A long weekend in Murrumbateman & Queanbeyan
For a countryside jaunt with truffles, fresh air and cool climate wine, spend a weekend in Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan.
Slow life down with a weekend away exploring the pastoral corners of the Canberra Wine District in Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan. Saddle up for a horse ride along pretty bushland trails, sip shiraz straight from the barrel and learn about truffle hunting before tasting these subterranean treasures. Dining in these parts is a memorable experience with local produce of olives, apples, and cured meats all on the menu. You can journey between local wineries by bicycle and sample the signature blends of riesling, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, then sweeten things up with a fascinating beehive tour. Pack your riding boots, gum boots and a winter coat for a heavenly few days.
- Take a horseback ride through pristine bushland
- Hunt for truffles in the countryside
- Enjoy wine tasting then stay in a contemporary, country-style cottage
- Dine on hearty fare in a historic homestead
- Learn about beekeeping and sample artisanal honey wine
- Browse local boutiques for retro treasures
Long weekend in Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan
Long weekend in Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan
Explore this long weekend itinerary in the Murrumbateman and Queanbeyan region of Country NSW. From horse riding, to exploring the many wineries, fine dining and truffle hunting – there is so much to see and do.
In the crisp morning air, saddle up at Burnelee for a horseback ride with experienced instructors through a working grazing property. You’ll traverse peaceful bushland to Picaree Hill, an important biodiversity hub for the region, humming with wildlife and abundant vegetation. Trail past glossy dams and grey gums and enjoy the stillness of the land and the riding experience. Whether you’re a beginner or have ridden many times, there’s a horse and ride just for you.
It’s time for a unique experience at historic Win’s Creek Meadery, a small family-owned business of beekeeping and mead making. Mead is delicate honey wine often flavoured with fruits and spices. First, marvel at the bees buzzing around the hives – the Win’s Creek beekeepers move their bees around NSW from Cootamundra to the South Coast and the Snowy Mountains, producing honey such as yellow box, spotted gum, red stringybark, lavender and tea tree. It’s time to taste the sweetness of these pure natural honeys, so settle inside the Travellers Rest Inn, circa 1879, for a platter paired with mulled mead made in house. After lunch, browse the boutique for beeswax candles, honey-infused cookies or even a beekeeping kit to take home.
As the sun sets on your first day in this pretty region, journey to Tallagandra Hill Winery, near Gundaroo, where you’ll stay for the night after sampling some of their impressive single vineyard wines, from shiraz to tempranillo and viognier. Hosted by Mary and David, you’ll hear fascinating stories alongside a tasting in the wine bar beside a roaring fire. Just a stroll away are Tallagandra’s three country cottages with modern interiors, stocked with board games, books and a record player. Grab your favourite bottle of Tallgandra Wine and relax beside the fire pit grazing on olives and cheese and crackers while looking up at the stars.
Pedalling between vineyards is an invigorating way to soak up the natural beauty of this region. Hire an e-bike from Murrumbateman and set off on an adventure traversing the countryside in search of flavoursome local wines and makers to meet. At Helm Wines, owner and passionate winemaker Ken will tell you about his award-winning riesling, the art of wine making and let you sample smooth cabernet sauvignon straight from the barrel. Helm Wines was established in 1973 by Ken and his wife Judith and the cellar door is housed in the heritage-listed Toual Schoolhouse, circa 1888, which inspired the school-bell logo on their wine labels.
Under blue skies and over rolling hills, keep cycling to Shaw Wines for a different experience inside its ultra-modern tasting room. Sip on crisp reisling and nibble on a generous spread of cheeses, olives and charcuterie for lunch beside the expansive windows which open onto the rolling vineyards. The next winery on your list is Clonakilla, one of the top wineries in Australia, with a rustic cellar door crafted from deconstructed wine barrels and local stone. Owner John Kirk planted the first vines on his forty-four acres in 1971 and his shiraz viognier is one of the best in the country.
As the light fades, it’s time for dinner at the famed Poachers Pantry, one of the finest smokehouses in the country, nestled amongst flower gardens on a working farm. Settle in fireside for house-smoked meats in The Smokehouse Restaurant and sip Poachers’ peppery shiraz.
Don your gum boots and hone your sense of smell for a morning truffle hunt on the edge of the Lake George Basin. Stride over the grass amongst the oak and hazel trees as the resident Jack Russells of Turalla Truffles get hot on the trail of the buried black winter truffles. Turalla grow Périgord truffles, that have a powerfully pungent aroma and musky flavour, and after you’ve found your prize, it will be shaved over freshly cooked eggs for a deliciously earthy brunch or as part of a degustation menu featuring the owner’s favourite truffle dishes.
Next, take a stroll along the pretty streets of Bungendore past historic shopfronts full of handmade treasures and antiques. For lunch, stop at the Lake George Hotel for a hearty meal by the fire. It’s one of Australia’s oldest pubs and has a rich history and an inviting menu of local produce at The George Bar & Dining. Take home a treasure to remember your weekend at Village Antiques. Scour the shelves for glassware, jewellery, beautiful homewares and gardening essentials, too.
End your restorative and romantic weekend with dinner inside a historic house with a slow-food philosophy at Tallagandra Cottage for a restful sleep.French Restaurant. Chef Christophe Gregoire and his wife Josephine celebrate the local providores of Bungendore and host special truffle dinners during the winter season. It’s time to return to your