About Elka Wood

Elka Wood is a freelance writer, parent to two young kids and has a deep love for her home community of the Bega Valley.

Circumstances dictate that Elka and her family move between the US and Australia and she rediscovered a childhood love of writing and storytelling working as a reporter at a small newspaper in Montana, her husband's home state.

In between writing jobs, Elka has worked in the non-profit sector, as a caterer and as a fisheries technician, taking DNA samples from trout in a freezing stream in the middle of the night.

During long winters in Montana, she blogs at Aussiemerica.com.

Elka loves meeting new people and believes in the commonality of the human experience - and that everyone has a story to tell.

All Articles

Injured horses and destroyed huts – how Kosciuszko fared the fires
Cooma resident, photographer and administrator to The Snowy Brumby Heritage Group, Michelle Brown, this week ventured on foot into Kosciuszko National Park, which burnt on New Year's Eve. "It was a massive shock, just driving along the park boundary. My heart dropped to my feet when I saw the devastation to our beloved park," she shares. Many are wondering how...
The lost art of barbering remembered at Merimbula’s Arcuthi
Health & Wellbeing
The beard's back, and with it, the requirement that men take their investment in grooming up a few notches. No longer just for bushrangers and those who don't have easy access to a blade, 'statement' facial hair has recently been on the rise, especially among younger men. "The art of barbering has been trending for about five years," says Merimbula...
“I’ll never vote Liberal again.” How fire is changing politics and perceptions in the Bega Valley
Science has warned us for decades how a changing climate will affect us, with weather tending to be hotter and drier and more extreme weather events. In the Bega Valley, residents have just experienced one such extreme event, with fires in the area consuming acres of bushland, homes, outbuildings and shops, and tragically killing two men from the Cobargo area....
South Coast tourist ban lifted but National Parks remain closed
The NSW Rural Fire Service lifted the fire-related tourist ban over the weekend, giving the all-clear for holidaymakers to return to coastal areas of the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley which have been impacted by fires. But while tourists are encouraged to come back to coastal towns, all National Parks in the South Coast and Far South Coast remain closed while staff...
Boil Water notice lifted for Eden and Boydtown, remains for Brogo-Bermagui
Good news for locals and tourists alike - a boil water order for Eden and Boydtown has been lifted and you can drink straight from the tap again! NSW Health advised the boil water notice on January 5th after the Border fire affected power supplies to the chlorination facility for water drawn from the Ben Boyd Dam and Kiah Borefield....
Southern Phone waives January usage fees for customers in fires affected areas
In a disaster, it's difficult to remember the life-admin that needs to happen - renewing licences and car registration, enrolling kids in school and, perhaps especially, paying bills. Many people's incomes have been abruptly cut off during the fires and for some, it's unknown when their means of income will return. In a show of support for its local customers...
Adaminaby RFS backburning effort in Denison, Youak and Bolaro
The Adaminaby Rural Fire Brigade has been completing major strategic burns at Denison, Youak and Bolaro ahead of today's severe fire danger rating for the area. These areas will potentially be under threat by the out-of-control Adaminaby Complex, Doubtful Gap Trail and Good-Good fires today, all of which are currently at Advice level. "A number of fires are burning in remote terrain...
Back to evacuation center ahead of today’s forecast
Mystery Bay is a small beachside community surrounded on three sides by bush, lush with mature spotted gums, with one small access road. Last week the community was threatened by the Badja Forest Fire and, after evacuating at short notice, resident Elizabeth Walton spent the week in the Narooma evacuation centre, along with 4,000 others, as ash rained down and...
Tathra businesses meet to discuss economic repercussions of tourist ban
Despite smoke still hanging heavy over the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla, along with warnings the fires may return, the Tathra Chamber of Commerce is trying to bring normality back to the region. Chamber President Carmen Risby called the meeting at Kianninny Bush Cabins after advice from fire authorities on 2 January that all tourists leave coastal areas south of Nowra,...
I’m a decent cook and still took a cooking class – here’s why
Food & Wine
I'm in Bermagui on a Sunday night with six strangers, my mother-in-law and chef Kelly Eastwood, who has such a star-studded resume of TV cooking shows that if I had thought about it, I would have been intimidated attending one of her cooking classes. We're all zesting lemons, chopping parsley, measuring milk and sectioning squid at our individual places around...
Think you couldn’t live without electricity? It’s really not so bad
So I've been living off-grid for a month now. Not off-grid in the sense of using an alternative energy source but just not having any electricity in our house at all. This is because my husband and I, along with my parents, bought a very badly run-down old house in Bega where the main electrical line has been severed, presumably by...
For the second time, Rainbow Wave to break on the Sapphire Coast
What's On
Following its first-year success, the far south coast's Rainbow Wave Festival is coming to Merimbula on 22 February 2020 and this time around, the event is free, public and will feature a Mardi Gras inspired parade! "Bega High School and Eden High School are both having floats in the parade. It's really special to me because I went to Eden...
Mogo Gold Rush Colony owner selling after 20 years
Twenty years ago, Maureen Nathan was told by a friend "you're the only person we know who can make this fly", a comment which led to Maureen purchasing what was then known as Old Mogo Town, a replica Gold Rush Colony, built on an existing gold-bearing reef. Now Maureen, a pharmacist from Long Beach, Batemans Bay, is ready to hand...
Could the Queanbeyan to Bombala rail trail become Monaro’s latest world-class attraction?
Ever driven through the beautiful Monaro and wished you could slow down and enjoy the scenery? For years, the prospect of cycling or walking the 213 km of un-used railway line from Queanbeyan to Bombala has been entertained, but it was only recently that the Snowy Monaro Regional Council completed a feasibility study into the proposal, bringing it one step closer...
Clear your calendar, the Tathra races are kind of a pig deal
For the last six years, the Tathra Lions Club has brought home the bacon with its annual pig races fundraiser, to be held this year on Sunday, 29 December at the Tathra Country Club. "It's an absolute hoot, just a fantastic family day out," says Lions Club spokesperson Rex Kermode. Tathra's entry into racing folklore began with a farmer from...
23 new graduates build on UoW legacy in Bega
To many locals, it still feels like a new enterprise, but The University of Wollongong’s (UoW) Bega campus was opened in 2000 and more than 500 local people have graduated from degrees offered by UoW in that time. This week, over 150 people gathered at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre to celebrate the latest batch of graduates, 23 determined individuals...