I’m originally from Perth, but left WA to study at university in Melbourne, taking architecture at RMIT and film at VCA. My family and I then lived in Sydney for 10 years, and spent two years in Hobart before relocating to Moss Vale in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands. We have family who have long lived in the area, and we often travelled from Sydney to spend a weekend here before settling in more permanently in 2012.
What I love about Moss Vale and its surrounds makes for a long list: the majestic trees and gardens, the fact that I can grow my own produce (fruit, nut and maple trees) as well as rare beautiful flowers (there are lots of black, white and blue flowers in my garden). I also enjoy how, in a smaller community like this, all types of people are thrown in together, and then of course the ease of getting around in comparison to a city.
In terms of natural beauty, the landscapes are so beautifully varied. There are pockets of lush rainforest (especially around Robertson and Burrawang), and then some of the clusters of ancient sassafras trees along laneways make it seem like you’re somewhere in the English countryside, but they’re are in fact native to these parts.
The area’s wine and boutique beer industries have really blossomed, and the cafe culture is finally happening too. Moss Vale had been regarded as a bit of ghost town in terms of retail and life on the main street, but things are changing, there’s a new vibrancy!
The higher altitude here means a colder climate and high rainfall, which is part of the reason for the incredibly beautiful gardens; the spring and autumn are really spectacular. Throughout the colder months, stop in at one of the restaurants or pubs and sit beside a warm fire with friends while you enjoy a drink or hearty meal. This is also my favourite time for flowers – look out for the hellebores and bulbs, especially snowbells and miniature iris!