“There are brumbies in the hills up the back and platypus in the creek...” I’m there in my imagination immediately. Luckily for
the Harpham family, this magical land really does exist and its name is Moorabinda, a 4008-hectare property in the Dumaresq Valley west of Tenterfifield, on the Nsw–queensland border. “This is a really special place. It’s the peace and the freedom. The not-hearing anything at night. It’s knowing that whoever comes to your house is going to be your friend,” is how Julia Harpham described her home to her neighbour, and our writer, Annabelle Hickson. It’s also a place that has seen many wonderful family Christmases over the years, as you can see on page 42. We asked several well-known Australians to tell us their favourite Christmas memories with some interesting results. Author Tim Winton attributes his love of reading to the hours spent in a holiday beach shack with rats running along the rafters. “A diesel generator, kero fridge and a thunderbox dunny: it was great. The shack mightn’t have had power, but it did have a library, a whole room full of books. I think we read with a certain urgency — we had to read the books before the rats ate them!” Good recipes are a gift and reader Jenny Harris has very kindly decided to share her grandmother’s shortbread with us this Christmas. “It hasn’t really been shared as we just wanted to keep it in the family. But maybe good recipes should be shared, and this is the best shortbread in the world.” Turn to page 96 and discover for yourself just how good it is. Have a wonderful Christmas.