Tag Archives: Visit Yass Valley

Spring into Yass!

Yass is springing into spring with some fantastic events on offer to herald in the warmer weather including, food and wine events, music, classic cars, art, and flowers. Check out these great events running from mid-September to mid-October, and toss winter out of the window and get your spring on!

“Spring is the best time of year to visit Yass Valley. Not only is the landscape alive with the bright greens and colours brought on by the warmer weather, but it’s also the time of year that this region hosts many high-quality family-friendly events jam-packed with country charm,” said Tourism and Economic Development Manager for Yass Valley Council, Sean Haylan. “Spring in Yass Valley is a time to enjoy delicious regional food and wine, live music, culture, colourful local characters and the beauty of the natural landscape”.

dinner wine 1

Rolling  3-course dinner and matching wines

First up, and new for 2017 is 4 Before Midnight, a rolling dinner where guests can graze four Yass venues in one night and enjoy wine as they go at Clementine Restaurant, Trader & Co, YazzBar and Thyme to Taste. Restaurants are offering three savoury and one sweet dish matched with local red or white wine, plus live music and cool extras like fire pits. The rolling dinner is on 28 September and bookings are available through Eventbrite.

pizza wine 3

Pair wine and food at the Murrumbateman Moving Feast

Next up in the food and wine category is the Murrumbateman Moving Feast, a full weekend of fine food, premium wine, and fun with friends. The moving feast in the October long weekend and is a great opportunity to learn all about local food, cold climate wines, and enjoy Yass Valley hospitality.

Each participating winery offers a main meal and/or dessert, perfectly matched with one of their wines, and guests can meet the makers and get a complimentary wine and Moving Feast wine glass with every dish. The moving feast is on from 30 September to 2 October. To find out more download a brochure from Makers of Murrumbateman.

image Gundaroo Music Festival

Image from Gundaroo Music Festival 2016

Music events include the Turning Wave Festival—15 to 17 September—with traditional Irish and Australian music along the lines of an Irish Fleadh (Fla) or festival. Turning Wave will include concerts, dancing, music classes, and the spoken word. On 14 October visit the Gundaroo Music Festival for 12 hours of non-stop music, singing and dancing, food and wine, arts and crafts, a special kids’ zone, and an evening fireworks display.


Tiptoe through the tulips at Tulip Top Gardens Sutton

Add to this a sculpture festival at Cooma Cottage from 16 September to 8 October, a Classic Car display in Meehan Street, Yass on 4 and 5 November, and top it off with a leisurely visit to Tulip Top Gardens where you can tiptoe through the tulips, spring blossoms, and waterfalls. The gardens are also dog friendly, and there are plenty of food stalls, a nursery, and heaps of entertainment. Tulip Top Gardens is located on the Federal Highway at Sutton, and the spring event runs from 16 September to 15 October and is open daily from 9am – 5pm.

sweet chocolate degustation

Chocolate – the ultimate degustation!

If you want to stay over and make it a relaxing get-away, there’s plenty of accommodation in the Yass Valley region, from humble motels, through historic hotels and country B&Bs, to luxury self-contained units. Yass has it all! For more information on these and other events visit the Yass Valley website, and for information on accommodation bookings call 1300 886 014.

Days of Wine and Roses

Wine with lunch. Wine with dinner. Wine with friends.  How many ways can you have wine for a week? Well, more than you think if you check this out! Wineries in the Yass Valley are gearing up for Canberra District Wine Week—a celebration of—well, wine!summerside-shaw-vineyard-estate

“Canberra District Wine Week is the perfect time to visit Yass Valley as the region’s wineries offer some great wine events, dinners, lunches, tastings, tours and more,” said Sean Haylan, Economic Development & Tourism Manager at Yass Valley Council. “It’s also harvest time which really is a great time to come and celebrate the 2017 vintage with the winemakers of the region”.

