Country Style

January 2022

Country Style celebrates the diversity of modern country living. Brings to life the stories of inspirational people and places from around Australia - coast to coast. We visit amazing homes and gardens, travel through Australia's most vibrant regional centres and sample all the good things the country has to offer

Are Media Pty Limited
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: START40
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s letter

As I pack the car to head up to the NSW Northern Rivers for a holiday filled with sunshine (hopefully) and ocean swims, I realise I am looking forward to the drive almost as much as the destination. It marks the beginning of winding down and will be some much-needed ‘me’ time. I’m driving up by myself, which means I get to select the music (Taylor Swift, who has been on high rotation during the school run, can take a break) and the podcasts, and to quote a good friend of mine who also makes the annual eight-hour drive up the Pacific Highway, “I’ll use the time to call people I wish I had the time to speak to more often.” I like long drives, unless of course something goes wrong.…

1 min
in this issue...

EDWINA ROBERTSON Capturing authentic moments and stories on film is vital for free-spirited Edwina, who photographed our story about the Henning family on page 136. Living on a mixed cropping property in Dalby, in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Edwina, 36, is in love with country life: “It’s the sense of community and benefits of health. I can be so productive and yet also relaxed, without the pressure of needing to be someone all the time.” Edwina is certainly productive: she’s been a photographer and champion of rural communities for many years. Growing up near Glen Innes, in NSW, set the tone: “The sense of freedom I had as a child is the thing I treasure the most. I’m grateful for a wholesome childhood surrounded by horses, open spaces and wanderlust.” MATILDA…

6 min
your page

DOWN A GEAR Following a turbulent year of COVID lockdowns and grim isolation, I was blessed to be in a position to allow myself a ‘mental health day’ at the end of October. Feeling a sense of empathetic relief for my Melbourne friends coming out of lockdown, I was thankful for a perfect, sunny Friday. After an exhausting week juggling my family’s needs, I was able to go for a leisurely swim in a local pool, a relaxing float all by myself, with the sun shining above and the Toora hills standing boldly nearby. I came home and had a cup of tea on the back verandah, overlooking my beautiful cultivated garden. I took my healthy lunch out to the front verandah, surrounded by native plants and warbling birds. In the far distance,…

3 min

book a table NSW Eschalot A visit to Eschalot restaurant in historic Berrima will take you inside one of the Southern Highlands’ most charming heritage buildings. The menu, crafted by head chef and co-owner Matty Roberts, follows the seasons and features fresh, local ingredients. Feeling adventurous? Be guided by the chef with the ‘feed me’ menu. NSW Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhales: Every Heart Sings, Jan 15 Gaze skyward at dawn as two huge hot-air balloon sculptures by artist Patricia Piccinini, titled Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, are released over Maitland at sunrise. This event is presented by Maitland Regional Art Gallery and Maitland City Council’s Vibrant Cities in conjunction with the National Gallery of Australia. Book your free tickets online. Tamworth Country Music Festival, Jan 14-23 The best of the nation’s rural talent descends on Tamworth for the…

3 min
a hard day’s work

WE LIVE ON ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR coastal drives in Australia and every January, like a flock of migrating geese, there is a steady stream of packed-to-the-hilt cars heading north past our front gate. The cars are like magic carpets, transformed from their everyday ordinariness by the holiday cargo they carry. The family vehicles are the busiest – they sit low, burdened by full bike racks, surfboards, boogie boards and fishing rods – and that’s just the outside. Inside, it’s hard to see the children for the doonas and favourite pillows, books, beach towels, eskies and the obligatory waving tail of the family dog. The retirees and young couples without children have a less frantic, “let’s stop at the next vineyard for a tasting” quality about them, but they’re just…

3 min

“HE’S HAD SOIL ON his fingers from day dot,” says Natasha Dal Bon of her dad, Frank. Together, they run Morella Grove, an olive oil company based outside Griffith, NSW, in the Riverina food bowl. It’s Frank who tends and harvests the 15 hectares of olive trees whose fruit creates the oils, soaps and relishes the company is increasingly becoming famous for. Growing up on a vineyard, Frank has tended the land for more than 50 years. But he started his working life as a motor mechanic, only switching to farming when he married Jan, Natasha’s mum. “Her parents owned a property and I used to help out on the weekends. I enjoyed it, and bit by bit we bought the property,” Frank explains. Much of their work is in intensive irrigation crops…