GER­RINGONG

THIS CHARM­ING NSW SOUTH COAST TOWN IS A GREAT BASE FOR EX­PLOR­ING THE RE­GION AND ITS GROW­ING AGRI­TOURISM.

Country Style - - ON THE MOVE GERRINGONG NSW - WORDS CLAIRE MACTAG­GART PHO­TOG­RA­PHY MARK ROPER IL­LUS­TRA­TION DANIELLA GERMAIN

TUCKED BE­TWEEN HEAD­LANDS on the NSW South Coast, the small vil­lage of Ger­ringong hugs Werri Beach and is sur­rounded by rolling hills and farm­lands. Less than two hours from Syd­ney, the town has a pop­u­la­tion of about 4000 peo­ple and its nat­u­ral beauty, great food and wine, as well as a re­laxed vibe is at­tract­ing a grow­ing num­ber of hol­i­day-mak­ers. It’s not just the beaches and surf that peo­ple come to ex­pe­ri­ence; it’s a flour­ish­ing agri­tourism in­dus­try that builds on the re­gion’s proud farm­ing and dairy­ing her­itage. Fiona Weir Walm­s­ley of Buena Vista Farm grew up here and re­turned with her hus­band Adam and their three young chil­dren six years ago. Fiona, 44, and Adam, 46, of­fer cook­ing work­shops at their seven-hectare farm, which is part of the orig­i­nal land Fiona’s great-great grand­fa­ther pur­chased in 1859. To­day they also have a com­mer­cial mar­ket gar­den, run a herd of 20 dairy goats, and sell fer­ments and bone broth at the lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­ket in Kiama. “I feel deeply rooted in this com­mu­nity and I love that ev­ery­one knows my kids,” Fiona says. “There are meal ros­ters when some­one is un­well. I know it ex­ists in other small towns but it’s par­tic­u­larly strong in Ger­ringong. Not only is it a gen­uinely close com­mu­nity but it’s also ridicu­lously beau­ti­ful, with a fan­tas­tic cli­mate and soil.” “There’s a strong cheese cul­ture and a new gen­er­a­tion of mi­cro-dairy­ing on the south coast,” she adds. “It’s open­ing up as an agri­tourist des­ti­na­tion be­cause we have a strong agri­cul­tural tra­di­tion. There are lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to have an on-farm ex­pe­ri­ence.” Melissa Mat­ters, 50 and her son Josh, 28, own Fern St. Kiosk in Ger­ringong, and will open The Hill Bar and Kitchen in early Oc­to­ber. They be­long to one of the re­gion’s orig­i­nal dairy­ing fam­i­lies, and their new ven­ture will be lo­cated inside a build­ing owned by the Noble brothers, whose fam­ily has held the prop­erty since 1912. “This is still very much a coun­try com­mu­nity,” Melissa says. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit kiama.com.au

Werri Beach is a favourite with surfers and swim­mers. You’ll find point breaks at both ends of the beach.

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