A short birthday holiday: Inverloch and Phillip Island

This past week saw us take off on an early ‘summer’ holiday.  Early, because we like to go on holidays when school kids are still in school, so holiday venues and tourist spots are not crowded.  And ‘summer’ there is in quotes because the night before we left, I checked weather forecasts, unpacked most of the summer gear and replaced it with winter clothing.  Because we saw this weather most of the time we were away:

inverloch weather

The drive there had lots of this:

Melbourne to Inverloch

Melbourne to Inverloch

DeeW has turned six and her birthday was on the second day of our holiday.  A couple of days before we’d ordered a cake from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop and ate it with family and packed the leftovers.  Delicious!

Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop unicorn milkshake cake

We received some discount specials on accommodation in Inverloch and Phillip Island so when we booked them over a month ago, we assumed we’d have some nice warm weather and hang out at the beach swimming.  Ha! Regardless, they’re both great holiday spots.  Here was our view from our fancy pants (as in, we got a big fat discount) cabin in Inverloch:

inverloch cabin

inverloch cabin

The cabin, before we messed it up.  I took care to enjoy this one, because our cabin in Phillip Island was kinda divey in comparison:

inverloch cabin

We walked along the beaches admiring shells and rock formations:

inverloch1

inverloch10

inverloch9

We went to the shell museum which had a fantastic collection and good information for kids and adults alike:

Shell museum Inverloch

Shell museum Inverloch

Shell museum Inverloch

Pretty green shells!

Shell museum Inverloch

I found a store called Green Heart Organics.  Although not vegan, there were a lot of products you’d find in many vegan kitchens such as my own:

Green Heart Organics Inverloch

Green Heart Organics Inverloch

Nearby were these tile mosaics:

Inverloch tile mosaics

We drove up to Korumburra to visit Coal Creek Community Park and Museum, which showcases life from the 1870s to the 1920s after coal was discovered in the region.  Not everything was open (we missed out on a train ride) but there was still much to see and learn.  Most of the staff are volunteers.  Photo time!

Coal Creek Korumburra

The spinners room.  I felt a bit embarrassed taking a photo of the two women in period costume because I was talking to them and felt awkward doing the whole “say, can I take a photo?” thing, even though they have a million photos taken:

Coal Creek Korumburra

I wanted to steal this dear little housey:

Coal Creek Korumburra

Shoes!

Coal Creek Korumburra

Truly vintage hair styling tools:

Coal Creek Korumburra

The music school:

Coal Creek Korumburra

The general store, where I had a lovely conversation with the woman there.  She was very complimentary of the homeschool kids that come in which was fantastic to hear.  Too often we get a lot of silly comments, so when people in an education role are very positive and tell you how much they enjoy working with the home ed kids, it’s very special:

Coal Creek Korumburra general store

Coal Creek Korumburra general store

Coal Creek Korumburra general store

 Coal Creek Korumburra general store

Coal Creek General Store

DeeW made a friend:

Coal Creek Korumburra

Inside the Pig and Whistle Cafe (no vegan options unfortunately, but I didn’t expect anything different as such places rarely have vegan food):

Coal Creek Korumburra Pig and Whistle Cafe

As usual, I walk around taking photos of doors, wood paneling and windows:

Coal Creek Korumburra

Coal Creek Korumburra

From Inverloch, we drove to Phillip Island.  Phillip Island is famous for the penguin parade, motor sports events, Australia’s largest fur seal colony as well as beaches and being a great holiday spot in general.  We only had two days there,which is hardly any time at all.  We did go to the penguin parade which was pretty good, though you are not allowed to take any photos, flash or not, so unfortunately I don’t have any to share with you. Here’s an image from the official Phillip Island tourism website (clicking on the image will take you there):

Phillip Island penguin parade

We walked along the beaches, though it was quite cold so we didn’t stay there long:

Cowes beach

Amaze’n Things has a maze, mini golf, puzzles, vertical drop slide and whacky zany rooms.  There was the anti gravity room, which had a warning sign about possibly feeling nauseous.  I felt nauseous alright.  I had to get out of there as I get motion sickness easily.  Arthur and DeeW liked the big tap outside.  I would quite happily put something like this on my house, but more so if it was a teapot pouring:

