The Newland Bakery and Viewpoint Café at Waikerie occupy prominent positions on the highway as you pass the South Australian Riverland town of Waikerie. Most travellers could be forgiven for thinking that they are the only places to grab a baked treat in Waikerie.
I thought so too but they're not. The 'actual' Waikerie Bakery is now on my list of very good reasons to head off the highway and explore Waikerie a little.
Read on for an eyewitness appraisal so you can make an informed bakery choice the next time you're in Waikerie.
The first bakery is the hardest to miss. The Newland Bakery Café offers a wide range of pies, pasties, and sausage rolls. The sandwich bar stands ready by the door to fill sandwiches and rolls with fresh salads and meats. A huge sweets cabinet filled with donuts, biscuits, cakes, buns, rolls, and meringues pops with all kinds of candy colours. A hot bar holds the standard highway fare of nuggets, dim sims, spring rolls, pasta, and grab and go pizzas.
The Newland Bakery also operates as a pizza bar and restaurant of sorts with pizzas and a few Asian hot meals on the menu. You can also get a range of hot fish and chip meals. If you're pressed for time or don't want to get out of the car, Newland Bakery Café offers a drive through service. There's plenty of parking and the cliff-top dining area and children's playground behind the bakery has excellent views of the river. There's a huge selection of drinks and the coffee isn't bad either.
Right next door is Viewpoint Café. Once simply a service station, it's been revamped as a destination style café. It's not really a bakery as such but they do stock bakery items like pies, pasties, sausage rolls, along with some cakes and slices from Loxton Bakery. It's got a café style menu ranging from schnitzels and Thai green curry to hamburgers and seafood, nuggets, and chips. If you want a loaded traditional breakfast plate, this looks like the place. A full range of coffee and drinks is available.
My pie was a bit sad but the modern rear deck at Viewpoint Cafe made up for it with sweeping views over the river.
True bakery explorers should follow the signs off the highway into the centre of Waikerie to find the gloriously titled 'Waikerie Bakery'. This family owned bakery has been baking for nearly 100 years. It's an honest and simple bakery with a tasty range of hot and cold baked treats. Filled rolls and sandwiches are made fresh at the counter and there's a good range of coffee and drinks.
Honestly, I didn't get to try everything at every bakery but I did grab something from each of them. As far as pies, sausage rolls, drinks and coffee go - they were all pretty similar although the pies from the local bakeries were in better shape. Newland Bakery and Viewpoint Café have excellent facilities and river views. Waikerie Bakery has an outdoor dining space right on the main street of Waikerie and is an authentic way to experience the town.
It would be unfair to rate them against each other. They all have their own special qualities. Consider trying one or all of them next time you're in the region. Or just take a road-trip break to enjoy a river view - maybe even head off the highway and explore the town of Waikerie.