were forced to find new ways to continue to make revenue. We had to be flexible enough to continually adapt alongside our changing guest needs. This has meant doing things that we wouldn’t have imagined before, such as online wine tastings, cellar-door deliveries, fine dining options available as takeaway, and I think there is more unexplored territory ahead which excites me.

and have been great at following the rules of our COVID safety plan. How has your workplace adapted to continuous updates to capacity limits and safety regulations? We are always ready to adapt. We have a COVID safety plan for the restaurant and the hotel we operate in, making sure to keep in line with the government regulations. We have also had to find

"Although it's lovely to be back at work, the reality is that the industry is still affected and extremely vulnerable." - Genessis Sierra Cortes, Braddon Merchant

How have you found returning to work? I am incredibly grateful that my team and I have been able to return to work. We’re talking more of what we can do to improve, be more efficient and have become more connected as a team in the process. It has been beautiful to see every single team member willing to pull up their sleeves and help in any way they can. We are working on developing and cross training staff and are constantly thinking of new offerings we can put out to market. Although it's lovely to be back at work, the reality is that the industry is still affected and extremely vulnerable. What has been the guest reaction to being able to dine out again? I have never felt so much gratitude and appreciation from our guests. They have been super supportive, understanding,

ways to maximise revenue with limited capacity. For example, we revise menus frequently and initially reduced the number of evenings dinner service was offered. We also opened a pop-up bar, in place of our usual bar venue, in order to streamline service, while also maintain great guest experience. Do you have advice for other people in tough industries you can share with us? Stay positive, focus on what can you do rather than what you are not able to. Challenge your imagination and push your limits. There is a whole lot that hasn’t been explored in how we can deliver hospitality experiences and it’s a change to be embraced.

1 Elouera Street, Braddon ACT braddonmerchant.com.au



Brett Wheatley, Virgin Australia Cabin Crew, WA

How did COVID-19 affect your industry? COVID-19 had an immediate effect on the aviation industry nationwide. Due to borders being closed and new restrictions being introduced, the number of people permitted to travel was hugely reduced. This led to significant flight schedule reduction (both domestically and internationally) which drastically affected our network and hence, crew rosters. How did you feel during the initial stages? My initial reaction was one of panic. Will I work again? How will I pay my bills? Not being originally from Perth, I don’t have a huge support network here, so I started to think that I was going to have to pack up my life and move back East to be closer to my family. Can you tell us what you did to get through? The Virgin Australia team were really supportive. They encouraged me to sit tight in the first instance, while they assessed the changes and reworked their plans in response. Around the time JobKeeper was announced, Virgin Australia announced that they were going to have a limited network going forth, and asked crew members to express their interest in operating these. You opted to fly still – with changed conditions – can you tell us why? It was really important to me to continue to fly. After the high level of support I received from Virgin Australia, the least I could do was give the company support back. I felt valued by Virgin Australia, and proud to put my uniform


on and still head to work to a job that I love, despite the changed conditions. What has your experience been like? Operationally, new health and hygiene measures were introduced across the airport and onto each plane. This reassured both crew and passengers. A lot of the flights I worked on were to mine sites within Western Australia, and safety, health and hygiene measures were always our top priority. The Perth crew has been nothing short of amazing. We all came together to support each other and get through what was and still is a challenging time. When restrictions relaxed we were able to meet in small groups and go for walks/runs and check in with each other. This sounds like such a simple thing, however knowing that we were all going through the same tough time, yet all making the effort to be there for each other, really bolstered our spirits and determination to keep going.

"It was really important to me to continue to fly... I felt valued by Virgin Australia, and proud to put my uniform on and still head to work to a job that I love, despite the changed conditions."

This closeness transferred to our work environment. Going to work became our social network. Not only did we get to see our colleagues, we also looked forward to our guest interactions. Our passengers complimented us on our ability to remain positive as a crew, have a laugh and support each other so well, despite the pandemic.

- Brett Wheatley, Virgin Australia

Has the experience changed you? I have learnt that, no matter how challenging a situation may be, a smile, a positive attitude and a great support network can change anything. As well as my colleagues at Virgin Australia, friends of mine all around the world in the airline industry have banded together. No matter what airline you work for, and no matter what uniform you wear, we are a big family and all in this together. You kind of get the feeling we are ‘united by wings’.



