Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Tamworth to Toowoomba to Noojee, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Michaela Jenke.
Since her debut EP, Diamonds Outta Dirt in 2017, the South Australian singer-songwriter has caught the eye of numerous big names in the country music scene, having performed with and supported artists, including Catherine Britt, Adam Harvey, Amber Lawrence, Andrew Swift and more. She released her latest single Stop & Stare in April, which peaked at #36 on the Countrytown Music Network Hot 50 country airplay chart, and will tour with fellow South Australian, Matt Ward this September and October.
To get to know Michaela a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about her hometown, Nuriootpa.
Nuriootpa (or abbreviated to Nuri by locals) sits north in the Barossa Valley, completely surrounded by vineyards. I love that it’s central to everything – it’s an easy hour’s drive to Adelaide, Clare Valley and the Riverland. Growing up in the 90s, it was a relatively small town but today, there are around 8,000 people who call Nuri home. It’s growing rapidly!
2. Bird life
I’ve always loved that my childhood home backs onto the high school agricultural block/reserve, which is full of parrots, kookaburras, galahs and magpies. I’ve become a bit of a magpie Mum! My family and I have names for a lot of them. I feed them by hand and some of them sit on my lap and sing … and sometimes I sing back to them.
To be honest, I’m probably the worst ambassador for the Barossa’s world famous wine industry – because I don’t drink! Shame on me … yeah! There’s something like 160 + wineries in the Valley – big wineries, small boutique wineries, and even a few gin distilleries and craft breweries. It’s not just good for tourism, but good for local employment in the area.
4. Restaurants and eateries
The Barossa is a foodie’s heaven. We have some world class restaurants like 1918, Vintners, Fermentasian, and Hentley Farm. Then there’s Maggie Beer’s Farm – her burnt fig, honeycomb and caramel ice cream is off the charts! There’s a lot of great cafes around here too, which is great for catching up with friends. I’m a massive sucker for good coffee and cake!
5. Our neighbours
We have the best neighbours. We look out for each other – take each other’s bins out when someone’s on holidays, chat over the fence, catch up for drinks. There is a real sense of community here – lots of sporting and special interest clubs. It’s a very safe place, and a good place to bring up a family.
Follow Michaela on her Facebook page here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.