A large chunk of the next series of books will be set in the wine growing area of the Clare Valley, South Australia, and so research needed to be done. It’s a long drive from Melbourne, so I decided to break the trip up and call in on friends Andy and Di. They live in the small town of Waikerie, situated on the magnificent Murray River. While I was there Andy emailed a few friends and Di put on an impromptu ‘Girls Night Out’. It wasn’t a grand event but a lovely gathering of old friends keen to find out about the book. Lots of very nice bubbly was drunk and delicious food eaten, but best of all was the completely unexpected conversations about what it was to be a woman and how life intervenes to change those expectations.
The nice thing about staying with locals is they can let you in on some of the hidden treasures of their small town…
So I might make a suggestion. Next time you’re traveling on the Sturt Highway between Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney, go via Mildura and don’t by-pass the small South Australian town of Waikerie.
Firstly pull into Illalangi, just before the turn off to town on the Sturt Highway.
Fill your picnic basket with their delicious range of regional produce. Wander around the back to their bush tucker garden where you’ll also get to see some spectacular cliff top views.
Turn off the highway, past the vineyards and orange groves, and just before you get into town, stop at Nippys where you’ll find the sweetest and freshest oranges and just squeezed juice.
Drive down the main street and have a pie from the Waikerie Bakery, pick up Butch’s Mettwurst from Big River, grab a bottle of Caudo Sangiovase and indulge in the decadent sweet treats from Havenhand chocolates.
But before you find that secluded picnic spot go into McCoy Menswear, say hello to Andy, buy your man some socks and jocks and get a copy of the books for yourself.
And now that you have all you need, find yourself a magical place on the banks of the Murray and … enjoy!
These are a few of my favorite things and I’m sure there’s still so much more. If you’ve been to Waikerie what are some of its other hidden treasures?
Love you to read my books
The Lost Woman series follows the sexy adventures of Christina as she makes her way through a world of new media, design, fashion, travel, and … men.