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Page 26 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 27

Places To Go Thursday 5th July Musical Mornings at The Mansion, 2.00 pm With The Roz Hendy Dancers, who are a group of women ranging in age from their early 60s to 80s. They've been performing together for approx 16 years as a Tap Group under the City of Moonee Valley at Flemington Community Centre. They've also added Jazz Ballet and Musical Comedy to their repertoire. $15.00 per person Light Afternoon Tea included Saturday 21st July Christmas in July Dinner, 7.00 pm Celebrate Mid-Winter Christmas in the Drawing Room of the Mansion where our Executive Chef has prepared a traditional 3 Course Christmas Feast from the finest local and estate grown produce. $70.00 per person glass of Bubbly on arrival and entertainment. Beverages at Bar Prices Sunday 26th August Traditional Rupertswood High Tea, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm A revival of the wonderful and lofty British tradition, where pretty teapots of Tea, cucumber sandwiches and dainty cakes and much more are served in one of the Mansion's beautiful rooms. Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment with friends, tour our lovely Mansion and soak up the ambience of a lifestyle of colonial opulence from a bygone Victorian era. $60.00 per person with entertainment. Beverages at Bar Prices. Sunday 2nd September Father's Day Breakfast / Brunch 9.30 am Treat Dad this Father's Day to a Country Style Home Cooked Breakfast in the Drawing Room of the Mansion. $40.00 per person Saturday 22nd September 6 Course Degustation Dinner, 6.30 pm Enjoy the ambience of this unique and ornate Mansion, Birthplace of the Ashes, an elegant and sophisticated venue where our Executive Chef has created a menu of contemporary modern Australian cuisine, sourcing only the best of seasonal and regional produce in a 6 Course Degustation Menu, in the charming and elegant Drawing Room. $120.00 per person inclusive wines and entertainment ber - Bookings Essential Enjoy the grandeur of the Mansion with colleagues and friends celebrating closure of the work year in high style when our Executive Chef will prepare our very popular 2 Course Luncheon, in the Drawing Room or Clarke Dining Room. Ideal for end of year functions for work, clubs and groups. (Please also enquire about private celebrations). From $60.00 per person Beverages at Bar Prices Wednesday 3rd October Musical Mornings at The Mansion, 10.00 am - 11.30 am With The Hot Flushes, a Female Vocal Quartet with a wide repertoire containing show tunes and popular music from the 30s to the 70s. From poignant ballads in four part harmony to swinging choreographed renditions of 60s girl group classics to toe tapping hits of the 40s. Come and enjoy a lively morning in the ambience of the Mansion. $15.00 per person, Light morning Tea included.

Seniors Week Monday to Friday 8th to 12th October The 2012 Victorian Seniors Festival Monday to Friday 12 midday Enjoy a 2 Course Luncheon within the lavish interiors of Rupertswood Mansion. Experience its wealth of history and charm with a Heritage Talk and a leisurely stroll around the Mansion. $33.00 per person. Beverages at Bar Prices Sunday 18th November Traditional Rupertswood High Tea, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm A revival of the wonderful and lofty British tradition, where pretty teapots of Tea, cucumber sandwiches and dainty cakes with much more are served in one of the Mansion's beautiful rooms. Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment with friends, tour our lovely Mansion and soak up the ambience of a lifestyle of colonial opulence from a bygone Victorian era. $60.00 per person with entertainment, Beverages at Bar Prices. Thursday 22nd November Musical Mornings at The Mansion, 10.00 am With the Stardust Jazz Trio, playing a repertoire of jazz and popular tunes from the 30s to the 70s. Come and enjoy a lively morning in the ambience of the Mansion. $15.00 per person, Light morning Tea included Sunday 25th November Open Day - 11.00 am - 4.30 pm Light Lunch, Devonshire Teas and Refreshments. A Day of Fun for the Entire Family -, Live Music, activities for the kids. Entry Adults: $10.00; Students: (12-18) $5.00; Children FREE Christmas Celebration Luncheons - Throughout Decem Christmas Celebration Dinners - Throughout December Bookings Essential Enjoy the grandeur of the Mansion with colleagues or friends celebrating closure of the year in high style when our Executive Chef will prepare a fabulous 4 Course Dinner sourcing the finest local and estate grown produce. Ideal for end of year functions for work, clubs and groups. (Please enquire about private celebrations) from $80.00 per person with Beverages at Bar Prices or from $110.00 per person inclusive of wines & Beer, Entertainment* can be provided*numbers permitting Tuesday 25th December Christmas Day at Rupertswood, 11.30 am Enjoy a scrumptious, traditional Christmas Lunch at Rupertswood Mansion and experience all the old world charm of an elegant Victorian Christmas with a 6 Course Lunch including Champagne Cocktails on arrival, White & Red Wines, Beers and Soft Drinks, a visit from Santa plus entertainment. $170.00 per person all inclusive; $80 ages 13 - 17; $50.00 ages 3 - 12 Monday 31st December New Years Eve Dinner Dance 8.00 pm See in the New Year at Rupertswood Mansion with a 4 Course Dinner and Jazz Band. Dress to impress!. $150.00 per person inclusive Bubbly, Wines Beer and Entertainment.

