Filling your cakehole with goods from a regional bakery is a proud Aussie road trip tradition – and these insider tips will make it even easier.
An Aussie road trip isn’t complete without a duck-in to a good old fashioned country bakery. The type that boasts the best vanilla slice on either side of the Nullarbor, or those that sell pies so good the mere scent of the savoury flaky pastry beckons you inside.
Our readers are a well-travelled (and well-fed) bunch. They know as much about eating on pit-stops as we do, so it would be remiss of us not to ask for their recommendations. We asked and you delivered. Here, the best regional bakeries around Australia – in no particular order.
Where: 4/11 Todd St, Alice Springs NT
Nominated by: Tahnee and Brolga from the Kangaroo Sanctuary
“We love our local artisan bakery run by Mel and family. The sourdough bread is divine and [eating] the croissants and kaiser rolls feel like being in Paris and Austria. And the coffee, wow! Everything there is delicious. It’s a place where you will always run into friends or meet interesting people.
“They also regularly feature local artists and have a gorgeous, massive galah at play artwork on the outside sidewall.”
Where: 130-132 Mollison St, Kyneton VIC
Nominated by: Chloe Cann, VIC
“A country Victorian bakery run by two Cambodian immigrants may not be where you’d expect to find a gourmet Aussie pie, but Country Cob’s litany of national awards testify otherwise. My loyalties lie with the seafood satay, and the caramelised pork and pepper. And please, don’t leave without pocketing one of their insanely moreish vanilla slices either.”
Where: 166B Summer St, Orange NSW
Nominated by: Eleanor Harley, NT
“If you’re into croissants baked to the highest level of French perfection, the tangiest of delicately encased lemon curd tarts, fragrant frangipane treats, the best strawberry-topped custard tarts, delicious freshly baked bread for those frigid Orange winter mornings or a range of mouth-watering savoury delights, Racine will have your gourmandise-self going back for more, more and more. The coffee is excellent, the staff welcoming and the shop front will tickle your inner Francophile.
“Pro-tip: elasticised pants; your top button won’t be doing up after you’re done here.”
Where: 151 Moss Vale Rd, Kangaroo Valley NSW
Nominated by: Sophie Lord of A-Frame Kangaroo Valley
“Operating out of The General Cafe in the heart of Kangaroo Valley, Mrs Bread from Nandini Farm sells a variety of freshly baked Sourdough, Focaccia and Baguettes. The Wasabi loaf, coated in sesame seeds, is the stuff dreams are made of but the icing on the metaphorical cake (or is that loaf) is her faith in humanity. When The General Cafe is closed, locals and visitors alike will find her antique bread trolley parked out the front with an honesty box attached to the side. Drop your $8 in, grab a loaf of the Shoalhaven’s finest bread and go about enjoying your day.”
Where: 54 Maryland St, Stanthorpe QLD
Nominated by: Eloise Eagles, Sunshine Coast
“Zest Pastries is the golden gem of bakeries you’ve all been searching for. Found in the heart of Stanthorpe, a sweet rural town in country Queensland, run by a true hard-working local who wakes at 2 or 3am to serve his people.
“The handmade pastry is what sets this place apart and makes any pie to drool for! Best picks are the apple pie or chicken pie but honestly anything off the menu will be guaranteed delicious. Sweet/savoury, hot/cold, fresh/reheated, you won’t be disappointed. I only wish I was back there now for more. Hot tip to get in early otherwise they all sell out.”
Where: 97 Martin St, Dunkeld VIC
Nominated by: Jenny, Dunkeld
“Dunkeld bakery has been open since 1887 and hasn’t slowed down in the years since. Most travellers to the area head straight to the award-winning Royal Mail Hotel; driving via the mundane highway west out of Melbourne, you get the full sense of the Southern Grampians, with grand escarpments and lush green vegetation.
“The bakery itself is located in a cottage off Martin St and sells the usual assortment of baked goods. Standouts include the extensive array of muffins, baguettes, gourmet pies and croissants. At Easter, they do a delivery Hot Cross Bun service which our kids love.”
Where: 15 Fingal St, Brunswick Heads NSW
Nominated by: Dale, Port Macquarie
“The best regional bakery is Bruns Bakery at Brunswick Heads in northern NSW. Upon entering you’re greeted with multiple display cabinets of cakes slices pastries and other assorted treats. The pies are the best from the pastry to the fillings of chunky meaty goodness. The coffees are sensational, the breads are amazing. Great food, great service, sensational location.”
Where: 189 Biddle Road, Yallingup WA
Nominated by: Rowena, Perth
“If you aren’t sure where to look, it’s kind of hard to find this unassuming bakery. There are small signs that lead the way but they’re often hidden in the bush. The shop doesn’t have a shiny window or even a cash register; instead, loaves sit on outdoor racks metres from volcanic rock ovens, and a small bowl collects payment in an astonishingly earnest honesty system.
