Wycheproof, Victoria. A town I’d never heard of until I heard that my brother in law’s birthday party was going to be held there. I figured that with all of retro daddy’s brothers and sisters going and some of the cousins that it would be a fun road trip. It turned out to be a whirlwind trip but a great one. But the heat, oh the heat. No one saw that extreme heat coming when we were planning the trip. But let’s start at the beginning. Wycheproof. The smallest country town I’ve ever stayed in. Population just under 800. There are 2 pubs that you can stay at and one motel, a few shops, a hill, a public pool, church, school and I think that’s just about it. And the town’s claim to fame is being the only town in australia where the train runs through the main street. There you go, you learnt something new today.
We decided to break up our trip with a stop in bendigo. I may have influenced that overnight stay by adding a stop at bendigo woollen mills to the itinary. Slight change of plans when we discovered that the mills aren’t open on saturdays in january. We left home at 6am on friday and retro daddy was determined to get me there. After 5 stops before holbrook it was looking like I was just going to miss the 5pm closing time. Retro daddy suggested I ring and ask them to see if they could stay open a little longer. Um I don’t think that is how they work. So we got in the car at holbrook and focused on getting there in the 3 1/2 hours that it was supposed to take.
And we did. We pulled in to to the mills at 4.30pm, retro daddy went to put petrol in the car and came back and I was paying at the counter at 4.45. Is that woman on a mission or what. The car was telling us that the outside temperature was 48.5 and that back room was a little warm but there was some air con going. I was restrained filling a bag and conscious of what I already had at home and not being that lady that has a room full of wool that she will never get through. The find of the day was the Harmony in pale pink which I’ve been a bit jealous of other knitters having on ravelry. Feeling very happy with my 400g of it there in the bag. Now the back room is bigger than last time and had another section to the left of me as I was taking the photo and then had 2 more walls of wool behind me and to the right of me. So if you’re into knitting or crochet then this is your place. You need to go. You can read about the last time I went there here.
We picked a great hotel for kids in Bendigo, Quality Inn All Seasons (not the 4 seasons, don’t get too excited). The kids gave it 5 stars as it had a big pool, playground and loads of beds in our family room. There was also an xbox in the room and 2 big tvs. You walked in and had a double bed and a sofa bed then walked through to the 2nd room and there were 2 singles, another sofa bed and another double. Plenty of room for us. Room service was very reasonably priced with the kids meals at $9 including lemonade and ice cream. We weren’t leaving the room in 40 degrees heat so room service it was. You can also have a hot buffet breakfast for $17 a person and under 4’s are free. We chose the pool over breakfast and spent some time in there before checking out. What I want to know is how can you only be in one place for one night and still take an hour to pack up and find things under beds, under desks. It was like the kids had spread everything out all over the room!!!
A trip to Bendigo for me always involves Beechworth Bakery. I’ve always had a great visit there and was so excited to have a vanilla slice, unfortunately it was a bit disappointing with an overcooked base that we couldn’t eat, rock solid from being in the fridge too long and a dirty cup for my peppermint tea with the chocolate left on from someone else’s cappuccino. We had to take it back and get a new cup. Thankfully the other country bakeries that we visited on our trip did not disappoint – especially Holbrook Bakery. Yummo to their pasties, sausage rolls, huge salad sandwiches and range of slices. We had a great visit there and also in Charlton too. Oh and there was another small town that we visited for a bit of country bakery goodness too. It beats McDonalds but I did come home wanting a bit of fruit and salad for a few days. I might be all pastried out if that is possible…..this was one of the good vanilla slices from our trip. Mmmmmm.
Bendigo to Wycheproof is about 1 1/2 hours and took us 2 hours. We were there at 2pm and it was hot. Man was it hot. The party wasn’t starting till 7.30 so we figured we’d take all the kids to the pool. But everyone was tired and cranky and it was just so hot. So we sweated it out in the motel………the next morning we were freezing cold as the temperature drops over night. Someone put this face on for the camera to sum up the mood of the room and I think they need to rough it a bit more.
The party was just a great big old country party at the back of the pub. Kids running around, adults talking, a few babies, bar, big hot roast for dinner, country music blaring from the speakers (think Johnny Cash, Slim Dusty and so on), mozzies, speeches, grandma jill wrote a song for the birthday boy and sang it and then we did the family tradition of holding hands and getting in a big circle to sing happy birthday. Retro daddy grew up with that tradition and we still keep it alive in our little family at every birthday too.
I left the party at about 10.30 with all the kids and fell asleep in between these two. When I had to get up to get ready in the morning I let them snuggle. So cute. I had to take a pic didn’t I. Retro daddy went back to the party for a bit of heel and toe polka and to enjoy the party. And I hear there were still some partygoers when we were leaving town at 6am the next morning.
If you’re ever in wycheproof the motel is super clean and right next to the pub where I had the best roast pork I’ve had in a long time. I think the motel had better accommodation than the hotel but it’s been a long time between budget motels for me and the kids. It’s not noosa. Get that air con going as soon as you get there and try to go on a weekday when things are open. There was nothing but a small shop where we could buy ice blocks open on saturday afternoon but I’m sure there is more action during the week.
We drove home again in one day, in the car at 6am, 50 million stops for toilets, snacks and stretching legs and got home just after 6.30pm. The car looked light someone had thrown fries, biscuits, crackers and grapes around in there and had a party. So one of our first jobs was emptying the car and giving it a good vac so we could use it this week. It was bad. Oh and all those bugs stuck to the windscreen. But we did it. Almost 2000kms in 3 days, saw all the family, visited the woollen mills, got the kids out of the house and a mini holiday and are now safely back home enjoying the cooler temperatures and our own home. The end.
Ever been to wycheproof or stayed in a small country town? It was an eye opener for me, it certainly wasn’t out of the pages of Country Style but as we were driving back into big old dirty sydney I was missing the country already.