Accommodation starting from $220 inc hot breakfast History Tours & Lunch or Morning tea Morning Music May 30 Xmas in July dinner July 21 Sunday Roast Lunch Irish Band June,24

Rupertswood Mansion “Birthplace of the Ashes� 3 Macedon Street I PO Box 686 Sunbury 3429 T: +61 3 9740 5020 I F: +61 3 9740 3686 I w:

Page 28 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 29

Page 30 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Places To Go Over The Long Weekend

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 31

Page 32 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Homemaker Melbourne

Observer Alarm Australia

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 33

Advertising Feature

Be alerted to visitors, intruders on your property

â– This unique range of products by Alarm Australia immediately alert you when someone enters your property, giving you peace of mind and no unwanted surprises. The product range offers a solution for everyones particular needs, whether you want to know when someone enters the front gate to your home property or business foyer, the alarms also allow you to monitor more then one location at a time. When a location is triggered by a car or person a wireless signal is sent up to a 1km range to one or more receivers. Aside from added security, flexibility and no wiring installation required are the major benefits of these effective products, you can receive signals in different locations at your home, office or farm, and also have the option to carry a small matchbox sized receiver in your pocket so you can move around and still feel assured you won't miss any visitors or unwanted intruders. The wireless driveway alarms were offered

by Alarm Australia in response to increasing demand from businesses who cannot always man particular entry areas, successfully minimising opportunity for stolen products and ensuring they are able to provide prompt service in their business. The home and private property user has significantly benefited from the products in effectively monitoring distant front gate entries, equipment sheds and garages which house valuable items, and for the simple peace of mind of knowing someone is on your property. This proven range of products have been providing private homes and businesses throughout all regions of Australia with an extra set of eyes and added security, easily installed with no need to run wiring, your business or property can be enjoying the benefits of these products in no time. More information can be sourced online or to order today call 1300 766 805.

Page 34 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Homemaker

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 35

Melbourne Homemaker

Page 36 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 20122


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 37


Angel Starshine Silk Scarf, available as kit only, price is $38.45 (this includes p&h with Aust), alternative colour choices available on Website.

Hearts and Flowers Patchwork Baby Blanket, available as kit only, priced at $68.50 (includes P & H within Aust). Please check website,, for other blanket kits and products, or ring Woolshed @ Manuka: 02 6295 0061

Page 38 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 39

Buying Guide

Promo code MO15OFF

Victorian Rural News

Great gift idea, FREE gift wrapping

Page 40 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Buying Guide

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 41

Buying Guide

Page 42 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Travel Extra



BEACH STREET APARTMENTS Set beside the sparkling waters of Merimbula Lake, you can watch the boats passing while eating breakfast. 1 and 2 bedroom fully self-contained apartments with spa and ensuite. Pool, BBQ and under cover parking. 2 minute walk to a safe swimming beach and shops, clubs and restaurants. Beautiful water views. 1 Beach Street, Merimbula, NSW 2548 Phone: (02) 6495 2205 E-mail:

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 43

Travel Extra

Page 44 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Travel Extra

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 45


in the heart of the Sunshine Coast

Conveniently located in cosmopolitan Mooloolaba and close to the Sunshine Coast's award winning tourist attractions, Seamark on First is perfectly positioned to enjoy Mooloolaba's relaxed lifestyle. A perfect holiday destination, ideal for couples and families and of all ages to wind down or visit and experience the abundance of attractions available. Our beautiful beaches, fully patrolled daily, are just a short walk away. Enjoy a stroll along the white sandy shores; sip an Expresso at a beachfront cafes or indulge in one the tempting dining options along the Esplanade. Whether you want relaxation, adventure or excitement, Seamark on First is the perfect place for you.

