In Travel

Unique Farmstays Worthy Of A Winter Weekend Getaway

While summer Euro trips are the holiday du jour, the humble winter farm stay back at home has more than just a few merits. For those who aren’t planning to escape to the sun this winter, a weekend getaway to a place where the mornings are crisp and frosty and the fire is roaring is all you need to embrace the cooler months. Pack yourself in to the car, grab a good bottle of red and consider making the trip out to one of these unique farm stays.   

Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage, Barossa Valley

A farm stay needn’t be of the chickens and windmills ilk; if you are more into cantinas than you are cattle, a weekend away at a winery might be just the break you need. 

Just an hour drive from Adelaide in the Barossa Valley, the Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage sits amongst the vines of the ‘Seize the Day’ premium shiraz vineyard; just one of the many sections of the 10-acre Seppeltsfield vineyard. The self-contained 1860’s German settler’s cottage caters for just one couple at a time, promising the utmost of seclusion and intimacy on your stay. 

The king bed, double rainfall shower and Bose sound system add a luxury touch to the home, but the heritage features of Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage are what make the space special; from a free-standing claw foot bath to the incredible underground cellar.  

Guests are well looked after at the cottage, with the likes of fresh farm eggs, double smoked Barossa bacon, Maggie Beer pâté and fruit paste, and even a bottle of the vineyard’s own Seize the Day shiraz provided complementary on all stays. The owners even allow guests to help themselves to the fresh produce on the fruit trees and vegetable garden. 

If you want to get to know your surrounds a little more, Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage offer a complimentary 1-hour vineyard tour at your leisure. Or you can choose to hit the local Barossa markets, pick some fresh produce from the vegetable garden and enjoy a night in with a home-cooked meal by the fire. 

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

The Mt Sturgeon cottages at Royal Mail Hotel are a self-titled ‘real escape’. Having forgone the modern luxury of televisions, telephones and – in true farm stay style – cellular connectivity, the Royal Mail Hotel cottages are a technology free zone. If disconnecting is the aim of the game, a stay in one of these historic cottages will well and truly tick that box. 

Set 3km from the main hotel, the bluestone cottages fringe the picturesque Mt Sturgeon with views of the green peak from most every window. Once home to the farming property’s shearers and cooks, the cottages have now been transformed in to quaint, modern one and two-bedroom stays. The interiors are relaxed, inviting and quintessentially ‘farm house’, favouring natural wooden, leather and stone finishes. Equipped with a king bed, fireplace, freshly ground coffee and Appelles luxury amenities, the cottages come with everything you need for a cosy getaway. 

While the cottages themselves provide all you need on a rainy winters day, the hotel’s daily kitchen garden and wine cellar tours may coax you from the comfort of your room. The guided garden tour takes you through the sustainable food philosophies that drive the menu at Wickens; while the wine cellar tour ($25.00 per person) gives you a glimpse and taste of the hotel’s 28,000 bottle strong collection. 

Cypress Hill Farm, Denmark

There aren’t too many places in the world that you can book yourself an overnight stay in a luxury cottage on a working truffle farm; in Western Australia, you can. After Europe, Western Australia is the second largest producer of ‘black gold’, with the most prized produce heralding from Manjimup, Pemberton and the newest player in the game, Denmark.  

Known for its rugged coastline and lush bushland, a stay on one of Denmark’s working truffle farms offers an incredible amount of visual variety. Cypress Hill Farm is just a 5-10 minute drive from the center of town and the gorgeous cliffy coastline, but the farm and bush land vista make it seem that you are a million miles away from anyone else. From the wrap-around porch, you can look out over the great southern bushland, lush, green paddocks and their resident cows and kangaroos.  

Inside, the crisp white interiors and natural timber floors give the space a Hamptons-esque feel, while the antique timber furniture, wood fire and soft furnishings add a distinct farmhouse feel. With a large open plan kitchen, dining and living area, this 4-bedroom home is built for entertaining, and is perfect for families or large friend groups. 

Access to the truffle farm itself isn’t provided, but there is still plenty to busy yourself with while staying Cypress Hill Farm. You can organise to go on a truffle hunt with an external provider, take a walk to The Lakehouse cellar door, enjoy lunch at Single File Estate, or stay at home and cook up a feast in the outdoor pizza oven. 

Rathmore House, Hollow Tree

Sitting on a 92-acre sheep farming property 1 hour out of Hobart, Rathmore House bed and breakfast caters for the adventure lovers, escapists and antique fanatics. With just 3 other homes in the town of Hollow Tree, Rathmore House is a farming escape at its finest. 

Departing from the expected farmhouse style, this historic homestead is where old world charm meets farm. The living rooms are finished in luxurious wallpaper, the bedrooms are dotted with antique furnishings, chandeliers adorn the ceilings of every room and rolling paddocks make up the homestead’s vista. You really are transported to another period and place. 

There are plenty of outdoor activities to fill your weekend at Rathmore with; trout fishing, wombat spotting and – if you time it right – you might even catch a sheep shearing. If the chill outdoors is a little too much to bear in the winter months, you can sit around the fire, toast marshmallows, sip on local wine and trade stories with the homestead owners, Cally and Richard.

Published 24 June, 2018