Bamaga Tavern

Eating Out : Bamaga Tavern, Bamaga QLD

Bamaga Tavern


We had already visited the westernmost pub in Denham, and now that we had been to the Tip of Australia, it was time to find the northernmost pub.  That pub is the Bamaga Tavern.


We lingered town around until midday, not only because we’re trying to avoid drinking before midday, but also because that is when the pub opens.  There were already a few guys in the large hall drinking XXXX Gold and having a look around the place.  We reckon they were travellers too, and were just as eager to visit the northernmost pub as we were.  In the drinking hall was a pool table and dart boards with blackboards that had the chalk scribbles of recent games, as well as a jukebox.


Bamaga Tavern


It took about 10 minutes before we were finally served– the drive-thru was busy now that they were open.  We found that they don’t sell any bottled beverages or wine, so we settled with beer and took our tinnies out into the beer garden, which was decorated with gazebos, coconut palms and a grazing horse.


We ordered some lunch as well – Juz went with the standard chicken parma ($18) while Dave got a plain chicken schnitzel ($15).  Both of the schnitzels were cooked until the crumbing was dark and tough, but despite being overcooked, the actual chicken meat was nice and juicy.  Juz’s parma was topped with delicious, thick ham, a slightly acidic and immature tomato sauce, and melted cheese.  The salad was nice and fresh with a sprinkle of sliced kalamata olives, and the chips were big and crisp.



Our experience at the Bamaga Tavern was interesting.  The canteen-style service was a little odd, especially with the only drinks available being in cans – no bottled beer, beer on tap, bottled or goon wine, and no spirits.  We couldn’t figure out whether the horse in the beer garden was a pet or a stray – there are so many horses that stroll around Cape York towns and communities.  Also, someone needs to tell the person at the fryer to take it easy with the schnitzels.


Bamaga Tavern



Eating Out : Tattersalls Hotel, Winton QLD



Juz’s birthday lunch happened at Tattersalls Hotel.  After spending the morning at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, we were looking forward to a yummy pub lunch and took a table outside to enjoy the town’s relaxed atmosphere.


Dave ordered the crumbed steak, which is kinda like a beef schnitzel.  It was huge and came with a side of chips and salad.  The chips could have done with a little more seasoning but the salad was nice and fresh.


Winton 2014-09-08 074


Juz’s chicken parma was small and a little overcooked but tasted great.  The bacon pieces added a great savoury flavour while the sweetness and acidity of the tomato sauce was well balanced.  Instead of chips and a salad, Juz got rosemary and garlic scalloped potatoes, which were delicious, and some buttered vegetables.


Our meals weren’t too expensive, considering we were in an outback town, and the Tattersalls bar wenches are friendly and know their way around the bar.


Winton 2014-09-08 076


Rolling yellow hills


The Schnitzels

When we left Melbourne, we believed there were two ways to enjoy a schnitzel – plain or with a parmigiana topping.  However, once we crossed the border, our minds were blown and schnitzel horizons expanded as the options for toppings became almost endless.


Onion gravy, creamy garlic sauce, mushroom sauce, pepper sauce, even gluten free gravy, topping options were coming out of our ears, and while SA’s idea of a ‘parmi’ is the tomato sauce with cheese – no ham – it was still tasty.



Another great thing about the schnitzels in SA is the Schnitzel Night at the local pubs.  Pay anywhere between $10 and $15 to score a golden schnitzel with unlimited access to the salad bar.  We’ve had many occasions where we’ve walked out uncomfortably full.


Streaky Bay Hotel Motel 

Middleton Tavern

Edinburgh Hotel


Free Bike Hire

We thought this service was great and allowed us to explore Adelaide in a day!  Adelaide City Bikes, an initiative run by BicycleSA, works towards building a healthier, greener city.  There are heaps of places around Adelaide where you can hire a bike for free, and if you need your bike for more than one day, you can organise a multi-day hire at a small price.



Bicycle SA is the main body that encourages recreational and commuter cycling in South Australia to promote a healthier and more active community.  They are an independent, not-for-profit association that organises biking events, tours, trail rides and free bike hire.  Membership to Bicycle SA has heaps of perks, such as discounts to all BikeSA events, discounts at supporting cycling stores, a subscription to the quarterly Cycle! Magazine, as well as comprehensive personal accident insurance and public liability.  What an awesome association!


Rock formations

South Australia is full of sinkholes and caves, thanks to the limestone that was formed on the ocean floor millions of years ago.  The craters and sinkholes in Mount Gambier were dressed beautifully with floral gardens while the Naracoorte Caves were filled with ancient fossils.  The breathing caves of the Nullarbor that were open for exploration and the eroded caverns along the coast of the Eyre Peninsula – we loved them all.




