Clearly the two best seasons to live in this glorious part of the world. Why do I say that? Because I am not a fan of the cold, being cooped up and having washing drying all around me on clothes racks.
Right now, the wattle is flowering and that bright yellow is the hope I needed to remind me that short chilly days are about to be a memory and evenings spent enjoying a beer in the warm sun are just around the corner.
As this is a combined spring/summer edition, it was a seriously hard choice to pick what backyard tourist options to highlight. I have decided to go very water-based and pick two of my all-time Wimmera favourites.
1. Yabbies. Yes, those glorious little mud diggers are a Wimmera delicacy. Growing up in south-western NSW, we regularly caught yabbies in our farm channels, but they were nowhere near as popular as they are here.
Yabbies are not just something you catch to eat in the Wimmera. They are a whole social scene in themselves. Get some friends together, find a lake and make a day of it. You can use a boat or even walk nets out. Kids and adults alike will have an absolute ball catching them.
Then, after a few rinses, it’s time to cook the critters and sit back and enjoy your finger food and a beer. How to eat yabbies is pretty contentious. Some people love a yabby sandwich and some people have them with tomato sauce. I prefer them with bit of thousand island dressing or done in the wok with some chilli and garlic. The most important part about yabbying and eating yabbies making it a shared experience. Don’t forget to share some with your neighbours if you catch plenty (trust me, they love it).
2. Just getting out on the water. There is absolutely nothing more peaceful than being on the water. Catching fish makes it even more fun. But you don’t have to be a fisherman/woman to enjoy the great waterways we have in the region. From Wartook Lake, the Wimmera River and the Yarriambiack Creek, just find a way to connect with the flowing life blood of the region.
While skiing and fishing are popular warm weather past times in the Wimmera, I really enjoy some solo time kayaking the Wimmera River, especially during one of our glorious sunsets. Finding the time to get our kayak out on the water is one my favourite things to do. Being so low to the water level gives it a different perspective and you really feel like you are part of the river. If you want to test your balance, the local water ways are great for stand up paddle boarding as they are generally calm if ski boats aren’t flying by. If you don’t have your own kayak, there are places around town to hire them, trust me, you won’t regret it.
Hope to see you out on the water!