Mountain forest getaway

Mountain forest getaway


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January 2013

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3 Bedrooms
Sleeps 6
2 baths

About our home

Our single-level weatherboard home is located on set on 1.3 acres of very private and occasionally quite jungly gardens in the Dandenong Ranges, about an hour from the Melbourne CBD.

It's a very peaceful environment in The Hills, as the Dandenong Ranges is known. The area is renowned for its bohemian, arty community, so there are lots of galleries and boutiques to visit, and interesting people to meet.

The Patch is surrounded by lush indigenous eucalypt forest – think 150 year old Mountain Ashes and towering tree ferns. The days are filled with the sounds of birds and insects, while at night you might hear a boobook owl or the tramp of possums on the roof. Occasionally we are visited by wombats and a couple of echidnas live on the property.
Our home is a great getaway spot - private, quiet and close to all the main Hills and Yarra Valley attractions.

Our rustic, light-filled home has:
• Three bedrooms (master bedroom has an en suite bathroom with loo and shower)
• Fully equipped kitchen
• Lounge with fireplace, 60-inch TV, DVD player and Playstation 2
• Second bathroom with bath and shower
• Separate toilet
• Sun room, office and laundry with washing machine
• Large dining room with eight-seater dining table
• Large deck overlooking the gardens and pool
• Solar-heated swimming pool
• Gorgeous garden views.

We have a little boy and we're happy to lend guests toys and other toddler / child paraphenalia if you need it. We can provide a portacot for babies / toddlers. We can also direct you to all the local playgrounds and child-friendly attractions!

The property used to be a daffodil farm, so between August and October, the bottom paddock is filled with daffies. Our fruit trees (plums, apples and quinces) are also in blossom then. In autumn (from February to April) you’ll be able to help yourself to the fruit. Lemons and limes are available all year round.

There are many attractions, all within 10km:
• Belgrave offers art galleries, interesting shopping, some lively pubs / live music venues and annual festivals, plus a supermarket and various takeaways.
• The historic Puffing Billy steam train departs from Belgrave station to Emerald and Lilydale. It’s a great way to see the scenery, or you can book a murder-mystery dinner!
• Sassafras – quaint shops and cream teas are a speciality.
• Olinda – enjoy more interesting shopping and dining.
• Tesselaar Tulip Farm hosts a month-long festival from mid-September to mid-October, and a two-day gardening and plants expo in early April.
• Grants Picnic Ground offers a chance to feed to local cockatoos, rosellas, gallahs and king parrots. It’s a great spot for a BBQ or picnic, or have a bite at Grants on Sherbrooke. There are some good walks here too – we’ve seen numerous wallabies and lyrebirds!
• Kallista farmers’ market - running for over 28 years, the market is held on the first Saturday morning of the month. There’s fresh produce and locally made clothing, jewellery and homewares.
• Monbulk has some nice cafes, plus a supermarket.
• Blue Hills Berries and Cherries is one of many local fruit farms, where you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries and cherries, in season.
• Yarra Ranges Estate winery is close by and it’s also a popular for weddings / events. Or try something really local: Dawson's Patch Chardonnay or Pinot Noir - just 300m from our gate!

There are many beautiful parks and gardens close by, including the National Rhododendron Garden, Pirianda Gardens and George Tindale Memorial Gardens.

The Melbourne CBD is about an hour by train or car. Head 45 minutes east, and you’re in the Yarra Ranges winelands, complete with Chandon sparkling wines, plus the Healesville native animal sanctuary. Head an hour south and you’re in the Mornington Peninsula, with the hot springs and Phillip Island. So, there’s lots to see and do locally or close by, or stay home and write that book or complete that masterpiece.

Cars: We have two cars (one automatic, one manual) and are happy to discuss including use of one or both of them in the swap.

Pets: We have four cats, which are kept in our gardens with a radio-wave hidden fence. Ideally we’d love a swap with a family who wouldn’t mind looking after them, but we understand that not everyone loves cats, so if you don't want to have them around at all, let us know and we can make arrangements for them to stay elsewhere.

If you can look after the cats, we can also let you use a separate bedsitter cottage for an additional two adults, with its own kitchenette, lounge, bathroom and patio.

Alternatively our cat sitter can stay in the cottage and will look after them, although you will see them in the garden on occasion.


More about us

  1. Tim and I are ex-South Africans who moved to Australia a few years ago. Our lives revolve around our adorable four year old son.
  2. Tim runs his own IT business, and Abby is a writer and editor.
  3. We’re looking to do a family sabbatical for two or three months in 2014 or 2015, preferably in Indonesia. However, we’re also open to swaps elsewhere, including shorter swaps in Australia.

Dream destinations


Open to offers
Not Available

Where is it?


Buzzy restaurants
Elevation at Emerald
Cool bars
Ruby Lounge, Micawber Tavern
Cozy cafés
Miss Marples Tea Rooms in Sassafras
Retail therapy
Art, fashion and antiques in Olinda, Belgrave, Sassagras
Bit of culture
Thousand steps Kokoda memorial walk; Belgrave galleries, Puffing Billy
Walks in the park
Grants Picnic Ground, National Rhododendon Gardens, George Tindale Memorial Gardens
Spot of exercise
Loads of walking trails (and bike trails); aquatic centre with gym and heated indoor swimming pool 3km away
Day tripping
Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula

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