“Vintage in the RIverland”


“The Riverland in South Australia is a long established, warm climate producing region, located east of the Barossa Valley.  It extends for 330 km along the Murray River from Blanchtown to Paringa”  Quote: http://www.riverlandwine.com.au


🍇A little taste of Vintage time in the Riverland.

Families are collectively involved during this really busy time of the year. Long days, working through the nights.
Grape Harvesters moving through vineyards, Truck drivers transporting grapes, wineries in full swing & we get to see the big machines at work.
Some vineyards still pick by hand to take their grapes off the vines.

Liam Mason of Barmera, South Australia

“Liam”   On Saturday my Grandparents had their shiraz grapes harvested.  This footage I took early in the morning of their nephew, Brett harvesting the grapes with his harvester.  It took 4 hours to pick this patch”

Thanks to Liam a Middle School Student at Rivergum Christian College where I also work.

Liam sent up his drone for me to caputre a “taste of vintage time in the region”.

He also then added the soundtrack  #Riverlandwine #LiamMasonProductions

“Indulge your Senses”

The sensual beauty and heavenly décor that takes you back in time, a place to relax, unwind & to soak up the country air with the skies above on show day or night and in any season in the Riverland. Water brings tranquillity and a sense of calm to any space and it’s about immersing yourself in an intimate environment & connecting to the nature around you, with the sky above and the cottage garden around you.
Outdoor bathrooms are beautiful spaces to indulge your senses for you to just feel connected to the outdoors like you do in the claw foot- bath at Crossfield Cottage B&B.

One should never underestimate the power of a good bath, especially if…even better when you’re soaking under the stars with a glass of Riverland wine & Riverland dried fruit or chocolate-coated semi sun-dried figs.

Senses can be heightened while enjoying the Sensory stimulation is the activation of one or more of the senses including taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch.

It can range from something as simple as a hand massage with scented lotion or listening to a playlist of favourite music to more complicated activities designed to provide a sensory experience.

Taste and savour the wine, dried fruit, chocolate, cheese or strawberries.

Hear the outdoor sounds, soft music, and the conversation of a loved one or the silence.

Smell the fragrant lotion, bubble bath, bath bomb or the garden fragrances.

See the night sky with the stars and moon above, the sunlight of the morning or the festoon lights above you.

The Touch of a massage, the water beneath you, the exfoliating to care for your skin or the lotion rubbed into the skin.

See our Gallery for more “Bath under the stars photos”

Why the Love of a Hollyhock

This time of year as I wander around the garden at Crossfield Cottage I can’t help but admire the classic cottage flowers that we have in the garden at the moment, known as the “The Hollyhock”.

They bloom early to mid summer on tall spikes that look like they want to reach to the heavens to show off their beauty.

Holly hocks support the lifecycle of the painted lady butterflies as a host plant for their caterpillars & also attract other pollinators such as bees in which they move to one flower to another which fertilizers the plant & other flowers within the garden.

We have an abundent of colours popping up standing tall each striving to be taller than the other plant.

This is a plant that has a special memory for us as a family.

Our Gran would have hollyhocks in her garden, to the amazement of us all.  My Mother in law, sister in law and myself would collect seeds and put them in to a paper bag or envelopeand then scatter into our gardens.  In which none of us had success in growing these classic flowers.

Until my husband and I brought Crossfield cottage and started renovating, it was then that I was able to source some seeds, to give it another go at growing those hollyhocks.  As Gran had passed on they were not her seeds but the memory of her would still be there.

We scattered seeds amongst the plants at the garden and to my suprise & joy I saw these beautiful flowers being showcased at Crosfield Cottage B&B.   For not only for us, but for all our guest to enjoy when they stay at Crossfield Cottage B&B.


In Memory:  Gran Udy

Tawny Frog Mouth Owl

Tawny mouth frog

These pictures were taken in the backyard of a local resident of Barmera, near Lake Bonney.

Photo Credit:  Scott Johncock

Thank you Scott for these great photos.

Bibliography:  Berri Barmera Landcare Facebook:

With their nocturnal habits and owl-like appearance, Tawny Frogmouths are often confused with owls, but they are in their own family. Unlike owls, Frogmouths don’t use hollows but roost out in the open, lack the curved talons, have a very different, very broad bill and their eyes are to the sides of their head, not to the front like the owls do.

You can find these birds of about 45cm in most habitats including urban areas. They feed mainly on nocturnal insects, worms, slugs and snails, so play an important role in pest control. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. You may hear them during the night when they produce a deep repeated oom-oom-oom call.

A very basic, too small looking stick nest is used to raise 2-3 chicks during spring, with both parents incubating and caring. Tawny frogmouths form partnerships for life and once established, pairs will usually stay in the same territory for a decade or more. Establishing and maintaining physical contact is an integral part of the lifelong bond.

For their protection they heavily rely on camouflage. With their streaky grey plumage, sitting against a broken off stump, pointing their bill upwards to break up their silhouette they become practically invisible in broad daylight.

Being so exposed to the elements means Tawny Frogmouths had to develop special adaptations to cope with the temperature changes. During winter they regularly go into a state of torpor for a few hours, significantly slowing down heart-rate and metabolism which lowers body temperature and results in energy conservation. They will also choose more exposed and northerly positions to roost to make the most of the sun’s rays, and may huddle together.
In summer they tend to choose positions on branches that do not have all day exposure to sunlight. They can also triple their breathing rate without the need to open their beaks. If this is not enough they can pant, engorge the blood vessels in the mouth and produce a mucus that helps to cool air as it is inhaled and hence cool the body! Amazing!

Bibliography: Thank you to The Berri Barmera Landcare:  Facebook

The bulk of the Tawny Frogmouth’s diet is made up of nocturnal insects, worms, slugs and snails. Small mammals, reptiles, frogs and birds are also eaten. Most food is obtained by pouncing to the ground from a tree or other elevated perch.