Seamark On First 29 First Ave, Mooloolaba, Qld 4557 Phone: (07) 5457 8600. Fax: (07) 5457 8699 Contact: Greg and Viv McKay Web:

JUNE SPECIALS * 2 Bedroom Apartments $150 per night $1050 Normally $190 per night $1330 SAVE $280 * 3 Bedroom Apartments $200 per night $1400 Normally $250 per night SAVE $350 * 3 Bedroom Penthouse $280 per night $1960 Normally $320 per night SAVE $280 Based on a 7 night stay

Page 46 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 47

Travel Extra

Page 48 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Travel Extra

Escape to Paradise at Thala Beach Lodge Port Douglas ■ For those looking for a unique escape this winter, five star eco and nature resort Thala Beach Lodge, located just outside of Port Douglas, North Queensland, ticks all the boxes for a romantic tropical getaway. Situated on the headland of a two kilometre stretch of private-access beachfront, Thala Beach Lodge offers seclusion in a stunning natural environment. The resort offers a range of features, including a unique restaurant offering modern Australian cuisine and views of treetops that meet the expansive Coral Sea. Birds such as rainbow lorikeets, sunbirds and honeydew eaters regularly fly amongst the treetops surrounding the restaurant and guests can enjoy unsurpassed views on sunset with a delectable cocktail in hand. The resort’s accommodation consists of four different types of private bungalows, including the Sandpiper Suite, which offers the ultimate in privacy and romance with views over the secluded beach frontage and eucalypt forest. The Sandpiper Suite contains a spacious living and lounge room, along with a private balcony and large veranda that blends elegantly with the lush environment. Guests can enjoy one of several gourmet picnic baskets that contain a number of local delicacies and dine on their private balcony or picnic on the beach. Facilities at the resort include two freeform pools, with the main pool located at Thala’s open plan main building. The pools feature waterfalls, spas and grottos, along with ample seclusion for some evening romance. Views over the forest and out to the Coral Sea are on offer at the pool’s edge. Two kilometres of private sandy beaches at Thala provide the perfect opportunity for a sunset stroll, and will make one feel as if they’re in a

paradise all of their own. If you’re up for a bit of informal beach front lounging, Herbie’s Beach Shack provides the means, offering drinks and picnic tables in a laid back setting. Free activities at the resort include guided bird watching hosted by local bird and butterfly expert Dave Anderson, introducing guests to some of the numerous rare species located amongst Thala's natural native forest. There’s also a nature and wildlife walk led by flora expert Brett Kelly, who delights in sharing his knowledge of the plant species scattered across 145 acres of the resort’s grounds. For something a little more nutty, coconut enthusiast Carl Johansen takes visitors on the ‘Coconut Odyssey’, a talk held amongst Thala's coconut plantation. Here Carl attests to the life giving properties of the coconut and its means of providing food, drink, clothing, shelter and health benefits. The starry-eyed can take delight in the night sky, which is free of light pollution, and observe the countless stars from the lodge’s on site outdoor observatory. The dreamy or astrologically inclined can be given an introduction to the southern constellations, making a memorable night. The sound of the waves from the nearby beach combined with the noises of the forest at night will make a lasting impression as you scan the heavens. Thala Beach Lodge is located between world heritage rainforests and The Great Barrier Reef, making it the ideal base for exploring the natural attractions of the area or visiting the towns of Port Douglas and Cairns. Thala Beach Lodge is located north of Cairns and 15 mins south of Port Douglas. Easy airport transfers from Cairns Domestic and International airports make getting to the resort a breeze. For more information on Thala Beach Lodge visit their website at .

Thala Beach Lodge Phone: 0438 568 381

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 49

Travel Extra

Currumbin Sands Apartments

Stay 4, Pay for 3 Nights Stay 7, Pay for 5 Nights May - until June 24 Currumbin Sands holiday apartments are uniquely positioned on absolute beachfront at Palm Beach adjacent to the Currumbin Estuary. There are no roads to cross to the beach and here you can relax and enjoy the ultimate Gold Coast accommodation holiday apartment on the beachfront. At Currumbin Sands you can surf the local point break at the Alley, watch the kids swim in the calm waters of the creek, fish along the quiet river bank, walk barefoot together along the ocean beach and make lasting memories. The Currumbin Sands resort itself enjoys a very high repeat booking rate with loyal guests coming back year after year. This family friendly three story complex offers generous 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartment sizes with a variety of pool, garden, river or beach views from each individual apartment. Guests have key access to the private

Fact File NAME: Currumbin Sands Apartments ADDRESS: 955 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach, Qld 4221 PHONE: (07) 5525 5000 FAX: (07) 5525 5099 CONTACT: Sherryl Stack WEB: E-MAIL: grounds, the secure onsite parking underground, and to two separate swimming pool areas. The buildings are all set in tropical landscaped gardens features waterfalls and a brook.

