Early mornings, over-packed cars and bumper-to-bumper queues are inevitable, but it’s the journey to Golden Plains that’s half the fun. While buses are available, it’s infinitely better when you have a car. If you’re embarking on the road trip down from Sydney to Meredith, while it is long, the drive doesn’t have to be boring. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to rest, recharge and refuel along the way.
Finbox Surf Shop & Cafe
269 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul NSW
Waves or no waves, the lads at this cafe slash surf store consistently brew excellent coffee. Grab a takeaway and a cranberry muffin for the drive.
Drawing Room Rocks
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, Woodhill, NSW
Stretch your legs with a hike up to Drawing Room Rocks and you’ll be rewarded with some pretty amazing views over the surrounding valleys. Turn off at Woodhill Mountain Road just north of Berry. When the road splits, follow Brogers Creek Road for 100m before taking the un-signposted road on the right.
109 Queen Street, Berry NSW
Sibling of Berry Sourdough Cafe just around the corner, Milkwood Bakery offers a range of takeaway organic breads, cakes, sweet pastries, pies, coffees and fresh juices. If you still leave hungry, continue driving down the main road to the Famous Berry Doughnut Van.
Jervis Bay, NSW
It’s hard to drive past without a quick stop at Hyams Beach to see what the whitest sand in the world looks like. Take your sunnies.
67–71 Owen St, Huskisson, NSW
Rummage through knick-knacks, printed party shirts, vintage furniture and plenty of other things you can deck out your campsite with. Just make sure there’s enough room in the car.
2/166 Princes Highway, Ulladulla NSW
Little detour is needed to visit this locally famous pie shop. From Thai green curry to Peking duck, there’s a gourmet pie filled with (almost) everything you can imagine.
East Lynne Store
Princess Highway, East Lynne NSW
It might look like a run-down petrol station in the middle of nowhere, but the East Lynne Store is home to some of the best apple pie in the country. Lovingly baked on-site, a slice is best enjoyed with a generous dollop of cream. What better way to refuel.
62 Princes Highway, Bodalla, NSW
Impossible to miss, with racks of rainbow tie-dyed clothes out the front, it’s hard to resist buying at least one piece of attire you’ll wear to the festival (and be honest, probably never again). Or, if you want to be practical, pick up a 100-hour mozzie coil to hang at your campsite.
Bermagui Oyster Room
1/14 Lamont Street, Bermagui, NSW
Visit local oyster farmer Shane for a craft beer and a dozen Wapengo Rocks oysters in the newly refurbished Oyster Bar.
Woodbine Eco Cabins
Sapphire Coast Drive, Merimbula, NSW
Wake up to kookaburras, kangaroos and the leafy surrounds of Bournda National Park. These log cabins are basic but have everything you need for a solid night’s rest.
134 Imlay St, Eden, NSW
Organic, local produce is the ethos of this cafe and food store. The muesli parfait is a must.
Mackenzie River Rainforest Walk
Bemm River Scenic Reserve, VIC
Break up the drive with one of East Gippsland’s most popular walks. It’s an easy 30 minute round trip over swing bridges and through leafy canopies. Keep an eye out for the signs on Princes Highway.
Orbost Boutique Motel
3–5 Irvines Road, Orbost, VIC
A surprising little gem, this motel is by far the best option if you’re staying overnight in the area. There’s numerous double and twin rooms plus a one-bedroom apartment, all refurbished with corrugated iron inside and out. Facilities like a gym and laundry on-site are nice touches, too.
Redd Catt Cafe
192 Raymond Street, Sale VIC
Options in Sale may be limited, but beyond the red leather interior of Redd Catt Cafe you’ll find a coffee decent enough to tide you over until Melbourne.
The Batesford Hotel
700 Ballarat Road, Batesford VIC
Friendly staff and classic fare give this pub its local charm. Order a schooner off tap or a glass of regional wine, and sit down to enjoy a hearty meal – it might be the last one you eat from a table for a couple of days.
Clyde Park Vineyard & Bistro
2490 Midland Highway, Bannockburn, VIC
Sitting atop a dramatic ridge, Clyde Park Vineyard & Bistro offers views over the slopes of Moorabool Valley. The vineyard produces notable chardonnay and pinot noir among other varieties, while the bistro serves simple, rustic cuisine with a focus on regional produce. Bread, cakes and pastries are all baked on site, and the property’s numerous vegetable gardens supply the cafe.
The Royal Hotel
Corner Staughton Street and Midland Highway, Meredith, VIC
Also known by locals as the ‘bottom pub’, this newly renamed hotel might be your last chance to pick up drinks for the festival. Before you buy remember Golden Plains enforces a strict no glass policy – we don’t want anyone cutting their foot while giving The Boot, now do we.
Mirepoix Foods Cafe
32 Staughton Street, Meredith, VIC
A new pit stop for even the longest standing festival attendees, this cafe’s been open little over a month. With stained glass bay windows, antique furniture and the smell of baked goods in the air, walking inside feels like one of the better visits to grandma’s house. Look for the colourful bunting out the front.
This article is proudly presented by Holden Cruze.