This week – my fourth – I’ve been heading west. So I thought it was time to share a map to give you an idea of where I’ve been this week in relation to Sydney and how far west I’ve gone in a few days. In fact at the time of writing this I’m at Mildura which is 1000km from Sydney. This is the further west I will go on this trip.
But to get back to my adventures on Tuesday…
After leaving Wagga I had a brief visit in Lockhart which is known as a verandah town. It was a cool and overcast morning and all I did here was to get a takeaway coffee and wander the streets to find the best view.
This isn’t much of a photo but I really loved the drive from Narrandera to Griffith. The road was dead straight most of the way but it was so interesting as I passed lots of different crops – including orchards, vineyards and cotton.
Here is a summary from Visit NSW
The Griffith Region is a truly diverse food bowl of Australia!
Agriculture is at the heart of the city, and the stats areimpressive: The region grows 90% of Australia’s rice and prunes. We grow the sweetest navels and are the largest citrus region in Australia.
Home to great orange juice, craft beer and Australia’s largest wine region – in fact there are so many kilometres of trellised vines they could lap Australia’s coastline three times! Griffith wineries export over $800M of wine per year and Griffith is the home of Yellow Tail and De Bortoli Noble One.
The region recently planted one million hazelnut trees for chocolate maker Ferrero. Other growth industries include Murray Cod, almonds and walnuts. Griffith is also a significant chicken meat supplier and producer of olive oil, truss tomatoes, quail and melons. Even the popcorn you buy at the movies is grown just down the road!
The reason for the agricultural richness of this area is the Murrumbigee Irrigation Scheme – a series of canals designed to spread the water from the Murrumbigee River. I really want to research this more as I think it’s amazing!
Griffith has a big Italian community and I was amazed that everyone I spoke to had connections to the Veneto region (the basis for our Palladian Odyssey tours). I had to get some coffee from the deli.
I also chose to sketch this building to represent the newness of the town. It was designed by Walter Burley Griffin (designer of Canberra) in 1914 and has his signature radial design in areas.
…but inside these plain doors there was an amazing restaurant with great atmosphere and food. I loved my risotto and because I was sketching I had lots of fun conversations – with staff and other patrons. And more Veneto connections!!!
It was so super special and made me feel as if I had had a mini trip to Italy!
It also made me realise that a great way to meet locals is to go out for dinner and sketch my meals. On my next trip I intend to spend longer in each location and I think that eating out (and sketching food) will be an important part of the plan!
Another amazing day!