Cheeseworld really is a world of its own. The cheese and wine tastings bought us there but we spent the most time in the museum. We spent too much time picking the flavour of the milkshake. The complex also features a restaurant, take away food, a supermarket, gift store and artworks from the Warrnambool and district artist society.
It certainly was a day of surprises. The trip to Warrnambool was a tad too long for the kids. I had to confiscate the plastic bottle being used as a weapon. This took a while because it was falsely claimed a scuba diving chicken had eaten it.
All was quickly retrieved when we arrived and discovered a free, self-guided museum. There was a scavenger hunt for children. I shouldn't have been surprised to discover that the children had never seen a gramophone or vinyl records before. There was no hope that they'd recognise a water windmill, coolgardie safe or the butter churner but they enjoyed having a go.
Did you know that Australian bees were an introduced Italian species because many native bees don't store honey? When I quizzed the kids about who bought bees to Australia; my little one said ' Harry Styles'. I said I was pretty sure this was not the case.
Established in 1888, the Warrnambool cheese factory is the oldest and leading dairy producer in Australia. The geographic conditions are ideal for producing high quality milk. Cheeseworld produces 1.4 million litres of skim milk everyday and it is exported all over the world. If you are visiting Warrnambool, Cheeseworld is only ten minutes away and unless you are allergic to cheese it is a must.
The tastings are held every hour on the half hour. We were there first to attend. Within minutes dozens of others sprung up like illogical arguments of pre-adolescents. We were treated to seven of their local cheeses, including mature and vintage cheddars, garlic and pepper (my favourite), herb and spice, tomato and chives, cracked pepper, finishing off with chilli cheese. I know why they left this to last but I'll let you find this out for yourself.
Even the kids loved the tastings. One said 'I haven't found one I don't like'. On the contrary no one seemed to like the rhubarb and raspberry coulis. It would most likely taste better on ice cream or frozen yoghurt than on the icy pole sample stick.
Rock candy - haven't seen that in a while
I had no idea that Cheeseworld had the prestigious honour of being awarded the best Australian cheddar. They also stock traditional rock candy like humbugs, chocolates, biscuits, dried fruit, honey, dressings, oils, pickled onions and condiments. For something different you can buy chocolate pizza or a cheese wedding stack cake.
The restaurant serves brekkie 8.30-11 and lunch 12-2. Of course they prepare cheese platters with fruit, nuts and crackers for $16, home made country scones and a traditional ploughman's lunch.
Mocca and cherry ripe anyone?
We spent ages discussing the possible mix and match combinations from 10 flavours for milkshakes. Thankfully the staff discouraged spearmint and blue heaven and lime and caramel. We settled for spearmint and chocolate which was like a liquid chocmint ice-cream.
On the way out I noticed a sign advertising Cheese Appreciation evenings featuring hand made cheeses and guest speakers. A bargain at $20 including the first glass of wine. Numbers are limited so make a reservation if interested.
I had enjoyed the local dairy products, perhaps a little too much. Cheeseworld cater for children but it would have been more peaceful to come alone. I'd have appreciated a quiet trip home but that was a bit much to ask. On the way home I got the blame for cucumber being spelt with a c when it should have been a q!