When Ros Vodusek first moved to her husband's family farm in Yarrawonga, she found herself surrounded by inspiration. The Murray River and its sandy beaches, olive groves, citrus, stone fruit and happy livestock compelled her to share her slice of Victoria with the world.
Ros's family business, Rich Glen Olive Estate, makes flavoured oils, salad dressings, olive leaf tea, soaps and a huge range of skin care, giving eager visitors a glimpse into her humble, wholesome country life.
Here are some of Ros's best-loved spots in The Murray region.
1. Hardluck Coffee Co.
Ros says the best coffee in these parts is from Hardluck Coffee Co. on the main street of Yarrawonga. Part of the appeal is owners Jarrod and Tammy, a hip, happy and hands-on couple who you'll likely find behind the coffee machine.
2. Blacksmith Provedore
When Ros has family from out of town to stay, she heads straight for Blacksmith Provedore, an outdoor wine bar, pizza restaurant and provedore at Lake Mulwala. The space is architecturally impressive, taking inspiration from classic Australian family holidays of the 1960s and '70s.
3. Water activities on The Murray
For an outdoor escape, Ros recommends water activities along the mighty Murray River. Waterskiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, paddle steamer rides and houseboat trips are all popular on this beautiful stretch of river. Ros's tip: take time for a nature walk and look out for koalas chewing on gum leaves.
4. Yarrawonga Farmers Market
Every fourth Sunday of the month, the growers, makers and bakers of this bountiful region gather to sell their goods on the shore of beautiful Lake Mulwala. Enjoy the view as you stroll though the market, tasting fresh produce and chatting with local producers. You might even meet Ros at the Rich Glen Olive Estate stall.
5. Farm gate trail
No country road trip is complete without a stop or two at a farm gate for supplies. As a producer herself, Ros knows there's nothing like gathering a few fresh goodies straight from the source and hearing the stories that go with them.
Our Murray River farm gate picks include Aintree Almonds and Apiary, Eden Farm Produce, and The Big Strawberry. And of course, don't forget to stop in at Rich Glen and thank Ros for the tips.