We’ve partnered up with Battery World to inspire you to take on some quintessential Aussie road trips.
You may think that because you’ve done the Melbourne to Adelaide or Adelaide to Melbourne road trip heaps of times, that there’s nothing new to see on your way. We’re here to tell you that you’re wrong.
Kooky country town characters, time warps of niche historical moments, some weird classic foods that you may have forgotten about or never expected to find in the middle of nowhere — sounds like an adventure, right? It’s the trip between Melbourne and Adelaide that you’ve most likely never experienced before.
Before you set out, it’s crucial you’ve got the following: some loose change, leisure wear, spare room in the car, an empty tum and a healthy battery (head to your local Battery World to grab a free car battery health check, or to be fitted with a brand new battery). Here are 9 things you need to do on your next Melbourne to Adelaide road trip.
Although there are many stops along the way that present you with a fast food chain and a petrol station—the BP at Ballan is one-of-a-kind. Not only do they give you extra pickles for free when you ask for them in your Big Mac, but their McDonald’s also houses a lucky retro plush-toy vending machine. Every single person we’ve ever seen put a $2 coin in it, has taken home a toy bunny. Facts. Just over an hour outside of Melbourne, it’s the perfect first pit-stop.
Someone’s trash is another one’s treasure, and this couldn’t be true-er at Beaufort’s Big Garage Sale. Claiming to buy and sell collectibles, people travel from all over to experience this treasure trove of trash. They’ve got everything from boats, to records, from vintage jewels to old tractors, from antique telephones to recipe books. It’s an experience. Good luck leaving empty-handed.
Beaufort should really be known as the collector’s capital of Australia. Beaufort is also home to the ‘Imperial Egg Gallery’, which features Australia’s largest collection of decorated egg art, all displayed at the Beaufort Motel. Stroll through for an extremely detailed show and tell with owner Margaret, while she makes you a Devonshire Tea and tells you the story of her Dad, writing to her from war about his love for Imperial Eggs. The collection includes decorated eggs from emus, doves, quails, sharks, crocodiles and emus.
The Aradale Ghost Tour takes you through Australia’s largest abandoned ‘lunatic asylum’, which opened in 1867 as the Ararat Lunatic Asylum. The building, which has seen around 13,000 deaths in its 130 years and has apparently housed some of the ‘worst lunatics in the British Empire’, is certifiably haunted. The tours are only conducted after dark and last up to two hours. You can book via their website.
Tucked away in the back streets out of Ararat, is the Chalambar Golf and Bowls Club, which is an unexpectedly lush set-up for what feels like the middle of nowhere. The course looks out across vineyard and winery Mount Langi Ghiran, and is beautifully maintained with a Par 70 layout. It’s open for casual use all year round, with available club hire and a no judgement policy. Attached is Chally’s Bar and Bistro, a super cute eatery with lunch and dinner specials, as well as local wines, coffee and biscuits, no matter what the weather.
If you’re planning a trip for around Easter, make sure you stop off at the annual Stawell Gift, one of the world’s most famous foot races, held around every April. Starting in 1878, the Stawell Gift has seen the likes of Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman, who had an incredible win at the Stawell Gift back in 1996 and William ‘Bill’ Howard, who was known to train with Kangaroos.
Smack-bang in on the side of the highway in Nhill, you’ll find the Australian Pinball Museum, attached to the shabby Californian-style Oasis Motel. Both the motel and museum are owned by the Carter family, who used to heavily operate in the arcade business. One day, they decided to move all the old pinball machines they had lying around on their farm into the spare rooms of their motel and create an interactive museum.
There are more than 7 rooms filled to the brim with working pinball machines that date back to 1932. The museum claims to house “the most pinball memorabilia on display in the entire world”. If this isn’t enough already, they rotate their pinball collection, interchanging them regularly, as well as buying new pinball machines as they come out. This place is weird, wonderful and a little eerie, with its old-school sound effects and flashing lights feeling slightly out of place on a regional Australian highway, but we love to see it.
One of the only puppet shops still left in Australia, the Kaniva Puppet Shop is as quirky as you could possibly imagine a puppet store in a country town to be. With puppet demonstrations and a private marionette collection including one of the rare Australian mid-century Tintookie Marionettes, you’re actually allowed to put on your own impromptu puppet plays with their theatre set-up. There is also a Christmas room, with Jigsaw puzzles, because why not?
A Belgian couple moved to Coonalpyn in 2007 and opened Waffles & Jaffles on Dukes Highway, and boy, we’re thankful they did. It all started with a waffle press and a dream to buy their son a laptop, and has continued to produce the best roadside waffles; crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle. They also slay with gluten-free and vegan waffles, they’re so delicious, it’s kind of unbelievable. Flavour-wise think lemon butter, whipped cream, warm apple and golden syrup.
With over 100 Battery World stores across Australia, there’s bound to be one near you. Check out your local Battery World store today.
This article originally appeared on Thrillist.