Because of my job, I travel through the tiny town of Coonalpyn. A Lot. For this speck on the map, most people who have not passed through it in recent times might not realise how worth stopping in it is.
The biggest drawcard is huge. Massive. Many stories high. As high as a grain silo in fact. Actually, it is a grain silo. It was painted by Guido Van Helten in 2017 and he carefully chose his subjects; five Coonalpyn Primary School students. They playfully curl around the contours in a game of what looks like hide-and-seek.
The economic boost this town has received is wonderful. Two new cafes have opened as a result. One being the Silo Café which sells delicious pastries. However, for me, the winner here is Waffles and Jaffles. With that name, you can kind of already tell what's on the menu. The Dutch-born owner has brought her home country's food to the fore and oh my goodness, I can't get enough. I always seem to walk away from this café a few kilos heavier. When I get my waffles, I go all out because there is plenty of toppings to choose from. There's also coffees, teas and milkshakes on the menu. As mentioned before, so are jaffles. Spaghetti jaffles, baked bean jaffles, ham and cheese jaffles. So many jaffles! If I'm pressed for time, I'll get a jaffle. If I have all the time in the world, I'll get a waffle. A waffle cannot be eaten whilst driving a car.
A delicious waffle and shake at Waffles and Jaffles, Coonalpyn
As wonderful as this little café is, the hours are very tricky; hence the back-up loyalty to the Silo Café and town shop/post office. Because the owner is one very busy lady, the café is usually only open Friday to Monday. School holidays are an exception, the opening days can vary here. While you wait for your food or drink, the owner has shared some information on one of her other projects (she has many) for patrons to read.
In addition to the playful silo art, residents and artists have contributed more community artworks at the public toilets, in the underground railway tunnel and on the fence near the sports ground. There is also a dog park to help the pooch stretch their legs from the long journey. To not stop at this little village means you will miss out… on darn good waffles and beautiful community-driven art.