I just got back from Melrose and I’m already fantasising about going straight back. Melrose, never heard of it? That’s okay, I’m sure you’re not alone – it’s one of South Australia’s best kept secrets.
I can’t remember the first time I went there – it would have been when I was pretty young. My parents have always loved this little gem of a town – and who can blame them?! It’s about a three hour drive from Adelaide, located in the Southern Flinders Ranges with a population of no more than 500. Idyllic, spiritual, relaxing, warm and inviting are words that spring to mind when describing this gorgeous town – but it’s also absolutely thriving. As a mecca for the Australian mountain biking community with some of the best (so I’m told) trails in the country, barely a weekend goes by when there aren’t tourists in town for that very reason. Expertly supported by the team from Over The Edge, mountain biking is going great guns in this town. This is the thing, (apart from the general serenity) that drew my parents here. Just over a year and a half ago, my somewhat unconventional parents decided to have a bit of a ‘tree change’ – sell up their near city home, quit their jobs and move up to Melrose full time.
It’s been a bit of a process, it certainly hasn’t happened over night – there’s been a lot of hard work, sacrifice, sweat, tears and deliberation throughout the journey (which is still a real work in progress) however things are finally starting to take some kind of recognisable state. Many of their friends have called them crazy – why sell up a successful business and a nice house, quit a good job and move three hours out of the city?! Especially now the kids have finally moved out?! Good thing my parents don’t pay too much heed to the opinions of others – if they did then they probably wouldn’t be chasing their dreams and how dull life would be! Mum and Dad are planning to build accommodation specifically for mountain bikers – Dad can go on epic rides every day and Mum can indulge some of her artistic talents (she’s always been fantastic at whatever art or craft project she decides to take on; spray painting, stenciling, water colour, lead lighting – the list is almost endless! )
Me? I’m stoked. I can go on holidays to one of the most beautiful little towns in the world (big call, but valid) and I’ve got parents who aren’t afraid to do what makes them happy – which is surprisingly rare in a society where people are constantly striving to impress one another with their new boat, fancy sports car or new fangled electronic device. They’re bold and brave but certainly not crazy. Inspiring is a word that springs to mind. Sure, they don’t know that it’s going to work out but they’ve got a drive and passion that many would kill for. I envy the faith that they have in themselves to follow their dream and know that if they simply love what they’re doing, and do what they love, they’ll find a way to make it work.
We had a great time there this weekend; drinking (a fair bit…there are some great local wineries!), playing card games, going for relaxing walks and not so relaxing bike rides (there are very family friendly options available too!). We drank at both pubs (there’s plenty of variety!), had coffee at one of the three little cafes, browsed some of the gorgeous little shops and very quickly got in to the laid back swing of things. I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent my long weekend!
Mum and Dad’s accommodation should be ready later this year – I’ll post links once they’re up and running because this gorgeous little town is one that absolutely everyone and anyone should pay a little visit – we can just pretend it’s a secret!
P.S. – I spent some of the weekend reading the amazing book ‘The Art of Asking’ by the wonderful Amanda Palmer – I’ll probably talk about that in my next post so stay tuned xx