Boorowa is a small country town located a little over 100 kilometres from Canberra in the South West Slopes region of NSW. It is one of those little towns that we have driven through countless times over the years but never really stopped in. So on our recent trip we decided to stop there and have breakfast and a look around.
The first thing you will notice about Boorowa is that like many other small rural towns, there is not much activity around the place. This is where tourism can play an important role in helping to boost these small towns economies.
We opted for breakfast at the Superb Bakery located in the main street. With a good choice of pies and other bakery goodies as well as decent coffee I thought it was a good choice. There is also plenty of seating inside and out and very clean toilets at the rear.
After breakfast I headed up the road to the local Tourist Information Centre which is housed in the old Court House. The Court House was built in 1884 and like so many country Court Houses was closed in 1988. It is still a magnificent building and I was pleased that when I asked the ladies in the Visitors Centre if I could look inside the Court House they didn’t hesitate. All the benches and prisoner dock are still intact and the room is used occasionally for Art exhibitions or morning teas for larger groups. As well as Visitor Information you will also find craft items for sale and morning and afternoon teas are also available. There is plenty of parking at the front and in the side street suitable for caravans.
At the opposite end of town is the War Memorial. An unusual shaped building set on the corner of three streets. It forms the entry way to the Boorowa River Walk Park. This is a commemorative park for the Centenary of the Anzacs in 2015. The park has a number of trees planted in it which are memorials to the fallen. There is plenty of open space to enjoy a picnic and a decent sized car park which can accommodate a car and van as well as toilets so it is a great spot to stop for a break. Despite the heat of the day, there was a nice cool breeze blowing along the river. The river is also a likely spot to see platypus although I didn’t see any.
Back in the main street there are a couple of beautiful antique shops. I love old things. I often see things similar to what was in my parents house when I was growing up. There are also several spots to grab a coffee or a bite to eat including the Shamrock Cafe in the Boorowa Hotel. There is also pub style accommodation available in the hotel.
My favourite place of all was St Patricks Catholic Church which is located in Queen Street. Opened in 1877 it features some of the most beautiful Stained Glass that I have seen. No matter what your religious persuasion may be, I think most people would agree that this is a beautiful church. The local community continue to work toward ensuring that the glass work is kept intact for future generations to enjoy.
Boorowa also has strong Irish connections dating back to the 1820’s. As a nod to both it’s Irish heritage and it’s rural location the Irish Wool Fest is held in October every year and includes the running of the sheep.
After heading off from Boorowa I persuaded Brenden that we should visit a couple of wineries on our way through Murrambateman. He agreed even thought he doesn’t drink wine! Our first stop was Clonakilla Winery which is located in Crisps Lane. The Cellar Door is only small but a larger, purpose built Cellar Door is almost complete. I am certainly no wine expert but I like a good red and their Shiraz Viognier was divine. However, at $95 a bottle it was a little out of my price range so I settled for a white instead – a Viognier Noveau. It is less sweet than what I normally drink but was delicious just the same.
Our next stop was Murrumbateman Winery which is located on the corner of the Barton Highway and McIntosh Circuit. Now to outwards appearances the front of the cellar door is a little run down and untidy. But the wines are SUPERB and I don’t think I have ever encountered a more friendly or knowledgeable Cellar Door host. I could have literally bought a bottle of everything I tasted. Instead I settled for a bottle of their Fortified White Starboard (port). I can see myself sitting in front of the camp fire with this on our next camping trip.
Boorowa – Visit NSW
Boorowa Irish Wool Fest