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“Five Days of Freedom” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barrington Tops Organic Retreat

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Barrington Tops Organic Retreat
4.5 of 5 Ranch   |   384 Jems Creek Rd | Barrington Tops via Gloucester, Cobark, New South Wales 2422, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Sydney, Australia
1 review
“Five Days of Freedom”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

We stayed for 5 nights during the September school holidays at this great place. My 5 year old had an absolute ball playing with the cheeky and incredibly tolerant and friendly goats. He spent a lot of time in the barn with the guinea pigs and was thrilled when on the last day there were several brand new babies that had been born overnight. He had been nagging me for a place to find tadpoles and happily there is no shortage here. He had loads of fun finding them in the many creeks on the property. You can even see fresh water crayfish if you look carefully. He bounced on the trampoline for hours, often with other kids. He is an only child so this was great for us to see. We took our (all terrain) bikes and had a great time tearing down the main road that comes into the property and watching the surprised cows. We spent most mornings exploring the tracks on the property and in the National Park, then cooling off with a refreshing swim in the pool in the afternoons. The animals tend to be fed in the afternoons about 4 and this also attracts a lot of beautiful parrots, so it is worth hanging around and watching all the happy kids and animals. I am very glad we stayed for a bit longer than most, since there is a lot to see and do, but some of the tracks/walks are quite long and it takes some patience and time to find the wonderful but often secretive animals on the property. If you have a 4WD, take it, and you can drive part of the way then walk the rest, for example the track to the unspoiled Dilgry River. Or you can just drive and get out to listen for bell birds, whip birds and Lyre birds. Just ask John, the property owner, and he can guide you. We also explored the sights of the Barrington Tops National Park, which is World Heritage Listed and just down the road. Polblue Swamp and Gummi Falls can be visited from the retreat in a half day (each). There are ancient and unusual flora types for those interested in natural history.
We also did some spotlighting at night (we have a good handheld Lightforce spotlight) and saw red necked pademelons- close to the loft cabins, and some vey large brush tailed possums. We heard an owl and tried to track it. Next time we plan to do more spotlighting further into the property and at the National Park down many of the tracks and I am sure we will see more amazing and endangered animals.
We had great weather which was unseasonally hot, but it suited us fine. I think if it had been normal September temperatures, we would have been a bit cold. Take warm gear especially if you want to drive up to the Park or up the High Country Road on the property, since it is 10 degrees cooler up there. Also take binoculars- we saw wedge tailed eagles hunting on the hills both driving in and out of the property. If you have kids, take a lot of changes of clothes, long pants, and shorts, and swimmers and wet suit for them, gum boots if its wet. You can get in at some of the falls, though its chilly!!
We self catered - we bought all our food for 5 days in Gloucester on the way in and had great meals at night. We would have loved to go to the restaurant for a curry but found it a bit out of our budget. We stayed in a farm cottage, which are located closer to the main building, and it was very comfortable. They even have spare blow heaters if you need extra heat. They have the most fantastic thick soft doonas, and provide organic coconut shampoo conditioner and body wash, so don't waste space and take any!
We had a great time, and will be going back!

Room Tip: Farm cottage for families, loft for couples. Dilgry cottage was a bit dark, no sun in afternoon or m...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We have just returned from a fabulous three-day break here and it is hard to know how to describe the time we have spent away from computers, tablets, mobile phones just chilling out with nature. We took our two-year old away for a long weekend and she could not have been happier with the time we spent there. She was in her element, playing with the animals in the barn ALL day. Where else can you go and pick up a baby goat, get chased by geese, feed Buddy the horse and pet gunea pigs whenever you want?

I was thoroughly impressed with the accommodation (clean, warm and cosy), the food (better than most restaurants in Sydney - especially those AMAZING curries!) and the staff. The owners were instantly welcoming, encouraging us to borrow things from the main house throughout our stay. We even borrowed a backpack to carry our toddler around the rainforest when we fancied a walk. Nothing is too much trouble. The two staff on a travelling holiday visa who are working there (Richard and Sara) were uber friendly and you certainly felt that they were genuinely interested in your stay and your questions, especially the care and attention they showed towards our daughter (during dinner and feeding the animals).

