Making the commitment to drive to Victoria's Golden Plains festival is not one to take lightly. But if you're up for the adventure, we've found a few spots that will help ensure the trip is as memorable as the weekend to come. Here's a handful 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
If the name alone isn't reason to stop, this chance to stretch your legs with a hike up to Drawing Room Rocks will reward you 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 and worth a stop itself), 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 sunnies.
67–71 Owen St, Huskisson, NSW
How great are country vintage stores? Rummage through knick-knacks, printed party shirts, second (or third)-hand 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 fantastic pie shop. Just south of Ulladulla's main drag is a gourmet pie-shop filled with (almost) everything you can imagine, from Thai green curry to Peking duck.
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 pies in the country. Baked on-site, it's worth staying to eat before you get back in the car - you want all that cream to stay on your slice, not down your shirt.
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 let's 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. A worthy treat on the way home.
134 Imlay St, Eden, NSW
Organic, local produce is the ethos of this cafe and food store, which trades in a particularly fantastic muesli parfait.
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 coffee decent enough to tide you over until Melbourne.
The Batesford Hotel
700 Ballarat Road, Batesford VIC
When was the last time you had a counter meal at a country pub? Having won regional awards for their food, the Batesford is a cut above, with friendly staff and classic fare piling on the local charm. Settle in for lunch on the way home and celebrate your first meal in a proper chair with one of the Batesford's killer steak sandwiches, or their "very special" green pasta.
Clyde Park Vineyard & Bistro
2490 Midland Highway, Bannockburn, VIC
Sitting atop a dramatic ridge, Clyde Park Vineyard produces cracking chardonnay and pinot noir among other varieties, while the bistro serves simple, rustic meals with a focus on regional produce. If you don't feel like settling in for too long, you can also buy bread, cakes and pastries – all baked on site – to go, but with numerous vegetable gardens supplying the cafe, the property is worth spending a little time on.
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. Don't forget to grab a stubbie holder with your slab of cans.
Mirepoix Foods Cafe
32 Staughton Street, Meredith, VIC
This cafe has been open little over a month, but we're betting it will fast-become a new pit stop for even the longest standing festival attendees. Stained glass bay windows, antique furniture and the smell of baked goods in the air, walking inside Mirepoix feels like one of the better visits to grandma’s house. For a bit of childhood nostalgia (and food colouring induced hyperactivity), order a spider with your slice of cake. Look for the colourful bunting out the front.