We had so much contact with animals, whether it was in the wild or captivity.


We always saw kangaroos hopping around in national parks and on the side of the road (dead or alive).  Emus were also common, but mainly in the scrub where they could get some cover.  Those silly bush chooks loved running out onto the road as well.  The dingos we saw on the Nullarbor were special – we had never seen wild ones before, and it was awesome when that goanna crawled through our camp at Mount Remarkable National Park.



The animals in captivity were great to interact with, especially the greedy kangaroos at Urimbirra Wildlife Park and the Big Rocking Horse.  Curious emus pecking out of our hands were great fun and watching big salt water crocodiles gulping down chicken legs was really cool.


Yellow Rolling Hills

The roadside landscape was beautiful.  For most of the way, the view consisted mainly of rolling hills of dry yellow grass dotted with the occasional leafless tree or herd of black cows.  This, in contrast with the blue of the sky, was just beautiful.


Rolling yellow hills

Leo Cummings Monument Lookout

Top 10 Things on the Eyre Peninsula

Sunset over Perlubie Beach


A great coastal town with a beautiful beach, fishing jetty and lots of oysters.  There are cafés and restaurants, but if you are truly gagging for a decent feed, go to the hotel in town on a Thursday night for the schnitzel special.  Check out our post on Streak Bay Hotel Motel.


The town got its name from Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1839.  He saw streaks in the water caused by oils released by seaweed and dubbed the area Streaky Bay.  In 1839, Edward John Eyre established a camp at a nearby waterhole to refuel during his expedition to Western Australia.  From 1850, whaling and farming were the industry before an oyster factory was established in 1870.  The town was originally called Flinders, but because everyone called it Streaky Bay, it was renamed in 1940.



A must-see when you get to town is the replica of a record breaking catch – the 5m long Great White Shark that was caught by a young local man in 1990.  The 1500kg shark is a world record catch that was caught by rod and reel with a 24 kg line. Check it out at Stewarts Roadhouse.


The visitor information centre is a great place to visit for maps and brochures on the area, and it also has an art gallery inside that exhibits the talents of local artists.  This is where we met Tom and Bella – and they have become great travel buddies as we travel towards Perth.


Australia Day celebrations in Whyalla

Check out our post on Whyalla.


Beach camping at Perlubie Beach

This was the first beach we had come across with shelters on the sand.  While there was a small parking area behind the dunes, you could drive onto the beach and enjoy the sunset over the horizon.  This is the most popular beach in Streaky Bay and is 2.5km long.



There are simple toilets and a cold shower available if you don’t mind a fresh one, and the sand is sprinkled with tiny pink and red cone shells that would make a beautiful necklace.


Coffin Bay National Park

We enjoyed both the town and the national park.  Both are named after a mate of Matthew Flinders, Sir Isaac Coffin.  The little town has a beautiful estuary and is famous for oysters.  We bought a dozen that were pulled from the water only hours earlier and enjoyed their salty freshness.



The national park is right around the corner and has some great places to camp.  Make sure you organise a Parks Pass for yourself or get a permit at the entrance.  Check out our post on camping in Coffin Bay National Park.



This quaint coastal town has a population of fewer than 400 people and is located on Waterloo Bay.  The Elliston Community Hall displays a great historical mural that was finished in 1992, and it is also where the visitor information centre is, complete with op shop and book exchange.



Next to the Community Hall is a playground and skate park with free BBQs and power points.  We cooked dinner and did some serious blogging before having a Skype session with Dave’s family.


A few kilometres up the road is Colton Bakery – a self-serve roadside bakery. You know there’s bread available when a big OPEN sign is out and each of the wood-fired loaves are $4, payable to the little pink tin.  Choices include white, multigrain, sourdough and polish loaves.



Check out our post on Port Lincoln.



Talia Beach with the Woolshed Cave and The Tub

About 10km off the Flinders Hwy is Talia Beach, a long stretch of white sand next to rocky cliffs that hide a few rock formations.  The first formation is The Woolshed, a large cavern carved into the granite cliffs.  Entry can be a bit precarious so make sure you are surefooted.


The Tub is a little further down and is a large crater that is about 50 meters wide and 30 meters deep.  Entrance to the Tub is via a log propped up against the lip with footings carved into it.  There is a tunnel connection to the sea and beehives in the overhanging alcoves of the limestone.



At Talia Beach, there is a monument to Sister DB Millard, who drowned there in 1928.  This has been erected a few meters from the cliff and provides gorgeous views of the beach and cliffs.  We were on our way down to the beach when it started raining, and after being thoroughly impressed with the Woolshed and Tub, we decided that we didn’t want to spoil the stop with soggy underpants.



