My parents moved to Flinders in the 70s, seeking a quiet beach-side lifestyle. My Dad went on to open a surf shop, Balin, with friends, and my Mum worked at the local school camp. It was a pretty idyllic place to grow up; we really felt like we had the run of the town, exploring the creeks, beaches and paddocks on a regular basis. It was a tiny town in the 80s, and only a handful of kids were around the same age as me, so we were all friends and spent weekends riding from one house to the other. We’d pick blackberries in summer and sell them to the local restaurant, then spend the earnings on lollies at the general store!
Nowadays, I try and get down to Flinders as often as possible. My family are still there, and now that I am living in the inner city, that’s where I go when I feel that I need to get some country air and slow down every once in a while. I also want to give my daughter the opportunity to enjoy the country, go to the beach and just get dirty!
I am sure that time slows down to at least half-speed as soon as you pass Red Hill, and I always feel instantly relaxed as soon as we arrive in Flinders. You can get a bit of everything here – amazing local food and wine, rolling hills, beautiful beaches – all within a few kilometres.
This time of year, I’m alway stopping for big tubs of cherries at Red Hill Cherry Farm (or a close second: strawberries and the strawberry ice cream from Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm) en route. Of non-edible pickings, there’s also garden blooms from the Main Ridge Rose Farm. Of course, you can’t beat summer snorkelling at the Flinders Back Beach, and at low tide you’re almost always guaranteed to see a stingray, and also get a chance to walk out on the rocks at mushroom reef. Showing my daughter the crabs and sea life that I used to hunt for as a child here is pretty special. In autumn, the wineries are beautiful, with the vines all yellow and red, plus it’s not too hot nor cold to be sitting outside and enjoying a glass (or two). Even in winter, the area has its charms. We often take the dog on walks along the dog beach, then it’s home to sit by the cosy fire. Although it can get a lot busier than it used to be, Flinders still manages to feel small and remote most of the time.
I love the memories that each place holds for me and while shooting this story, I had the chance to have lovely conversations with new and old friends. These chats always led back to a connection with my family, friends and my husband – it’s such a nice community and everyone is connected in some way. Ahhh… it really tugged at my heart strings, pulling me back. Maybe one day!