Page 50 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Travel Extra

Voted The Gold Coast’s Best Family Resort

GRANDE FLORIDA RESORT WINTER GETAWAY Come stay for 4-6 weeks in a 2 bedroom apartment for $650 per week, for all seniors. Fully self-contained apartment featuring ensuite and bathroom, laundry, fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, cable T.V- wireless broadbeand linen supplied. To help you enjoy your stay, you can relax around one of our two award wining lagoon-style swimming pools, (1 heated) and two jet spas. Set in two acres of lush rainforest gardens with direct access to the adjoining, patrolled, surf beach. Facilities also include Sauna, Children's Games Room, Internet CafĂŠ and underground parking.

Grande Florida Resort 7 Redondo Ave, Miami, Qld 4220. Phone: (07) 5572 8111. Fax: (07) 5572 8863. Web: E-Mail:

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 51

Travel Travel Extra

"HIGH SEASON SPECIALS" ( Available 25 June 2012 till 9 October 2012) 2 BEDROOM APARTMENT $220.00 PER NIGHT (7 NIGHT MINIMUM 4 GUESTS) 3 BEDROOM APARTMENT $260.00 PER NIGHT (7 NIGHT MINIMUM 6 GUESTS) 2 BEDROOM APARTMENT $230.00 PER NIGHT (5 NIGHT MINIMUM 4 GUESTS) 3 BEDROOM APARTMENT $280.00 PER NIGHT (5 NIGHT MINIMUM 6 GUESTS) SPACIOUS AND COMFORTABLE 1,2 & 3 BEDROOM APARTMENTS COUPLES, FAMILIES AND WEDDING GROUPS WELCOME FREE AUSTAR TV, HEATED POOL WITH BBQ AREA Your friendly hosts at nautilus holiday apartments, Mick & Sue Whalen will do everything possible to make your holiday in Tropical North Queensland one to remember. Full tour desk in house Check out our reviews on First 5 to book will receive a bottle of bubbly and free breakfast for all guests at Lure Restaurant on the Port Douglas Marina Mention this ad and you get an additional $5.00 per night off.

Page 52 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Travel Extra

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Page 53

Travel Extra

Page 54 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Real Estate News

Where the Great Ocean Road meets the ‘Hamptons’ When two individuals with exceptional talents get together to explore their own sea change/tree change, exciting results occur. Jock, an architect and landscape architect, learned his craft in Melbourne, taking pleasure in hands-on projects over many years, including the rebuilding and running of the luxury 'The Grange' B&B in Williamstown. Jo's passion is interior decoration and gardening, with many projects in leafy Bayside suburbs. Her natural flair for design has been expressed in both their home and the cottages with a distinct “Hamptons” feel. From the wall papers to the light fittings and deep couches, the whole house oozes relaxed luxury and enduring style. As a keen board rider, Jock returned endlessly to the mystical Otways to chase that perfect wave and in 2000 stumbled upon one of the most unspoilt places on the coast. Jo, also keen for a rural change, was introduced to the magic of Paradise and instantly fell in love with it's beauty and tranquillity. Ten years later Jo and Jock Williamson have a superb property, inspired by their love of all things natural and beautiful. They were fortunate that they inherited a property with good bones; established exotic trees, terraced gardens and wonderful views all around. They have designed, built and decorated two self-contained cottages, used for accommodation, which are set over a picturesque ornamental lake. Their own house, recently extended and renovated is large and comfortable and makes the most of the north sun and views to the surrounding forests. It is a rare thing – a home with all mod cons yet one which allows it’s owners close contact with a truly beautiful part of the world and where one can gain great respect and admiration for nature and the seasons. Their property, only 10 minutes from Apollo Bay along a sealed scenic road, is nestled in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Otways and is unique in that it offers the lush surrounds of rainforest and farmland yet is an easy drive to the ocean – the best of both worlds. Living in the peaceful surrounds of Paradise Gardens, the decision to move for Jo and Jock was never an easy one. “We are looking forward to new building and garden design challenges but leaving one of the most beautiful places in Victoria (and arguably Australia) will be very difficult”.

