The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Swan Reach, Metung, and Dinner In at the Chestnut Hill Country Retreat

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on March 26, 2010

After a lovely brekky in Mornington, we headed off to Swan Reach.  We really weren’t sure what to expect with Swan Reach.  What would be there?  Another resort?  Beach town?  Surfing town?  A fishing town?

Once our GPS guided us successfully to our accommodations, we knew where we were.

IMG_7311We had arrived at the Chestnut Hill Country Retreat.  It was a cute little bed and breakfast on the outskirts of Swan Reach.

IMG_7129 We were met at the door before getting out of the car, by the B&B’s proprietress, Pearl Findlay-James.  She invited us in as if we were swinging by for an afternoon tea, and asked us how our trip was.  She had a cat in her arms, which made both the Wife and I miss our cats at home.

We had booked a room in the main house, but since we were visiting Australia for our anniversary, and they had availability that night, we were offered a studio suite.  We were excited for the upgrade, and expected some kind of in-law suite at the house.  Not so!  Elsewhere on the property was a standalone bungalow, just waiting for us.

IMG_7123 It even had a carport!

We went inside, and were ecstatic with all the amenities.


A spacious living area.

IMG_7106 A full kitchen, with a gas stove.  We don’t even have a gas stove back in Charlotte!

IMG_7108That little item between the microwave and the refrigerator… a clothes washer!!!

When packing for a five-week trip, you can’t pack separate clothes for every day.  Compound that with packing for nearly every major climate (coast, mountain, desert, tropical rain forest, temperate rain forest, and tropical island, keeping in mind we’re in both summer and winter climates, since we’re crossing the equator), it’s hard to “pack light.”  Getting laundry done has been a challenge at best.  We haven’t had full access to a clothes washer since we were in Sydney at my brother’s house.  With a clothesline outside, and laundry detergent in the cupboard, we were VERY excited.

IMG_7112 The studio also included a complete, but remarkably narrow bathroom.

IMG_7109A two-person spa with a look over the lawn.

IMG_7115 A wonderful, quiet deck with BBQ.

IMG_7116 And an amazing view of the river and a distant pasture.  The building on the left is another studio apartment.

We even had a nice bottle of sparkling wine from the region waiting for us.

IMG_7231 The stage was set for a wonderful evening.  We couldn’t wait.  We popped down into Metung, which was just down the road, to see what was happening.  Pearl had recommended a couple restaurants for us, but the Wife and I were so excited to have a full kitchen, we thought we’d take a look, but would probably end up seeing if we could find a grocery store.

Metung was a nice little community.  It was quiet on a river peninsula.  We took a couple pictures.

IMG_7215 Metung was pleasant and small, but it did have a little grocery store and four small restaurants.  Pearl told us that two of the restaurants coordinate with one another to make sure that something is open after 6 pm for visitors.   The restaurants closed during the afternoon.  Relatively speaking, Metung was a bustling metropolis to many of the towns we’ve been to.

I don’t know that it’s easy to articulate exactly how small some of these towns are.  As an example, though, on our way up to Cairns, we passed through a town that had about 350 people in it.  It had two servos (gas stations), and a couple houses, and that was it.  The thing is, it had been on the highway signs for over 70 kilometers as the next “town.”  These towns aren’t much bigger than the tiny dot they occupy on the regional map.

IMG_7216 We did manage to get a picture of us out by the water, though.

IMG_7171 We found a grocery store, which closed at 6 pm, so we popped in and shopped quickly (we got there around 5:40 pm).

IMG_7223 We looked around, and talked about what to have.  We decided on some pasta with “Bolognese” (not really, just ground beef poured into mushroom and tomato sauce).  I also bought a bottle of Shiraz, as I’m not a sparkling wine fan, but wanted to have something for the evening together.

IMG_7227 Once we got back to the B&B, we were ready to make some dinner.

IMG_7231 Thanks to Pearl for providing us with some locally-made sparking wine!

IMG_7233 We started with some cheese and water crackers.

IMG_7240 Then dinner was ready, and the Wife insisted we take another picture… or something like that.  =)

Dinner was good, but not great.  It was a nice change, though, because we made it together, it didn’t cost us too much, and it was nice fresh pasta.

After dinner, we cuddled up and enjoyed the sunset.

IMG_7277 After the sunset, we eventually had some dessert; vanilla ice cream and Tim Tams.  THAT was spectacular, and a wonderful ending to the evening.

In the morning, the refrigerator had all the accoutrements for a complete breakfast.  We made eggs, toast, and Australian bacon (different from American bacon).  I collected my drying clothes, and we headed out for Gipsy Point.

We had a wonderful time.  The Chestnut Hill Country Retreat, lead by Pearl, showed us wonderful hospitality.  It was a great waypoint on our journey up to Sydney.


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