THE iconic Southern Aurora sleeper train carrying passengers on a three-day travelling adventure across southern NSW made a pit-stop in Griffith on Saturday.
Passengers were treated to a truly Italian reception at Pioneer Park Wine Museum, showcasing a spread of local food and wine.
While in Griffith, the travellers were invited to soak up the essence and culture of the region with a private tasting in the wine and irrigation building.
Five local winery representatives were there to show off their wares, including Toorak Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, Berton Vineyards, Calabria Family Wines and Yarran Wines.
Harvey Terrazas from Pioneer Park said the visitors were hugely impressed with local accordion player Bruno Peruzzi.
They also relished the spread of Codemo salami, local olives and Italian bread provided to showcase the Italian flavour of Griffith.
Mr Terrazas said the visit came about through talks with former TV personality Scott McGregor, who now runs Railway Adventures.
Overall, he said it was a huge success which will help grow Griffith on the tourist map.
“They all said they want to come back,” Mr Terrazas said.
“They said their time in Griffith was quality and they’d all like to spend more time here.
“Hopefully it will be an ongoing thing – it was such a successful event.
“We plan for it to be at least an annual event, if not more often.”
Council manager of tourism and economic development, Greg Lawrence, said the event was a great initiative to bring more people to the city and flaunt Griffith’s trademark wineries.
“Pioneer Park Museum is an exceptional venue to represent our city and I’m sure our visitors will go home with fond memories of Griffith, its wine and produce and hopefully return for future visits,” Mr Lawrence said.
The sleeper train made a stopover in Temora prior to pulling into Griffith, then headed on to Canberra.