What would happen if I took a drive I often make for work...always rushed and sticking to a timetable...but this time go on a weekend...stopping wherever I felt like along the way? This idea lead to exploring jumbly old vintage stores in Elmore, meeting the people and pets behind roadside food stands and taking a lazy lunch at Morrisons Winery. Some retail therapy at some sweet stores followed, including one of my favourites "Love From Marley". Then I worked up an appetite walking along the historic Port of Echuca before dinner at Oscar W's.
"My best ideas come to me when I’m on the road, often driving to Echuca for work. There’s something to be said for being out in the open, with a view to the horizon, surrounded by paddocks with freshly rolled hay. Space to take half-baked thoughts and give them the time they need to grow. That being said, I often don’t remember the ideas when I get back to the office. It’s not long before the busyness of a to-do list takes over, or your phone announces the next appointment…before you know it, that space to let your mind wander shrinks considerably. But here’s one idea that did stick: pick a random weekend and take that same drive to Echuca…but pull over in small country towns on a whim, or stop and take a photo in the middle of nowhere, just because. Luke only needed to know two things…that there was room in the car for golf clubs…and that we were stopping for a good Bendigo coffee before hitting the road.
I always suspected that there were great stores full to the brim of crazy old wares in Elmore, and I was right. Whilst I’m still living in hope that I’ll stumble across a dusty vintage tram scroll, it wasn’t to be this time. I do love the feeling of possibility as the door jangles open, taking in the shelves jam packed with old baking tins and vinyl records…and those roller skates where you strap your own shoes onto the wheels. Listening to the bespectacled man behind the counter having a good yarn, I was incredibly tempted when I found a Box Brownie camera out the back. But the open road beckoned, who knew what was just around the corner..."
Places I visited were:
Elmore Old Wares: 66 Railway Place, Elmore
Franks Fresh Farm Produce (roadside stand on the main road just before leaving Elmore)
Morrisons: 2 Merool Lane, Moama
Love From Marley: 238 Pakenham Street, Echuca
Under the Gable: 254 Pakenham Street, Echuca
Echuca Heritage Sweet Company: 606 High Street, Echuca
Echuca Chocolate Company: 614 High Street, Echuca
Port of Echuca / Discovery Centre: 74 Murray Esplanade, Echuca
Oscar W's: 101 Murray Esplanade, Echuca
Since this article was written, Oscar W's has announced they plan to close their doors by the end of July :( ...so if you want that steak by the fire overlooking the river, book in sooner rather than later!
If you have a favourite place to visit in and around Echuca/Moama (or on the road from Bendigo to Echuca!) I'd love to hear from you :)
Click here for all blog posts relating to exploring in and around Bendigo, click here for a full archive of all posts including recipes, DIY, exploring Melbourne/Tasmania/NYC...and lots of other stuff!
Thanks for reading, and if you'd like to stay in touch please use the social media links below.