Situated in the beautiful Riverina region, Griffith is just six hours drive from Sydney and five hours drive from Melbourne. It boasts a series of public artworks, fascinating heritage, local produce and a rich food culture. Various festivals are held throughout the year in celebration of all that the vibrant cosmopolitan centre has to offer. October's Spring Fest is a wonderful time to visit, however, you'll find plenty of things to see and do in other months too.
Large-scale murals can be found along Banna Lane between Jondaryan Avenue and Ulong Street in the heart of town. The artworks have been created by multiple artists including the internationally recognised Guido van Helten who drew inspiration for his portraiture from a member of the community. Aspiring young local artists were also involved in decorating the laneway's padmount transfers. To assist you with your search, you can download this map of the location of each mural.
To commemorate 100 years of progress, seven granite sculptures were carved in seventeen days by hard-stone sculptors from Spain, Italy, Germany, China, New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands. These sculptures reflect an overall theme of water and cultural diversity as well as each artist's unique style and personality. They are housed in IOOF Park beside the main canal at the corner of Kookora Street and Griffin Avenue. Wine and Orange Blossom by Renate Verbrugge would have to be one of my favourites. Renate has cleverly brought out a sensual form from stone allowing people to discover the artwork with not only their hands but also their eyes. Feel free to touch the curves and angles of the sculpture when you're there.
For those with a good level of fitness, the trails at Hermit's Cave are worth exploring. Its terrain is steep and rocky, but you'll get to see the remarkable home of hermit Valeri Ricetti, a young Italian migrant, who lived here from 1929 to 1940. As a recluse, Valeri single-handedly built rockshelters, terraced gardens, water cisterns, dry stone walling, stairways and paths within this kilometre-long site along Scenic Drive. If you'd rather not do the hike, you can still enjoy excellent views across Griffith from the lookout just next to the parking area.
Among other providores, Bertoldo's Pasticceria proved to be very popular during my visit a few weeks ago. It was buzzing with customers yet the service wasn't compromised. I tried their famous cannoli and gelato and both were absolutely gorgeous. The bakery has indeed embodied its Italian heritage. Fresh bread, biscotti, nougat, coffee, etc are available too.