Em and Kel
Em and Kel feel a deep connection with the natural world around them. Raised locally on a property at the foot of Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, they cite their surrounds as the main inspiration behind their slow fashion line, Terra the Label. The line's garments are made from 100 per cent hemp, fully compostable and designed to last a lifetime.
Here are some of the spots Em and Kel consider the most magical.
1.Hiking and walking
The Grampians is one of Victoria’s most popular hiking spots for a reason. Beyond the panoramic views that take your breath away, the national park is home to 80 percent of Victoria’s ancient rock art sites and a variety of flora and fauna.
‘It’s somewhere you can do a hike 100 times and every time you do it it’s different, because the flora around you or the weather patterns have slightly changed. We can do a hike over and over and every time it leaves you with a different emotion and a different feeling, as it’s ever-changing,’ Em says.
2. Grampians Peaks Trail
This challenging 13-day/12-night hike spans 160 kilometres of undulating terrain. It starts in the north of the park at Mount Zero and heads in a southerly direction. When you embark on this trek, the everyday world is left at the foot of the mountains as you experience what it’s like to explore a vast landscape entirely on foot. Some of the trail’s highlights include Mount Difficult, Redman Bluff, Mount William and Mount Sturgeon (Wurgarri).
3. Dunkeld Old Bakery
Follow the smell of freshly baked bread and pastries to a quiet pocket of Dunkeld. Here you will find a cosy bakery that offers all the comforts of home, with a side of 19th century charm. Once a relic that history forgot about, the bakery has been re-imagined for the modern day. Stop in and treat your sweet tooth with a cake, slice or tart, or if savoury is more your style enjoy a gourmet pie, freshy baked croissant or warm sourdough. Kel and Em’s personal favourite is the rye bread – baked on-site daily.
4. The Royal Mail
If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur, the 30,000-bottle wine cellar at the Royal Mail Hotel is sure to impress. Em says people travel from far and wide just to experience what it’s like to dine at the regal establishment.
‘It’s particularly unexpected and unassuming in a small town like Dunkeld,’ she says.
The menu is built around seasonal produce grown in the hotel’s kitchen garden and showcases the exemplary skill of world-renowned chefs. Guests can recharge and soak up the peaceful surrounds with an overnight stay at the acclaimed establishment.
5. Parker Street Project
After a long day of hiking, dine like a local and enjoy a relaxed meal from the Parker Street Project’s a la carte menu. The restaurant is part of The Royal Mail Hotel and has a beautiful outdoor dining area that showcases Dunkeld’s breathtaking scenery. Take your taste buds on a journey, as you enjoy carefully crafted dishes made from the finest, freshly grown produce.
Continue your exploration of food, wine and place with a meal at Wickens. Another culinary treat from The Royal Mail Hotel, the menu is curated by Executive Chef Robin Wickens who hails from some of the UK’s top restaurants. Kel says she loves Wickens because the staff make you feel like you’re the only person in the room.
‘Dining at Wickens is a synergetic representation of the kitchen gardens and the venue’s extremely talented chefs.’
7. Dunkeld Arboretum
A labyrinth of walking tracks and waterways, Dunkeld Arboretum is the perfect spot for a picnic or to enjoy a moment of tranquility. Take in expansive views of the southern end of the Grampians, visit the Old Sawmill and gaze up at towering red gums.