A Few Days in Apollo Bay

This week we packed up the family and headed to Apollo Bay, via the inland route.  No vomitty winding Great Ocean Road for me!  Sure, the Great Ocean Road has stunning scenery but the drive freaks me out and I always feel sick.

Our route took us through the beautiful Otway Ranges:




My sister’s partner has a little getaway home in the Otways so we stayed there for one night.  He and I share a love of collecting old knick knacks, especially stuff people throw out.  Like these armchairs (there are two), couldn’t belieeeeeve it when I saw someone ad left them outside on the grass for hard rubbish collection. MINE:


And this kitchen table (the chairs were re-upholstered):


Someone threw this cabinet out on to the street for hard waste collection.  Can you believe it???  My sister’s partner sanded it back and repainted it:


Here are some of the treasures he has found:


More window views.  It was so nice to wake up and see this out the windows:



Food!  I made myself enough rice and mock meat rendang packet mix curry (with heaps of veg thrown in) to last me a few days:


I made a banana zucchini bread sweetened only with the (overripe) bananas, date puree and currants:


Some store bought apple pies.  DeeW didn’t want any.  More for me which is always good:


These mugs and saucers are from an op shop.  I started my day with some green tea, a lemon biscuit and some buckwheat topped with nuts, pumpkin seeds and dates. Gotta have a biscuit to balance out all the healthy stuff…


From the Otways we made our way down to Apollo Bay:


Apollo Bay is a coastal town in the southwestern region of Victoria.  It’s a popular tourist destination but isn’t as crazy-busy-touristy as other seaside towns on the Great Ocean Road.  We holidayed there a few times when I was a child.  Currently we are in the school holidays here so there were quite a lot of people around.  We stayed in a holiday park cabin, here’s the view from the verandah:


More food.  I had anticipated a lack of vegan food options in Apollo Bay, which is why I made so much veg curry and rice for myself.  Smart move, because there was hardly anything.  By the third day I was so sick of my curry and rice.  So off I went in search of something, ANYTHING that could be made vegan.

I found a hawker style place where they were able to make me a stir fry of rice noodles with tofu, veg, garlic and soy sauce.  It was a biggish takeaway serve.  Unfortunately they must have used half a bottle of oil. Gahhh.  It was so oily that I began to feel queasy after three mouthfuls.  This always happens when I have a sudden intake of oily foods like this.  I ate some more because I was still hungry but in the end I gave up halfway:


We walked along the jetty with me thinking “do I bin these noodles or hope I fare better tomorrow?”  They cost about $13 and I didn’t want to waste food.  My stomach got worse and Husband wisely advised “if it makes you feel sick, throw it away”.  So I did, in a bin along the jetty. Goodbye, disgusting noodles.


The next day I was determined to go in to every food store and find something vegan.  I looked at every menu option.  The vegetarian dishes all had egg or cheese and not able to be veganised (even so, they were ridiculously overpriced to begin with, thank you coastal towns with good tourist trade):


The very last place I tried was a fruit and veg mini market at the end of the main street.  Everything looked lovely but expensive and I wanted something for a meal, not a fruit snack. In the end I was so glum and sooky about it all that I ended up buying a tub of salted cashews and a packet of gluten free chips. It was quite a pathetic situation. Then I sat down outside somewhere, opened the chips, thought they tasted awful and just sat there feeling a bit sorry for myself. This is the first time I have ever encountered going somewhere where there are ZERO options for me.  I know I know, first world problems and all. For me, a good holiday experience includes food and so it was a bit blergh to realise there was absolutely nothing I could have, apart from fruit and nuts.  Not only that, so many of the food stores there had unfriendly staff who just couldn’t be bothered or were just plain vague.  I went to one place with Arthur to buy him a croissant.  It took three people there to decide WHAT SIZE PLATE TO SERVE IT ON.  I couldn’t believe it.  Then they had to hunt around for a pair of tongs. Then all fuss over the cash register showing the new employee how to use it.  You know those times when you’re in a situation and you’re saying to yourself “this can’t be happening, it’s just too bizarre”?  That’s what it was like, after ten minutes standing there watching this I was going to say hey just give us the croissant in a serviette and it’s cool. But they finally decided on the correct size plate… yay.

The family ate their dinner at a pizza/takeaway food place.  When we got back to the cabin I ended up making a packet of pasta with a bottled pasta sauce I’d also brought along from home “just in case”.  Thank goodness I’d bought some of the tofu bacon I’d made.  It was delicious (the bacon, not the bottled sauce.  But I was so hungry it was the BEST MEAL IN THE WORLD):


On our last day, I made myself some porridge and sat out on the verandah. I tried to bling up the porridge a bit cos I was listening to nice crashy waves sounds. Yay, porridge.


Then we went off to Skenes Creek for the second time.  The first time, we built a little dam:


On our second visit we looked at shells and the super cool rock formations:


On the way home we stopped in at Otway NouriShed in the town of Ferguson.  I have seen a few writeups here and there and wanted to take a look.  NouriShed have a nice supply of jams, chutneys and that kind of stuff I drool over but I know that when I buy things like this I rarely use them:





Although there weren’t any vegan options for me there either, the woman behind the counter was very nice and I loved the layout and would happily go back there for a quiet cup of tea.

* * *

It was nice to go away for a little while but there’s no place like home.  I’m glad to be back where the shower works properly, the toilet flushes with confience and the water tastes good! And where I can find vegan food easily.

If you’re a fellow vegan who has experienced success finding vegan food in Apollo Bay, please leave a comment!

16 thoughts on “A Few Days in Apollo Bay

  1. I’m sorry about your food experience, but then again I am too jealous to feel very bad for you. 😉 To have those views within driving distance? Amazing! Apollo Bay looks incredible.

    I really CANNOT believe that someone threw out that cabinet. What a lucky find.

  2. Sorry to hear about your bad food experience in what sounds like an otherwise great holiday. We stayed nearby at Johanna beach last year and after surveying the shops in Apollo Bay we decided to stick with self catering as vegan food options didn’t look promising. Unless I can find a Happy Cow review or blog post about a location, I assume there will be no options and bring my own along.

    • Yep 🙁 I did the mad Happy Cow search and wasn’t impressed with the one place listed as vegetarian friendly. Next time I’ll take a wider variety of food for myself and not assume I’ll find something, otherwise I’ll be in for another rude shock!

  3. Oh what a shame about the food. I love my holidays to be about good food too. And I think it you have to pay silly tourist prices it should mean that there are all dietary requirements catered for too. that’s fair! But I think self catering is great sometimes to get you through a holiday where the food is meh and the views are marvellous! Love love love the great ocean road (apart from the idiots who think it is a racetrack) and I love the Otways too. Going there is good for the soul.

    Love all the recycled stuff in the BIL’s house. Am curious about if the chairs reupholstery was expensive – I am wondering what to do about our old vinyl chairs – they are so cool but in sad condition.

      • I’m afraid we resorted to cooking our own meals! Though we did find a great veggie burger and soy cappuccino in Lorne at ‘The Bottle of Milk.’ And we found that The Ridge Café in Beech Forest, in the Otways, were very flexible and adjusted the meals to ensure we had vegan options (it’d be worth ringing ahead to ask them to make something vegan a day or two in advance).