If you want a reason go bush with the kids, there is no better time than now as fields of gold await.
Just two hours from Canberra is a veritable smorgasbord of delights that follow a yellow-lined road called the Canola Trail.
Located north of Wagga Wagga, the Canola Trail offers a range of routes which allow you to explore the countryside, towns and villages at your own pace for a day, weekend getaway or long weekend.
The Canola Trail has been a golden tourist attraction since it opened in 2017, and it is popular with scores of camera-toting tourists peppering tracks, highways and byways at this time of year.
The 2020 landscape is Instagram heaven with its dense patchwork of green and gold, often bounded by blue mountain ranges, as the year’s crops heave forth towards the sun, and canola – tiny black seeds which produce canola oil – turn a perfect shade of rich, buttery gold amid the green wheat, barley and lucerne.
It’s as Aussie as it gets.
And an education is promised in what is widely known as the food bowl of Australia – the Riverina – with its climate, rich soil and plentiful water producing exceptional citrus fruits, peaches, plums, figs, almonds and grapes, as well as lamb, beef, wheat and rice.
The best place to start planning your visit is at The Canola Trail website, where you can download a map and plot your journey in and around the Heart of Gold – the triumvirate of towns Coolamon, Junee and Temora.
From charming country cafes to quintessential pub grub, exquisite fine dining, luscious wineries and quirky tea houses, the Canola Trail is a foodie’s haven, filled with flavour as well as a generous dash of fun.
You can learn about olives at Wollundry Grove Olives near Wagga Wagga and pick up more delicacies at specialty stores around the Riverina such Coolamon Cheese, and make a giant chocolate freckle at the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory.
There are plenty of wide, open spaces for bushwalking, bike riding, golf, bird watching or just being at one with nature. Pack your sense of adventure and get ready to breathe in fresh country air as you explore natural reserves and trails.
This beautiful region is overflowing with history and heritage, with Junee and Temora playing a major role in the development of Australia’s railway and aviation industries.
Find one-of-a-kind treasures, old and new, retro or repurposed. Fossick through quirky antiques, homewares, fabulous boutique collections, country stores and op shops.
The Canola Trail boasts a wide variety of accommodation options, including caravan parks and freedom camps, farm stays, quaint B&Bs, motels and traditional pubs.
If you want to stay a little closer to the Hume Highway there’s plenty of canola crops dotted throughout Yass, Binalong, Harden-Murrumburrah, Wallendbeen, Cootamundra and Gundagai, with a well-worn road connecting you back onto the highway at Coolac.
This is most definitely the year to visit the Canola Trail, and it will give these towns the tourism boost they need. Who knows, it might just become an annual trip.
And don’t forget to tag social media photos with #canolatrail.
A word of warning: If you stop by the side of the road for that perfect shot, make sure you are aware of the traffic around you. The two girls who left their car half-parked on a major highway as they happily skipped arm in arm to their perfect vantage point forced oncoming traffic to veer towards the middle of the road!