Farmhouse on Oxley, Oxley Island, NSW review: Perfect score for next-level escape


This luxurious and secluded country farmhouse fronting the tranquil Manning River opened in October last year. Owner Sherinah Peck originally wanted to renovate an old farmhouse but her builder husband Nathan had heard too many horror stories. The compromise was a new build house rich in recycled and vintage materials. The couple lived on the property for six years until their four girls grew up and moved out. After a comprehensive four-month renovation, the Farmhouse on Oxley was born as a luxurious rural getaway on 23 hectares with private jetty, outdoor fire pit and alfresco baths for soaking under the stars.

Oxley Island is a small, blink and you'll miss it hamlet on the NSW Barrington Coast. It's around 30 minutes' drive from Forster but feels a million miles from the bustle of the seaside town. Veer off the highway and the road to the farmhouse weaves through bucolic farmland and over rickety bridges. The closest township is Old Bar, a seaside village offering a sprinkling of shops and the brilliant café Boyi. Enroute stop for lunch at the new Isola Riva at Forster with its serious Amalfi Coast vibes. Pick up a bottle of house made Limoncello for sipping on the deck later.


A long driveway with paddocks one side; river the other brings you to the custom-built farmhouse where porch swings invite you to pause and take in the bucolic views. Built using recycled and vintage materials, the character filled main house offers wrap around verandahs while a separate building emblazoned with Moments into Memories on the exterior houses a gym and games room downstairs; loft style bedroom above. Combined it sleeps 16. A self-contained cottage sleeping two meanwhile can be booked separately for extra large gatherings.

A firepit, vegie patch and lush lawn roll down to the gently flowing river where canoes and a tinny at the jetty beg for Tom Sawyer like adventures. Look the other direction and the vista is of paddocks home to grazing cows and resident horses Munro and Cookie.


Country style meets vintage industrial aesthetic in the pavilion style farmhouse. There are trusses from an old wharf in Sydney, spotted gum floors, hefty timber barn doors and oversized industrial lights sourced from a cargo ship. Linen sheets, local artwork and specially curated recycled and reclaimed pieces feature throughout the five-bedroom house. The master suite with romantic four-post bed, double shower and claw-foot bathtub is the pick but rest assured, there's no dud room here. Another three rooms offer king size beds and river views with direct access to the wraparound deck while an adorable kid's double bunk room comes complete with retro Viewfinder and antique school desk.

Unexpected and delightful touches abound: a record player for spinning vinyl, a Polaroid camera for recording your stay in the guest book and fun games like Finska, table tennis and quoits. A media room is cleverly positioned away from the vast open plan kitchen and dining area which opens onto a covered deck. We gravitate here late afternoon, sipping Farmers Wife gin and tonic, watching ferry wrens and eastern rosellas swoop and the sky turn shades of pink and gold. It's too hot for the fire pit but we imagine gathering around it in winter under a blanket of stars.


While the area isn't exactly a foodie hotspot there are a handful of good options a short drive away. Buyi Espresso Bar is the pick for casual breakfasts and great coffee, the Flow Bar is another good option for a lazy lunch or sundowners while Sai Thai Table and Tea is the pick for dinner.

Truthfully though you won't want to venture too far from the farmhouse so BYO supplies. Cook up a storm in the enormous country style kitchen, have a picnic on the jetty or fire up the barbie on the deck. Breakfast provisions of sourdough and freshly laid eggs from the property's hens are supplied.


The sleepy coastal town of Old Bar bordering Wallabi Point and Saltwater National Park is home to excellent surf and swimming spots. Take a walk through the national park or take the tinny down the Manning River and pull up at the beach for a picnic and swim. Manning Point Boat Ramp is a nice spot for a dip followed by fish and chips. Further afield take in the Mid North Coast's beauty by horseback with a scenic canter along the beach in nearby Forster-Tuncurry.



This is a place designed for large gatherings of friends and loved ones to make memories. A place to wander barefoot to the jetty, roast marshmallows over the firepit and enjoy sundowners on the porch swings fashioned from old cinema chairs. The exceptional detail and thoughtful touches elevate the stay to a whole other level.




Minimum two-night stay. From $500 per night for the couple's corner or $1200 for the whole house sleeping up to 16. 814 Manning Point Rd, Oxley Island. Phone 0412 322 867. See

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of The Farmhouse on Oxley.

HIGHLIGHT Sitting on the pontoon watching life on the river and taking an alfresco bath to the soundtrack of mooing cows.

LOWLIGHT There's nowhere to cool off (the river doesn't exactly invite swimming) however a pool is on the cards.