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This charming rural village just 35 minutes from Canberra, whose history lies in wool and beef growing, has emerged as a regional centre for fine wine and tourism. Murrumbateman and its surrounds are dotted with wineries, award-winning B&Bs, cafés and restaurants, as well as a range of delightful stores selling fine arts and crafts. It’s the perfect place to base yourself for a tour of the Poacher’s Way.

  • Shaw Vineyard Estate, 34 Isabel Drive Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6227 5827, [1]. Open Cellar Door 02 6227 5827 Wed-Sun, most Public Hols 10am–5pm. Restaurant 02 6227 5144 Breakfast Sat and Sun. Lunch Wed–Sun. Dinner Wed–Sat.. Shaw Vineyard Estate is a family owned and operated business. Graeme Shaw left the construction industry to plant his dream more than 12 years ago. The Shaw’s have only been open a modest five years but in that short time they have snatched more than 300 medals and nine prestige trophies! Daughter Tanya says she was initially apprehensive but it’s been wonderful working as a family. She runs the cellar door and brother Michael works the land, while Mum and Dad run the business. Each of the Shaw wines compliments and accentuates the vibrant dishes created and prepared at Flint in the Vines, the on-site restaurant. Order a gourmet pizza from the wood fire pizza oven, or relax on the lounge before the open fireplace - or in summer, unwind on the terrace at sunset with a delicious Shaw white overlooking the tapestry of vines.
  • Redbrow Garden, 1143 Nanima Road Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6226 8166 (), [2]. Over the past 12 years, David and Elisabeth Judge have transformed a degraded farm paddock into an amazing garden oasis, secluded 4-star retreat and prolific wildlife sanctuary. Set amongst the regional cool climate wineries and gourmet eateries, they have developed a multi-award winning masterpiece just 20 minutes from Canberra. Four spacious lakeside en-suite rooms, with separate lounge and dining facilities make Redbrow Garden a unique rural getaway, romantic escape or small group weekend away. The function facilities and services are ideal for management meetings, workshops, seminars and a venue for special occasions such as birthdays, engagement parties and weddings. Open 7 days.
  • Country Guesthouse Schönegg, 381 Hillview Drive Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6227 0344 (), [3]. When an Australian chef with a dream for a country restaurant fell in love with a German house-keeper who had ideas for a rural guesthouse it really was a perfect match. This dream was discussed in the first week of their love affair and it finally became a reality for Richard and Evelyn Everson when they opened the doors of their purpose-built guesthouse, complete with five-star restaurant, on the outskirts of Murrumbateman in early 2003. The couple met over a piece of chocolate cake while working at The Mayfair Hotel, London. Evelyn was there to improve her English and Richard was putting his experience at the Canberra International Hotel to good use and gaining some international experience to fuel his passion for food. When they met Richard had already signed up for a four and half month contract on board the QEII so Evelyn joined him and they completed three voyages before heading for the hills of Switzerland working at the famous Hotel Metropole, Interlaken before exchanging rings in Germany and finally moving to Australia in the mid 90s. Country Guesthouse Schönegg (Schönegg is Swiss-German for ‘pretty corner’) is the product of these two and they delight in making it a relaxing and personal experience for their guests. The mix of contemporary accommodation, exquisite home-made meals and friendly, personal service in a rural setting is a rare find—and it’s probably why so many people return again and again. Most guests go for the accommodation and are delighted to discover this wonderful dining experience. The menu reflects Richard’s absolute passion for food and is often inspired by the couple’s travels. The focus is on using seasonal produce—local meats, fruit and vegetables and of course, farm fresh eggs—you can even collect your own for breakfast! Open Accommodation: 7 days Guesthouse Dining: Wednesday–Sunday, 7–10.30pm Restaurant open to the public for dinner: Fri & Sat 7pm–10.30pm, bookings required.
  • Jeir Creek Wines, 122 Bluebell Lane via Gooda Creek Road Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6227 5999 (), [4]. Open Thurs–Mon & most Public Hols, 10am–5pm. Rob and Kay Howell and their daughters Kate, Anna and Jess maintain the passion that drove them to establish 20 acres of vines and a technologically advanced winery

over 25 years ago. Visitors are welcomed to this beautiful location to witness how the award-winning wines are crafted and take a look behind the scenes on tours or at the monthly Let’s Talk sessions. The educational perspective continues with pictorial displays in the cosy tasting room. All styles are produced, from dry table wines, luscious dessert and fortified wines, to the ‘true’ sparkling wines, ‘Methode Champenoise’ – both white and red. Come see for yourself…

  • Burnelee Excursions on Horseback, 320 Dicks Creek Road Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6227 5850, [5]. Open Saturday and by apt. Telephone bookings essential. Lindsey Butt’s connection with horses began as a child growing up on the family’s 3,500 acre property in the hills around Murrumbateman. The property is wonderfully diverse with scenic views and abundant wildlife and Lindsey decided to share this experience with others and started Burnelee Excursions on Horseback in the 1970s. Today Lindsey and his family share their passion for horses and the farm with visitors to Burnelee, offering rides for people with all levels of experience. Join them as they ride

through varied landscape including grazing paddocks and 1,000 acres of native bushland. With Burnelee’s relaxed approach, often a trail is determined by the general feel on the day so call and book a ride.

  • Clonakilla Winery, Crisps Lane Murrumbateman NSW 2582, 02 6227 5877 (), [6]. Open 7 days 10am–5pm. Canberra’s world-class wine industry is forever grateful to Clonakilla and an optimistic Irishman’s cool climate dreams. This Irishman is John Kirk, a research scientist who came to Australia with his young family in 1968. Perplexed

that there was no wine industry he purchased 40 acres near Murrumbateman and gave it a shot. John’s son Tim caught the wine bug in the late 1980s and his obsession lead him to France where he discovered Shiraz Viognier - the rest is history. Today Clonakilla’s Shiraz Viognier is a regular in the lists of Australia’s top 10 and these handcrafted wines are unearthed like rare jewels by connoisseurs across the world.