If you’re on two wheels riding the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail then you will pass through the small village of Porepunkah. There’s not much to the place, a few shops, a pub, and a caravan park – but it’s the kind of place you want to stay in for a tranquil break. The Great Alpine Produce & Trading offers a bunch of services all rolled into one, including the cafe, Punkah Pantry. While I sample the scones, a couple of locals arrive for an after work beer and tell me they are boycotting the local pub – something about the new renovations and no public bar. There are bikes to hire, and a vast range of mostly locally produced/made food and giftware. Actually all the wines, beers and ciders are produced within a 50 kilometre radius of the store, and the produce such as honey, tea, berries, trout and salmon etc., are all sourced in Victoria’s north-east. Not bad! Pull up at a barrel outside or sit at the window to watch tranquility pass by, or better still, browse the through the shop. I didn’t know that they grew green tea in north-eastern Victoria? My scones arrive slightly soggy from being heated up in the microwave, which is a shame, but are still better than average. There’s a small amount of mediocre strawberry jam and about four times the amount of thickly whipped cream. I don’t mind having loads of cream, but seriously, balance it out a tad!
Tea: A small selection of Tea Drop pyramid tea bags served in a teapot.
Overall: Handy location on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.