GPK Erina Fair

GPK (Gourmet Pizza Kitchen) is, as the name suggests, a pizzeria located in the Hive at Erina Fair. GPK also serves pastas and alcoholic beverages; and is conveniently located near Hoyts, if one wishes to follow food with a trip to the movies.

Food

I ordered the Bacon & Mushroom pasta. I thought the meal was average. While it wasn’t bad, the pasta lacked the oomph that would have made it delicious.

My friends, who ordered a variety of pizzas and pastas, also found their meals to be bland.

2.5/5.

Drinks

I ordered a piña colada.

I thought the drink was thicker than other piña coladas I’ve had in the past, however I still enjoyed the taste of it. Despite the piña colada containing white rum and myself being a bit of a light weight, I never felt even the slightest bit tipsy, which does make me wonder if they forgot to add the alcohol… but, hey, maybe I was just having a heavy weight kind of day *shrug*.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine, who considers herself a piña colada connoisseur found the drink lacked the pineapple-y taste that usually characterises piña coladas, and she agreed that it was a bit thick.

2.5/5.

Service

We were served by the owner and we found the service exceptional!

My friend had a voucher for two free pizzas… and we somehow ended up with four free pizzas! One of these extra pizzas was due to kitchen forgetting to leave off an ingredient. They caught the mistake themselves, so the pizza wasn’t brought out to us before they offered to give it to us anyway. A friend that joined us later in the evening ended up eating this pizza rather than buying one for herself. The other extra free pizza was because a friend went home sick… His leaving had nothing to do with GPK, yet they offered us a free pizza anyway!

On top of this, the owner was funny (or as funny as you may find some lame dad jokes). He made the night enjoyable for our group.

5/5.

Overall

While we found the food and drinks to be very average, GPK’s service was some of the best I have seen. Altogether, I rate GPK 6.6/10.

Sweet Surprises Terrigal

There’s a new sweet shop in Terrigal called Sweet Surprises (and it was actually a surprise for me since I didn’t know about its arrival!)

They have an amazing range of international foods and otherwise interesting lollies… I felt like I was in heaven visiting!

I bought some pickle-flavoured Pringles (honestly, who knew that was a thing?!) and some Lucky Charms, which I’ve wanted to try my whole life.

The shop is set out nicely, it’s neat and well-faced (apart from the boxes in the above photo lol), and the staff are friendly. The location is convenient: located right on the esplanade of the beach; making the shop a great stop for some cheeky snacks on your day out.

I would definitely recommend visiting if you are on the Central Coast!

5/5 stars.

Central Coast to Melbourne and Back – 9 Day Itinerary

This is the basic itinerary of a road-trip from the Central Coast to Melbourne and back, recently completed by my partner Luke and I.

The trip ranges across 9 days, so we took advantage of all the must-see places and attractions in order to make the most of a short holiday! We would recommend taking this road-trip over a fortnight, if possible, in order to experience all these amazing places to their fullest. However, if taking more time off isn’t possible (like it wasn’t for me), we would suggest taking this trip in summer, as we found (since we went in winter) we were often chasing the sun, which rushed us along a bit.

Please click the hyperlinks to see more detail about specific aspects of our trip. ((These will be uploaded as they are ready)

Enjoy!

Day 1: Central Coast to Canberra

11am: Leave home

2.30pm: Arrive in Goulburn

The Big Merino

Rocky Hill Lookout and War Memorial

3.30pm: Leave for Canberra

4.30pm: Arrive at Canberra/ Check in to accommodation

Dinner at Grease Monkey

Accomodation: Airbnb in Canberra (host wished to stay anonymous).

Notes:

  1. We travelled on a very overcast, winter day, and as a result drove alongside some of the most beautiful scenery. We stopped at multiple rest stops between Goulburn and Canberra to take in the views. Imagine: Rolling, gray-green hills being grazed by nonchalant sheep; speckled by gray-green trees, dotted with rusty brown leaves; and, distant windmill farms shrouded by low, misty clouds.

Day 2: Canberra to Albury-Wodonga

10am: Leave Canberra

10:30am: Cockington Green Gardens

1pm: Arrive in Gundagai

Dog on the Tuckerbox

Old Gundagai Gaol

Gundagai Railway Station

Gundagai Historic Railway Bridges

3pm: Leave Gundagai

4pm: HMAS Otway Submarine at Holbrook

4:30 Leave Holbrook

5pm: Arrive in Albury-Wodonga

Dinner at Albury Brewhouse

Albury Monument Hill

Accommodation: David’s Airbnb in East Albury.

