For Month Four of #12monthsofRobbie, I organised for us to go to a town called Robertson in the Southern Highlands, NSW. I booked an Airbnb, and didn’t organise a single activity for us, thinking that we’d both want to do nothing and just relax.
What I didn’t realise was that Robertson was basically the best place in Australia.
Its a quaint little town, only an hour and a half away, yet it feels like you’re in a foreign country. The people are ridiculously friendly, the air is more fresh, and the temperature is slightly lower, resulting in more clothes being worn. And the mist. It rolls in. You watch from afar as it slowly makes its way towards the town, like a billowing cloud. And then it gently rolls on through, hovering just above the ground.
My top recommendations when visiting Robertson are:
It’s so quiet, yet so loud. You park your car, and walk for about 5 minutes before you hear it. The gushing sound of water. As you get closer, you see it. The waterfall. It pounds onto the rocks below, spitting up water, making it look like it’s snowing around you. The walk itself isn’t so long, but you can stop where the waterfall starts, which is amazing.
We had only planned to go once, but we ended up going twice a day to this diner in the middle of Robertson, which had two fireplaces and a hell of a lot of chilli to choose from. Serving up a mixture of Mexican and American food, Rockabellas was a nice surprise. The owner, Ellie, is friendly and lovely, and they make spiced cinnamon hot chocolates there. They also make homemade nachos (including the corn chips), so the corn chips are warm when they come out. Super nice vibe, which makes you question how rude we all are in Sydney compared to the people here…
There’s this thing every Saturday morning, where local farmers bring any extra or unwanted produce to Rockabellas to swap with others in the area. And if you don’t have produce to swap, you can just take the produce anyway because they’d rather give it away than waste it. I joked about how it would never happen in Sydney, with organic lemons going for something like $5. And here, in the middle of the countryside, people were more concerned about produce going to waste than about how much money they could make from it. It really gives you some hope.
The Big Potato
We Australians really do like our big things. There’s The Big Prawn, The Big Orange, The Big Banana, and now this. As one man walking past so eloquently put it: “More like The Big Turd!”
Although it does resemble a large bowel passing, it’s pretty amazing to see how huge it really is. And you feel like a massive cliche of a tourist, which is always a great thing when travelling to a new town. Pick up some famous Robertson potatoes next door at The Friendly Grocer (note: yes, it’s actually called that and yes, the grocer is extremely friendly).
When in the Southern Highlands, it’s important to do the following: sleep, eat and drink. And the cellar doors are pretty plentiful in the area, so the drinking part was pretty easy to do. We went to Centennial Vineyards as well as Bendooley Vineyard, which is located within a Berkelow bookstore. By going to the second winery, you’re able to do three things: eat lunch at their cafe, buy a book from their bookstore, and sample wine at their cellar door. It’s a one-stop-shop for bargains and food and wine, and that’s pretty damn awesome.
We’ll definitely be heading back very soon, as it was absolutely amazing. A huge shoutout to Naomi from the Airbnb we stayed at. If you’re thinking of going somewhere like Robertson, check out her listing here.