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“Best Weekend with our Fur Baby(dog)” 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
East Maitland, Australia
1 review
“Best Weekend with our Fur Baby(dog)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

We have struggled to find accommodation where we could take our dog. From the 1st phone call the owners were nothing but helpful. On arrival the first thing you notice is the quiet and the ability to switch off your phone and relax. The food at the restaurant was amazing and is developed daily on what produce they secure at the local farmers market or you also have the opportunity to cook in your accommodation should you want to. Living in suburbia you get the normal bird noises, doves and indian minors etc but in the morning, the sound of all the different bird noises and the farm life was wonderful. At night you get the frogs and the three of us sat on the verandah and watch a swamp wallaby go about his business of foraging for food. My dog loved it and was so relaxed he fell asleep on the verandah after a tranquil walk through the rainforest. There are so many walks, we did not have time to do many that are mapped out throughout the property, so we will be going back. Even though the loft's were close to each other they are angled so you cannot see the people next door giving the illusion of being all alone in the piece and quiet with all the amenities of home. Lastly, the staff were extremely helpful and went out of their way to help when required. I would highly recommend to anyone that lives in the city that just needs to unplug from the worldwide web, get out of suburbia and enjoy being with your family.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
2,595 reviews 2,595 reviews
215 hotel reviews
Reviews in 344 cities Reviews in 344 cities
1,157 helpful votes 1,157 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

Probably wonderful for families and allowing the kids to do things in someone else’s home that you wouldn’t tolerate in your own home.
It is clearly more a farm than what we had anticipated as a bird watching haven so yes as others say, probably good for families to enjoy a few days as a farm stay enjoying the animal life.
There must be more to do here but the hosts don’t volunteer much when you get here – they talk of a list of 70 odd birds but they are clearly not on this property.
Although many say one should enjoy a couple of days away and leave the phone and iPad behind, I still had commitments to meet and I assumed when the blurb says “free Wi-Fi” that it in fact was consistently available. I could handle no phones for 2 days but I was seriously struggling being out of touch with my office for the 2 days – the Wi-Fi is not consistent – falls over every few minutes and you cannot complete any task – and I could not get through to my VPN.
The killer though is the communal dining room – from the first minute when a young kid was showing us how badly he could play a piano at the loudest number of decibels to another group of kids showing how you could wreck a pool table in 5 easy lessons to another family using the dining room as a race track using prams instead of racing cars.
Pity the poor European staff person who had absolutely no idea of how to control such brats but we were absolutely amazed at the parents who set no boundaries on their kids in a social environment.
The food was akin to home cooking and we could have handled it if we weren’t subject to a barrage all night from these kids probably enjoying freedom away from home with no restrictions on behaving badly.
The whole experience is quite expensive so it all has to work – the cabins are quite close to each other so there is little privacy and the rooms are lacking space and light.
Have been to others like Canopy tree Houses and Crater Lakes in the Atherton and these experiences were far superior.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maitland, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

The accomodation is just lovely and has everything you need for a relaxing and comfortable stay - including a picturesque bushland view and the beautiful music of the birds. My children loved feeding the farm animals and enjoyed the freedom to explore the farm. It was special to watch them become increasing curious and confident around all of the animals. The pool was very nice and the children had a great time swimming. The nearby horse riding school offered pony rides at a very reasonable price which was the perfect way to end our country getaway. We'll definitely be back in the cooler months to enjoy the log fire and do some bush walking. For those with young children I recommend stopping at the excellent park in Stroud - as you are coming into town turn left onto Broadway street (go up the hill if you need a toilet stop first) then right on Lowrey St and the park is on the left. If you miss Broadway Street just take your next left onto Church Lane.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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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Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

We stayed at the Tops last weekend with our 4 sons aged 7, 5, 3 and 1. If only we'd known (a) how remote it was and (b) how much there was to do when there, we'd definitely have opted to wait for a time when we could have stayed for longer - two nights and one full day simply wasn't enough! We arrived about 7pm on Friday night and were given a warm welcome by owner Sharini and the lovely Jessy (the farm dog), taken to our cabin and given a complimentary bottle of very lovely, very welcome Chardonnay. The kids loved the spa bath, all of us loved how comfy the beds were (never slept so well), my husband was impressed with how many Foxtel channels there were and I loved the two spacious verandahs from which we spotted Bandicoot-like creatures at night, kangaroos and loads of glamorous looking birds. Beware though if you're scared of spiders - we also saw three gigantic Huntsman (to me each one looked to be the size of a small country) that were just aching to get into the cabins - loitering about looking for an opportunity on the flyscreen doors...
On the Saturday we were able to explore the grounds a bit more, but not that much more because our boys couldn't get past the guinea pig enclosure - they were absolutely enraptured! Owners John and Sharini are so laid back and accommodating - I'm so used to having to watch my loud and boisterous boys like a hawk, but they didn't seem to mind in the least that they were sitting in the guinea pig enclosure for ages 'cuddling' (I hope not terrorising) all of the animals (sometimes unaccompanied if we were back at the cabin with our youngest), and kept going back to reception to get yet another tub of feed for the horses, alpacas, goats, ducks, chickens, etc. Actually it was great that reception is up a small hill from the barn where most of the animals are as the boys exhausted themselves running up and down the hill checking to see if the chickens had laid eggs every few minutes! It was just lovely to see them outdoors appreciating nature without any time constraints for a change... In the afternoon we drove to Gummi (Gumni?) Falls as recommended by John which was about a 45 minute drive away along some very potholed dirt roads (but OK in our Tarago - you don't need a 4WD) - well worth the drive though as not only do you get to see some spectacular scenery on the way, complete with Wedge-tailed Eagles and wallabies, once you get there it's just so beautiful and secluded. The path to the waterfall is very narrow and overgrown, but that just adds to the whole experience. It was a bit tricky though carrying my one year old through some of the thicker brush so we opted to go for the slightly safer looking path to the top of the falls and swim amongst the mini falls rather than in the more picturesque, deeper pool directly under the main waterfall. It was still lovely though - so refreshing! The boys loved it and of course we were the only ones there as it was so remote. Later that day we visited the animals in the barn again, swam in the retreat pool and had an organic meal at the restaurant where the food was absolutely sensational - even the boys who seem to struggle with anything that's not junk, gobbled up their pasta and meatballs without pausing for breath!
All in all it was a fabulous weekend - just wish we could have stayed longer as we would have loved to have done some of the bushwalks recommended and gone for a trail ride at the neighbouring farm, but we had the crazy idea to go on a dolphin cruise at Nelson Bay on the way back to Sydney (slight diversion, I know!) so we had to get going by about 11am, but we'll definitely be back to the Tops as we feel so much better after stepping away from hectic Sydney life, even if it was just for a short time.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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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Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

