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Help Bushfire Affected Towns Just By Taking a Road Trip!

Posted by Danni Tan on

The devastating bushfires that have swept across Australia this Summer have stunned the world, moving people to immense generosity as we all band together to support the incredible firefighters, emergency services and charities in their relief efforts.

But now that you’ve donated money to the many bushfire appeals, what next? A fun way to make a difference to bushfire affected towns is simply to holiday there – movements such as Road Trip for Good and Empty Esky are doing a great job of encouraging people to visit these towns and to spend, spend, spend!

We recently went on our own #roadtripforgood from Melbourne to beautiful East Gippsland, and can’t recommend it highly enough - check out our fun yet relaxing itinerary below:

Day 1: A cruisy day of driving to Metung (where we were staying)

Pit stop for coffees and a bite at Badger & Hare, a cute little café with friendly service and tasty toasties.

Badger & Hare 20 Tyers Street, Stratford VIC 3862
https://www.facebook.com/badgerandharecafe

 

Checked into The Oar House by Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats, our home for the next 3 nights!

The Oar House by Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats
https://www.oceanbluecoastalretreats.com.au/

Stroll along Metung Wharf, before enjoying a drink at The Metung Hotel while taking in the views.

The Metung Hotel Kurnai Avenue, Metung VIC 3904
https://www.metunghotel.com.au/

 

Dinner at Froggy’s Bistro, a small and humble family restaurant serving homestyle French cuisine.

Froggy's Bistro 2/21 Myer Street, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
https://business.google.com/website/froggys-bistro
Day 2: Exploring Lakes Entrance

Fuelling up for the day with a huge brekky at Six Sisters & a Pigeon, a no frills café with tasty breakfasts and good coffee too.

Six Sisters & a Pigeon 567 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
https://www.facebook.com/sixsistersandapigeon/

We had planned to visit the Foreshore Market, a monthly market for the Lakes Entrance Surf Life Saving Club, but unfortunately it was rained out! So off we went op-shopping instead and picked up some great finds – did you know that Gippsland has the most op shops per capita of anywhere in Australia? Or was in Victoria? I read this recently somewhere and can’t find it now, so don’t quote me on it! Haha

The highlight of our trip, beachside camel rides with Camel Connection! Such a unique experience and very interesting to chat with Russell, one half of the Camel Connection team. Was also fun taking pics of and giving chin scratches to Jack, Coco and Euco, the handsome and friendly camels.

Camel Connection Eastern Beach, Lakes Entrance VIC 3909
https://camelconnection.com/lakes-entrance-camel-rides-2/

 Back to The Metung Hotel for some pub grub and gorgeous views

 

Day 3: Visiting Buchan and Orbost

We had planned to go to the Buchan Caves, however Parks Victoria refunded our tour and informed us that the caves were closed indefinitely due to damage caused by the bushfires. Our map showed that only one road to Buchan had recently reopened just days earlier, so we decided to make the drive there nonetheless.

The drive into Buchan was sombre and eye-opening, as we passed thousands of blackened and charred trees. Seeing these images on the news is definitely not the same as having these scenes surround you in real life…

A hearty meal at The Buchan Caves Hotel, with super friendly service and lots of different twists on the humble chicken parma.

The Buchan Caves Hotel 49 Main Road, Buchan VIC 3885
https://www.facebook.com/BuchanCavesHotel/

 Stop off at Stony Creek Trestle Bridge on the way to Orbost for a bit of history. This was previously built to extend the existing rail line from Melbourne to Bairnsdale out to Orbost, but was damaged by bushfires in the 80s.

Dropping by The Orbost Motel to say hi to some new friends. This boutique accommodation is family owned and run, and has been a little haven in recent weeks for evacuees and emergency services.
The Orbost Motel 3-5 Irvines Road, Orbost VIC 3888
https://orbostmotel.com.au/

Roadside honey – yes please! Pulled over to purchase some Australian honey and honeycomb from the Wombat Honey Shop, an adorable little stall which operates under the honesty system.

Wombat Honey Shop 3800 Princes Hwy, Wombat Creek VIC 3888
https://www.facebook.com/WombatHoneyShop/

Dinner at Water Wheel Beach Tavern (affectionately known by locals as The Tav), a modern pub with contemporary food and beachside views.
Water Wheel Beach Tavern 577 Lake Tyers Beach Road, Lake Tyers Beach VIC 3909
https://thewaterwheel.com.au/

Walking around Lake Tyers and checking out the local wildlife


Watching the sunset over the water on our last night in Metung


Day 4: Paynesville and home again…

Catching the ferry (free for pedestrians!) from Paynesville to Raymond Island, where there are over 200 koalas.


Beautiful koalas up close and personal


Spotted – the very rare Labrador Koala!


Last pit stop on the way home at Café 3847 & Co in Rosedale – this quirky and eclectic café has amazing coffee and homemade gourmet pies.


Cafe 3847 & Co 11 Prince Street, Rosedale VIC 3847
http://cafe3847.com.au/

We had such an amazing trip, and it was definitely a really fun way to support small businesses who are currently feeling the pinch from the drop in tourism and foot traffic. As if you need another reason to plan a getaway!


Where will you go? Check out the following sites for maps, suggested itineraries, and other ideas for your next road trip to bushfire affected towns.

https://www.roadtripforgood.org.au/
https://www.emptyesky.com.au
https://southaustralia.com/campaigns/book-them-out
https://www.visitgippsland.com.au/

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  • You have done a great service! Good on you & Good for you !!
    May our Lord God be pleased with all that you did.

    Tony & Margaret Chin on

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