Day 3: Albury-Wodonga to Melbourne

10am: Hume Dam

10:30: Leave Hume Dam

11:30 Arrive Glenrowan

Glenrowan Bakehouse & Cafe

Billy Tea Rooms

Big Ned Kelly

12:30: Leave Glenrowan

Arrive Kyneton

Mineral Springs

3:45: Leave Kyneton

4:00: Arrive Woodend

Hanging Rock

Straws Lane

Holgate Brewhouse

7:30pm: Arrive Melbourne

9pm: Walk down St Kilda pier to view Little Penguin colony

Notes:

  1. We had intended on driving through Bendigo, Castlemaine, and Maldon, but unfortunately made a wrong-turn that led to use by-passing these. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as we later only just made it to the Hanging Rock with enough time to skim the beautiful reserve before they locked the park. I’ve included these on the map. Consider splitting this part of the trip into two days.

Day 4: Melbourne

10am: Shopping at Melbourne Central

2pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 1

5:00: Drinks and dinner at Lazerpig

7:30pm: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, pt. 2

Notes:

  1. We didn’t do this ourselves, however, after the Cursed Child would’ve been an opportune time to have a night out bar-hopping.

Day 5: Melbourne to Bass

12pm: Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs

5pm: Penguin Night Parade at Phillip Island

7:30pm: Dinner at Inline 4 Cafe

Accommodation: Airbnb in Bass, Ross & Tracey

Day 6: Phillip Island to Darnum

11:30 Nobbies Head and other various lookouts along the way including Pyramid Rock

1pm Lunch at Inline 4 Cafe

2pm Vietnam War Museum

4:30 Phillip Island Chocolate Factory (Panny’s)

5:30 Leave Phillip Island, stopping at bridge to view sunset

6:30 Arrive Darnum

Accommodation: Airbnb in Darnum, Sue’s Bella Cottage

Day 7: Darnum to Lakes Entrance

10am: Leave Darnum for Thomson Station

11:40: Historic train from Thomson Station to Walhalla Station

12: Lunch at Wally’s Pub, Walhalla

12:45: Walk through historic town; stopping in at the historic Post Office, Sweet Shop, feeding some wild King Parrots outside the Sweet Shop, and viewing historic buildings in the town such as the old Bank of Victoria.

1:30: Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour

2:45: Walk back to Thomson Station, via Tramline Path- Australian Alps Walking Track- Mormontown Track

3:45: Leave for Lakes Entrance via The Honeysuckles (1hr 40 mins) – Golden Beach (20 mins) – Lakes Entrance (2hrs)

8:15: Arrive at Alan’s Airbnb, Lake Bunga.

Notes:

  1. We were travelling on a Sunday so our Airbnb host warned us that there may not be anywhere to eat in the vicinity of Lakes Entrance. We also didn’t see any food places along the 90 Mile Beach. Consequently, we stopped at a McDonalds on the way… so if McDonalds isn’t to your taste, we recommend taking your own dinner along.
  2. If you choose to skip The 90 Mile Beach, the drive from Thomson Station to Lakes Entrance is only about 2.5 hours.

Day 8: Lakes Entrance to Jervis Bay

9.30am: Leave Lakes Entrance for Jervis Bay (7 hour drive)

12:30pm: Eden Lookout and Rotary Park

1:30pm: Lunch at Longstocking Brewery, Pambula

Dessert at Bodalla Dairy Shed

6:30: Arrive at Balan Village Motel (a Best Western), Bomaderry

Dinner at Chef Tony’s Modern Chinese Restaurant (attached to motel)

Notes:

  1. We chose to stay in Bomaderry due to the prices of accommodation around Jervis Bay, which meant we had to back-track about 35 minutes to spend the following day in Jervis Bay. We liked the motel, but not the area; so, with this in mind alongside the back-tracking, if we were to redo our choice of accommodation, we would’ve spent the extra money to stay in Jervis Bay.

Day 9: Jervis Bay to home

10am: Check out of motel

11am: Hyams Beach

12:00: Blenheim Beach

12:30 Huskinsson Beach and Moona Moona Creek

2:00 Abraham’s Bosom Reserve Walking Track

4:15: Leave for home via Grand Pacific Drive and Seacliff Bridge in Wollongong

  • Sunset at Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout

Notes:

  1. We only stayed on the Grand Pacific Drive until sunset, which for us was as we were driving past Kingsford-Smith Memorial Lookout. We then joined the fastest route home, via the Princes Highway. However, we plan on doing the full Grand Pacific Drive between Wollongong and home another time as it definitely looks like a must-do!