‘You’re what?” and “You can’t be serious?” were the first two reactions I got when I told friends I was taking my family to the pyramids for the weekend. Their looks of incredulity quickly transformed into looks of surprise when I explained that the pyramids weren’t in Egypt, rather just a couple of hours’ drive from Canberra.
More precisely, they are located at Hide ‘N’ Rest, a quirky B&B nestled in a quiet corner in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains and surely one of the few places in the world where you can bunk down in your very own self-contained pyramid. There are two pyramids, each built in the same dimensions as the Great Pyramid of Cheops – the only Egyptian pyramid not constructed as a tomb.
Needless to say, owners of Hide ‘N’ Rest, exuberant Polish couple Marta and Richard Karpinski, have always been fascinated by pyramids. Before moving here around 20 years ago, for almost a decade they conducted experiments involving a live-in prototype in the backyard of their Sydney home.
“They are built to an ancient code and aligned to true north,” boasts Richard, who adds, “Some say they emit energy-giving cosmic rays which reportedly relieve stress and help restore a sense of harmony, peace and serenity.” The pyramids have no electricity so there are no electromagnetic waves to interfere with this so-called cosmic energy.
However, this doesn’t mean there is a lack of facilities. While not luxurious, each pyramid features a cosy kitchen alcove serviced by gas and a bathroom with a seemingly endless supply of hot water. The pyramids are a kid-friendly place to stay with extensive gardens, perfect for that game of hide ’n’ seek, and even a specially designed adventure playground.
However, the best part about staying here is the private access to the Murrumbidgee River, where, just on dusk, we stroll down for an evening picnic. Fed by snow-melt upstream, the ’bidgee rushes by with all the fertility of an Egyptian goddess.
Unfortunately, there’s not much ‘‘harmony, peace and serenity’’ overnight (how can you with a one and a four-year-old in tow) and after a scrumptious breakfast cooked by our hosts, next day we head into nearby Adaminaby.
The original township was flooded to make way for Lake Eucumbene (with a capacity nine times that of Sydney Harbour), and while strolling around the resituated town (they moved over 100 buildings to higher ground), you get the feeling that many of the townsfolk would rather be in the old village. It seems to be a place still searching for its lost soul.
One of the few highlights in town and taking pride of place in its main street is the ‘‘world’s largest trout’’. We linger around the trout for almost an hour (there’s a playground next to it....), in which time dozens of travellers stop for the obligatory photo with the big fish. Most are beanie-clad and on their way back from the last of the season’s snow at Mt Selwyn (about an hour up the highway).
Lake Eucumbene is about a 10-minute drive out of town, and even if you aren’t a keen fisher, a visit here is a must. A walk around its shorelines reveals old concrete foundations – parts of old homes either sunken or moved. It also commands grand views of the main range which should remain snow-capped for at least another month or so.
There are special signs dotted around the lake’s foreshores warning people that it’s a crime to take items from the old town – a result of the recent drought which saw water levels fall to record lows and the pilfering of sunken treasures.
However, for my little family, our booty is another night bunking down in our very own pyramid.
Adaminaby: Hide ‘N’ Rest Pyramids are located at Rocky Corner, near Adaminaby, about a 2-hour drive south from Canberra.
Hide ‘N’ Rest Pyramids: From $85/night. Pets are welcome. Ph: (02) 6454 2536 for more details.
Eat: The pyramids are self-contained, but I highly recommend joining your hosts in the homestead for the home-cooked dinner from $25 a person. You can also pick cherries, plums and other fruit from the Hide ‘N’ Rest orchard. Yummy!
Tim’s tip: Drag yourself out of bed to see the combination of fog, frost and golden sunlight transform Rocky Corner into a surreal wonderland.