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Morpeth town
Morpeth town
Handmade broom factory
Pelican's Nest

Morpeth town guide

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Morpeth is an inland river port on the banks of the Hunter River. The stonework of the town's many old buildings have mellowed beautifully and add to the historic feel of the town. Willows line the riverbanks and the main street has many welcoming shops selling arts and crafts, antique and curios. The town is becoming attractive to people re-locating for the slower life style, and loving it.

Barry and Julie Race moved to the area seven years ago and run Tea Lovers and Coffee for Others. As their name suggests, the cosy café has more than 80 kinds of fine teas to choose from for tea lovers and a good selection of coffees for others.

Their extensive menu includes sandwiches, light meals, hearty breakfasts, Devonshire teas, cakes and lots of tempting delights for morning and afternoon tea, and you can dine in the courtyard. They also carry a range of beautiful gifts and open at 10am from Wednesday to Sunday.

Just a few doors away you'll find Lisa Marree Webb's Princess Bazaar, It is a quaint, double-fronted store selling and exhibiting beautiful things from around the world including clothing, accessories, jewellery, beaded bags and scarves, body products, crafts, artefacts, books and prints.

Stephen and Allison Arnott own Morpeth Sourdough, a charming little bakery. Stephen is a descendent of the owner of Arnott's Biscuit Company, known so well to all Australians. They also felt like a change from the city and returned to family roots. They liked the look of a building which was for sale, and now it is their bakery, supplying their popular sourdough and specialty breads all over the Hunter Region, south to Gosford and north to Forster — and business is still growing. They open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Someone whose family has been in the area for seven generations is John Wright. He lives at Phoenix Park, which was once a millet growing area with its own broom factory. The advent of plastic brooms swallowed that market.

John decided to grow millet about fifteen years ago to carry on his father's tradition. John says he makes hay when the sun shines and brooms when it rains. He turns out up to 600 a year using equipment which is more than 100 years old. He can be visited by appointment.

Pelican's Nest is accommodation with a difference. It is a private, two-storey timber yurt on a bio-dynamic farm overlooking the Paterson River and surrounding verdant farm lands.

Owners Greg Murphy and Susan Schmiedte started the farm 15 years ago and then built the yurt for guests next to their farmhouse. They use bio-dynamic farming practises which are highly influenced by the alignment of the planets. They insist the resulting food is more nourishing.


160km north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley


Pelican's Nest rooms start at $140 a couple per night.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

Tea Lovers and Coffee for Others
137 Swan Street
Morpeth Vic 2321
Ph: (02) 4934 6616

Princess Bazaar
153 Swan Street
Morpeth NSW 2321
Ph: (02) 4933 0455

John Wright Broom Maker
Phoenix Park
Morpeth NSW 2321
Ph: (02) 4930 1445

Pelican's Nest
298 Phoenix Park Road
Phoenix Park NSW 2321
Ph: (02) 4930 0053

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