Great Alpine Road Visitor Guide

PAGE 46 I THE GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE OPENING HOURS 8am - 4pmMon - Thurs 8am - 8pm Fri 10am - 3.30pm Sun CREEKERS CAFE & TAKEAWAY P: 5159 4272 6864 Great Alpine Road, Swifts Creek Swifts Creek Bakery Arty and Leanne DeVries 9 McMillans Street Swifts Creek 3896 Ph: 5159 4208 F: 5159 4310 e: SWIFTS CREEK/TONGIO The good oil from rocky slopes Rocky soils are a delight to olive growers as the trees extract the minerals they need from the rocks at their roots, so the soils of Tongio, between Swifts Creek and Omeo are just perfect for Annie Paterson and her Nullamunjie Olive Groves. Situated just three kilometres off the Great Alpine Road, on the banks of the Tambo River, the climate is very similar to that of Tuscany, well known for its quality olive oil, with hot summers and cold winters. The varieties of olive chosen for Nullamunjie when the grove was origi- nally planted were therefore those tradi- tionally grown in Tuscany; Frantoio, Correggiola and Leccino, with the grace- ful Pendolino used as a cross pollinator. The taste of fresh, new-season oil is a revelation to most people only familiar with the all too frequently flaccid and elderly supermarket offerings. Unlike wine, olive oil loses flavour as it ages, and should ideally be consumed within 18 months to two years from when the olives are harvested. For a delicious meal using the freshest and tastiest olive oil it is definitely the place to head. Enjoy a delightful lunch with a glass of wine, or coffee and cake on the vine shaded deck of the Pressing Shed Café and Restaurant, which is open on week- ends from October through until Easter. Cellar door sales of Nullamunjie extra virgin olive oil, in bottles and casks, are available from the onsite shop. Delight in fresh olives and olive oils at Nullamunjie Olive Groves. Wine and Gold Drive A great little tour in the Swifts Creek area is the Wine and Gold Drive, from Omeo to Swifts Creek, or vice versa, via Cassilis. It may only take about 30 minutes to make the trip, but throw in a few stops to explore and discover and it’s a great morning or afternoon out. In the late 19th century, at the peak of the gold boom, Cassilis was a thriving mining centre and home to more than 500 people. Now the residents are more of the wildlife variety. There are some lovely walks to be had in the area. Hit the gravel roads and drive off the tour route further west and visit the Dogs Grave on the Dargo Road; a tribute to man’s best friend, buried in 1863. While there are a few stories as to which dog is actually buried at the heritage listed site, a granite monument was placed on site in 1975 by John Giannarelli, stonemason, as a memorial to drovers and their dogs. Head out beyond Cassilis to find the Dogs Grave, a memorial to drovers and their dogs.