Looking for a great Day Out or weekend away idea? North of Eden Gin is a perfect spot to get away from it all and enjoy the delicious gin’s on offer.
Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and under three hours from Canberra, is the home of North of Eden Gin. This boutique gin distillery and gin school is 2 years old but is already a recipient of three international awards.
Stony Creek Farm is a 12 acre smallholding nestled in the rolling hills of the Bega Valley on Australia’s pristine Sapphire Coast. With a tiny team of two (plus their glamorous animal assistants) the magic is performed by Gavin Hughes and Karen Touchie. Gavin is the master distiller, lifter of heavy things, talented chicken wrangler and all-round handyman. Karen is the sorcerer’s apprentice, labeller, packer, and Gavin’s number one gin taster.
The distillery itself used to be a farm shed. It was converted into a distillery over a period of 12 months, putting in power and water and finally installing “Jill” in October 2018. In mid 2019 the team started work converting another part of the shed into a cellar door and Gin School, which was finished in late December 2019.
A visit to North of Eden’s Cellar Door is a must-do if you’re on the Sapphire Coast. When security is in the form of a highland cow and a one legged dog with a neck tie, you know you’re in for an experience. Karen and Gavin are always on hand to offer sage advice about what to drink, and their gin cocktail menu is as extensive as the stunning Bega Valley views that come free of charge. Winter tastings are cosy and laid back with covered outdoor seating, a fire pit, room to languish and generally an audience of over interested cows.
North of Eden’s micro distillery has been operating commercially since January 2019. They have two signature gins, The Classic and The Connoisseur. In addition to the two signature gins, they recommend the limited edition navy strength gin, The Admiral. Released in June 2020, this deliciously sinful gin is a whopping 57%ABV and won a Silver medal in the 2020 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Budding alchemists and adventurous souls who want to get deeper into the groove can learn how to make their own bottle of gin can do so at North of Eden’s Gin School. Within an intimate classroom setting chock full of chi chi decor, the afternoon of alchemy lasts for 3 hours and includes everything you wanted to know about the magical world of distilling, including complimentary gin, tonic and nibbles, and a bottle of your very own craft gin creation bottled, labelled and ready to take home.
Like many other parts of regional NSW, the Bega Valley was badly impacted by drought as well as the 2020 Australian bushfires. Over 70% of the land area of the shire was damaged in the fires, making it one of the worst affected local government areas in Australia. The farm itself had fires on three sides for over six weeks getting to within a couple of kilometres of their boundary on multiple occasions.
The impact of the fires on the social, emotional and economic fabric of this small regional area has been profound and will be long lasting. But the sense of community is strong, and the desire to recover even stronger. So why not pay them a visit, stay a couple of days in the region and discover more of the stunning Sapphire Coast.
North of Eden Gin
13594 Princes Highway, Stony Creek NSW