Well, I felt a bit like Billy Crystal in City Slickers. Here we were on Gundooee a real working cattle farm near Mudgee, about 500 km north-west of Sydney. Rob and Nita Lennon are the only organically certified producers of free-range wagyu beef in Australia.
The Dusty Springfield song ‘In the Middle of Nowhere’ kept running through my head. 2000 acres of farmland and bush stretching in every direction. It got really eery when we lost mobile reception. How would we cope?
We were not prepared for the wildlife obstacle course. Kangaroos, foxes and rabbits darting across our path. And the hundreds of locusts smashing into our windscreen and front grill. Cleaning this off was not fun.
The Lennons and their three kids have a wonderful family homestead fringed by wide verandahs, trailing roses, horse paddocks, a guest cottage, a pool and a rough and ready dirt tennis court. The vintage aga stove in the kitchen is where everyone gathers in the morning for tea and pancakes.
The long weekend was jam-packed with tennis, bushwalks, horse-riding and delicious barbequed wagyu sausages and chops. I hadn’t been riding since I was a teenager. Stormy – my grey Arabian horse for the day -was very understanding and gentle with me.
In the evenings, over glasses of local red, there was much animated discussion about the drought-breaking rain, rural subdivision, tree-changers, spiders and how to keep cows happy.
The cattle found our silly city ways very amusing.
Hey boys! Look at these two.They cut me up!
Little did they know that their prized ‘poo dust’ was about to find its way back to the city with us
Rob filled three plastic canisters with his precious aged wagyu manure
and I sprinkled it over the plants on the balcony when I got back home.
To break up the long 5 hour drive back (that included three random breath stops) we thought we’d pull up stumps for the night in the Blue Mountains in Katoomba at Lilianfels…
… and dinner at the one-hatted Darleys. We had Sydney rock oysters with champagne vinegar sorbet, yabbie salad, pan-fried Murray Cod and Barramundi washed down with a bottle of Toolangi chardonnay.
We slept well – although Mark had a few scary kangaroos-on-the-road flashbacks…..
The Lilianfels English gardens are filled with regal pines, deciduous trees and lovely cottage garden flowers
And overlooks the majestic Three Sisters at Echo Point.
A beautiful spot but it was Gundooee that stole our hearts.
Hope you had a terrific Easter however you spent it