The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Gipsy Point and Mallacoota – Nothing Special, but Wonderful in Its Simplicity

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on March 27, 2010

To be fair, the breakfast we made (I made) in Swan Reach was adequate at best.  I burned my toast (the Wife likes hers a little more done), the over easy eggs became scrambled, and I really had no idea how to cook Australian bacon, and still don’t.  We made our way through breakfast, and it wasn’t AWFUL, just not great.  Then we loaded up the car, and started on our shortest leg of the trip, to Gipsy Point (two-hours).

The trip was nice and easy, and I welcomed a short trip for once.  Several of our other legs have been between five and six hours, which is fine from time to time, but every day gets a little old.  When we finally arrived in Gipsy Point, we didn’t find much at all.  In fact, I don’t think there IS anything in Gipsy Point.  There’s a Lodge and the Gipsy Point Lakeside Luxury Apartments.  We actually decided to go explore what Gipsy Point had to offered, and quickly met with a dead end at the end of the short road.

So there we were, with our luxury apartment.  Despite the lack of external amenities, the apartment itself was very nice.  In many ways, it was nicer than Chestnut Hill in Swan Reach, but it lacked both the hospitality and seclusion of the studio at the Chestnut Hill Country Retreat.

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Once again, a nice seating area.

IMG_7366 A full kitchen.

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A nice bedroom.

IMG_7372A nice, large bathroom.IMG_7368 A HUGE, covered deck on the back, with both chaise lounges and a deck table.

IMG_7369 IMG_7373And a washer AND dryer.  This is the first dryer I’d seen in Australia.  The Wife was very excited to see this.  She was going to do some laundry today.

And, as always, another nice view.

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The blue haze is actually smoke.  We’re not sure if it was a natural brushfire or if it was part of a controlled burn, but there was lots of smoke during most of our road trip.  Once we got to the lake, the smoke was still there, hanging over the water.

The apartments also had some great community amenities.

IMG_7593 A nice pool, with a view of the lake.

IMG_7594 A BBQ directly adjacent to the pool.

IMG_7588 And a beautiful dining room.  You didn’t need a reservation, per se, but you did need to let them know you would be coming.  I believe I saw the chef come around to a couple of the other apartments to verify the guests were still planning on coming to dinner, and to consult on the menu options.  Seemed interesting, but just didn’t speak to us.

We moved our stuff in, and we were hungry (it was after 3 pm at this point), and as there was nothing in Gipsy Point (to include a servo), we figured we’d go look elsewhere.  About 15 km away was the town of Mallacoota.  We got in the car and headed for Mallacoota.

Once in Mallacoota, we checked out what the town had to offer.  Sorry for the pictures, I forgot to adjust the white balance.

IMG_7375 This is what the main street of probably 70% of the sizable towns we have seen look like.  A series of small, one-story, mismatched buildings, each providing a different service.  There were two servos, a handful of restaurants and cafes, and TWO grocery stores, as well as a butcher, bottle shop, and bakery.  It was a very nice town.  We could tell, though, walking around, that Mallacoota was a tourist town.  Not so much folks like us from some other country, but a lot of domestic vacationers.  A lot of boats on trailers, for example.

We went to the grocery store, thinking that we might make dinner again.  We really didn’t see anything that called to us, though.  We would have like, perhaps, some veggies and hummus, but we really couldn’t find any produce that really looked great.  We considered trying Australian Mac n’ Cheese, but we didn’t want to go through the process of buying butter and milk.  We did find something that we were surprised to see.

IMG_7379 It wasn’t what we first thought, though.  It was a mixture that was added to hamburger to spice it up and promote its self-adhesion.  Interesting, but somehow less exciting.

IMG_7376 We looked around at the restaurants, and several of them were closed at 4 pm, and didn’t open until 5:30 or 6 pm.  We were hungry, and only had a couple options.  We found “Lucy’s.”  Lucy was Asian (Chinese?), and specialized in homemade noodles and steamed dumplings.

Before we had lunch, the Wife decided she needed to get a post out.  I asked my brother about internet access in Australia when we were planning our trip, and he said, “Yeah, yeah, you won’t have any problems finding internet.”  Well, internet has been hard to come by, generally, and pretty pricey when we’ve found it.  In general, most hotels charge between $15-$30 AUD for internet access, and many charge by the kB.  After our first hotel that was charging by the kB, we went out and purchased a pre-paid wireless data card through Telstra (the Australian telecom provider).