One fine drop

Proving that the glass is definitely half full, we speak with local winemaker, Nick O’Leary, who’s realistic and optimistic outlook on the year that was and the 2020 vintage that wasn’t, shows us that there’s always a way forward with wine.

Meet Nick O’Leary, highly accoladed and passionate winemaker who, as well as being the owner and chief winemaker of his own label, is also responsible for making wine for a swathe of other wineries within the Canberra district. Immersed in the world of wine for many years, Nick knows a thing or two about just what it takes to make the perfect drop. His first vintage in 2007 produced around 400 dozen bottles of wine, while his production today lands at a cool 13,000 dozen bottles, supported by a national distributor who sells his wine across the country.


“Once the vines take on the smoke, it permeates into the berry,” says Nick. “We had not had such significant smoke taint since the 2003 bushfires, so the South Coast fires, coupled with the Namadgi National Park fire really made an impact.” “By the first week of January 2020, it became obvious that we’d lose the lot.” Fruit tests on trial ferments conducted by the Australian Wine Research Institute confirmed Nick’s fears. His 2020 vintage was off the table. “We put quality before the dollars. We did not want to produce wine that would ruin our reputation and brand quality,” says Nick. To add insult to injury, in February 2020, a hailstorm passed through the region and damaged his crop completely. Knowing that roughly every 8-10 years growers may lose a vintage to unfavourable weather conditions, Nick and his team kept themselves busy expanding the vineyard. He doubled the winery allotment, vines and shed space. “You just have to put alternatives in place, continue to think ahead and look to the future,” says Nick. When the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, Nick persevered with his farm work, focusing on the property and its expansion. His sales model is split 50/50 between retail and on premise sales in restaurants, bars and hotels across Australia.

Left: Nick O'Leary testing his wine. Right: Sunset vineyard views. Photos: Supplied.

Having been in the business for some time, he has come to expect that each year is different. No two vintages will be exactly the same. While Canberra’s climate is typically quite consistent, Nick says that you can’t control nature. Canberra’s cool winters can deliver frost spells that can wipe out a vintage overnight. Similarly, severe summer heat can stop the grapes ripening properly. The past couple of years have been interesting. The 2019/20 bushfires caused smoke haze to linger in the region, which resulted in significant amounts of smoke taint for most Canberra vineyards. Most vineyards lost their vintage.

“We saw a bit of retail pick up, as well as an increase in direct online sales. The local support was really great to see,” says Nick. Seemingly always on the go, Nick is optimistic about what lies ahead. He is working on a range of projects for his own label, Nick O’Leary wines, and is also collaborating with other wineries in the district. He is realistic about his industry and passionate about the products produced in the Canberra region. nickolearywines.com.au

Nick's local picks

Mount Majura Riesling

Collector Rose Red City Sangiovese

Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier

$29.00 from mountmajura.com.au

$32.00 from collectorwines.com.au

$45.00 from ravensworthwines.com.au


Enjoying a bike ride through the vines at Clonakilla. Photo: Destination NSW



The magic of Murrumbateman Blissful regional escapes are back on the cards, and if that’s not worth raising a glass (or two or three) to, then we surely don’t know what is.


he past few months have seen each state and territory navigate the pandemic landscape in their own way, with some places being hit harder than others in terms of COVID travel restrictions. With international travel not quite a safe option yet, we’ve noticed a strong push towards domestic, and in particular, regional travel. The #holidayherethisyear campaign is not lost on us. We’re all for the regional escape. The road trips, the group getaways, the family fun (and fights) in the car, the music selection, the pit stops along the way, and the surprise of a chance encounter with something new, different and exciting. Australia is a big place, and there’s lots to see, and sometimes those exciting escapes are just a stone’s throw away. Located in the picturesque cool climate wine country, just outside of Canberra and a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, Murrumbateman is the perfect spot for a peaceful getaway, featuring gourmet food, fine wine, and a cosy place to sleep in the form of our very own Abode Murrumbateman. Understanding that re-entering the world of travel may seem daunting to those out of practice, the team at Abode Murrumbateman has gone ahead and planned your next trip for you, launching a range of guest packages perfect for cosy yet indulgent weekend getaways.


