Last weekend we took the baby girl on her first cross-border road trip. The occasion was a family Christmas party, and the destination was the New South Wales town of Corowa on the banks of the Murray.
We left Melbourne on Saturday morning, with Granny joining us for the ride, and after a couple of hours driving it was time for lunch and a stretch. We stopped in Avenel and stumbled across Bank Street Wood Fired Pizza and Garden. This was a wonderful find. The pizzas were tasty, high chairs were aplenty, and the gorgeous garden setting even had a little pond. The crowd was a mix of ladies luncheons and families. Our girl had a blast crawling around the grass and playing with leaves, which thankfully managed to tire her out for a snooze on the second leg of our drive.
After another couple of hours on the road, we departed Victorian soil, crossed the Murray, and found ourselves in Corowa. We checked into the Corowa Caravan Park, which had only just reopened after recent spring flooding. Our cabin wasn’t flash, but for about $100 we had two queen bedrooms (with enough space for a portacot), a clean and modern bathroom, and a separate toilet. We didn’t try the on-site pool, but we did have a look at one of the park’s two playgrounds. (Verdict: not much on offer for pre-walkers.)
Lazy, late afternoon drinks followed at the sprawling lawns of All Saints Estate on the Victorian side of the river, where we sipped pinot grigio from plastic glasses while a nearby wedding party provided people watching distraction. In between stuffing her face with banana, the baby girl enjoyed cruising around the grass and watching ducks splashing in the pond (pictured above).
Dinner was at the enormous Corowa RSL club, where I rolled my eyes a little at the vegetarian main (the good old roast vegetable and rosti stack) but it was actually pretty tasty. The kids menu was all meat and chips, but the kitchen was happy to do an extra side of steamed veggies and potatoes for the baby, which she loved. In other kids stuff, there were at least three high chairs, and a large fenced-in playground.
The following morning we tried to find a nice place for breakfast but discovered that most cafes didn’t open till 9am on a Sunday. We ended up at the Corowa Bakery, along with everyone else in town. The place was jumping! We joined the queue and ordered coffee, pies and white bread sandwiches, which were all quite satisfying, but the staff were a little grumpy for my liking.
It was then off to the family Christmas party, which was a lovely catch up that included a barbecue lunch. After the party, we were back in the car for the drive back to Melbourne. The baby slept almost the entire three hours home, which has got to be one of the best ways to finish up a weekend road trip.