The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory

Junee is located in the Riverina of New South Wales, about 350km southwest of Sydney. It is a nice looking town with some well-restored old buildings, surrounded by the sorts of landscapes that I grew up thinking were iconically Australian: low hills, brown grass paddocks dotted with sheep and trees, and fields of wheat and other crops.

Situated in a beautifully restored old building which used to be the town’s flour mill, The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory was the drawcard that brought us to town while we were visiting family in Griffith, about 2 hours’ drive further south.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the outdoor area under the shade of Virginia creeper supported by old wooden beams. The menu may not be extensive, but the food was absolutely delicious.

Visitors can stroll through the building and watch the different kinds of chocolates and sweet treats being made through large viewing windows.

The factory’s chocolate shop offers a multitude of organic sweet treats: plain chocolate, regular or raspberry licorices in plain or chocolate coated varieties, rocky road, freckles, chocolate coated pretzels, varieties of chocolate with different fruit or nuts in them, just to name a few. The hardest part is deciding what you want to take home, and how much work you’ll have to do to make up for it later on.

In addition to all the sweet things, there are all sorts of produce on offer: pickles, sauces, balsamic vinegar, jams and chutneys, honey and olive oil – all locally produced.

It honestly doesn’t get much more Aussie than this.

Out of responsibility to the folk who read my blog, we bought some chocolate to taste-test, and we are not sorry.

The chocolate is smooth, creamy and delicious. That freckle I just bit into for the sake of the photo is the perfect blend of crunchy and smooth. The rate at which my husband ate his chocolate covered raspberry licorice bullets was definitely indicative of superior quality and taste. The chocolate-coated pretzels I bought were as good as the ones I had in Amish country in Pennsylvania, and that’s really saying something! Consequently, they did not last long enough to have their photo taken. It was only a small packet, after all.

In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that the Junee Chocolate and Licorice Factory is a ten hour drive from home.

The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory
#chocolate #organic #travel

Jerilderie: A Little Town With Big History

Jerilderie is a small country town situated on Billabong Creek in the southern Riverina area of New South Wales. The Newell Highway runs right through the town, so it is very easy to find.

Jerilderie has a lovely lake and park on the banks of Billabong Creek. This park is also the site of the town’s war memorial to local soldiers  who fought in the Boer War both World Wars.

It’s a small town with a big history, courtesy of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang. It was an even smaller town then than it is now, but it had one thing that was most attractive to Ned Kelly: a printing press.

Although the Kelly gang usually operated in northern Victoria, it was in Jerilderie where Ned and his gang robbed the bank, took control of the local post and telegraph office, bailed up the postmaster and had telegraph wires cut and the poles cut down to prevent news of his visit to the town being communicated until after the fact.

The post and telegraph office held up by Ned Kelly.

It was in Jerilderie that Ned Kelly entrusted his 75 000 word manifesto known as The Jerilderie Letter to the postmaster, who promised to pass the papers on to the newspaper editor. This document explained and defended Kelly’s motives and actions, and also proposed a republic of north-eastern Victoria. The postmaster did not pass on the papers— in fact, the originals were lost for 90 years, and a copy of the letter was not printed until fifty years after Kelly’s death.

Visitors to Jerilderie can see the buildings visited by Kelly and his gang, and follow a trail of story boards that detail the events of the gang’s exploits in town. There is also a small museum attached to the Murrumbidgee Shire offices, which has displays of artefacts including Kelly’s Colt Carbine revolver and replicas of the iconic armour worn by the gang.

Jerilderie is a great place to visit. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and visitors can find excellent food at both the local bakery and the pub. The  old-fashioned candy store is also worth visiting for those with a sweet tooth.

Jerilderie.
#History #Australia #NewSouthWales

Point Danger, Victoria.

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Point Danger is on a promontory just south of Portland, Victoria.

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Just off the coast is an island that hosts a gannet rookery. It’s not accessible to the public, but you can go down to the coastline and watch them flying just beyond the fence.

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The shore itself is fenced off so that the birds remain undisturbed by visitors. There are better places from which to take photos of the birds and the island, but I wasn’t able to access them on this visit because of mobility issues: I’m on crutches!

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You can also turn off the road to the rookery to visit Crumpets Beach. This is a beautiful spot that lies almost at the end of a fairly rugged track that you would only attempt in a 4-wheel-drive or on foot.

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Once the track has negotiated some tight bends and bumpy stretches, all the while going fairly steeply downhill, it levels out to run along the beach toward the headland.

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This magnificent scenery  all lies within fifteen minutes’ drive of Portland, on the south-west coast of Victoria, Australia, which is actually one of the oldest cities in the state. It has some lovely old buildings, a very active deep-harbour international sea port, and is very popular with fishermen and holidaymakers.

 

 

Hopkins River, Warrnambool.

This is one of my favourite spots on the river for thinking, writing, or enjoying a cup of coffee before work.

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A good morning for reflection!

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The cutest little boat!

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Pelicans often enjoy the protection of this quiet stretch of the river.

The river meanders down to the coast where it meets the Southern Ocean at Logan’s Beach.

 

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Near the river mouth and shore, the Hopkins has a wide beach of its own.

 

 

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Peterborough, Victoria.

Peterborough is where the Curdies River meets the Southern Ocean.

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This tiny hamlet sits on the Great Ocean Road, where people often see little more than the wide river as they drive over the bridge toward better known sights and the town of Port Campbell.

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By doing so, they’re missing out on some great scenery and a beautiful sandy beach where the river provides much safer swimming than in this part of the ocean, which is notorious for rips and strong undertows.

 

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Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria.

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The Loch Ard Gorge takes its name from a ship that was wrecked off the coast nearby. Only two  of the fifty four people on board survived: Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. They were washed into this gorge and onto the beach, where they sheltered in a cave. Tom climbed up the cliff to get help from local farmers, who then rescued Eva.

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