Read our writer's views on this property below
Natasha Wallace is stoked by the vista available at Burrawang.
The view doesn't get more romantic than the one from the red rose-strewn verandah of this beautiful home in the southern highlands just outside the quaint village of Burrawang. Accessed via a tree-lined dirt road, it has a 360-degree vista of rolling green hills and mist-shrouded mountains (well, at least on a winter's morning). A track from the back of the home through an orchard and olive grove leads to a paddock below with a horse and alpacas.
Built from Bundanoon sandstone and Canadian cedar, the rambling, two-storey home set on 44 hectares has two separate wings with two bedrooms in each (it sleeps 14), three bathrooms (I lost count of the toilets) and ample room for the kids to run about, inside and out. Every bedroom boasts a jaw-dropping view from its white-shuttered window and we spend quite some time watching Chile the horse and the alpaca Irish dancing in the paddock while a pair of cheeky cattle dogs muster them for fun. The downstairs living area has a modern, large kitchen with loads of crockery and glassware and a dining area with a long wooden table and bench seats, which would easily accommodate two or three families. Down the end of the driveway is a large grassed play area for the kids with a sandpit, slide and climbing gym.
The owners have been generous with appliances and condiments in the kitchen and there is also a fully equipped laundry. We stoke up the fire each evening in the formal lounge, a spacious room with a chandelier hanging from its cathedral ceiling, and make use of the heaters in every room - and the electric blankets, for that matter (it is 750 metres above sea level).
Undoubtedly, the wow factor is a claw-foot bath in a pretty, old-fashioned bathroom with stunning pastoral views from the window. But what strikes me most is the abundance of living space - there is a separate enclosed winter sunroom with glass doors off to the side of the verandah with comfy couches and magazines, as well as a large, grassed outdoor courtyard with a slide and mini climbing gym off the kitchen area (yes, another one) and a separate family room with a TV. I find myself wondering where to sit, but the deck lounges on the wide verandah are hardest to resist. Bedroom furnishings, mostly old wooden drawers and cupboards, could use an update.
If you don't feel like cooking, head to Burrawang Village Hotel and sit in its spectacular gardens. It is a gorgeous, historic watering hole that serves gourmet pizzas (including gluten-free) on a Thursday night and a full menu on Friday and Saturday nights. When we visit, it teems with jovial locals around the bar calling out a meat raffle. Otherwise, there are cafes and restaurants at nearby Berrima and Bowral.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
While the cupboard is jammed with board games and books and puzzles for the kids, we prefer to spend an afternoon strolling around the antique shops, homewares stores, tearooms and delis at the historic town of Berrima (it has the Surveyor General Inn, which boasts being "Australia's oldest continuously licensed inn"). The Australian Alpaca Centre has an interesting selection of knitwear, toys and knick-knacks. It's also worth picking up a tourist brochure on the many historic buildings, including the Berrima jail. The Robertson Cheese Factory is a good pit stop before heading back to stock up on goodies for the evening.
An affordable, yet comfortable, home suitable for a large family or group gathering where perfect views are a must-have on the agenda.
HOW TO GET THERE
Head down the Hume Highway and take the Mittagong-Bowral turnoff and follow the signs to Wollongong. Spring Hill is off the Illawarra Highway between Moss Vale and Robertson.
$1050 Friday-Sunday for six adults, plus $100 for each additional adult and $50 for each additional child. Monday-Sunday is $1625. A $500 deposit bond is required in cash and held until the house is inspected for cleanliness. Public holidays and Easter: 50 per cent surcharge. No refunds unless the house can be re-rented. Pets are allowed by arrangement.