It was just a flying visit to the Bodalla Dairy Shed, on my way to the airport. We had met owners Robert and Sandra at the Whale Motor Inn on Friday night, and Sandra had been so enthusiastic about their place I had to stop by.
It’s a working dairy and cheese factory as well as being a lovely retro milk bar and cafe. Locals buy a proper glass bottle of fresh, un-homogenised milk with a $2 deposit on the bottle, which they return and swap for a new bottle as they go.
The milk is pasteurised at 63.1 degrees – barely above the legal minimum of 63C but far lower than the commercial dairies which heat milk to well over 70C, thus killing most of the nutrients. A freshly opened bottle rewards you with a proper cream top like we used to get years ago, and the milk is really sensational. Locals who swear by Bodalla milk tell me that even people with dairy sensitivities or allergies can quite happily drink the milk with no adverse reaction.
Sandra is passionate about her cheese-making too, experimenting with native spices. Current offerings include a “heatwave” cheese with pepperberries and hot spices, and a more subtle lemon myrtle cheese. There is plenty for the cheese purist here too, with Edam, vintage cheddar, blue cheese, a double cream brie and peppercorn pecorino.
The milk bar serves good coffee and decent tea, as well as proper milkshakes, hot meals and cream teas.
I satisfied my curiosity with a couple of wedges of heatwave cheese and desert dots chilli cheese. Next time I will save more room in the suitcase, and stay for a cheese platter and a glass of wine on the deck.
52 Prince’s Highway