Traveler’s Digest is in the business of promoting tourism. We travel the world in search of the best, the exotic and the beautiful. In this land called down under, we found this and more, much more.
After touring in Australia for six months we came across a peaceful setting in a small town, named Picton. Picton is south of the beautiful city of Sydney, about an hour and a half drive along the scenic hills and forests that abound in this area of Australia. The town is quiet and quaint, offering a glance into the very backbone of rural life. The locals are friendly people, but hard working or not, they are Australian and maintain their philosophy of “NO WORRIES MATE” attitude. There isn’t a lot to see and do in the town itself, but it is a stopping point for the many beautfiul and scenic excursions that are nearby. Canyons and waterfalls, great forests with abundant native life. With farms and working ranches that line the hills these are most definitely country people.
Our traveling crew consists of three individuals. Myself, the touring editor, a data technician and one assistant that helps us keep organized. Believe me, that isn’t always easy. Preparing and scheduling our intensive itinerary is by no way simple, but traveling the world for ten months a year, although at times difficult, is phenomenal.
Mowbray Park is nestled in the rolling hills about ten minutes from Picton. It was part of a huge land grant dating back 200 years when some of the first settlers crossed the ocean to start a new life in this raw untamed land, called Australia. The present day owner, Michael Couch, has kept the original perspective in focus and has turned the working farm into a haven for weary travelers.
Terry Digger is the manager that helps create this haven for sanity. Not only is the farm a working homestead, it offers an entertaining change of pace for the hard working individuals and/or families that are wise enough to seek it out. The farm has many horses for the pleasure of both beginner and experienced horsemen. The winding trails guide you through the hills and groups of large trees, but you are always safe and in the hands of a real cowboy. His name is Wesley. A character larger than your wild west concepts. A real pleasure to be around and he will show you a new and different way of appreciating the simple things in life. Like cracking a whip or throwing a boomerang and how to start a real camp fire to boil you some tasteful Billy Tea and cook up some Damper. Billy tea making is an old plains cowboy tradition and rivals the coffee drinking cowboys of the American West. What is Damper? If asked that a few weeks ago, I would have had no idea. It is a concoction of flour, sugar, butter, salt and milk. How do you get all of that in your saddle bags? I have no earthly idea! I do know it is good and cooks on a stick. Just like cooking a marshmallow in a open fire, you simply wrap it around a stick, tightly so as not to lose it in the coals, and hold it there until it turns golden brown.
We spent a restful and rewarding seven days there and of the thousands of places I have visited, this place was hard to leave. The pleasure of being near to and mingling with animals, good people, laid back accommodations, sleep till noon if you desire, and great food is my definition of a great time. Much more than just a farm, it is a vacation in itself. A real life chef, plenty of space, a pool, horses, sheep shearing, puppies, local critters, kangaroos, and the best darn people in the world is all it takes to make even a modern day cowboy happy. Now what more can a man, woman or family ask for when it comes time for choosing your perfect get-away or vacation.
We loved this place and give it our highest approval. If you come to Australia and you should, and if you really want to see the best in Australian people, come to this little corner of heaven. Mowbray Park sits on over 1,000 acres, with several and various accommodations, a tennis court, a chapel, large dining area, outside picnic tables with cooking facilities, a pool and my favorite, a indoor recreation room with a pool and a ping pong table. You won’t need your cell phone, your brief case, your suit and tie or any other routine daily distraction. All you will need is the desire to refresh your spirit.
Say hi to Michael Couch, Terry Digger and to my cowboy buddy Wesley. Tell them that Mike Smith sent you and you may even get an extra desert at meal time.