We spent five nights in mid January at the Tops Organic Retreat with our 3 and 1 year old in one of the loft cabins. Honestly though it was an absolutely perfect holiday for us. Looking for something a bit nicer than our usual camping but still explore all the nature etc. The 3 year old loved the guinea pigs, chickens, goats and was easily entertained for a few hours with the animals. trampoline and pool. Cabin for us was perfect, good combination of luxury/rustic. Restaurant was divine, totally recommend dinner. We did also bbq in the cabin, and there are enough supplies to do a good family meal. Its is rural, bring your supplies but that why we choose it and loved it. We went horse riding most days at Camp Cobark 10 minutes away, they did very reasonable pony rides for the little one. Highlight for us was exploring the 4WD tracks on the property and ending up swimming in the clearest river i have ever seen. Came home very relaxed.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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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Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

My husband and I and our 10 year old daughter spent 4 days and 3 nights at The Tops Organic Retreat. We just loved our time there and would happily have stayed longer. We had our own secluded loft cabin and were able to listen to and observe the abundant wildlife, morning to night. Our animal-loving daughter spent as much time as she could with the farm animals - in particular, the guinea pigs - and in the beautiful weather that we were fortunate enough to have during our whole stay, we took advantage of all the facilities on offer (swimming pool, tennis, bushwalking etc.) as well as booking ourselves in for a couple of horse trail rides at the nearby 'Camp Cobark'. The meals that we ate in The Tops organic restaurant were delicious and generous in size. We completed our stay with an adventurous trip to a nearby waterfall - what a discovery! And finally, whilst Wi-Fi access was available, it was therapeutic to be able to just 'turn off and tune out' for a few days. This place offered us the perfect family holiday. Thank you, John, for the very personal service and for maintaining a wonderful holiday venue.

Room Tip: The secluded loft cabins are very private yet not at all too far away from all facilities.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

We stayed in one of the cabins at the Tops Organic Retreat.

We visited with our daughter who is nearly one. Unfortunately, the bad weather seriously hampered our plans as we had rain the entire time. We also had a big thunderstorm on our first night which plunged us into darkness as we had a power cut that cut short our evening at about 9pm.

The location was breathtaking - much more remote than we had anticipated, and we wondered if we had got lost initially! It isn't a spot from which to explore the region, and once you're there you're best to stay put. There is lots on offer on the farm - the animals, tennis, the pool - as well as beautiful walks - but beware the leeches!! The farm dog is just gorgeous, and it felt as though she was showing us around.

Our cabin was cosy and well equipped but I wouldn't consider it luxurious or 4.5. The spa bath was old, and one of the attachments came off when running it in. There were also lots of brown bits floating in the water that came out the bath taps. Our shower door didn't close properly which caused the bathroom to flood each time we used it. The bed was very comfortable and our room was so cosy - the peace at night time was just amazing! Our baby girl slept soundly in her new environment and so did we.

The furniture in the living area could do with updating - the sofa is a small old sofa bed and the cushions kept coming out of position and edged off the couch. The Foxtel was a definite bonus, especially in the wet weather! We did experience a slight drip coming down along the chimney in the really heavy downpours. The living area was definitely not baby friendly, but this is no fault of the retreat - just something we'd mention for future families. The staff were accommodating and provided a stair gate though, as well as a carrier to use on walks.

I think if we had mentioned any of our issues to the staff, they would have made every attempt to put it right, as they really are helpful.

All in all - you're paying the money for the wonderful location, as well as quirky and cosy nature of the cabins. In terms of interior quality, we'd expect to pay more about the $180 - $210 mark each night. We considered getting takeaway from the restaurant one evening but thought one course at $35 was a little steep again.

We would come back, especially when our daughter is a little older, and we would recommend the retreat to others - it was just a little more remote and basic than we were expecting.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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*
Number of rooms: 8
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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