I’ve not long returned home from a mini-road trip with my husband. After a week in Melbourne cheering on NSW at the Australian Netball Championships and getting wet, we decided to take the slow road home and follow the coast.
We knew we’d made the right decision when, on the morning we left Melbourne, the clouds parted and the sun came out to play.
It’s quite a nice drive from the Yarra Valley where we were staying to Lakes Entrance, though after awhile the picturesque scenery of farms, fields, assorted farm-type animals, and the odd abandoned building or two gets a little tired – or maybe that was just us. We whizzed by at 100kph.
As we moved closer, farms changed to state forests and eventually we started crossing rivers, which included the Avon River and, naturally, Stratford (on the Avon River). We needed neither refreshment or a dose of Shakespeare (or a toilet stop) so we pressed on only stopping at Bairnsdale on the Mitchell River for a quick stretch of legs, etc.
It’s been years since we were last at Lakes Entrance and we were looking forward to it. We came up the hill knowing that just over the top would be our first view of the ocean and waterways that are such a popular and traditional family tourist destination. And were stopped by roadworks (little did we know that earlier there had been a landslide just below the road into town), but it was the best roadwork stop I’ve ever had to endure as we were at the from the queue and had a wonderful view of the ocean.
We could only stay one night at Lakes Entrance and were overwhelmed with the choice of accommodation on offer. It took nearly an hour and a cold drink at the local Returned Service League Club to decide on staying at the RSL Club’s motel. As it was quiet and mid-week, we decided to go retro (and cheap) and stay right where we were. Our room was next to the swimming pool so I imagine that in full holiday season it would be noisy.
There is a cafe a few doors down from the club that advertises the “best hot chocolate alive” so I insisted we take up that challenge and we dropped in for some sweet afternoon tea. The hot chocolate is indeed very good, though I’m not sure I would call it the best ever. We also shared a Devonshire Tea – the scones were lovely and some truffles (I picked honeycomb, probably too sweet for me). We followed that up with a drive around town and then back to our room for a rest.
Later, we walked across the way for pre-dinner drinks at the club and then across the road to the water’s edge to eat at a floating seafood restaurant (great service and food!)
After a reasonably good night’s sleep, we headed off the next morning for Eden and Merimbula. We were not overly attracted by Eden so we didn’t stay very long and continued on to Merimbula (which we loved!).
Again, there is so much in the way of accommodation that we had a hard time picking a place. We ended up at The Pelican Motel, which had a nice view over the bay and friendly parakeets on our balcony. We would definitely love to spend more time in Merimbula. There’s a pretty little walk along the river with a boardwalk built along the shore. In low tide you can hop down to walk along the sand and through the mangroves and in high tide, sit on the edge and dangle your feet in the beautifully clear water. My husband went for a longer walk from our motel the next morning; across the river and around to the surf beach and was very impressed. I preferred to catch up on my sleep.
We drove from there almost straight home with just one stop for coffee (naturally) at Narooma. Lovely spot there too.
It was a relaxing three days, which we were badly in need of. Next year the netball championships are in Sydney so I guess we won’t get to go anywhere in particular, but perhaps back to work after the games are over. A little bit depressing really. I’ll definitely have to work on that plan.