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Growling Frog Restaurant and Golf Course

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Golf | Lunch | Sport
by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published October 9th 2013
Tea with a tee
When you travel towards Whittlesea you will see the prominent sign on the left announcing the Growling Frog golf course. As you drive up Donnybrook Rd you can't help but notice the many cows, sheep and alpaca lazing around on the rolling hills. This was once dairy land and home to the Growling Grass frog. Urban legend has it that the Hume Freeway had to be rerouted because of this little frog so I am surprised this nationally vulnerable species, one of Victoria's most endangered frogs, was relocated to build this golf course.

Beautiful expansive golf course


The Growling Grass frog is usually found close to water in woodlands and grows to about 100 mm long. Just in case you think you've spotted one, it has a warty back and dark olive, green or brown with gold, bronze or brown blotches. It has a distinctive crawark, crawark, crok, crok noise and is likely to be heard in September-March.

This restaurant is a bit of a favorite for my mum and dad so we decided to go up for afternoon tea on a sunny day. The semi circle shaped restaurant is floor to ceiling glass so it was lovely and warm and the views picturesque. The waitress said she's heard the frog croak but I heard nothing. I did see a kangaroo jumping madly across the golf course. It was exceptionally fast, but I suppose I would surprise someone by my speed too if I thought I was going to be hit on the head by a golf ball.

We were privileged to witness this event because apparently it is rare. The kangaroos generally hide under the shade of the trees when the golfers play; they are not stupid!

In the warmer months outdoor seating is ideal


I noticed the snack menu was reasonably priced. Only $5 for toasties. I am a bit partial to flourless cakes and wasn't disappointed by the flourless orange cake. I wasn't impressed by the yo yo biscuit. It looked great in the jar, large but was very dry.

The restaurant menu included some rare dishes. I liked the sound of the duck risotto with sundried tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms ($22.90), prawn and chorizo pasta with chili, spinach and napoli sauce ($24). The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch all week. Dinner is served on Thursday Sunday. On Thursday all meals are $19.90.

This facility also has a golf course, pro shop, bar and small vineyard.

Bar area


The growling frog golf course is an award winning 18 hole, par 72 public course on 280 acres of prime land. The club has practice facilities, driving range, putting green, chipping green and practice bunkers. If you buy one round of golf after 2pm on weekdays and a friend can play free. They also run kid's clinics.

I am not a golfer so I had to ask about the gadget on the club that looked like a compass. The explanation raised more questions than it answered. The golf shop has an extensive stock including clothes, balls, tees, and all sorts of gold clubs, shoes. When I asked the owner if the growling frog was still endangered he said 'I think so, I've never seen one'.

So if you make the trek to Yan Yean, drop into the Growling frog restaurant. Listen carefully and you might be lucky and hear the crawark, crawark, crok, crok. You can't blame them for complaining. I salute them for finding their way back home.
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Why? For a view, coffee and golf
When: Everyday of the week
Phone: 97163477
Where: 1910 Donnybrook Road, Yan Yean
Cost: Reasonable especially on weekdays
Your Comment
I had to giggle when I read this - no wonder the frogs are endangered when they are between a restaurant and a golf-course. Brings a new meaning to toad in the hole.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12470) 2203 days ago
I have been to the Growling Frog and I totally agree with Jeni's description. It has fantastic views from the restaurant. Great report.
by grhmw (score: 1|37) 2189 days ago
Thanks to Jeni's article my wife and I went to the Growling Frog restaurant again for my birthday, yesterday. We did see some kangaroos in the shade watching the golfers. The view through the huge curved window is inspiring.
by grhmw (score: 1|37) 2183 days ago
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