Canberra District Wine Week runs over 10 days from 31 March to 9 April, and includes a program of wine tasting, food matching, and tours and events held across the entire Canberra wine district including Hall, Bungendore, Gundaroo, Murrumbateman, and Yass; culminating in the annual Harvest Festival on 8 and 9 April. The week will also include live music and art from local bands and artists.degustation-1

A Festival Passport is also available. Get your passport stamped at three participating wineries and you’ll be in the draw to win one of three Canberra mixed dozens.

Some of the fabulous wine events during the week include a degustation dinner on Saturday 1 April at Ewe and Me Restaurant, and wines and canapes at Clementine Restaurant on Wednesday 5 April.


Image courtesy Clementine Restaurant

At Four Winds Vineyard Cellar Door on 6 April, you can enjoy a fun 4XSangiovese dinner with four courses of pizza each matched with a sangiovese—a variety of red/black wine grape used in making Italian Chianti, and presented by their winemakers, or Taste of the Region Long Lunch in Yass on Friday 7 April, which will feature local food and wine from five local vineyards. A full program of events and happenings will be posted on Canberra District Wine Week’s website.


Image from Four Winds Vineyard Cellar Door

The Yass district also has a range of quality accommodation for those who wish to stay a little longer, from hotels and motels, to luxury self-contained apartments and villas, and several will be offering wine week ‘stay and taste’ packages.

Wine tours are a great way to taste and learn about local wines, and Canberra wine tour company, Vines and Wines are offering independent wine tours, during wine week, for groups of nine people or more—mid-week only. For more information contact them via their website.degustation-prestige-jpg-1024x617

For more information on wine week visit www.canberrawines.com.au

From Didgeridoos to Art-Deco

The didgeridoo building in Yass has been somewhat of a landmark over the years. A run-down, boarded-up building—vacant for 19 years, and with its three didgeridoos in the forecourt you can imagine it being a common meeting place for visitors; ‘meet you at the didgeridoos—you can’t miss them’, and indeed you couldn’t … until now. By Aine Dowling


Tootsie is the brainchild of local mosaic artist Michaela Pothan, who has brought the building out of its sad and dusty 19 year hiatus and turned it into an art-deco butterfly—full of colour, life, and energy, and with its new name, it’s raring to go!

Tootsie, in case you’re wondering, is the old Chevy parked out the front—well actually that’s not the real Tootsie. The real Tootsie has gone to Gundagai to be rebuilt but the other Chevy is close enough. “Tootsie was my grandfather’s car,” says Michaela, “and when I was younger he gave her to me. She’s been languishing in the shed for many years; seemingly forgotten—much like this building, but now she’s undergoing a transformation too.” Step inside the new building and into the wonderful world of art-deco. With pressed tin ceilings, retro furniture, and an impressive collection of artworks, Tootsie is a gallery and coffee shop in one with the art and furniture all part of the café experience.

Enjoy a coffee in the cafe corner complete with retro furniture

Enjoy a coffee in the cafe corner complete with retro furniture

The building now includes the revamped entry with its stunning mosaics and café corner, the gallery, a large workshop, and a beautiful outdoor garden area which we’ll come back to later. Michaela is running the gallery as a collective with works from many local artists including painters, photographers, mosaic artists, and glass and metal workers. Pieces from Peter Crisp Gallery and artist Jan Matson are just a few of the local names on display. Mosaic classes are held in the workshop.

Artwork by Jan Matson

Artwork by Jan Matson

The artwork will change fairly regularly as Michaela plans to run theme based art—at least for the paintings. The gallery opened in November 2015 with Girt by Sea—an Australian theme which included oceans, beaches, and landscapes—now its Beauty in the Beast and includes smiling paintings of poultry and pigs, dogs and cats, snow leopards, big cats, and wildlife, and a selection of simply stunning photographs of horses by local photographer Nicole Godding, as well as the most amazing metal sculptures in the rear garden.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

The garden also includes The Wall—again a brilliant initiative by Michaela who decided that a blank wall was just not good enough, and, to encourage community involvement in the development of the gallery, contacted mosaic artists in Australia and around the world to contribute a small panel to be attached to the wall. The artists responded with enthusiasm and the result is breathtaking. The wall is not complete—pieces are still to come from overseas, but the response has been amazing.

