Words by Sean Murphy.
On Friday, we headed off early, stopping for morning tea at Euroa, along with quite a crowd of fellow holidaymakers. Upon reaching Milawa and adding a pair of friendly day trippers to our crew, we first visited the Milaway Bread bakery, Milawa Cheese Company (in which Gordon procured a ~1.5kg half wheel of cheese which outlasted the group’s best efforts) and Wood Park Wines cellar door (including a particularly amazing Pinot Noir). After checking into our motel, we wined (again) and dined at the Sam Miranda winery, had a chat with the delightfully enthusiastic collector of Willandra Orchids, then retired to an outdoor dining area at the motel to begin attacking the cheese wheel. After entirely too much food, we proceeded to the Whorouly Hotel for additional degustation.
After breakfast and a wander through the cute motel orchard the next morning, we drove past some glorious autumn scenery to the picturesque Darling Estate Winery, then to lunch at the Tatong Tavern. Before our food arrived, a posse of vintage tractors with club plates suddenly appeared on the highway and stopped across the road. The majority of the group quickly forgot about the food and dashed to admire the tractors. After lunch, which was excellent, we proceeded to the Brookfield Maze just before closing time, made it in and out in record time (Sean won the race to the middle), and enjoyed the charming garden and some coffees. Before sunset, we drove to Powers Lookout to behold spectacular views across the whole valley. With daylight fading, we made our way back to Milawa, intersecting paths briefly but uneventfully with some kangaroos, and had dinner at the Gamze Smokehouse.
On Sunday, we checked out from the motel after another filling breakfast, drove to The Horn Lookout at Mt Buffalo, which Gordon’s Volvo reached just as an engine overheating warning arose, and enjoyed morning tea. Once the Volvo calmed down, we continued down the mountain, enjoyed a scenic drive to busy Bright, and procured some coolant to replace what was lost climbing the mountain.
We had some pies for lunch, then drove past Mt Hotham to Dinner Plain. Unfortunately everything was closed by the time we reached Dinner Plain, so after a rest and catch up, we continued on to Kosciusko Lookout (it’s true, you can look all the way out to Mt Kosciusko from there), conjectured about how Bogong moths taste, then checked in to the Art Deco-styled Golden Age Hotel at Omeo. After probably too much to drink, we had a lovely dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.
The next morning, we availed ourselves of the included hotel breakfast, then wandered through the town, admiring the autumn foliage and architecture, and had a coffee before we checked out. After a brief but frantic search for Gordon’s car key, we made our way to the impressive Stony Creek Trestle Bridge near Nowa Nowa, which after some recent renovations now features a path to the top for a trains-eye view of the not-quite-straight structure. It’s not entirely clear at this point whether the bridge is holding up the train tracks, or the train tracks are holding up the bridge. We then departed for Metung, briefly checked out the unimpressive bakery for lunch, and decided on the Aroma Coffee House eatery instead. After a pleasant walk around the foreshore, we parted ways and drove back to Melbourne, satisfied with a long weekend spent well and in good company.