Wandiligong. It’s a mouthful isn’t it? So are the Parmas at the pub there, they’re a delicious mouthful.
Step inside this unassuming country pub in this cute little town and you feel like you’ve been wrapped up in your nana’s arms. It’s warm, cosy, homely and there’s no pretence.
If it’s winter the wood fire is guaranteed to be lit inside and depending on when you visit the fire might be going in the outside fire drum as well.
We were here on the first weekend in May, when the Autumn colours were still vibrant. It was part of a birthday weekend for our daughter Tash who’d recently turned 21.
We stopped in to check the pub out and book a table for dinner that night … and ended up staying for hours.
The live music enticed us out the back to a beer garden that resembles more of a botanical garden.
The feeling of being hugged is almost palpable. Sunshine filters through soft leaves and branches of trees that are over 90 years old. They cascade down and shade the picnic tables whilst on the stage a folksy modern guitarist is crooning out some tunes. We’re lured towards the central fire pit and settle in with our drink and chips. Sitting round the warm fire chatting to locals we feel as though we’re amongst camping buddies.
We’re back that night and the food is amazing, the perfect mix between down-to-earth watering hole and inner city gastro-chic. There’s a slight Japanese flare to the menu but otherwise this is a local pub serving local food. And it’s some of the best we’ve had. My pork belly resembles an upper class San Choi Bow and my daughter’s chicken parma looks delicious. Little wonder they’ve won the award for best Parma in 2017, as well as the best Regional Pub in Victoria the same year. The craft beers on tap and local wines are pretty good too. It’s definitely a place to linger.
So, where the hell is Wandi? The tiny village of Wandiligong is in Victoria’s north east, about 320kms from Melbourne and about six minutes from Bright. I have fond memories of cycling from Bright to Wandi when I was younger.
The entire village is heritage listed. There’s history, walnut trees and poplars that line walking trails and pretty streets. It’s interspersed between mountains, roads that lead to amazing lookouts and plenty of scenic four wheel drive tracks.
This month I have a seven page feature story on Wandiligong and district in the July edition of 4×4 Australia Magazine. In my article there’s loads more info on what to do and see in this area.
It’s always a thrill to get a new story in print, particularly when it’s one of my favourite places!
It’s the ultimate research job, discovering new tracks and trails, writing about them and bringing them to life again on print. The great outdoors always provides inspiration.
To me that’s living the dream, sharing adventures and I feel very blessed.
So many roads still to travel and so many things I still want to do. It doesn’t matter which road we take there’s always something new waiting.
Do we take the low road or do we take the high road? In my opinion, there’s rarely a wrong decision, just a different experience. And perspective.
In October the Wandi pub is hosting a mini music festival in its beer garden. I think by then it’ll be time for a revisit. And some more research!
Happy travels everyone. Here’s to making our stories an adventure and not being afraid to take the roads less travelled.
In light and love