Are you looking for a little winter escape this weekend just perhaps?
There’s something magical about rugging up and heading to the mountains in the dead of winter.
Just over an hour out of Melbourne, lush green rolling hills dotted with Friesian cows and weatherboard farm houses give way to towering gum trees, cathedral groves of giant ferns and wisps of fog that ribbon through the mountains behind it. Light mist falls and the earthy smell of soil, eucalyptus and leaves underfoot is rejuvenating.
This is my friends, is the lovely little corner of Gippsland called Noojee.
I found out about Noojee via some friends who have a holiday house there. They have been raving about this little piece of paradise for a while so as my parents were visiting from NSW, it was the perfect opportunity to check it out.
As the weekend was shaping up to be one of coldest of the year, I wanted to take them somewhere with a roaring fire….
Our first stop was The Tool Shed Bistro at Noojee. I booked a beautiful table for us next the fire and warmed up while we chose our lunch. The Bistro was formerly a one hat restaurant but not too long ago, they decided to relax the menu and instead focus on really great, rustic pub food.
Really great is understatement here. In addition to a plethora of homemade pies and parmas, they also include the classics, fresh trout from local farmers and have a number of specials each day. I went for the beef and Guinness pie with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
*Tip* The popularity of the bistro is testament to the incredible food they serve so I highly recommend you book before you go, not the least to grab a table by the fire.
Although my stomach was about to burst before I’d even got to the bottom of the pie, I just had to somehow fit in a little dessert. We had a warm flourless chocolate cake with cream and warm chocolate sauce – it was divine.
After dessert, there was a need to loosen the belts and wander around the beautiful gardens of the bistro to work off a little of the food coma before getting back into the car.
And a little stop off to say hello to the cocky outside his ‘Red Parrot’ Cafe.
After lunch we headed for the hills
And a spot of bush walking by the beautiful Toorongo Falls which is about 7km out of Noojee towards Mount Baw Baw.
Before heading back to Melbourne, we climbed up to the Noojee Trestle Bridge. The bridge is what remains of an old rail corridor that closed in the 1950’s and rises as if from nowhere as you approach along the dirt road entrance.
It is the oldest surviving trestle bridge in Victoria and spans an impressive 1o2 metres wide, while it is 21 metres high. It is now flanked by 3km of forest trails along flat terrain which is an easy walk for all fitness levels – especially for my old dad with bad knees!
Where will you go for your next winter adventure this weekend?