I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published November 9th 2013
40 acres of the most majestic peace and privacy
I love a silent auction. I always bid on the getaways romanced by the notion that we could end up anywhere at any time and that we have the perfect excuse to run away from home. It's the makings of a perfect little adventure. Unfortunately I am not very successful with my bids, until now that it, and wouldn't you know it my first win was absolutely the jackpot!
At the end of a forest road sits Hoddles Hideaway awaiting your visit.
We took full advantage of the Melbourne Cup long weekend, organised a couple of extra nights and took off with no expectations and no idea what and where we were going. Who could have predicted what a magical and amazing experience we were embarking upon.
Hoddles Hideaway is located in Gembrook just off a dusty forest path no further than an hour and a bit out of Melbourne, yet once you drive up that mountain and through the solar powered gates you could easily believe you were solar systems away. The air feels different, the views are extraordinary and the weight on your shoulders seems to lift and disappear.
Welcome to your pretty pink self contained cottage
The bed and breakfast is the most loveliest looking pink and grey double story cottage that is accented by the acres of lush greenery that frames it. What's better is that the inside is as impressive as the outside with every thing you could possibly hope for and things you would never expect awaiting you and promising you an unforgettable stay.
There are two bedrooms both with queen sized beds and enough linen and pillows to totally sink into. Rooms are tastefully decorated to create a homely and rustic feel. Upstairs has the bonus of the ensuite with gorgeous forest views from the window above the spa bath. The downstairs room however has a porthole styled window that allows you to gaze up at the star studded night sky as you drift off into a deep slumber.
For once I was excited to be on breakfast duty.
The rest of the cottage includes a spacious living area with a tv, iPod dock, DVD player and lots of boards games, books and DVDs to enjoy. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything from a stove, coffee plunger, tomato sauce, milk, tea and complimentary chocolates. Bring your own food and cook up a feast every night and of course a dishwasher will do the dirty work for you afterwards. There's also farm fresh ingredients ready for you to whip up a monster hot breakfast in the morning, bacon, tomatoes , bread and eggs or if you prefer there's little cereal boxes to kick start the day.
No need for a lawnmower with these sheep around.
The first thing you notice upon arrival other than the gorgeous cottage awaiting you is the highland cattle blissfully slumbering under the sun or roaming freely near the dam. These guys quickly became our firm friends and we would wander about the field with them or play games of soccer in the rain as they cheered us on. Not only do cattle graze outside your door but sheep flock by in a huddle stopping to eat pellets from your hand or meander through the growing vineyard near the cottages outdoor area. These friendly neighbours were the first things I would see each morning as I sipped a herbal tea on the verandah or plunged coffee in the kitchen. Not to mention the constant parade of King Parrots, the magpies serenading in the morning and the kookaburras with mouths full of breakfast soaring by. We nearly met a wombat too, but the hole being dug in installments was as close as we got.
Vibrant coloured King parrots feed before you and fly above you.
Once a visitor at Hoddles Hideaway you are encouraged to enjoy the 37acres of land and explore all around you including the dam, forest walk with lyrebirds residing there and to journey down the driveway to watch the sun blaze as it sets in the west, a truly spectacular sight.
Enjoy dazzling sunsets on your verandah or trek to the bottom of the driveway for a different perspective.
There is another cottage at the top of the long driveway which belongs to the owners. They're a lovely family who are all too happy to make sure your stay is five class. We were lucky enough to meet their fluffy chickens and tadpoles and to get some great pointers on local cafes and pubs. Not to mention some wonderful information about the native animals living around us. Next time I am definitely bringing some binoculars to try my hand at bird watching. Even though you are aware that other people are somewhere on the property the feeling of privacy is second to none. We felt completely at ease and totally relaxed to enjoy the surroundings however we chose. Admittedly we also enjoyed sharing a chat with the family too.
Plenty to do out and about in the neighbouring towns
Situated only a short leafy drive away is the town of Gembrook where there are classic country cafes to enjoy a lovely meal at and even a playground and skatepark that we enjoyed on the warmer days. Fifteen minutes in the opposite direction is Launching Place so named after the spot on the Yarra River where the logs were floated down the river to be milled in Melbourne. Here's a place you can enjoy a traditional pub meal.
Lots of lovely cafes to drop into when you get hungry.
Many other beautiful villages await you also like Warburton, Emerald, Olinda and Sassafras, not to mention Healesville and Yarra Glen. There are many gorgeous State Parks such as the Dandenong Ranges National Park to hike through, Puffing Billy to ride back in time on and quaint stores to buy souvenirs from. However if you just want to soak up the stillness, calmness and the seclusion of your private hideaway then simply don't leave, there's nothing you need that has not been supplied.
Take a trip on Puffing Billy
I was taken back by the way we adapted to our country stay, yes the bathroom tiles are heated and the beds have electric blankets but cuddling up with hot chocolates on the couch together, playing tag under a rainbow and nights filled with laughter as we tried our hand at charades re-energised my soul and our family unit and the black bags that had been forming under my eyes the last few months well and truly disappeared.
Disconnect from the world while you reconnect with your family.
Hoddles Hideaway is the perfect destination for families, friends, wedding parties and anyone who is ready to leave the city behind and get lost in the bush for a while. Book your getaway now and plan your perfect escape. You will not be disappointed and like me you'll never want to leave (just quietly I may have shed a silent tear or two as we drove off).