Before kids we were serious bush walkers - actually let me correct that, Mr Munch was, and I just tagged along to annoy him (you know, map reader extraordinaire n' all). Anyway we are slowly getting back into it and dragging the boys along, because not only is it great exercise, but it is also fascinating watching your kids discover the magic of the bush. Last weekend we did some of the walking tracks around West Head in Sydney. If you are keen to bush walk with your children, I can thoroughly recommend these walks, as they are relatively easy (although the ones we did were not exactly pram friendly) and the views are spectacular - over to the land of Home & Away at Barrenjoey Lighthouse. You might even see some Aboriginal rock art along the way!
Bush walking does work up a big appetite and we were all ravenous by the time we finished walking. On our drive up to West Head we had passed beautiful Akuna Bay where I had seen a sign for the Driftwood Cafe so we headed back there for some lunch. The cafe is located right on the marina at Akuna Bay. The marina is full of very expensive looking boats, and on a sunny day you will wish that you could hijack one and just sail away to the horizon. If you aren't into hijacking, then just grab a table at Driftwood that looks over the marina and dream about winning Lotto or Powerball - which if you're lucky might even buy you a share in one of these luxury water cruisers.
When we arrived at midday we were the only diners at Driftwood so we had the pick of tables - but within 30 minutes every table was taken, so plan to arrive early. The cafe is beautifully styled with a gorgeous old wooden boat dominating the ceiling. You order and pay at the front counter and sit back and enjoy the view whilst you wait for your meal. There is easy access for prams into the cafe and a reasonable amount of space to park one near your table. High chairs are available, and if you need the loos they are just along from the cafe. They are pram friendly but they do not contain a baby change table.
Little Munchers have their own menu for breakfast and lunch. To start the day they can have an egg on toast ($6.50) or add some bacon and it will cost you $9.50. At lunch time they have the choice between a cheeseburger, nuggets, fish and calamari all served with chips or if you don't want your kids having anything out of a deep fryer, they can have either nachos or spaghetti bolognaise - the kids meals are all under $9.50. To quench their thirst after their walk the boys just had table water, however kids size milkshakes, babycinos, soft drinks and juices are all available.
The adults menu at lunch time covers all of your cafe favourites such as soup, fish & chips, steak sandwiches, Caesar salads, burgers etc. The prices are a bit on the expensive side but the portion sizes are definitely on the larger side so it somewhat compensates. The calamari and chips ($20) was a huge serve and came with a lovely and very healthy side salad. The chicken schnitzel burger was choc full of filling and came with a side of crunchy beer battered fries.
At breakfast time you can have everything from bircher museli ($10.50) up to the Akuna's biggest breakfast ($21.50) which has everything imaginable on it! They serve Whithams coffee and as I didn't sample it I can't comment on how well they make a brew. And if you just pop in for a spot of afternoon tea, the cake cabinet is also full of very sweet looking morsels to go with your coffee!
Whilst there aren't any activities to occupy your kids within the cafe (beside counting luxury boats) there is a huge chess set just where you walk into the marina. So you could order your food as takeaway and sit down here whilst your kids pretend to be Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparov. Or you can go wandering down here once you finish lunch and have a play (with a sneaky ice cream from the cafe of course!).
So tell me my dear parents, do you enjoy going for family bush walks? Do you have a favourite you would like to share (hopefully with a child friendly place to eat close by!)?
D'Albora Marina, Librator General San Martin Drive
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase, NSW
Mon - Fri: 9am - 3pm
Sat - Sun; 8am - 4pm