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“Star-gazing, national park and lovely meals” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Twinstar Guesthouse & Observatory

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Twinstar Guesthouse & Observatory
28146 New England Highway, Ballandean, Queensland, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Ballandean B&B and Inns
Rathdowney
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Star-gazing, national park and lovely meals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We spent two nights at Twinstar, as we were leading a tour to Girraween and a guest wanted private facilities but without paying extra for a whole cabin to herself, so we didn't stay at our usual location (Girraween Environmental Lodge, which is also very good). The location of Twinstar is very convenient to Girraween National Park, which was the primary reason we chose this accommodation, a second reason being that they have a small observatory attached. It was certainly very convenient - just a short drive down the road to go hiking amongst the huge granite boulders, woodlands and waterholes, viewing kangaroos, many birds and wildflowers each day. The proprietors Naomi and Eiji were very welcoming and friendly, and the meals (set menu for each night of the week) very tasty. The first night was very cloudy, but on the second night Eiji took us into the observatory after first pointing out some of the stars, the Magellan Clouds and a planet (Mars) we could see with the naked eye (Jupiter had also risen by the time we were leaving for the night). He was very knowledgable and told us a lot about the nebulae, globular clusters etc. we were viewing. The rooms were very clean, tidy and attractive, and we were pleased to see environmental considerations (e.g. a bucket to collect the first water from the shower while waiting for it to heat, a small recycling bin in addition to the regular waste paper bin). We would definitely return. The garden has many interesting and beautiful varieties of roses (I would like to see a section devoted to local native plants added some time)

Room Tip: There are only three rooms in the entire establishment, each with a double and a single bed and a co...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Murwillumbah, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

What an unexpected find. I was a bit nervous about booking into a guesthouse in a small country town. But when we walked into reception and I smelt the japanese food cooking I felt encouraged. When we got to our room I was relieved to see it was spotless. Absolutely the cleanest room I have every stayed in. Well equipped, right down to the complimentary biscuit in a container marked 'biscuit'(!). The guest book included many comments in japanese, so it seems this venue is a favourite amongst Japanese travellers too. Not surprisingly, every one of the comments in the guest book was positive.

Highly recommend this guest house if you're looking for a moderately priced but super-clean place to stay near the wineries.

Room Tip: Ask for the Japanese room service dinner.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011 via mobile

Great little place to stay even if you're not into astronomy. Great service, spotlessly clean, and food sized rooms. I'll definately be back.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Brisbane
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

My second stay at this exceptionally good little guesthouse, amazing attention to detail, fastidiously clean rooms, warm and welcoming hosts who have their own observatory in the gardens - away from the lights of the city - offering guests a unique opportunity on a clear night to view the night sky.

Easy to find, close to great wineries, Girraween National Park and the seventh wonder of Australia ... the great Balandeen Pyramid. Dinner at the local Pub is a real treat. Have lunch at Mason Wines Cellar Door Cafe ... the best lunch on the Southern Downs.

Twinstar is amazingly good value for money ... Highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2010

Rooms are great value and spotlessly clean and the many thoughtful touches such as handpicked flowers from the garden, a good selection of books and magazines, lollies and detailed information on the area made us feel welcome from the moment we set down our suitcase. The fridge comes ready stocked with your continental breakfast (plentiful and varied), and if you don't feel like going out for dinner after a long day walking in the National Park, or can't drive after visiting the many wineries then I thoroughly recommend accepting the offer of having dinner served in your room. This wouldn't be the best choice if you are a die hard romantic wanting trendy linen, funky artworks and a spa bath in a secluded cottage, but the owners are just delightful and the night sky viewings conducted from the garden observatory add to the feeling that this guesthouse offers a much warmer, sincere and more personal experience than most.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2008

This is a great place to stay if you're looking for somewhere in this area or as a base to exploring Girraween National Park. It was a bit hard to find though especially driving in the dark.

It is owned by a lovely Japanese couple. The gentleman used to work as a lecturer at Griffith University in Brisbane and has retired here.

If I can remember, there were 4 bedrooms as part of the house. On the other side of the bedroom was a lounge area and breakfast area for guests. The ensuite room was very comfortable, oil heaters were provided and ever toilet seat warmers! It was terribly cold when we were there over Easter but we were kept warm enough and cosy. Breakfast was well cooked, delicious and plentiful!

The highlight of the stay was being taken on a astronomy tour with the owner's very own built telescope!

I highly recommend this place and would not hesitate to stay here again if I were going to this part of town.

p.s Meals at the tavern up the road weren't too bad if you need a bite!

  • Liked — Observatory Tour
  • Disliked — A bit secluded
  • Stayed March 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Twinstar Guesthouse & Observatory

Address: 28146 New England Highway, Ballandean, Queensland, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Ballandean
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Ballandean
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Twinstar Guesthouse & Observatory, located 20 km south of Stanthorpe on New England Highway, is a unique B&B with an in-house observatory. For interested guests a FREE guided tour of the night sky is offered from the observatory with a large 46 cm reflecting telescope. The Guesthouse is ideally located for visits to national parks (15 min to Girraween NP) and many wineries on the Granite Belt. All 3 guest rooms have an air-con, Wifi (1 hour free), own bathroom (toilet & shower), fridge, microwave, TV & DVD, and own entrance off the verandah. No minimum stay, no seasonal tariff and no deposit. ... more   less 

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