My Countrytown: Kristy Cox – Mount Barker, SA

7 December 2021 | 10:32 am | Mallory Arbour

To get to know Australia’s “Queen of Bluegrass,” Kristy Cox a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Mount Barker, South Australia.

Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Tamworth to Toowoomba, Ballarat 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 Kristy Cox.

Known as Australia’s “Queen of Bluegrass,” who now lives in Nashville with her family, Kristy has topped the Billboard charts and is a multiple winner of Australia’s CMAA Golden Guitar Awards. In 2014, she was named ‘Australian Country Music Independent Artist of The Year’.

Kristy was also recently nominated for ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’ at the 2022 Golden Guitar Awards with O’Shea, Travis List, Troy Kemp, Camille and Stuie, Jedd Hughes, Katrina Burgoyne and Sam Hawksley for a re-imagined version of I Still Call Australia Home. She also scored a nod for ‘Bluegrass Recording of the Year’ for her latest single, Person Of The Year, which will appear on Kristy’s seventh album, Shades Of Blue, due for release in January.

To get to know Kristy a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Mount Barker, SA.

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1. Mount Barker, Adelaide Hills

Mount Barker is a big country town located about 35 minutes out of Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills. It is surrounded by beautiful green hills and plenty of farms. It has a population of about 16,000 people now and is almost a suburb of Adelaide. Some of my best memories are of walking down the tree lined main street and looking out over the Mount Barker Summit.

2. Music

Up until the early 2000s, Slim Dusty would hold a country music festival every year. I got to sing alongside him and meet him backstage, as an inspired young country artist it was the greatest gift! The music scene in the area is always growing. 

3. Auchendarroch House

No visit to Mount Barker is complete without going to Auchendarroch House – a beautiful old mansion which was built in 1860 by Lachlan McFarlane. Originally the huge house was surrounded by 42 acres of land of which three acres were dedicated to a garden and three acres to an orchard. In 1940, it was taken over by the Red Cross and used for injured servicemen. It fell into disrepair until 2000, when it was purchased by the Wallis family who were determined to revitalise it. I remember watching the transformation and today it is used as a wedding venue, has an excellent restaurant and has a seven-screen cinema next door. 

4. Millie's Bakery

Millie's Bakery, famous for its incredible Sausage Rolls, has been there since 1873 and was originally the home of the Daniels family who owned a blacksmith and a foundry in an adjacent property. This place is the pinnacle of a country town bakery – everything is amazing!

5. Laratinga Wetlands

Located off Bald Hills Road, on the way to Mount Barker Summit, the Laratinga Wetlands offer three walking trails all of which start at the main entrance. The trails are all relatively short and suitably flat, meaning, they are suitable for disabled access.

To keep up to date with Kristy, follow her on Facebook here.

For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.

Image: via Facebook