I cannot recommend this place highly enough to families who just fancy a break from the big smoke and who want to do nothing more than spend time together being a family and enjoying the smile on a toddler's face when they realise that they can, if they want to, spend all day holding a goat or jumping on the trampoline at the front of the property!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Where do I start, well we stayed for 3 nights during the end of the school holidays. Everyone staff member was so friendly even the owners children went out of their way to say hello to you.The accomodations was unbelievable we stayed in a loft cabin. The beds and bedding were so soft and comfy you didn't want to get out, it was so nice to have a spar bath and glowing log fire we didn't want to leave the lodge. Fire wood was replenished daily by staff member and left outside. The farm area for the kids was so nice the kids were able to freely pat and play with the animals, and also roam freely with out getting lost. There was nothing for miles just rolling hills and country side. It was such a relaxing break, for both adult and kids. Certainly a contrast from Sydney. It was like having your own private luxury retreat on a farm just gorgeous.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We stayed for three nights during July school holidays. Kids aged 9,7,7. We stayed in one of the Loft Cabins. The cabins are ideal for couples. Way too small for a family of 5, and the kitchen is very limited (no oven). They were generous with tea/coffe/ hot chocolate/salt & pepper, but there's only a small bar fridge so there's no proper freezer space (our ice-cream defrosted in the freezer compartment). Since the nearst shop is 45 minutes away, if you are going to self-cater for your family, you need to stay in one of their cottages which are much bigger and has a proper fridge. However because the weather was fabulous, we stayed out doors most of the day so the space was not too much of an issue.
The bush walkes on the property is a must. We had dinner in the restaurant for once, which was lovely. If going during winter don't forget to take a pack of marshmallow for the open log fire. Toasting marshmallows for dessert was such a treat for our kids. As for the facility, tennis court is great, the animals are gorgous, but half of the mountain bikes were not working properly, and the piano in the restaurant is so out of tune that kids couldn't play.
There is no mobile phone reception - which is great. There is a TV, but with very limited TV channels. There is WiFi in the cabins, but VERY SLOW. However the WiFi in the restaurant is much better so just hang out there is you to do some work. We managed to ban our children form all forms of technlogy during our stay, it was fabulous, they enjoyed playing in the creek, and hanging out with the animals, especially the baby guineapigs and bunnies.
Will we go back? Yes, but I'll book one of the cottages and may be go with another family friends.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canberra
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Well, what a fabulous place! Set on a site of sweeping, open hills and rich rainforest (one of the walks even lit up at night with glowworms!), Tops Organic Retreat is built out of love, care and sensitivity to guest needs. The family and I were kicking ourselves that we hadn't locked in more time here. The farm is littered with goats, chooks, alpacas, horses, sheep, bunnies and guinea pigs for kids to love, while a pair of irascible geese kept the farm under control and the whole experience colourful!

There's more activities than you can count and they're thoughtfully settled into the landscape so that you can also choose to do nothing but listen to the birds, sink into the verandah chair and let nature work its magic on you.

John and his family are great hosts and helped us to make our holiday whatever we wished it to be.

This is a truly magical spot and highly recommended. My husband and I are just sad we missed the curries!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

The perfect family getaway, The Tops Organic Retreat is every bit as good as the website suggests. Three nights was all we had which although was enough to fully relax and enjoy the stunning surrounds, we could have stayed on as there was still plenty to explore and enjoy. It was fantastic to meet and talk with John and Sharini who have clearly worked very hard to create such a special experience with a sensitivity to all things natural. We loved our cozy loft cabin which with its own log fire (complete with precut wood and kindling provided) and electric blankets, felt most luxurious! It goes without saying the location is stunning and the many walking trails allow you to really make the most of it. It was great to have the option to cook for yourselves but the restaurant really is fabulous. The prices reflect the quality which is of a very high standard - not to mention delicious and of course, nutritious! I wish we could've had another one of Sharini's to-die-for curries! Our drive home was one big debrief on the great fun had by us all....befriending the animals and swinging over the creek were great fun, and eating eggs collected moments before breakfast was a definite highlight, as was the trail ride taken at nearby Camp Cobark. A very special place run by very special people - we will be back!

Room Tip: Loft cabin 8 was wonderful...very cozy with a beautiful outlook into the trees....kids loved being a...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We had a wonderful 2 night stay with our 3 young daughters. As the many reviews here already describe very well, the area is stunning. We played tennis, went on bushwalks, played with the animals and even drove up into the sub-alpine National Park, which is world heritage protected. The lodges are terrific and fully equipped with a kitchen, spa baths, cable television, heating and of course a fire. Runners - some of the runs from the property are the best you will ever do, just incredible scenery and beauty.

John and the team are very professional indeed and were constantly making sure that we had our needs met (which in my case includes many organic beers - John also being an expert in this area!). It really is a must for anyone who wants to escape the rat race, even for a short time. These types of places are very rare and force you to open your eyes to the spectacular country we have on our doorstep in Australia.

Room Tip: The best thing is to talk to John direct. Just call him.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Barrington Tops Organic Retreat

Address: 384 Jems Creek Rd | Barrington Tops via Gloucester, Cobark, New South Wales 2422, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Cobark
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Cobark
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Barrington Tops Organic Retreat 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tops Organic Retreat ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barrington Tops Organic Retreat Australia/Cobark

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