Need more reasons? While our guest packages offer a scrumptious taste of what Murrumbateman and surrounds has to offer, there’s so much more to do (and by ‘do’ we mean ‘eat and drink’) during your stay, and here are a few of our other favourite spots to get you started. For the wine aficionado Clonakilla Wines Distinctive, handcrafted Canberra region wines, particularly known for their award-winning, world recognised Shiraz Viognier. clonakilla.com.au

Award-winning Shaw Wines on display. Photo: Destination NSW

Featuring dine-in experiences at renowned local venues, Four Winds Vineyard and Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate, Abode Murrumbateman presents the Weekend Winery Package, Weekend Winery Family Package, and Wine and Dine Package. With an offering tailored to every type of traveller, and a large open fireplace in the hotel lobby lounge ready to welcome you when you arrive in the cooler months, an Abode Murrumbateman getaway might be just what your stir-crazy self needs right now. The Weekend Winery Escape For a weekend of wine and woodfired pizza, the Abode Murrumbateman Weekend Winery and Weekend Winery Family Packages offer a little slice of heaven. Designed for couples craving the chance to relax and unwind in an idyllic setting, the Weekend Winery Package offers one night’s accommodation at Abode Murrumbateman, a bottle of local wine in room on arrival, a wine and woodfired pizza lunch at the popular Four Winds Vineyard, bike hire, complimentary breakfast, unlimited Wi-Fi and free parking. Similar, but tailored to a family of four, the Weekend Winery Family Package offers similar inclusions plus the addition of a special treat for the kids on arrival. The Wine and Dine Experience If a four course dining experience is more your speed, the Abode Murrumbateman Wine and Dine Package presents a gourmet getaway to remember. Guests will enjoy one night’s accommodation, a bottle of local wine in room on arrival, complimentary breakfast for two, unlimited Wi-Fi, free parking and the pièce de résistance – a four course set menu for lunch or dinner at locally acclaimed restaurant, Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate. These cool climate wine country packages are available to book directly with Abode Hotels, and may change seasonally. However, you can always guarantee that a safe weekend or mid-week regional getaway will soothe the soul and push the pandemic blues aside. abodehotels.com.au


Eden Road Wines Unique and complex cool climate wines, expertly crafted by French winemaker, Celine Rousseau, who is recognised by her industry peers as one of Australia’s finest winemakers. edenroadwines.com.au

For the foodie Poachers Pantry Set amongst beautiful rural gardens and a vineyard in its namesake, enjoy a menu that will warm the soul and lift the spirits. poacherspantry.com.au

Clementine Bakery A hatted restaurant turned bakery, repositioned during the pandemic, offering a beautiful array of baked goods, including sourdough, croissants, danishes, pies and sausage rolls. clementinerestaurant.com.au

For the kids (and the kids at heart) Robyn Rowe Chocolates Delicious chocolates, lovingly hand crafted using traditional European methods and filled with only the freshest ingredients and contain no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. robynrowechocolates.com.au

Photo: VisitCanberra

Escape to Abode Murrumbateman and experience a gourmet getaway to remember. With food and wine accommodation packages showcasing the best makers and producers in Canberra’s cool climate wine country, Abode Murrumbateman has your next mid-week or weekend getaway covered. 53

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Lockdown Loves While there may be truth to the phrase ‘there’s no place like home’, forced house arrest across the COVID-19 pandemic had some interesting effects on people. Isolation antics went through waves, much like the pandemic itself. From sourdough baking, lunch time loungeroom yoga and passion project fulfillment, people were keen to keep busy.

We read, we watched, we listened, we purchased, and we played. And as shown by the trends in the top lockdown loves, we craved connection and validation of the fact that we really were ‘all in this together’. First, we downloaded Apps. Data gleaned from sensortower.com shows that we anted to dance our way through COVID, snap iso-selfies and share our experiences with our network. The top five app downloads in March – June 2020 were: TikTok, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Disney+. Tiring of screen time, we moved onto puzzles, physical activities and artistic pursuits. The top five eBay purchases across the pandemic were puzzles, strength training equipment, webcams, painting equipment and supplies and cardio equipment. Webcams, because, well – we’re fabulous, and we want the world to know. To round things out, we’ve compiled a list of the top five pandemic books, Netflix series and podcasts that kept Aussies engaged across lockdown. If you missed out on any, don’t despair. Simply pop the Do Not Disturb sign on your hotel room door, take advantage of the Abode Hotels free Wi-Fi and settle in for a good old fashion streaming session via STAYCAST streaming by Google Chromecast on your inroom TV. You’re welcome!


Most popular books Normal People Sally Rooney

The Dictionary of Lost Words Pip Williams

A novel of the journey between two inseparable people, from their first conversation to the years after. A story of love, friendship and mutual fascination.

