'The Roaring Days' - a Tasty Australian Bushranger Adventure
CALLING ALL FUN-LOVING FOOD & WINE ADVENTURERS AND EXPLORERS!
We’ve carefully curated a very special food and wine trail through the historic goldrush-era villages of Canowindra, Carcoar, Manildra & Millthorpe for this tour through the Orange wine region, with a bonus bushranger twist. This is the gold-stealing hunting ground of one of Australia’s most revered bushrangers, the legendary Ben Hall.
‘The Roaring Days’ – Friday 7 to Monday 10 June 2019.
Join us in the Orange wine region over the long weekend in June for a completely unique food & wine experience in the wild, wild Central West. Four days of food, live music, art deco cinema, craft beer, local cool-climate wines and cider – and one of the best country pub lock-in experiences of your life!
THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL & HIS BUSHRANGER GANG:
In 1863 the infamous Frank Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert & Ben Hall bushranger gang rode into the small goldfields village of Canowindra on horseback, rounded up the entire village into the local pub and LOCKED THEM IN FOR THREE DAYS. They’d just robbed a bank in Bathurst and inexplicably decided to spend it all on a knees-up. LEGENDS! The local ‘hostages’ were not unhappy at all at this remarkable turn of events (the local policeman was, he got tied up in the stables at the back of the pub the entire time).
We are going to recreate this epic 1863 takeover of the local pub in the historic village of Canowindra. While the original Robinson’s Inn no longer exists, we will be locking ourselves into the Royal Hotel, built in 1910 on the exact spot of the original pub.
Our food and wine bushranger extravanganza features following in Ben Hall’s footsteps for a day around Canowindra (where the gang regularly held up Cobb & Co coaches and hid out with the loot). We will be tasting food and wine along the way at various stops and then returning for our pub lock-in for a food, wine & live music bash with Ben Hall and his gang. The tour package also includes an additional day exploring the goldrush-era villages of Carcoar and Millthorpe, which are packed full of cellar doors, cafes, boutiques and good old-fashioned country pubs serving up local craft beers, cider and cool-climate wine.
⬆️ This is the main street of Millthorpe pictured above, but the goldrush-era villages of Canowindra and Carcoar echo the same wild, wild central west goldrush style.
Our 4-day packaged tour experience will kick-off on Friday night with a private screening of ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’ directed by Matthew Holmes at the 1930s art-deco Amusu Theatre in the village of Manildra, followed by a BBQ. On Saturday we will have a guided bushrangers tour, starting with a walking tour of Canowindra and then visiting the bushranger gang’s nearby Bald Hill lookout (now conveniently just above a vineyard, so we’ll be stopping at the cellar door for a wine-tasting), then onto Croote Cottage in Goolagong where they hid from the law (we’ll have a 2-course lunch in the garden instead), and finally to Eugowra Rocks – scene of one of their most daring escapades in 1862 holding up a stage coach and robbing it of £14,000 in cash and gold, making it the biggest robbery in Australia’s history at the time. We’ll make it back to Canowindra just in time to be locked into the pub as Frank Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert and Ben Hall roll into town by horseback. The first shout is on them, and these colourful raconteurs will prop up the bar with us for an evening of music, food, as well as local craft beer, cider and wine.
This is a group tour for around 40 fun-loving food & wine adventurers and explorers. Bring your friends, make new ones.
Note from Kelly, Silver Compass Tours:
I’m really excited about this new food and wine tour experience of ours to the Orange region and surrounding districts – I’ve been busting to bring to life our local historic goldrush villages and bushranger history, I just haven’t been sure how to make it seriously fun. Imagine my delight when I discovered the story about local ‘gentleman bushranger’ Ben Hall and his gang ‘holding up’ one of our local pubs in the nearby village of Canowindra in 1863. The gang rolled in from Bathurst after a successful hold-up there, and hustled everyone in the village into Robinson’s Inn as ‘hostages’ where they hosted a three-day jubilant spree of drinking, dancing and games. These guys knew how to party – they ended up spending the entire loot they’d just robbed. I have to confess, it’s this part I love the most. They were proving a point that they weren’t just wild bandits or outlaws. They were true gentlemen of the people. Not entirely true, they were completely out for themselves – but the townsfolk of Canowindra still love them to this very day.
⬆️ Photo of Robinson’s Inn courtesy of Canowindra Historical Society.
“The night too quickly passes
And we are growing old,
So let us fill our glasses
And toast the Days of Gold;
When finds of wondrous treasure
Set all the South ablaze,
And you and I were faithful mates
All through the roaring days.”
Henry Lawson,The Roaring Days, 1889. With thanks to NSW Gold Trails
Copyright © 2018/2019 Silver Compass Tours, Australia. All rights reserved. All itinerary concepts and content for the trademarked ‘The Roaring Days’ Food & Wine Trail with a Bushranger Twist, The Bushranger’s Bullet and the Ben Hall Bash & Bushranger Adventure experience packages are the intellectual property of Silver Compass Tours, and may not be reproduced or copied in any format without prior written permission.