Patrons at Gundaroo Colonial Inn

The Gundaroo Colonial Inn, as soon as often called Matt Crowe’s Wine Bar, stays a village establishment. Picture: Camilla Duffy.

Lonely Planet is arguably the final phrase in journey guides. So when its panel of business specialists rank the highest 500 “unmissable experiences and hidden gems throughout the land to create a definitive journey want checklist”, folks concentrate.

Among the many hundreds of potential websites in a rustic wealthy in superlatives, few anticipated a little bit village within the Yass Valley to characteristic.

However there, ranked quantity 481 on the Lonely Planet’s Final Australia Journey Checklist, is Gundaroo.

And although Yass Valley mayor Allan McGrath is unsurprisingly a fan, he has to confess he was greatly surprised.

“Thoughts you, it definitely deserves to make the checklist – it’s a type of particular locations,” he says.

“It’s a typical nation village in a pleasant little pocket of nature, with tree-lined streets, heritage houses and a way of historical past. It’s distinctive in that respect.”


READ ALSO: New Gundaroo pub operators looking to Create something special


When COVID blitzed worldwide journey, Aussies began surveying their yard for trip spots.

A village of about 1200 residents positioned inside half-hour of the Nationwide Capital, Gundaroo requires some zooming in on the map to identify – however Lonely Planet will attest, it’s punching above its weight for points of interest.

The write-up invitations readers to “step again into the 19th century” earlier than praising the village’s historical past and connoisseur choices.

“It’s a discreet little village with a variety of good historic buildings, together with a beautiful city corridor, and it has fairly a little bit of historical past,” Cr McGrath says.

“One of many nice strengths of Gundaroo, after all, is its group. They care about their neighbourhood, amenities and streets and it reveals.”

Cr McGrath can vouch for the attraction of nation allure. After almost 30 years in Queanbeyan, he and his younger household relocated to Yass in 1998.

“My spouse and I each grew up in nation cities. Queanbeyan had grown considerably at that time and we have been trying to rear our youngsters in a rustic group. You already know, someplace the place folks made eye contact and acquired to know one another,” he says.

“Locations like Gundaroo nonetheless have that.”

Cr McGrath says the then Matt Crowe’s Wine Bar (now the Gundaroo Colonial Inn) was his introduction to the village.

“It was an area establishment,” he says.

“That was the focus for the locals then and I think about it nonetheless is.”

However like Lonely Planet, Cr McGrath can also be fast to spotlight Corkstreet Cafe’s scrumptious pizzas and, after all, Grazing restaurant and bar.

Situated within the historic Royal Lodge in Gundaroo, proprietor and head chef Kurt Neumann took many unexpectedly when he took over the institution.

Amongst his many credentials, Kurt was head chef of Canberran culinary gems Courgette, Ottoman and Alto.

A chef together with his fame had choices. In 2011, he selected to open Grazing.


READ ALSO: Five minutes with Kurt Neumann, Grazing at Gundaroo


“I’m a rustic boy at coronary heart. I grew up on a property and once we have been introduced with the chance of Grazing, my spouse – who can also be my enterprise companion – couldn’t move it up,” he says.

“We had a wealth of wonderful eating restaurant expertise behind us. We noticed the prospect to start out our personal enterprise and 11 years on – although I can scarce imagine it’s been that lengthy – we’re nonetheless there and, if something, getting stronger.”

COVID was brutal, after all. Grazing was compelled to shut for about 10 weeks in the course of the first lockdown and pivoted to doing upscale takeaway in the course of the second.

“Locals supported us,” he says.

“Quite a few locals who had by no means dined with us earlier than tried us out and now are regulars.

“Through the Father’s Day lockdown, we did a take-home Father’s Day packs and that was large – we had automobiles lining up down the road. Our minds have been bending at what was occurring. It was humbling.”

Coming into winter, the Grazing’s fireplaces are going. Restaurant supervisor and Jerusalem artichoke “guru” Lilly has introduced in an abundance of the vegetable to serve clients. Truffles are on the best way after which there’s the Canberra-only wine checklist. Kurt doesn’t see the necessity to stray outdoors the area to get the easiest.

With a way of cautious optimism, he has seen that the vacation spot diners who shaped his pre-COVID core market have began returning. The restaurant has “by no means been busier” – an indication the village is attracting the eye it deserves.

And why not? Lonely Planet calls it a “Nationwide Belief-classified treasure” – as strong an endorsement as any.

Plan your journey to Gundaroo with Visit Yass Valley. and obtain the Gundaroo Village Heritage Walk.

Authentic Article printed by Dione David on Riotact.



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