We spent a couple of days down the south coast of NSW in the school holidays and before we went I googled kid friendly cafes in the south coast and practically nothing came up in my search results! So team Little Munch are going to rectify that over 2016, and we are starting off with the Bodalla Dairy Shed.
The Bodalla Dairy Shed is located smack bang on the Princess Highway in the quaint little town of Bodalla. It's over 4 hours from Sydney by car and it's a great spot to stop, revive and survive. Parking is available along the road but in peak holiday season this may be a bit hard to come by. There are also some spots available off the road down the side of the shed. If you coincide your arrival at either 10am or 4pm your little ones can have a chance to bottle feed some poddy calves, which is serious fun for little (and big) city kids!
The Bodalla Dairy Shed has been fitted out to resemble a classic milk bar. The retro interior is very spacious and you can choose to sit on big tables or in more comfy booths. There is heaps of room for your pram and access into the cafe is really easy with it. There is a little spot down the back of the cafe where kids can do some colouring in and their art work adorns the wall. High chairs are available and there is also a loo with a baby change table for you to use out the back too.
Once you have perused the menu, you order and pay for your meal at the front counter with one of the friendly young members of staff. The menu for kids covers the usual suspects (nuggets, fish & chips, cheeseburger or ham & cheese toastie) and they all cost $7.50. My boys are always so predictable and went with the nuggets and I was very happy to see a decent crunchy side salad arrive with their meal.
Table water, babycinos, juices, soft drinks and of course milkshakes are all available to quench little people's thirst. Being a dairy shed we all road tested the milkshakes, and yep you can definitely taste how fresh the milk is - it's basically straight from the cow in the paddock out the back (except that it goes through a pasteurisation process first). And for a quick science lesson - the milk we buy in the supermarkets is pasteurised but it is also homogenised, which means the natural fat in milk has been broken up to spread evenly throughout the milk to give it a longer shelf life. So therefore quite a bit of time has passed between the cow being milked on the farm and us enjoying it in our coffee in suburbia first thing in the morning!
Now the adults menu is not too badly priced and it has some seriously delicious items on it. From trendy pulled pork rolls, to salt & pepperberry squid, to a hot & spicy cheese platter for two, there is something for most dietary requirements (even those of you with dairy intolerances). We went with the Aussie classic - the steak sandwich. It was your traditional country style of a steak sanger, except that it had Bodalla blue cheese melted through it. Gosh it was good and it is my favourite way to eat them from now on. On the side some crunchy hot chips were served in a little deep fryer basket. The cafe also has a full breakfast menu, as well as decadent range of sweet treats, if you're not dining at lunch time.
After we finished our lunch, we wandered out the back of the Bodalla Dairy Shed and realised that's where we should have sat with the boys. There's heaps of green grass for kids to run around on, an old cubby house and this massive wood carving of an eagle! The view over a river and paddocks full of cows is just lovely and it would be so nice to sit out here with a cheese plate and a glass of wine whilst the kidlets played.
The cheese for that cheese plate would of course come from the Bodalla Cheese factory which is right next to the Bodalla Dairy Shed. When you walk past the factory you can see staff creating cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products through big glass windows. If you would like to taste or buy some cheese you can do so in the cafe. And another fun thing to do (without the kids) would be one of their cheese making workshops that run regularly throughout the year.
The Bodalla Dairy Shed even has motel type of accommodation out the back. The rooms do look a tad small from the outside but I've since done some research online and discovered that they are quite comfortable and nicely decorated, but only accommodate 2 people.
Before you leave Bodalla, just down the road from the Bodalla Dairy Shed, you will find the Bodalla Bakery which several readers have told me bake the most amazing pies and custard slices - so you might need to stop in there too if you have room left in your belly!
So my dear Little Munchers, do you have any tips on south coast cafes that we need to review?
52 Princess Hwy, Bodalla NSW
Open 7 days 9am - 5pm