BullerRoo is a swish two-bedroom elevated chalet-style apartment in a rural setting where vistas of Mount Buller, the rolling Barwite Valley and the Broken River star.
It's named after nearby Mount Buller and the many kangaroos that come out to play at dawn and dusk, but it's not until you climb the stairs, step into the open-plan kitchen and living area and look up that the impact of the sweeping views leave you swooning.
The private hilltop retreat that sleeps five, is next door to the main house and has a separate entrance and carport. Nearby, the cosy three-bedroom Stone Creek Cottage, sleeps six. A pretty, manicured alpine garden frames this high-country beauty.
BullerRoo is set on nine hectares which is home to a miniature pygmy goat stud farm with residents including Misty, Tassie and Mr Tipples, plus some friendly alpacas. It's 15-minutes from Mansfield and a 50-minute drive to Mount Buller ski resort, a bonus for snow lovers. Melbourne is two and a half hours away and Albury, where you can fly into from Sydney, is a two-hour drive.
Apart from the spectacular 180 degree views from full length windows, the design is sleek and the decor striking. Natural fibres feature with warm-hued European Oak timber floors and ceilings and an intricate stone wall around the French cast-iron chiminea. Reindeer pelts cover the leather couches and there's a rustic dining table made from cattle yard timber. The well-equipped designer kitchen has everything you need to whip up a feast. The bathroom has three showers, twin basins and shimmers in natural light. Follow the checker plate steel staircase to the rooftop terrace and you'll find a barbecue, dining area and seating. For skiers, a drying room is being added.
Snuggle under luxe linen in a king bed in the cosy master bedroom with a beautiful rock feature wall that evokes chalet memories. You can flick the block-out blinds but we left them open for a spectacular lightning show across the valley and a cerise dawn. The second bedroom, with its tree-patterned wall feature, has a queen bed and an in-built single loft bunk.
Follow the grassy path to the Broken River where owners Vickie and Ed van der Hoeven have cleared a picnic area or take a seat on the Platypus Rock bench above the river. Watch for platypus, long-necked turtles, trout, echidnas and wombats. If you are lucky the blackberries may be in season. You can also help feed the goats and alpacas.
Mansfield is becoming a foodie haven with quirky cafes and slick restaurants. The Produce Store is where Dean and Gillian Belle have been selling the region's best produce and wines since 2007. Former Melbourne coffee guru Matt Picone offers great coffee and meals at the Mansfield Coffee Merchant in one of the town's oldest buildings. The Fields is a fun bar and eatery where Tristan Keene and Bonnie Rogers showcase Asian fusion cuisine for lunch and dinner plus takeaways. Delatite Winery, 10 kilometres from Mansfield, is home to cool climate wines, knockout views, tasty platters, pizzas and local produce. Swiftcrest Distillery, owned by Carrie and Hank Thierry, host fun vodka and gin tours at their off-grid distillery - try the Dutch Apple Pie Moonshine.
This is a perfect country retreat where good design and tasteful decor blend with an ever-changing landscape – who needs television?
From $550 a night mid-week, weekends $650 a night. A tasty breakfast hamper can be ordered for $80 extra. 177 Melba Road, Barwite, Victoria. Phone 0400 872 480. See aviewtoahill.com.au
Standing on the rooftop terrace watching a blood red sunset creep across the horizon while kangaroos entertain and birds soar – followed by a celestial show in the clear starry skies.
Those views can be a trap as you linger on the comfortable lounges longer than intended and simply put off moving.
Sue Wallace was a guest of BullerRoo and Mansfield Shire Council.