Revealing a lost narrative hidden from a history written by men. A deeply thought-provoking and lyrical celebration of the women’s suffrage movement and the power of words.

Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens

The Yield Tara June Winch

A heartbreaking coming-of-age story that reminds us that we are at the whim of nature’s beautiful and violent secrets.

An award-winning novel written by an award-winning author. A story of celebration, endurance and the power of reclaiming Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.

Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo A glorious new kind of history for an old country. A love song to black Britain, told by twelve different people filled with energy, humour and heart.

Data from booktopia.com.au

Most watched Netflix shows Elite A Netflix original series that explores the ramifications when three workingclass teens enrol into an exclusive Spanish private school, with the clash between students leading to murder. Stranger Things After a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.

Podcasts to try Morbidology One of the most well-researched true crime podcasts out there, Morbidology is the ultimate choice for listeners who want all the details. This weekly podcast deep dives into some of the world's most famous cases and features audio from the 911 calls, trial testimonies and interviews. Cautionary Tales Written and hosted by Tim Harford, Cautionary Tales examines a real event in history where something didn’t go according to plan, with the help of leading social scientists, psychologists and economists. You Made It Weird Have you developed a secret weirdness during quarantine?

Money Heist

Prepare to absolve yourself of any embarrassment or guilt, as host Pete Holmes invites international comedians to honestly and hilariously share theirs. Some welcome isolation therapy. 99% Invisible A weekly exploration into the unseen and overlooked aspects of design and architecture, and how it shapes our modern world. With over 400 episodes to stream, you’ll delight in the stories as host Roman Mars delivers them with natural born radio finesse. Desert Island Discs

Eight thieves lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain with hostages, as a criminal mastermind manipulates the police to carry out his plan. Sex Education Thanks to his therapist mum, an insecure teen knows all the answers when it comes to sex advice. So, rebel friend Maeve proposes a plan to open a school sex-therapy clinic. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness This is a true murder-for-hire story of an eccentric zoo owner spiralling out of control from the depths of big cat breeding.

The perfect isolation reflection podcast. Guests like Whoopi Goldberg, Sir David Attenborough et. al discuss the hypothetical ‘what would you take to a desert island?’, if they were only allowed eight tracks, one book and one luxury.



Luxe travel essentials Living out of a suitcase needn't be a negative. These functional travel accessories offer a little luxury for your next escape.




Transformazing Sheet Mask

Neo Luggage Tag

Packing Cells

Travel can wreak havoc with your skin. This serum-drenched mask transforms dull and dehydrated skin for a smoother, brighter glow on the go. Free from nasties, this compact mask is perfect for your carry-on.

Made from lightweight zinc alloy and rubber, this slimline and durable luggage tag is a stylish way to personalise your bag, whilst discretely hiding your personal information from view.

Find everything you need while travelling, at a glance. These 100% washable and stain-proof packing cells with handles make it easy to segment your clothing, shoes and underwear, or separate clean from dirty.

$9.95 from mecca.com.au

$23.00 from designstuff.com.au

Four-pack $55.00 from july.com



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Portable Toothbrush UV Sanitiser

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Now more than ever, it's safe to say we're all a little more conscious of germs when travelling. Using UV-C light technology, this ergonomic device eradicates up to 99.9% of harmful and odour-causing bacteria on your toothbrush in just three minutes. Winner of a 2020 Red Dot design award.

You wouldn't dare leave this one behind. With a 100cm aerodynamic canopy and auto open function, this compact and convenient umbrella is built to withstand winds of up to 115km/hr, so you're protected in all kinds of weather. Ideal for urban travellers keen to stay dry and stylish.

Every traveller tells a tale. Published bi-annually since 2010, The Travel Almanac is an independent magazine that seeks to redefine the genre of traditional travel media, through the lens of the some of the world's great creatives. Think David Lynch, Helmut Lang, Juergen Teller and Greta Gerwig.

$65.00 (Double) from store.moma.org

$119.00 (Houndstooth) from bluntumbrella.com.au

$20.95 from magnation.com


Got a bright idea? We'd love to hear it. A+ Magazine submissions are now open. We are currently accepting pitches for unique editorial and photographic features in future editions of A+ Magazine, Abode Hotels' free biannual inroom print publication. To be involved, pen a detailed pitch and address it to the Editor, magazine@abodehotels.com.au, for consideration. 59

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