When disturbed during rest, they can emit a soft warning buzz that sounds similar to a bee, and when threatened, they can make a loud hissing noise and produce clacking sounds with their beaks. At night, tawny frogmouths emit a deep and continuous “oom-oom-oom” grunting at a frequency of about eight calls in 5 seconds.


“Winter Comfort Food”

A Getaway for some holiday makers can be in all forms of accommodation or even if they wish to eat in or dine out.

Crossfield Cotttage B&B is self contained which allows our guests to eat in if they wish.

A Warm Risotto that is not only comforting to the taste buds, but all the other senses. 

Chicken, Mushroom, Leek & Bacon Risotto

1 tbsp. Olive oil & tbsp butter

2 leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

200g bacon, roughly chopped

100g mushrooms, roughly chopped

400g chicken thigh fillet, sliced

2 cups Arborio rice

1 L chicken stock

100mls white wine

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

100 g baby spinach

½ cup of Parmesan cheese, finely grated


Heat the oil/butter in a large saucepan over medium cook down leeks and then add chicken & add bacon.

Then add the mushrooms.

Add rice and chicken stockstock & wine and combine.  Cook over medium heat.

Add zucchini and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Fold through the spinach and Parmesan cheese with salt and pepper to taste. (herb: parsely optional)


Serve hot and with some Artisan sourdough

Glass of Riverland White wine


“A Country Pumpkin Soup”

Country Winter Warmer

That soup that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Evening has arrived, wood fire is on and its time to enjoy a simple winter soup that can warm you up after

a day of exploring the regions walking trails.

Ingredients combined together bubbling away bring out the fragrance of the soup.

Some say “comfort food” others may say “winter warmers”.

I say a pumpkin soup on a Friday night is just what’s needed.



Winters Pumpkin soup with crusty cheese sour dough slices. 

A good size Kent pumpkin

4 litres of vegetable stock

1 large onion

4 small potatoes

1 large carrot

3 cloves of crushed garlic

Salt & Pepper



Crusty Sourdough slices: grill tasty and Parmesan cheese

A Fisherman & A Pelican

10th June 2019  June Long Weekend

A early Monday morning at Lake Bonney, Barmera  sits a fisherman & a pelican just waiting, watching & hoping.   

“That catch for the morning” or a “breakfast for another”. 

Sometimes its about watching, waiting & hoping.   “waiting with anticipation”  


Photo: Crossfield Cottage B&B




The Pelican

Interesting facts about The Pelican

Pelicans are large waterbirds that make up the family: Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing.

Did you know “Many pelicans fish by swimming in cooperative groups.

They may form a line or a “U” shape and drive fish into shallow water by beating their wings on the surface.

When fish congregate in the shallows, the pelicans simply scoop them up”. We are fortunate to host many of these stunning birds along the mighty Murray.

Facts and Figures

Minimum Size: 160cm, Maximum Size: 180cm
Average size: 170cm
Breeding season: At any time of the year
Clutch Size: 1 to 3 eggs
Incubation: 35 days
Nestling Period: 28 days


The Riverlands Winter Wonderland

A Winter Getaway

Winter in the Riverland turns in to a winter wonderland

7th June 2019

Winter is a beautiful time in the Riverland.  With fresh cold evenings, misty and even frosty mornings and your days become what we call “sunny country winter days”.

With over 300kms of the River Murray, serving as the lifeblood of the landscape and the community, it is a dream for anyone who loves the outdoors. Fishing, water sports, boating, gliding, national parks and walking trails, not to mention the magnificent panoramic backdrop of the River Murray limestone cliffs with layers of colour and texture; it is simply breathtaking.

The Riverland is served by five main towns, Barmera, Berri, Loxton, Renmark and Waikerie, each with their unique tales to tell. All offer a warm and hospitable experience and visitors will find a vast array of activities in and around these towns.

Which makes Barmera’s hidden gem, “Crossfield Cottage B&B” a great base to then go out and explore this beautiful region.

Lake Bonney is a photographed place, which can features the night sky in all its glory and the stars above that are scattered accross the night sky.   Show casing the amazing sunsets and sunrises that outshines all.

Exploring nature by moving through the National parks, the wetlands and floodplains of the region.  walking the boardwalk at Banrock station lets you appreciate the sourroundings. These areas are full of native birds & wildlife to enjoy.

Taking time to experience the beauty of the River Murray Kayak or canoe.  A chance to see the wild life on the water and along the riverbank or up in the trees.

In the Riverland we have “Canoe Adventures” or “Canoe the Riverland” buisnesses that can take you on their informative and relaxed guided tours.  Or you can hire your canoe and expxlore at your own pace.

Riverland is also home to fantastic wineries and distilleries to explore and to enjoy.  Award winning labels are produced in our region.  Apple and Lemon Ciders are another popular refreshment within the region.

Create your own memories while relaxing, sharing time with each other, creating your new happy place without the daily grind of work life, the intusions or modern day life, the schedules and time frames.

After a day of exploring, why not just cosy up to a wood fire, pouring yourself a glass of wines from one of our finest Riverland wines and enjoy a cheese & Antipasto platter.

Or Step back in time and soak in the elegance and charm of the clawfoot slipper bath filled with bubbles & drift away for a while.  Nothing like a bath to help you soothe and relax.  People have long known the therapeutic benefits of water, helping relieve stress and anxiety, and that’s exactly what a bath can do.  An opulence you’re sure to love and enjoy.

Why not escape for a weekend away, midweek getaway, holidays that are well deserved or that Romantic hideaway for a couples retreat to reconnect, relax and recharge.

“See what the Riverland does best”