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I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you all the best for 2016. Here at Australian Country HQ we have much to look forward to with trips planned to all states and hopefully even more comprehensive coverage of the parts of Australia the others overlook. As this issue went to press photographer Ken Brass and I had just returned from a long-overdue trip to Tasmania. We gained privileged access to some amazing heritage houses and truly spectacular gardens, not to mention met some really inspirational artisans and producers.

Their stories will come through in the next couple of issues, but meantime meet a terrific new batch of creative and innovative Aussies from all over. We catch up with Kim Kelleher at Blair Athol, the stunning manor house she has restored at Inverell in north-western NSW and our contributor Kathy Mexted shares tales of her move to a truly glorious part of country Victoria near Hanging Rock. Our food files feature heads to Hyams Beach on the NSW south coast where Sue and Chris and Alison and their daughter, Phoebe, use produce from their home garden to create a truly local and seasonal menu. Plus there’s a great photo essay by the wonderfully talented Kim Selby that captures all the fun of a country fair, complete with ponies, jam stalls and sack races.

In other exciting news, can I please draw your attention to the Australian Country Discovery Tour of Britain, France and Italy that I will be joining in the northern summer? The 20-day itinerary reads like a shortlist of the must-see destinations of England and Europe and I’m excited to be leading the group. Put together by our friends at Travelrite, the tour offers exceptional value for money with several nights in each destination and accommodation in first-class and moderate first-class hotels. What’s not to love about visits to benchmark gardens and historic houses, the chateaux of the Loire, a cooking school in the Italian Lakes and a day at a traditional English agricultural show, complete with Morris dancers and country sports? Visit travelrite.com for more details. We’d love to have you on board.

Once again, I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have compiling it and I look forward to seeing you in the next issue, which goes on sale March 17.

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