Cracking the Nut (in Stanley)

We woke up this morning after the startling events of last night and we had a pretty long drive ahead of us. We had always intended to go to a cafe called Inside Cafe for breakfast because their menu looked amazing but we didn’t really feel like eggs or a big sit down breakfast so we actually just headed back to Bread & Butter for a tried and true breakfast.

This time we just sat in for a casual quick breakfast. I had a chai and Ronnie his usual coffee order of a flat white and we each had a ham and cheese croissant. It was again delicious and a good way to start the day.

After this we headed for a quick grocery store stop for road trip snacks. We then set off for our drive to Stanley and we had a few planned stops on the way.

After about an hour we made to our first pit stop which was the House of Anvers Chocolate Factory. You can view the chocolate being made on the viewing platform. We were keen to get some chocolate for the road and we held off getting chocolate from the grocery store because of this. While we were browsing we were given a milk chocolate truffle to eat. We eventually ended up picking a couple of chocolates each and got a block to share too.

We took the chocolate to eat later and headed off on the road for about another half an hour drive to a small coastal town called Penguin. It was starting to get very windy. We parked near the water and got out for a stroll along the water near the Penguin statue. There were cute little places for a sit and we took the opportunity for this but the wind had a bit of a chill so we didn’t stay out too long. Ronnie got up close and personal with the big Penguin for a picture and then we left for our overnight stop.

Along the way we shared our little individual choccies. Ronnie chose key lime pie and mint chocolate. I chose a strawberry chocolate truffle and a milk chocolate flower with hazelnut cream. We both agreed I chose better! After another hour and 15 we made it to Stanley and got our first view of the Nut, the thing that drew us there.

We were a little bit peckish for lunch and stopped at Hursey’s Seafood for some fish and chips. It had a great view of the ocean where the seafood is caught fresh for the restaurant. We both just had classic fish and chips and it was really fresh and yummy.

Due to the wind we thought that the chairlift that goes up the Nut would have been closed but it was still operating. We had planned to go up the Nut this way but you are able to also do a short, steep hike up the top and we decided to do this instead.

We firstly checked in and dropped our bags at our little cottage for the night. It wasn’t raining so we thought we’d head off straight away to get up the Nut before the rain came. We drove to the car park and began the trek. The Nut is a volcanic plug, the remains of an ancient volcano. The walk was incredibly steep! It was also very short so the calves and thighs didn’t feel it for too long. Once you reach the top of the Nut there is a 45 minute circuit around it with views over the Bass Strait. We thought we may as well since we took the effort to get up there. Along the way there was lots of interesting info about the moonbirds that burrow on the Nut. There’s also a rainforest area which was really pretty. The walk back down was slow going because of the steepness. It was a great activity and our favourite thing we’d done so far.

After the short hike we chilled at the cottage before dinner. Stanley is a very small town so the options for meals is very limited. We were encouraged to book something because of this and so we just went with the Stanley Hotel bistro. We’re glad we booked a table because when we arrived at 7pm they couldn’t get anyone that didn’t have a booking in until 8:30pm. It was a classic bistro menu but pricy. We shared bread with garlic and herb butters. I then had a schnitzel with mushroom sauce and Ronnie had a parmi. It was about $30 for each of our mains and in normal circumstances we would not pay this for a meal like this but it is what is when you’re in a town like that. The food was fine and did the trick for dinner.

We are now back at the cottage enjoying a hot chocolate before bed with the rain coming down hard. Tomorrow we’re heading off on our most anticipated adventure yet and we just can’t wait.

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