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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Albury Airbnb host recommended we visit the Albury Railway Station before leaving the area.
The heritage-listed station, built 1880-1, is well-known for the length of its platform. As the terminus for trains at the NSW/ Vic border, the length of the platform is due to incompatible track/ train designs between the two Australian states, wherein commuters were required to transfer trains at the station.
Still in use, the station’s historic design makes you feel as though you are boarding a train through time.
Complete with waiting rooms, the station is truly stunning. The inclusion of a modern TV screen, an anachronism that blends the past with the now.
We stayed at Lake Bunga in Lakes Entrance as it was halfway between Walhalla and Jervis Bay, so a good resting place for us. My understanding is that Lakes Entrance isn’t a massive tourist destination but there are some lovely views of lakes, beaches to visit, and a quick Google search shows that it does have some noteworthy activities. We didn’t spend any time doing activities here – For us, Lakes Entrance was just a stop over.
We chose Alan’s Airbnb for affordability. We saw on his listing that his house had a lovely view of Lake Bunga and this was enough to excite us. However, we found Alan’s Airbnb to be much better than expected. He really went above and beyond with his effort in making sure we left satisfied and had the best possible trip. One thing I loved is that Alan responded to my messages quickly; giving me a much-appreciated tip-off about the best place to stop for fuel and warning me that most eateries would be closed by the time we arrived. He also added to our itinerary by giving us a tourist pamphlet and circling some scenic places to stop, great places to eat, etc. We actually did take his advice too, stopping in Eden at the lookout where we saw a seal flipper sticking out of the ocean and grabbing lunch from Longstocking Brewery in Pambula where we unexpectedly had a lot of fun with their attached petting zoo.
We had a great chat with Alan about his travels as well. He is a retired teacher, who spent the latter years of his career working in international schools around Asia. As such, his home is decorated with Asian artefacts and art pieces. We found this a real treat as both Luke and I come from caucasian backgrounds and haven’t been exposed to much Asian art, so it was quite culturally enhancing for us.
We would definitely recommend staying with Alan if you’re travelling through the Lakes Entrance area. He really goes above and beyond to help you make the most of your travels and he is great to converse with.
Rocky Hill Lookout and Memorial is a hidden albeit well-known gem in Goulburn.
The lookout shows off Goulburn with stunning views of the small town and beyond. It isn’t especially scenic but does provide an interesting vantage of the town as well as the opportunity to pay your respects to soldiers of The Great War. In saying this, the memorial tower stood as proud as a soldier, but was unfortunately closed when we went.
Also worth mentioning, my partner and I visited this lookout mid-winter and, being from the Central Coast, we did NOT expect how cold it would be. Seriously, do not get out of the car unless you are thoroughly rugged up (and I mean the full deal- long pants and a coat do not suffice!)
It was a lovely and well-kept memorial and lookout, with a nice view. Would be a perfect visit to pay respect to the ANZACs or for a beautiful landscape photography shot (I’ve heard it looks great at sunrise/ sunset!).
Hearing about the vandalism that occurred to Dog on the Tuckerbox overnight, both makes me angry to the bones and glad that we got to see it on our trip. (If you haven’t heard what happened, click here to find out). In light of this disgusting act, I wanted to share our trip to the Tuckerbox for those who have missed out and to also draw attention to what the Dog on the Tuckerbox was (or, maybe, is- if it will be restored!).
The Dog on the Tuckerbox was a beautiful piece of heritage located just five kilometres from Gundagai. Apart from the strong history associated with this place, as commemorated by the statue, it’s a great place to stop for a rest break with toilets, take out, and a gift store attached.
According to a sign near the statue, the Dog on the Tuckerbox was supposedly erected to memorialise “an incident that occurred to a teamster named Bill the Bullocky on the road to Gundagai in the 1850s”. After his wagon became bogged in a creek and one of the bullocks broke while he tried to drag the wagon out of the bog, Bill gave up and decided to have some lunch. It was in this moment he saw his dog sitting “-or worse-” on his tuckerbox. Apparently, all the other bullockies thought this was hilarious with one bullocky supposedly even writing a poem about the incident.
After reading this sign and taking a few touristy photos with the statue, we went inside for a meal. Luke ordered a burger. Unfortunately, it was overpriced, the order came out wrong, AND it had super basic ingredients. I had a milkshake that I also thought was quite overpriced. However, the take out is in a convenient location and, paired with the toilets, a great place to stop, as aforementioned.
We also thought the gift shop in general was overpriced; but it did have some lovely memorabilia that was unique to Gundagai. I bought a 3D postcard that I still think is the coolest postcard I have ever seen!
Hopefully the Dog on the Tuckerbox will be restored and the culprits caught. We loved this historical treasure, the story behind it, and appreciated the chance to stretch our legs.
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)
Accomodation: Airbnb in Canberra (host wished to stay anonymous).
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.
9pm: Walk down St Kilda pier to view Little Penguin colony
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.
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
We didn’t do this ourselves, however, after the Cursed Child would’ve been an opportune time to have a night out bar-hopping.
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)
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 McDonaldson the way… so if McDonalds isn’t to your taste, we recommend taking your own dinner along.
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)
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
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!