Where the Great Ocean Road meets the "Hamptons." 'Paradise Gardens and Cottages', is set amidst three acres of beautifully gardens. Offering two story book cottages set over a picturesque lake and a luxurious three bedroom home. This award winning property operates as a successful accommodation business. All buildings have been superbly constructed; include quality fittings throughout and inclusive of stylish furniture and linen with the accommodation. The main home is complete with a grand lounge, large dining room, generous country style kitchen, atrium and a staircase that leads to a generous master bedroom with ensuite and adjoining study. The views from the double spa bath are magical. Within the home in a separate wing, lies an optional Bed and Breakfast accommodation facility. With a separate external entrance for privacy, this established in-house unit features a king sized bed, a dining setting, and large ensuite with a double corner spa and separate shower. A further queen bedroom is attached to accommodate extra guests. The two gorgeous cottages provide a choice of either two or three accommodation units. The double storey main unit, is self contained, consisting of an open plan living/dining and kitchen area and upstairs king sized bed bedroom, high cathedral ceilings and ensuite with a double spa, large separate shower and decking that extends over the water with an outdoor setting and bar-bcue. The adjoining single storey Plum Tree Cottage has a separate entry and consists of high cathedral ceilings, a king sized bedroom, ensuite with spa and shower, kitchenette and decking extending over the water. These two units are designed to work either as one cottage or two separate units to accommodate four people. The second cottage consists of an open plan living/dining/kitchenette, again with high cathedral ceilings. Overlooking the lake and island is the queen sized bedroom, with ensuite, spa, etc. Decking, again extending majestically over the lake. Adjacent to the home is a large workshop, ample shedding and under cover parking for vehicles. The extensive and established gardens are watered (if required) via an automated irrigation system topped up with water pumping rights from the Barham River. Given a four and a half star rating through AAA.

Inspection strictly by appointment ■ two picturesque cottages and stunning three bedroom home ■ luxurious main dwelling ■ established cottage accommodation with furniture inclusive ■ wood fires, reverse cycle air conditioning units ■ workshop, ample shedding, woodshed ■ three acres of award winning landscaped gardens

Further details: ■ Machinery shed 4.8 x 6.8m ■ Underneath section garden shed 2.2 x1.5m ■ Car port 7 x 9m ■ Main shed 13.5 x 6.5m ■ With secure fully lined and carpeted mezzanine floor 3.2 x 3.8m ■ Woodshed 3 x 6.5m ■ 2 tanks up the hill behind the house on leased land 45,000 litres ■ 2 tanks at back of shed 20,000 litres ■ 1 small tank that pumps from larger tanks 1,000 litres ■ 1 megalitre per annum unmetered can be pumped from the river. Pump reconditioned will pump 20,000 litres in a 10 hour cycle. ■ Automatic feed to garden from tanks. ■ Petrol generator with electric start (go with the sale) ■ Ride on mower (go with the sale) ■ Log splitter ■ Mulching machine

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, y June y 6, 2012 - Page 55



Travellers’Good Buys

with David Ellis

Gold find came as flash of light ■ One day in the mid-1800s when a prospector named David Lindsay was sweltering away in a dry creek bed where it was 40-degrees in the shade – and there was no shade – he stopped to pick at a brilliantly coloured stone from which flashes of red danced devilishly under the harsh Central Australian sunlight. With his small hand pick he chipped away at the stone, revealing what he reckoned must have been the biggest ruby he’d seen in his life. And when more followed, and more followed those, he walked the 40km up the creek to a small gold prospecting camp at Arltunga to celebrate at its sly-grog tent. A few months later on the opposite side of the world, some Dutch gem experts whistled aloud at the stones that spilled from a small purse sent to them from Australia. They had to be the best rubies they’d seen in a long time. So they too took a celebratory drink at the prospects of a wealthy new find in the far-off antipodes. But the celebrations on both sides of the world were short-lived: the brilliant ‘rubies,’ rumours of which had now started a ‘ruby rush’ to the Outback, were only red garnets, worth but a fraction of what everyone had hoped. So for David, and the other hopefuls, it was back to gold prospecting, collecting what specks and tiny nug-

● Arltunga Hotel is currently closed: guests were invited to ‘Sleep Where You Like, But Not On The Bar’