Murphy’s Haystacks

About 40km southeast of Streaky Bay is a hill topped with worn granite boulders, grey, pink and orange.  The formations are caused by uneven weathering of pink granite and are about 1500 million years old.  In the 1800s, an Irish agricultural expert was travelling via mail coach and saw the landmark while passing the property owned by Denis Murphy, thinking they were haystacks.   The technical term form them is inselbergs, which means island mountains.



We had a great time walking around the big, rounded rocks, and Dave even got on top of a few of them.  Because the rocks are on private property, entry is by gold coin donation at the honesty box.


Leo Cummings Monument Lookout

This gorgeous lookout commemorates Leo Cummings, a young 23 year old man from a pioneering family in the Sheringa district who drowned while out on a crayfish boat with his friend Barry and Barry’s father, Eric.


In 1959, the “Wangaree” got into troubled water when their buoy line got tangled in the propeller.  They worked hard to free the propeller but lost the anchor and were smashed against the rocks.  Barry made it to shore but went back into the water to help his dad.  Unfortunately, by the time he returned to help his friend, Leo had disappeared and his body was never found.  The monument offers breath taking views of the ocean and salt lakes further inland.



Lock’s Well

This beach is not made for leisurely swimming!  The ocean is furious but the beach is great for salmon fishing.  Descend 120 metres via a staircase with 283 steps to get to the beach down below. At the top of the stairs is a platform with toilets, picnic benches, parking and a panoramic lookout.


The landmark is named after a driller who tried to make a well. He dug down as far as 150 feet and didn’t hit water.  These days, a bore supplies water from 200 feet.


The chicken schnitzel was thick and juicy...

Eating Out : Streaky Bay Hotel Motel, SA

Inside the Streaky Bay Hotel Motel

We were hungry and exhausted and the idea of having another sandwich for dinner was murder to our appetites. So Juz said the magic words – “let’s go to the pub”.


It was Thursday night – Schnitzel Night – which meant an incredible feed at an affordable price of $12.50.  We entered the roadhouse bistro about 10 minutes before the kitchen opened and sat down to unwind with a drink.  Juz was thrilled that they served Boston Bay Merlot so she enjoyed a glass while Dave necked a pint of West End.


As soon as the clock struck 6pm – we were at the register with our money.  Dave got the pork schnitzel with gravy and Juz got the chicken schnitzel with creamy garlic sauce.  Our order was taken to the kitchen and we went over to the salad bar to encumber the tiny side plates with as many vegetables as we could.  Balsamic mushroom salad, garden salad, rice, creamy potato salad and pasta salad were in the cold section while the bain-marie offered cauliflower and broccoli bake, roasted capsicums and golden potatoes.



Our schnitzels came out quickly and they were glorious.  Huge, juicy schnitzels covered in our choice of sauce, with a side of chips and a garnish of cabbage.  We ate – each delicious mouthful appreciated and enjoyed.  There was no time to take a sip of drink between mouthfuls; the food needed to be consumed.  When the schnitzel was over, Juz went back for another plate of creamy cauliflower, and then we were done.  Our eyelids were heavy and we were happy.


On the way out, Juz spotted a Herald Sun amongst the many copies of the Advertiser and she pained with happiness at the sight of familiar things from our home in Melbourne.  After a quick flick through the pages, she was reminded why it’s affectionately known as the Herald Scum, and she put it back.


Streaky Bay Hotel Motel

33 Alfred Terrace  Streaky Bay SA 5680

Phone: 08 8626 1008



Schnitzel and chips with gravy at Vili's Cafe

Eating Out : Vili’s Cafe, Mile End SA

This empire was established by Vili Milisits, who fled communist Hungary in 1958 when he was only 9 years old.  When his family arrived in Adelaide after a long wait in England, Vili attended school and was put to work at 14 years old.


By the time he was 19, he was a qualified continental baker and was running his own business.  He didn’t start making pies and pasties until his sister asked him to do so for her snack shop, and he worked at redesigning the Aussie meat pie to be more acceptable for people of other cultural backgrounds.



We were told that this place was a secret love of Adelaideans, especially those who are up late at night because the café is open 24/7.  We stopped by to sample the food and while we walked in with an open mind, we walked out with clogged arteries.  Everything was so greasy and laden with fat.


The beer pie and cheese & bacon pasty were very average and the schnitzel and chips was a plate of mass produced gunk. Even the cakes in the display case looked like coronary heart disease topped with sprinkles.  Clearly, places like this don’t truly value premium quality, but more cheap quantity.

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