Mollymook is a beachside town with beautiful unspoilt beaches and a laid back attitude. Framed by country towns like Milton with its rolling hills, Mollymook is where the countryside meets the ocean. Mollymook, with its ocean vistas and stunning, world class beaches should be a famous, tourist spot with high rise hotels and malls, thank goodness it is not! Mollymook has managed to stay sleepy but for how much longer who knows. Mollymook can boast a world famous chef with his own restaurant while also offering fish and chips at the local shops!
The Occasion – The June Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend
I decided to go to Mollymook as a tourist for the June Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend and stay at one of the holiday houses Beach & Bay Realty offers for rent, 48 Lockhart Ave. This property is 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, fully renovated single level with plenty of living and entertaining areas. It sleeps 8 so there was plenty of room for our group of 1 family of 4, 1 couple and 1 single.
It is low season in Mollymook so if I had been paying which I was not, the cost of accommodation would have been very reasonable at $800 for all of us (max 8 guests)! More money to spend at all the boutique shops at Milton!
I know Mollymook well as I have family that live there so the plan was roughly: Scarecrow Festival, Milton shopping, Mollymook beach, Mogo Zoo, Pilgrims breakfast, Socceroos vs Germany, Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant, Breakers at Mollymook, Cupitts Winery…
It was a last minute thing so when I tried to book Rick Stein’s Seafood restaurant at Bannisters for Saturday night the week before I was told it was fully booked for Sat and Sun night (was 1st on waiting list but never got the call up), then tried Cupitt’s Winery for Sunday long lunch it was booked out as well… As it turns out if I had read the Milton Ulladulla times ($1.60 at newsagency and great local paper!), which I did Sat morning I would have realised that most of the restaurants had arranged special functions, live bands, wine tours and tastings, special guests etc .
From the Sutherland Shire it was a 2 ½ hr trip to Mollymook with no traffic and because we left Sydney at 4pm on Friday, it was a good run all the way to Milton where my car passengers and I stopped to enjoy a $15 Mexican dinner at Pilgrims – an institution on the South Coast, a vegetarian cafe open for brekkie and lunch but has in the last 12 months introduced the occasional $15 Mexican dinner on Friday and Sat nights, long weekends and any other night they feel like it!
The owners of Pilgrims practise the Buddhist faith so they do not drink, however they don’t mind if guests do so, bringing your own wine and wine glasses is par for the course here or use their water tumblers for the not so fussy drinker! The menu is limited to the standard Mexican fare of nachos, burritos, enchiladas and tortillas but the plate sizes are huge and everything is fresh, healthy and delicious.
For $15 you can’t go wrong, you also can’t go directionally wrong as it is on the Princes Highway in Milton on the right hand side, ie it is on your direct path to Mollymook, no detours. (5mins to final destination)
There is an IGA supermarket (open till 10pm on Friday evenings) diagonally across the road with bottle shop underneath. After dinner we got our essentials for the holiday house ie toilet paper, toothpaste (forgot to pack), milk and nibblies and more wine…
We arrived at our long weekend holiday house which was renovated, spacious and very well equipped and made a dash for the best rooms before the others arrived!
Saturday we headed off to Milton for the Scarecrow Festival, which is a 3 day festival, always on the long weekend and where Milton puts on a show for the tourists with stalls, jumping castles, farm animals, bands, school performances, and scarecrows. I didn’t get to the bottom of how the scarecrow theme came about and how this came about but basically local residents, businesses and organisations make their own scarecrows and they sit out the front of the school, shop or house for viewing, prizes awarded.
I love Milton, it has great boutique shops like Wild Poppies, Basque, Home at Last, Panache, Home Address, Afterglow, Sarah Gabriell’s etc etc. The idea was to have breakfast at Pilgrims (the best breakfast on the South Coast), then lose the boyfriends, husbands and kids to shop till you drop. If you want to buy things that no one else can get, if you want friends to say “Where did you get that!” and know they will have to drive 2 1/2 hrs south to copy you, then this is what you have to do.
Another tip for first timers to Milton is if you have male in toe, you must enter Pilgrims Cafe via the back covered deck so that they don’t see the big sign out the front that says VEGETARIAN cafe. If you can get them inside and order the food sans bacon you will be fine as the food and the coffee is sensational but for the poor females that don’t take head of this advice, you will put up with unnecessary brain damage about the no meat thing, trust me, been there, done that. Once the male in your life has eaten the food, he will be sold. Pilgrims is famous for its blissburgers as well (lunch).
I had already window shopped the night before so I go straight to Wild Poppies where I proceed to lose a few weeks salary, there for 3 hours with my sister and later with my mum who buys the whole store! Wild Poppies is a fairly recent edition to Milton but Kerry and her team have great stuff!
Lots of scarecrows inbetween, meet up with the kids in our group and we lose a few hours at the kids carnival. The weather is sensational so we divide up for the afternoon and some go and play golf, a few of us walk along Mollymook beach, then dinner at Ulladulla “Yes I am Thai”.
Sunday we can’t believe the sunshine so we decide to go early to Mogo Zoo, about 1 ½ hrs drive south of Mollymook, 10 mins south of Batemans Bay and a zoo for endangered animals. This zoo is a real treat, I have been here before to visit the white lions when my sister-in-law Becky was a zookeeper. The zoo is famous for the white lions but also has over 200 animals, 42 rare and exotic species and at $23 for adults and $12 for children 3yrs plus it is great value.
But Sunday is all about preparing for the Socceroos World Cup game and getting up at 4.30am on Monday so we are back at the house early afternoon to enjoy all the living areas, read mags, sit in the sun and try and get to bed for an early one. The International Restaurant at Ulladulla gets a pizza order from us so we can stay in. Seriously great pizza, very authentic.
When I didn’t win the Milton Scarecrow Raffle and the first prize which was “Bannisters Passion Pack of 2 nights at Bannisters Point Lodge with a Rick Stein seafood dinner thrown in”, it was probably a sign of things to come. I think I will skip over the Monday morning soccer game and spend the time praying for a miracle against Ghana! I would like to mention that my group all did very well getting up and supporting Australia though and we did utilise the massive kitchen to cook up a storm for breakfast, Masterchef eat your heart out.
The rest of the day we spent lazying around and we headed back to Sydney about 4pm, after a great long weekend with the only 1 hick up of a certain soccer game dampening our spirits.