Local Loves – Mallacoota, Victoria
If someone tells you they have ‘driven through’ Mallacoota, chances are they are confused. Mallacoota is a village in far Eastern Victoria, 23kms off the Princes Highway, just South of the New South Wales border. The population is around 1,000 people, and Mallacoota punches above it’s weight in terms of local loves.
Before we head down Maurice Avenue (the main street of Mallacoota), I want to show you a couple of my local loves on Allan Drive. Allan Drive runs along the edge of the beautiful Mallacoota Inlet with stunning views across the lake to the ocean and Gabo Island.
My very favourite spot here is Serendipity Hair and Beauty. Don’t for a minute think that style is missing in this sleepy little town. The lovely Cassie is the owner and operator of Serendipity and she is a brilliant hair dresser. Technically highly competent, Cassie also has a contemporary sense of style and is a great judge of what suits her clients – not an easy feat when dealing with customers ranging from very conservative to ‘out there’. Cassie is also one of the loveliest young women you could wish to meet.
But Serendipity is much more than a place for a haircut. Other services available are massage and beauty treatments. A lovely place to sit and have a mani/pedi whilst looking out over the lake and watching the world go by or to relax on a massage table and allow your worries to drift away. My top tip is to pre-book your treatment or haircut, this little business is busy all the time as both locals and visitors take full advantage of the wonderful services.
And don’t miss the fact that Serendipity is also a great place to buy yourself or someone else a gift. Perhaps a gift voucher, or one of the beautifully fragrant Crackenback Candles or some delicious skin care. Put Serendipity on your list when you visit Mallacoota.
Right next door to Serendipity is this great little café run by the whistling Michelle Roberts. ‘The Cro’, as it is known to locals, is a haven for food lovers and offers breakfast and lunch, both served with a dash of humour, attitude and friendliness.
Oh and then there’s the view – sit outside, soak up the sun and the lake views, or sit inside and admire the quirky décor and perhaps some local art might be available for purchase.
Breakfast choices can be as simple as eggs on toast or maybe a gourmet delight involving goats cheese and figs – Michelle often has seasonal specials which are well worth casing. Complement your breakfast or lunch (hamburgers, wraps etc. also available) with a coffee, a tea or a delicious smoothie. And there’s cake too – a piece to share or a piece just for you. Whatever you have, it will be delicious and filling; no skimpy meals here.
If you are just after a coffee or a matcha tea and it is a beautiful day, then pop around the corner to Origami Coffee on Dorron Avenue, and meet Takeshi.
This is an outdoor café with comfortable seating in a pleasant garden setting. Popular with the locals, particularly the Mums.
Takeshi does not serve food, coffee is his specialty and he does it well. Takeaway cups only, but the best recyclable quality available. If you are on your own, ask Takeshi to loan you a book or a magazine from his little library, then you can browse as you sip. Alternatively, try your hand at the craft of Origami whilst you wait for your coffee to be made. Open 6.30 to 11.30, closed Tuesdays.
Now take a stroll up to Maurice Avenue and visit this stunning Art Gallery, located within the Croajingolong Centre for Communication and the Arts.
The Gallery is housed in a new purpose-built building which also serves as the location for the local community radio station 3MGB (101.7).
There is something for everyone in the Gallery, and you will find it very difficult to leave empty handed. Beautiful paintings, woodwork and ceramics, stunning jewellery and a selection of cards featuring the work of local artists.
The Gallery holds regular exhibition openings and if you are in town for one of those you are in luck. Put on your finest and join the locals who love to ‘frock up’ (well the women that is) for a special occasion. Or you may find there is a workshop being run, check out what is on offer but don’t miss visiting whatever you do.
That’s just a taste of what Mallacoota has to offer, I haven’t even touched on the superb natural environment. Take a detour off the Highway, you won’t regret it.
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