“The bakery is owned by German-born Gotthard Bauer and his wife Marion, and locals line up out the door for a handful of crusty ciabatta. Yum.”
Where: 26 Quondola St, Pambula NSW
Nominated by: Petrina, Maroubra Beach
“As a regular visitor to the Far South Coast of NSW this artisan bakery and seriously good coffee roaster is a must-visit. Producing some of the best baked goods in NSW, this place is no secret with locals and visitors to the beautiful historic village of Pambula.
“Everything is good here. The daily muffins, Turkish bread, organic spelt. My go-to is the Wild Ryes light floury panini, perfectly matched with a dozen Sydney rocks from nearby Broadwater. If in nearby Merimbula you can indulge in a Wild Ryes muffin, cold batch brew or seasonal espresso at Mitchie’s Jetty Espresso.
“As a food relief worker for OzHarvest the Wild Ryes staff have been generous in providing bread for our OzHarvest mobile market in the nearby towns of Wyndham, Kiah and Cobargo.”
Where: 11 North Terrace, Tumby Bay SA
Nominated by: Brooke Stratford, Tumby Bay
“Tumby Bay is a small seaside town 600 kilometres from Adelaide. The bakery is situated in the middle of the town, with the smell of hot coffee, pastries and breads making the bakery a sure stop on the peoples morning commute to work.”
Where: Ross St, Exmouth WA
Nominated by: Anita Jokovich, Perth
“Exmouth, 1200 kilometres north of Perth, may have the UNESCO-listed Ningaloo Reef as a major drawcard, but it also has the Ningaloo Bakehouse. This may look like your typical regional bakery, however once in the door (queues are common), you’ll find the best and largest selection of pies, sandwiches, freshly baked bread, sky-high muffins and excellent coffee. This place is busy for a reason.”
Where: 125 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay VIC
Nominated by: Matilda, VIC
“If pies are your thing, there is no other way to fuel up on the Great Ocean Road than the Apollo Bay Bakery. It draws a pretty big crowd on the weekends – everyone desperate to try one of their famous Scallop Pies. There are at least four to five per serving and come in two flavours: Mornay and cuYork-style
“For sweets, the apple raspberry crumble and New York style cheesecake are both winners.”
Where: 15 Church St, Ross TAS
Nominated by: Eliza, Sydney
“Right in the heart of Tasmania’s finest heritage village, halfway between Hobart and Launceston, is Ross Bakery. This is the original regional bakery (it opened in 1860) and still uses the traditional wood-fired oven from those early days. It has a permanent listing on the Tasmanian Heritage Register and is classified by the National Trust of Australia.
“Take a seat in the outdoor courtyard and enjoy one of the old-fashioned, crusty bread recipes. Lots of the loaves are baked right onto the oven floor, which gives them that famous, all-around crusty texture.”
Where: 4 Sowerby St, Goulburn NSW
Nominated by: Martina, VIC
“Stop in for a pie in Goulburn at the famous Trappers Bakery. After undergoing a renovation, this establishment, situated opposite the big Ram as you head off the freeway, now features grab-and-go salads, take-home pies, an array of desserts and pastries and fresh coffee, in addition to its already decadent selection of classic meat pies.”
Where: Main N Rd, Stone Hut SA
Recommended by: Michael, Adelaide Hills
“In the middle of three and a half acres halfway between Laura and Wirrabara north of Adelaide sits the Old Bakery Stone Hut. The old stone hut on the site dates back to the days when mail coaches trundled past and is the property’s namesake. Today, loyal customers travel to the new site of this old bakery for a range of homemade treats from owners Dennis and Margaret Wheatley.
“The camel pie, made using a spicy Iranian recipe, is a popular lunchtime choice along with the roo, venison and rabbit versions. Crocodile pies were once on the menu but proved too expensive to keep making. The Quandong strudel, baked fresh onsite every day, is an interesting way to try the native bitter bush berry.”
Where: Maley St, Rottnest Island WA
Recommended by: Androld-timeaide
“The Rottnest Bakery has delicious fare with an old time feel. Enjoy a round of cream doughnuts or indulge in some jam. For the more modern foodies, taste an organic meat pie – or some fresh gelati with an afternoon coffee.”
Where: 1 Billabong Blvd, Birdsville QLD
Recommended by: Laura, Birdsville
“On the other side of the oval is the Birdsville Bakery. They serve the town’s culinary gift to the world: camel pie. There’s a big ‘C’ on top of the crust and it has a curry zing and a lamb-like texture. If that is too adventurous try the kangaroo and claret pie or the berry quandong tart. It’s also extra special because Birdsville’s is one of only a handful of licensed bakeries in Australia.”
Where: 104 Railway Pl, Elmore VIC
Recommended by: Jennie Tabone, Ballan VIC
“Elmore Bakery is our favourite destination when we travel to Gunbower or Echuca. We always stop for their pies and of course a vanilla slice. The pies are amazing and they have too many varieties to choose from but the vanilla slice is the reason we keep going back.”