Mosaic Community Art Project includes local, national and international artists

Mosaic Community Art Project includes local, national and international artists

“Artists just loved the idea and got right behind the project,” says Michaela. “We received some beautiful local pieces, and then the international responses started to come in. We sent them specifications and they sent their mosaic piece back on light webbing and we just fixed it to the wall and grouted it on. On seeing photos of their piece on the wall, many interstate and international contributors have now decided to come and visit and view the wall in person—something that will also contribute to the Yass tourist industry.”

Mosaic Community Art Project - garden steps

Mosaic Community Art Project – garden steps

So take a trip out to Tootsie and soak up the art and ambience and enjoy coffee and cake at the same time. And, while you’re there, see if you can spot the hidden items on the entrance mosaic. During the renovation, six items were discovered under floorboards, in wall cavities, and other nooks and crannies and were included in the mosaic. Can you spot them?

All images by LFW

Peace and Quiet with Banjo Paterson

Life in the fast lane getting you down? You don’t have to go far to recharge your batteries in the total peace and quiet of Wee Jasper, and spend some time with the memory of Australia’s most well-loved poet and writer, A. B. (Banjo) Paterson. By Aine Dowling

The Garden Wing private garden

Relax in The Garden Wing private garden

Once the home of Banjo Paterson, Coodravale is an iconic Australian homestead, and from 1850 was used as a station property until purchased in 1908 by Paterson together with a member of the Lindeman wine-making family. Paterson lived at Coodravale until 1911 when he returned to Sydney. Coodravale Homestead is now a private residence owned by John Robinson and Rosemary McKenzie, and extensive renovations and upgrades have turned a large rambling homestead with servants quarters into a beautiful home, and The Garden Wing; stunning self-contained accommodation including large double bedroom, bathroom, lounge/dining, kitchen, and wide verandah with amazing views of the valley.

Just 90 minutes from Canberra (via Yass) the first thing you notice at Coodravale is the absolute peace and quiet. Surrounded by lush gardens and paddocks of 16 acres and 500 metres of Goodradigbee riverfront, this is the perfect place to relax and wind down after a week in the ‘dusty, dirty’ city. The second thing is the generous hospitality from hosts John and Rosemary, who treat their visitors as long-time family friends without being intrusive.

Garden Wing private verandah

The Garden Wing private verandah

“We bought this property with a small B&B in mind,” says John. “We absolutely fell in love with it the moment we saw it even though it was covered in dust and cobwebs, and needed a new roof! The location is perfect—we’re far enough from neighbours to not notice them, but close enough to be part of a welcoming community.

“The gardens still need bit of work but we’re getting there. We have lots of seating and quiet spots scattered under the trees and there’s swimming holes in the river so you can cool off on hot days. The only noise at night is the occasional wombat trundling past the verandah, and the beautiful birdsong in the early morning. Every day we feel blessed to be living in such wonderful spot.”

Goodradigbee River just a few metres away

Goodradigbee River just a few metres away

The Garden Wing is attached to the main house but has its own entrance, verandah, and garden. Everything is provided for your comfort from kitchen staples to your own BBQ, a well-stocked reading room, air-conditioning for the summer, and heating and snuggly doonas and lap blankets in the winter. And, if you do need anything else, John and Rosemary are only too happy to help.

Garden Wing bedroom with French doors to verandah

The Garden Wing bedroom with French doors to your private verandah

Wifi is also available, but seriously, why bother? This is wind-down time so learn a bit of history from John and his favourite book You Can’t Eat Scenery—Life in Wee Jasper from 1850 – 1970 which features Coodravale. Or bury yourself in Banjo’s famous works, a number of which he wrote while living at Coodravale, including A Mountain Station.

The Garden Wing at Coodravale offers exceptional self-contained accommodation in beautiful surroundings and company, where the stars are everlasting and the vision is truly splendid.garden wing verandah

Images by LFW.  LFW stayed at The Garden Wing courtesy of Coodravale.