Built in the 19th century and recently restored and opened to the public to stay, Braeside Homestead, set in beautiful gardens, is a perfect escape. Lying about halfway between Warwick and Stanthorpe, it is a great place to base yourself to explore the region.
The Braeside Selection was established in 1869 and construction on the homestead started in 1879, and continued on into the 1920s. It became a model stud farm and of course, the opulence of the building reflects the wealth of the region at that time. After decades of decline, the building was listed on the national register in 2002.
Today the building has been restored and extended with the main homestead suitable for groups and a cottage that is great for couples. The interior includes period-accurate furnishings, claw foot baths, wood-fired heaters, and modern bathrooms and a kitchen.
The bedrooms provide great comfort in historic style. Most have their own en suite. There is also a family suite and the one bedroom without an adjoining bathroom has a bathroom set aside for it, though just not connected directly to the bedroom.
More than just a homestead, the grounds have been transformed into beautiful gardens that surround the homestead on 3 sides, including across the creek. My photos were taken in winter but in spring and summer, the grounds are filled with flowers. In particular, there is the rose garden that is perfect for weddings.
Beyond the gardens, the grounds start to merge into the working farm that surrounds the homestead. There are picnic tables and shelters down by the creek and this adds to the natural ambience of the location.
While the homestead is set on a working farm, because most of the farm is separate, the main animals you will see when staying are some alpacas and sheep, along with some geese wandering the grounds. Kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and other native animals do also come onto the grounds as well
In addition, there is also a plunge pool overlooking the gardens. On the other side of the homestead is a tennis court. Of course, if you are staying in, there are also shelves of books and cupboards of games. Most people come to the Braeside and spend much of their time there, especially in the evening.
Braeside is mostly a self-catered experience. With a well designed modern kitchen as well as a barbecue outside and fire pits around the grounds, there are lots of options for cooking. Many people will pick up food from Warwick or Stanthorpe if they don't want to cook.
From Braeside, you can easily visit both Warwick and Stanthorpe. Definitely don't want to get into any sort of debate about which is the more interesting town to visit, but both have their distinct charms and a great selection of country pubs, cafes. I have to say though, Stanthorpe has the better wineries.
Braeside Homestead is more than just a place to stay but a destination in its own right. Go with a group and stay at the Homestead or have a romantic escape in the cottage. Walk through the gardens, picnic at the creek, watch the stars at night around an open fireplace or just relax in historic comfort indoors with a wood fire. This is one of the great places to escape into the Granite Belt.
It's good to see the old places not only restored but being put to use. Buildings, like people, need to be needed; there's nothing that deteriorates so quickly as an abandoned home. This seems a lovely place to stay. I was in the are a few years ago, staying at Warwick. I found it to be a quiet and restful place.