The View Cafe: As Silver writers were exploring Hinze Dam, we came across the View Café. It’s tough work finding these hidden gems and eating a luxurious breakfast, but someone has to do it!
As we approached Hinze Dam, we saw the fabulous The Hinze Dam Visitor Centre. It is owned by Seqwater, and has educational displays and informative talks. These talks will resume once Covid goes back to the hell from whence it came. But as we discovered, this building also has a café and function centre in it! So off we went inside for a good reconnaissance mission.
The first thing you notice is the stunning view and exceptional architecture of the place. The vistas from the View Café across Hinze Dam make this destination one of the Hinterland’s most rewarding visits. This is the kind of place where bushwalker-types do proposals.
The food looks fit for an Instagram extravaganza. There’s muffins, coffee, omelettes, pancakes. There’s a kid-friendly menu, and a group buffet menu which looks absolutely delicious. The salads range from salt and pepper calamari through to Caesar salad and warm Thai chicken salad, with beer battered chips or sweet potato fries on the side. You can have all that with a chilled glass of wine or beer.
You have the choice to relax inside in aircon to the gorgeous dining room that juts out over the water (still with those views!). Or you can sit outside on the terrace overlooking the stunning scenery of the Nerang River. The captivating views stretch from the Numinbah Valley to the Pindari Hills.
THE VIEW CAFE: HISTORY
Twenty-three million years ago the area in front of the View Café was part of a massive volcano. In its prime, the crater rim stood two kilometres tall with lava flows sprawled across more than 7000 square kilometres. The ridge of rock is viewable from The View Café – a constant reminder of the region’s volcanic past. In the more distant view from the cafe lies the Lamington Plateau and Pages Pinnacle. Waterside Park is built on part of the quarry at Pelican Point which supplied the greywacke rock for the Hinze Dam wall. You can view the quarry to the right of the cafe.
From the cafe you can explore on wide safe paths. They are very accessible for people with disabilities, wheelchairs, walkers, plus they are a dream for parents with prams. These paths wind to the dam’s edge along manicured gardens. From the café, you can also take a scenic stroll along the peak of the dam wall. All this is a very easy walk, with amazing views.
We cornered Tony, the owner of the café, who is 75, to get the info. He adores the spot. “We took control of the business in 2014 we thought it was the most beautiful location and that is something that would never change. It will always be beautiful. We did change one thing – the menu. We made it Australian and better suited to the area.
“My 56-year-old wife manages the front-of- house – she’s been doing that for many years and she’s very good at it! She Austrian, so she speaks four languages – French, German, Spanish and English! I look after the administration side of things. We love it and have no plans to retire! We have a wide range of customers, they come from everywhere, including the local area, of course. But they also come from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and from the Tweed area. People come from all around because it’s such a beautiful day trip. The weekends are super busy! During the week we get a lot of people who are in the stage of their life where they’re semi-retired or retired. They have a lot of time for fun! They come here to enjoy a beautiful day out and do the walk around the dam.
We also have car clubs and motorcycle clubs, which make this their stop of the day. And we get older groups who are coming for a day trip, and we can cater for them in our function room. It’s the perfect place for them because of the wonderful access the flat pathways afford them. It’s really easy to get around here at the cafe, and in the visitor centre grounds and around the dam. There are no steps, and you can park right adjacent to the building. We have disabled toilets, so it is accessible for everyone. A lot of older people are very active however, and stop here for breakfast on the way to the wonderful walks in the Springbrook area, like Twin falls, Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls. They stop for breakfast, or they can grab some picnic items from here on their way.”
THE VIEW CAFE: MAKE A DAY OF IT
The View Cafe has a 4-star Trip Advisor rating and was awarded the Travellers’ Choice Award in 2020. They are rated #1 for Quick Bite in Advance Town. So grab your friends, or tell your events organiser to hire the bus! This day out is not to be missed.
THE VIEW CAFE
phone: 0499 221 695
phone: 07 5563 0313
Store 100-200 Advancetown Road, Advancetown
When you are there, be sure to get that second coffee. Here’s why.
Editor for Silver Magazine Gold Coast