Observer Wines & Liqueurs

with David Ellis

Banjo’s Run, Southern Highlands ■ Three years ago Bill Hall retired after more than 40 years in real estate in Sydney to re-settle in the pleasant Southern Highlands of NSW – not to take up bowls or bridge, but to go into business again, buying and rejuvenating an old vineyard and putting out his own wine label. And his Banjo’s Run, named after a horse owned by his daughter who also resides in the Highlands, is already proving a hit with lovers of coolclimate wines, finding itself onto wines lists in select local restaurants and even in Sydney, and with cellar door sales increasing weekly as word gets around. Bill tends to the vineyard at Exeter himself, and interestingly uses a number of different winemakers to make his wines on contract, rather than taking a one maker makes-all approach. He’s already got a couple of Chardonnays, a Pinot Noir, Cabernet Merlot, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and a spritzy Cabernet Franc Merlot from his old vineyard, that’s flourishing under his care in this growing boutique cool-climate region so close to Sydney. The 2009 Cabernet Merlot combines ripe blackcurrant fruit and plum jam flavours with nice savoury tannins, and is a delightful wine to enjoy with winter-time beef dishes, or any-time Thai foods; its good buying at $24 a bottle from his cellar door ($264 a case plus freight) – give Bill a ring on 0408 228 724 to discuss this and others in his range, or go onto

One For Lunch

■ Hesketh’s 2010 Usual Suspects McLaren Vale Shiraz is a wine to enjoy now, or to pop away in the cellar for anything up to another five or six years. A wine that’s had time in both American and French oak, it’s generous with flavours of ripe blackberries, milk coffee, cocoa and dark chocolate, and a little hint of typical Shiraz white pepper. Pay $19.95 and match this lovely drop with a hearty Spaghetti Bolognaise.


■ Delightful drop from a rejuvenated vineyard to enjoy with winter beef dishes, or anytime Thai foods. ■ Spaghetti Bolognaise perfect with this McLaren Vale Shiraz

gets they could among the gravel at Arltunga … until David Lindsay’s ever-vigilant eyes spotted an alluvial vein on a hill just up from his creek. This turned out to be a far more worthwhile prospect, and soon a gold stamp was brought in to pound the rich ore David had spotted. By the late 1800s the little tent site of a hundred prospectors had swollen to an itinerant 2000 with a police station, stores, assayers offices, government supervisors, a pub – and a cemetery. And so Arltunga became the first European settlement in Central Australia, preceding Alice Springs, and at one stage having a ‘resident’ population of 300 supporting the miners. The mines yielded some 6-million pounds worth of gold between the late 1800s and early 1900s, and while most were abandoned by the time of World War I, some were still being worked until the 1950s… one until 1998. The ‘ruby boom’ meanwhile had died a very quick death. Arltunga lays in the East MacDonnell Ranges in desert country 110km east of Alice Springs. There’s an un-manned Visitors Centre with a fascinating collection of historic photos and memorabilia from the time when hopefuls with only the thought of gold on their minds, trudged 600km from the railhead at Oodnadatta with all they owned in swags on their backs, or in wheelbarrows. A self-operated slide show is also available at the Visitors Centre with photos and maps on-screen of suggested areas of interest nearby. And there are the ghostly tumbledown reminders of what was once a town: the police station, its standalone cell-from-hell in which temperatures reached 45-plus (before that, prisoners were simply chained to the policeman’s iron bed,) the gold stamp and cyanide works, stone floors of one-time houses and a stone pub, abandoned mine workings, signposted historic trails, and shaded picnic grounds. The original hotel – a sign said Sleep Where You Like, But Not On The Bar – has long been nothing more than a ruin, and the most-recent, Arltunga’s only business in recent years, pulled its last beers and closed a few months back. National Parks’ rangers are the only ones in this ghost town and during the ‘cooler winter months’ between May and September obligingly help visitors with information about the site, and offer suggestions on places to visit on foot, by bicycle or by car. The picnic grounds have BBQ facilities and shade shelters, but camping is not permitted (you can camp at the nearby Terphina Gorge Nature Park,) and visitors must to take all their rubbish away with them. And yet as remote as it is, you don’t need 4WD to get here: the road is sealed for the first 70km from Alice Springs, and is gravel for the next forty – “a yob filter” as regulars who enjoy escaping to Arltunga describe it. For information about holidaying in Central Australia and visiting Arltunga, phone Central Australian Tourism on 1800 645 199. - David Ellis

Melbourne Observer. 120606B. June 6, 2012. Part B. Pages 26-55.  

Melbourne Observer. 120606B. June 6, 2012. Part B. Pages 26-55.

Melbourne Observer. 120606B. June 6, 2012. Part B. Pages 26-55.  

Melbourne Observer. 120606B. June 6, 2012. Part B. Pages 26-55.