December 22nd, 2021Loving summer at Barwon Heads
WHILE we love the Central Highlands, waiting for warmer weather to arrive can take a while, so we decided to go and find some summer vibes at Barwon Heads recently.
We have stayed over the bridge at Ocean Grove, which was lovely, but Barwon Heads has a much more laid back feel – more like a little hamlet than a town.
We stayed at Seahaven Village, pictured right, opposite a lovely park, and just a stroll into the town or down to the beach. Our apartment was The Attic, upstairs, with two bedrooms, a lovely open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area, and a little balcony overlooking that park.
We did bring a few things from home in the Esky but ended up eating out for lunches and having Chinese delivered for dinners, on both nights. Meal delivery is a bit of a treat when you live at Glenlyon. The Chinese was excellent, from Ocean Grove’s Ming Terrace.
Barwon Heads is well known for the filming of the TV series SeaChange with Sigrid Thornton and David Wenham, and others, living in the fictional Pearl Bay. And while Diver Dan may be gone his beach shack is still there and is now a wonderful restaurant/bar, At The Heads, pictured below, set over the water. The perfect place for a pre-dinner drink, or a meal.
We also ate at the Barwon Heads Hotel which is another top spot. They take the green tick very seriously, which I like, and the food was great and very affordable. We just chose from the starter menu, which sounds small, but factor in 1kg of chicken wings for Kyle, lamb ribs, calamari and gyoza and you have a pretty substantial meal. All finger licking good.
It was a bit cool for swimming but the beach walks are amazing with views, of course, over to the Mornington Peninsula and Sorrento/Portsea. We thought about getting the ferry over for a few hours but this was a working holiday, so next time.
Oh, getting to Barwon Heads, which is less than a two-hour drive, is a bit of an adventure. And be prepared for a wheel alignment when you get home. Despite plenty of signs talking about improving roads, they are terrible. We drove from Daylesford to Ballan, shocking, and then through Anakie, even worse, and onto the freeway and down a few smaller roads, not too bad.
We decided to come back via Ballarat on the A300, a tiny bit further, but we thought it might be a smoother and quicker run. Wrong. Lots of roadworks, really rough roads and then, surprisingly, random signs saying “rough roads” on the OK places. Still it’s been a long time since I went through Meredith and Buninyong. Not much has changed.
Seafood. Almost forgot about this. If you do head to Barwon Heads, stop at the seafood place at the little airport on the way in. Or the way out. Be prepared because it is a 100kmh piece of road, and no-one slows down, and there are huge potholes at the entrance and exit, but it’s worth the drama.
There’s all you could want and it’s all freshly caught. Or frozen. Take an Esky but they will also pack it pretty well if you ask. We bought a lobster on the way home, the biggest one they had so the most expensive, but how often do you eat lobster. It was fantastic – and they did all the hard work cleaning it – so we just sat down with some seafood sauce and crusty bread. Back home, just in time for the warmer weather. Perfect.
Words & top & bottom images: Donna Kelly | Centre image: Contributed