The most popular posts under the Lifestyle banner on The RiotACT in 2017 reflected the broad interests of our readers, but by far the most popular were those in the travel category.
Five of the top ten posts were about day trips in the Canberra region, with our contributors sharing the delights of hidden gems like Karloo Pools, Laggan and Wee Jasper. Stories about food, fashion and Canberra’s impressive coming of age in the world of musical theatre also made the most-read list this year.
Canberra came of age in the world of musical theatre when it hosted the Australian premiere of a new production of global musical phenomenon Mamma Mia!, wrote Glynis Quinlan in December.
Too long the poor cousin of our bigger Australian city counterparts when it comes to musical theatre productions, Canberra proved its credentials as a city providing a passionate and appreciative audience with a strong love for the genre.
In January, John Thistleton introduced readers to Canberra entrepreneur Mark McEwen, who is reviving the romance of rail at Goulburn’s old railway barracks.
Mr McEwen has restored the 15-bedroom barracks, replacing wiring and plumbing and every nail in the old corrugated roof. He even plans to add a jewel to the rail-themed venue, a first-class carriage from the iconic Southern Aurora train.
There were many Canberrans keen to make the most of the last of the warm weather in March, when Heather Lansdowne’s story about Karloo Pools garnered much interest.
The pristine, natural swimming hole comes at the end of a beautiful walking track through a leafy corridor of ferny undergrowth and twisting red gums.
As another Canberra winter made its presence felt, Maryann Mussared found a perfect winter warmer in the rural getaway of Wee Jasper, which she wrote had everything she loved.
And there was much to love – beautiful Australian landscapes, old shearing sheds and farm buildings, and at the end of the road, a hidden valley, an old homestead, warm fireplaces, a really good home-cooked meal and a rare wine.
Nina Gbor joined The RiotACT team in the latter part of the year and her stories about sustainability in the fashion industry quickly proved to be popular.
Her story in November about how to build a super stylish wardrobe from local op shop finds showcased some surprisingly stunning outfits from a local Salvos store.
Jane Speechley tried out a 3-day vegetable soup cleanse from Bondi institution Mr Perkins in August, writing that she started it off with a large coffee and a slice of jam and cream sponge roll! Perhaps that’s part of the reason her story came in at number 5.
And the verdict? Jane writes that the products were surprisingly tasty, she felt better and lost a few kilos to boot.
Heather Lansdowne was back in the top 10 with another story about a day trip from Canberra, this time an adventurous road trip to Jenolan Caves, complete with stunning scenery and subterranean exploration.
Maryann Mussard’s article about Cooma – a regional location familiar to many long-time Canberra residents, came in at number three.
Her story profiling the largest town in the Snowy Mountains found Cooma has a lot to offer residents and tourists who are keen to explore and participate in activities in the increasingly popular alpine region in all seasons, including mountain biking, walking, and trout fishing.
It was two in a row for Maryann Mussared when she uncovered a true regional gem called Laggan Pantry, a restaurant located in the rural hamlet of Laggan, just north of Crookwell.
Approaching its second birthday, the Pantry is less than an hour and a half north of Canberra in the Southern Tablelands, and Maryann wrote that she suspects it is one of the best-kept secrets in rural NSW.
A story about a new Canberra attraction – GoBoats – came in as number one lifestyle story of 2017. Glynis Quinlan’s September article about the self-drive electric picnic boats which seat up to eight people was greeted with enthusiasm by Canberrans keen to chart their own adventure on Lake Burley Griffin.