It’s turned out to be a great purchase.  We can both use it (separately), and it was expensive (we had to buy the card and then pay by the kB), but in the long run, we’ve definitely saved a lot of money using it.  It does have the drawback that it needs to be on the cellular network, though.  Gipsy Point did not have any cellular coverage, so another reason to head to Mallacoota was to get some internet access.

IMG_7384 Note the Bundaberg Ginger Beer the Wife is enjoying.  =)

IMG_7392We ordered a half dozen pork dumplings and a couple of noodle bowls.  I think we were overcharged for the dumplings, and I’m pretty sure that we ended up with the vegetarian dumplings instead of pork dumplings.  They were pretty good, but I would have liked pork dumplings.  They were good enough that I got through two before I remembered to take a picture, though, so I guess that’s saying something.

IMG_7393 I had the pork noodles.  They were good, but they were REALLY good once I put some spicy chili sauce on them.  We’ve noticed that the Australians are not big on spicy food, which has been a little bit of a disappointment.  THIS chili sauce, though, was the real deal, and really made the homemade noodles “pop.”

IMG_7395 The Wife had the prawn (shrimp) noodles.  She enjoyed hers, but not as much I as I enjoyed mine.  She said the broth was way too salty.  That may have been true for mine, too, but I couldn’t taste it over the spice.   =)

After lunch, we decided we would skip dinner.  It was about 4:15, and we figured we really wouldn’t be too hungry at any point, so we bought a couple of desserts, and figured we would have them at some point during the evening.

So we headed back to the apartment, right about sundown.  The Wife was anxious to enjoy a quiet, relaxing afternoon on the back deck with her book (she’s voraciously reading the Twilight series) and a nice afternoon tea.  I, however, had seen in the information book in the room said that we may very well see kangaroos come through the grounds of the apartments.  I was very excited, so I asked at the front desk where I might be most likely to see some Kangaroos.  The young woman at the counter looked at me strangely, and said, “Aren’t they right there?”

“Uhhhh… right where?” I asked.

“Right outside across the road.  There are usually about 50 that come down from the woods to the field across the street”  She responded.

I turned around, and sure enough, there were probably 10 right across the street.  I felt sheepish, but my sheepishness was overcome by my excitement for more native animals.

I went back to the room to collect my camera.  As I came back to the front desk area, I passed the bird feeder.  I saw a couple bright birds… right there!

IMG_7482 This, I believe, is called a Rosella.

IMG_7516 And people have told us this is a lorikeet.  Not to be confused with a parakeet or parrot, which we thought they might be.  I apologize, but I’m not an ornithologist.

IMG_7534 By the time I got back, there were at least twice as many kangaroos.

IMG_7536 They had taken up residence in a couple different small fields. IMG_7561 I was able to get pretty close to them, and they would look at me, but really didn’t fret much.  I didn’t push my luck with them, but I certainly came within 25 feet.  I didn’t really want to get mauled by one, so I figured that was close enough.

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While the Wife was reading her book, I had to get a picture to show that I was really there.  I set up the tripod, and took one last shot.

IMG_7576 I headed down to the water (about 50 meters away), and took a picture over the water before the light disappeared.

So I headed back to the apartment, and grabbed my book.  I am reading a book called And a Bottle of Rum, about rum’s impact on American history.  I poured a cup of tea, and we relaxed for several hours.  The front desk also had DVDs to borrow, so I had grabbed a couple of them during my visit.  As it was getting particularly dark, we decided to watch “Romancing the Stone”,” which the Wife had never seen.

We enjoyed our desserts and another treat we had picked up.

IMG_7628 It’s remarkably common for the drinks to be sold, pre-mixed.  We had seen several “Bundy and Cola”s, but we hadn’t had one yet.  The front desk had them for sale for a very reasonable $3.50 AUD, so I picked a couple up for us.  The desserts were wonderful.  The drinks… were fine.  They were very well-mixed, but the cola tasted almost flat.  We figured that was probably on purpose to some kind of Australian taste.  We both finished ours, but figured we probably wouldn’t try another.  Interestingly, they also had Johnny Walker drinks, and I think I saw an Smirnoff pre-mixed drink (not a malted beverage, but a pre-mixed vodka and “Sprite”).

It was all very interesting, but most important, it was all very relaxing and wonderfully enjoyable.  While Gipsy Point didn’t have much to offer, we took advantage of everything it had.

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One Response to “Gipsy Point and Mallacoota – Nothing Special, but Wonderful in Its Simplicity”

  1. Bec said

    The second bird you have pictured is a rainbow lorikeet. Thought you’d like to know, because it’s way more fun to say lorikeet than parakeet. 🙂 Nice pic — we saw a lot of them, but I was never able to get close enough to get that nice a photo of one.

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