Murrumbateman Field Day   Leave a comment


Sunday, 20 October, 2013

Murrumbateman is an unremarkable small town to the north of Canberra which normally wouldn’t get too much attention except for two things. The first is that it is at the centre of the Canberra wine growing region and has about a dozen vineyards dotted around it; the other is the massive Country Show that is staged at the show grounds every year.

The Murrumbatman Field Day is a three day event that attracts thousands of people from all over NSW to its shows, demos, displays, sales, play areas and food/drink establishments. I was going to attend one of the days anyway, but then Grainne told me she was working on one of the stalls over the whole weekend, I arranged with James to travel up together this morning, so that she could have their car for the early start/late finish today (I think James was glad of the lie in, as he’s been driving Grainne to and from the venue for the past two days).

We arrived just after midday, which was later than planned and were guided into one of car parks quite near the main entrance. Cost us $15 each to get in, which I thought was a bit steep! and straight away we contacted Grainne to arrange a meet up for a quick coffee and for her to introduce us to her boss and work colleagues on the stall on which she was working. This stall was located in amongst many others, so what better place to start than take a look around these to see what was on offer. There seemed to be anything and everything on sale from socks and hats right through too boats and tractors, with all manner of interesting things in between. We eventually made our way to the food village, where we grabbed something to eat and settled down to watch a couple of the artist perform on the main stage.

After lunch we took in some of the tractor pulling competition that was taking place on a slope in the far corner of the show grounds. Couldn’t really work out what was going on, but it seemed to involve a bloke driving an old tractor (of varying sizes), which in turn was dragging a large weighted sledge up the slope until it became bogged down. At this stage a couple of other men came along and dragged the sledge back down the slope again. Whatever was going on, the crowd watching this spectacle seemed to be enjoying it and exchanged knowledgeable nods of the head whenever things came to a halt.

We then moved on to the livestock section, which included all the animals you’d expect to see on an Australian farm (sheep, cows, pigs, goats etc) and some you wouldn’t (snakes, Texas Long Horned cattle, Alpacas). The Alpaca marque was very interesting and we spent quite a bit of time in there chatting to the various farmers, who were very passionate about their South American livestock. Turns out that most of the Alpacas in Australia are used for their fleeces, which are shipped back to the likes of Chile, Peru and Bolivia for processing into woollen yarn and garments. However, there is a growing number of farmers who bred them for meat, which seems a shame, as they are such beautiful animals.

As it was approaching the show’s closing time, we had to dash off to take a quick look at the outdoor leisure section, which we both wanted to take a look at. All of the exhibitors had some fantastic products on show (at some fantastic prices as well!). On the way out, we were directed along some of the back roads of the Murrumbateman area in order to rejoin the main highway back in to Canberra. As we were following the signage we went past the cellar door of one of vineyards I mentioned earlier. It still looked to be open and we thought that it would rude of us not to drop in for a quick taste of their wares!

I can report here, that Four Winds wines are well worth a visit.

Posted October 20, 2013 by yermandownunder in Canberra Events, Observations, Out and about

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