Amaze'n Things tap

Amaze'n Things mini golf

Arthur and DeeW said their favourite place was the Phillip Island Panny Chocolate Factory.  What’s not to love about free samples, and printing out squiggles of (non-vegan) chocolate that you can eat? Husband liked it too.  Me, I tend to be pretty mehhh about these kinds of places but had to admit it was better than I expected.  These games, where you could win these wooden balls then exchange them for chocolate, were pretty addictive:

Panny Chocolate Factory

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Not to be outdone, I bought myself vegan dark peppermint chocolate:

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Some old advertisements for chocolate.  The photos are larger so you can read the print.  Even if you can’t be bothered, just remember that MOTHER IS THE QUARTERMASTER– THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OVER RATIONS:

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory vintage chocolate ads

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory vintage chocolate ads

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory vintage chocolate ads

Panny Phillip Island Chocolate Factory vintage chocolate ads

On the way back to Melbourne, we stopped off at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine and went on the underground tour.  This was really interesting, just when you think you know all about the horrible conditions miners had to work in, you learn some new information that makes you realise it was worse than you previously thought:

Wonthaggi State Coal Mine

We visited Cobber the pit pony, who hadn’t done a day’s work in his life apparently:

Cobber the Pit Pony at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine

Before we left home, I had prepared a lot of meals for myself in anticipation of zero vegan dining options.  Here’s a selection of What I Ate.

Beefy Asparagus Stir Fry from Isa Does It.  I used salt-and-peppered soy chunks:

Isa Does It Beefy Asparagus Stir Fry

Also from Isa Does It, the Roasted Vegetable Romesco Sandwich:

roastedcauliromescosandwich

Pasta with walnut mince made with walnuts, olive oil, tamari and oregano, mixed in with some tofu bacon and the leftover romesco sauce:

walnut mince tofu bacon spaghetti

I brought along a supply of muffins made with kamut flour and some biscuits:

vegan muffins and biscuits

I took my blender along so I could keep a smoothie in the car during the day.  I only made two smoothies.  Next time, no blender:

smoothie

I had made some blueberry waffles at home and frozen them for the holiday:

blueberry waffles

In Inverloch we had pizza dinner for DeeW’s birthday.  The pizza bases were vegan so I got myself a vegie-minus-cheese pizza.  Vegan pizzas like this from standard pizza joints tend to be bland, but this pizza joint on A’Beckett Steet (it might have been called The Pizza Pasta Place, with a large eat-in area) poured some minced garlic over the top which was a tasty touch:

Inverloch vegan pizza

Sausage sizzle, vegan style:

vegan sausage sizzle

I made myself a Fry’s burger with some kale and roasted red peppers:

Frys vegan burger

In Phillip Island I was happy to find Cowes Indian restaurant, located at 134 Thompson Avenue in Cowes.  I went in and asked if their vegetarian dishes were vegan and the friendly fellow there said they could make up whatever I liked.  I got the Baingan Masala (eggplant cooked with, peas, onions and tomatoes) with a serving of coconut rice and plain roti.  The leftovers were eaten for breakfast:

Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant

My meal was lovely, I ate there on my own while Husband, Arthur and DeeW sat across the road in the pizza parlour.  Bliss!

Cowes Tandoori Indian Restaurant

I found some gelato that appeared vegan when I checked the ingredients list:

Vegan Gelato in Cowes

I also had another vegan pizza from Jessie’s Pizza.  The chap at the counter was very friendly and told me what the bases were made from and he would use different gloves to make my pizza.  When he brought it out to me he said he used a new pizza cutter.  That’s big to me, lots of places don’t understand why you don’t want hands or cutters that have touched animal products to touch your food:

jessiespizza1

One big thing I realised on this family holiday was that Mum wasn’t really on a holiday.  Mum often still has to wash up, cook, clean, deal with arguing children, make sure everyone has jackets and water bottles and so on.  Arthur, DeeW and Husband are very forgetful about such things.  I knew there were some op shops in Cowes so I said to Husband see you all later, I’m going to the op shops.  From the Rotary op shop I bought some old glass jars, a round silicone cake tin and some books:

old glass jars

op shop Australiana books

I found this tennis set in an antiques and collectables store and bought it for my brother in law for Christmas.  He likes tea with biscuits and cake so I think this will suit him fine:

