The Empty Esky Tour, Day 23 – Colac Colac

Day 23 Saturday 14/3/20 Colac Colac, sunny 22

It’ a very cool morning so we stay inside taking things easy. We all do a bit of washing, Elle hangs hers on the cow paddock fence.

Laundry Symphony

The Prado van bursts a water heater hose and Toothless is underneath it in a flash to make repairs. He’s a handy bloke to travel with.

Running repairs to the water heater

Today we’re celebrating Veewee’s 70th birthday with lunch at our new favourite pub The Cudgewa (or Cudgie to the locals). It’s turned into a lovely sunny day and we’re ushered through to a sun-filled dining room which has recently been renovated. Woody keeps muttering that the pub looks nothing like he remembers from way back when. We have pizzas, a zucchini and blue cheese pasta and the guest of honour devours an enormous T Bone steak. Needless to say, the food is delicious and the atmosphere cosy and homely with views to the ranges and a woodfire. There’s even a pianola in the sitting room. We learn that Ralph and Tracey Fair bought this long closed pub with the idea of turning it into a wellness retreat. Bowing to local pressure to revive their pub, they did. And they did it with taste, passion and creativity. During the bushfires Ralph stayed behind and fought to save the pub with the help of several dowsings from passing fire trucks to quell the ember attacks. The old pub was surrounded on three sides but survived. Evidence of the fires can be seen from the dining room as the range behind is still burnt and brown. There’s camping on offer here with plenty of room at the back of the pub and accommodation too in beautifully restored rooms.

Ralph has kept an ember as a souvenir. We were surprised at the size.
Pub camping is available at The Cudgewa. Note the burnt range behind.

We return to camp for a bit of a snooze.


Accom $28.50 (stay 4 pay 3 deal)

Utilities: power, water, showers, toilets

Fuel: $0

Towing Kms: 0kms

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