I’ve checked, and when you Google the best places in Australia for ice cream, the Victorian town of Lockington fails to get a mention. If you needed further proof that Google isn’t always right, this must be it.
Lockington, population 800, is 25 minutes south of Echuca. It’s in that part of northern Victoria characterised by a criss-crossing grid of very long, very straight roads. The town appears from nowhere. You only know it’s coming because of the succession of speed limit signs telling you to slow down.
There isn’t a whole lot to Lockington. There is, of course, a pub. There is also a school, a few churches and a couple of small shops. And there’s Ciurleo’s Ice Cream and Waffle House.
Locating Ciurleo’s is easy, just look for the building with the bright turquoise façade. It was a busy place the day of our visit. Even if we hadn’t spotted the building, the concentration of cars parked out the front would have been a give-away.
We couldn’t wait to check it out. Not only was there the fun of finding an ice cream parlour in an unlikely location, it had a retro theme going for it too. Inside, there’s a black and white chessboard patterned floor, pink walls and chrome counters.
The ice cream servery runs along one side of the counter. There are a couple of dozen flavours to choose from including some vegan sorbets. But there is more to Ciurleo’s than ice cream. Above the main counter are menu boards that feature their other specialities – waffles and baked potatoes.
It might seem like a strange mix, but when you throw in the various sundaes and milkshakes on offer, the baked spuds provide a savory option for people without an insatiable sweet tooth.
It happened to be around lunch time, so we placed our orders and found a seat in the outdoor area. The contoured fake grass, shaded tables and bright blue exterior wall created a relaxed setting. Blue Moon by The Marcels was playing over the outdoor speaker.
Nat cringed as I quietly sang along, confirming I had watched far too many episodes of Happy Days as a kid. I ignored her protests and joined in the chorus as some enormous milkshakes and sundaes came out for another table.
My efforts to harmonise with the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations ended when our order arrived. Nat’s raspberry and white chocolate waffle was as bright in its presentation as the rest of the shop. My hotdog with cheese and bacon was served perfectly. It came nestled in a long cardboard box with bottles of sauce and mustard on the side.
It was an indulgent but enjoyable lunch. There was a happy atmosphere as people arrived and left licking their double scoop cones. Nat’s waffle had finished her off, but I had room for dessert in the form of a Ferro Roche and choc mint ice cream.
Ice cream to remember
It was delicious. So smooth, and the flavours were great. The Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace was now playing but, much to Nat’s relief, I was too busy with the ice cream to get any lines out.
There are many reasons to visit Echuca. The river, paddle steamers and museums. There are distilleries, wineries and gourmet food stops. But, if you want a bit of fun and some great ice cream, get to Lockington. Visit Ciurleo’s Ice Cream and Waffle House. It’s an ice cream experience you won’t forget!
MOAMA CARAVAN PARK – DISCOVERY
We stayed at Discovery Parks Maiden’s Inn Moama in the middle of school holidays the park is rocking with water parks, pools, rock climbing walls and movies but we still had a nice quiet riverside site to relax. Camp Kitchens, Bathrooms, BBQ were modern and very quiet.