Terralong Farm, Kangaroo review: Holy cow, it's magical

Homey ... view from the lawn.
Homey ... view from the lawn. Photo: Peter Harrison

Read our writer's views on this property below

Peter Harrison rubs the sleep from his eyes to marvel at the morning mist.

Cows. Murray Greys, to be specific. They're everywhere, as evidenced by the mooing and shuffling, the smells of feed and the aromatic black mounds we are dodging as we walk through the fields of Terralong Farm. It's a pleasant shock to the senses, all this livestock. Certainly for Jack, the blue heeler, who has spent most of his life lazing in the city and has never seen a cow.

He is so alarmed he withdraws to the safety of the house for two days, emerging only to bark nervously if one of us wanders too close to the paddock where the Big Strange Dogs live. My wife laughs: he is the only cattle dog in Australia scared of cattle.

Spacious kitchen.
Spacious kitchen. Photo: Peter Harrison

Still, maybe Jack has a point. As beautiful as Kangaroo Valley is, the large house, pool and gardens at Terralong Farm are spectacular enough. Staying at home for the entire weekend is an option we consider seriously.

It caters for 10: there is one king-size en suite room, a double room and two singles, as well as a spare bed in the large rumpus room. The timber kitchen has plenty of equipment and a large island bench around which to prepare food for groups, while a fireplace in the main lounge invites a soothing blaze on winter nights. When we arrive, the house has a faint smell of smoke, which is earthy and welcoming.

But it is the front garden that is most enticing, and draws everyone from their beds early in the morning. The property sits on the southern side of the Kangaroo Valley escarpment, facing north-east several hundred metres above the main road and with expansive views. Morning mists are still and magical. Forget about sleeping in; we are out the front at dawn, standing in silence in ugg boots and pyjamas, watching the mists dissipate. If gods live above the clouds, this is how they must feel.

Later, as the sun forces its way into the morning, motorcycle riders cruise through the valley in packs. The sound of Harley-Davidsons is faint, like distant, deep-voiced mosquitoes. I ask if this is heaven, lying in the sun and listening to the distant sounds of V-twins. My housemates, who are not revheads like me, seriously wonder if I've lost my mind.

After breakfast we explore the steep paddocks around the house. Terralong is a functioning 60-hectare farm, a third of which is bush, and while pets are welcome it is wise to keep small animals away from the livestock. There are plenty of kangaroos in the bush, too. They are big and unenthusiastic about meeting domestic pets, so we keep a cautious distance.

Near the front lane we also spot wombats, who freeze as we stroll by, pretending to be invisible. A car comes around the corner, slowly, but still startling us. There are no visible neighbours at the house and the idea that there are other humans nearby is unexpected.

Back home we snooze on the wraparound verandah, watching people with places to be driving along Moss Vale Road far, far below.

And then we ate Kangaroo Valley Grocery is a five-minute drive away in town and offers a large range of first-class deli goods. We stock up and head back to the house for a long dinner in the main dining room. The barbecue is untouched - but noted for next time.

The deal maker Sitting on the front lawn early in the morning, looking down at the fog and listening to the breeze breathe through the valley, is soporific. It will drain you of the desire to do anything else.

Stepping out The Friendly Inn is a two-storey pub with beer garden in Kangaroo Valley. The spectacular Fitzroy Falls. Jamberoo Recreation Park, an hour away, will exhaust bored children.

VISITORS' BOOK

Terralong Farm

Address Jarretts Lane, Kangaroo Valley.

The verdict A scenic place to enjoy absolute peace (mooing free).

Price From $495 a night/eight adults. Minimum stays in some peak periods.

Bookings Phone 0427709009, see stayz.com.au/28828.

Getting there Terralong Farm is about 160 kilometres, or two hours' drive, from the Sydney city centre via Mittagong. To travel by Wollongong and Berry, add about 20 minutes.

Perfect for Listening to the sounds of the bush; getting up to watch the sunrise.

Wheelchair access Yes.

While you're there Paddle a kayak in Shoalhaven Gorge with Kangaroo Valley Safaris. Take a drive up to Cambewarra Mountain lookout.