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!
- 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