Alfred Meakin tennis set

For myself, I bought this magazine rack from another collectables store.  I think I’ll put my library books in there:

old wooden magazine holder

I bought this carnival glass bowl in a lovely collectables shop in Korumburra which unfortunately is closing down. All stock was discounted.  There was soooo much I wanted but I knew I really wanted a new fruit bowl so this is what I chose:

carnival blue glass bowl

carnival blue glass bowl

As nice as it is to get away on a short break, I am really happy to be home!  I have about six loads of washing to get done and I am determined more than ever that we will follow the One Bag approach to travelling light when we go on our big dream trip– you only pack one carry on bag.  No checked luggage!  We took a big suitcase on this holiday and I said to Husband there is NO WAY I am taking suitcases on an overseas holiday.  My sister and brother in law went on a ten week Europe/US adventure following One Bag advice and they said it was the best thing ever and will never go back to checked luggage.  These days, with easy dry crease free travel clothing and garments by companies like ScottEVest, it’s not difficult.

Okay, speaking of all that washing, I best get to it.  I have all this washing and folding plus all the other travel bits and pieces to put away.  Which often involves sorting through brochures I picked up, wondering why on earth I grabbed them in the first place!

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12 thoughts on “A short birthday holiday: Inverloch and Phillip Island

  1. Nice to have you back too! Sounds like an interesting trip – and nice to be able to go outside school holidays – I will really miss that when sylvia is at school next year! Your food looks really good – and I love how you made sure you had a bit of me time. We were in Philip Island just before Sylvia was born and it was just lovely but the penguins were outnumbered by tourists – easily – when we went to see them. I am not sure I could do the one bag holiday but I am not sure I could carry a backpack around like I used to.

    • my husband is highly doubtful of the one bag when it comes to the kids, though my argument is “it would be easier, their clothes are smaller!” I think I could do it for myself, my sister is a convert and my brother in law said how much travel becomes stress free when you don’t have checked luggage. I know in the past when we did short plane trips with cabin baggage only I really loved it 🙂 Our trip was fun, the op shopping was the best!

  2. So that’s where you’ve been! Looks like you had a great time. Did you know they have dinosaur fossils in Inverloch? My kids used to be members of Junior Field Naturalists, when they were about the same age as your kids. We went on a family camp down there and saw fossils AND a tiger snake! Wish we’d been to Coal Creek though, it looks gorgeous.

    • We’d love to do the Dinosaur Dreaming dig but they’re not running it next year 😦 It’s such a great place though and I love the dino history, I think we’ll definitely try to sign up and get involved 🙂

  3. Wow sounds like you had a lovely holiday with lots of yummy food! I love it when regular pizza places do vegan bases and plenty of tasty veggie toppings. Inverloch is beautiful, I visited there recently myself and was also very surprised/happy to discover Green Heart Organics. Also love Historical Museums – did not know about that one – so will have to visit it sometime!

  4. Wow, you got a lot of activity in on your little vacay! It looks like so much fun. The scenery is gorgeous…and you bought some great treasures too! My kind of trip. My grandfather was a coal miner so I would be interested in that tour. And I am so impressed with the food you packed! I would have brought a bunch of protein bars and that’s about it. 😉

  5. Hi veganopoulous, I spent some time at Phillip Island with extended family recently and as I’ve been so slack with my own blog recently I wanted to add some other eating options to your post in case other vegans read this before heading down that way…

    We were pleasantly surprised (and really couldn’t believe our eyes) when we stumbled upon clearly labelled wholemeal vegan pies and pasties at the San Remo Bakehouse which is located in the township just before you cross the bridge to Phillip Island. The pastie had a TVP and vegetable filing and the pie was filled with veggies in a nice gravy and topped with mashed sweet potato. They weren’t the most amazing vegan baked goods I’ve eaten but they were very filling and I was thankful to find them.

    I was a bit hesitant about dining out at the Phillip Island RSL in Cowes with family but even though there wasn’t anything that was vegan on the menu, the staff were very willing to accommodate our needs by making some adjustments to the vegetarian dishes. I ate a nice eggplant parmigiana (minus the cheese) with chips and veg and my husband had a tofu and veg stir-fry with rice instead of the usual egg noodles.

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