Read our writer's views on this property below
Sue Wallace finds a classy family retreat near Myrtleford, Victoria.
As the saying goes, it's all about location, location, location, and they hit the jackpot with Merrawarra Minor. It sits high on a steep hill tucked away on a family farm, overlooking the Buckland and Ovens Valleys, the mountains and beyond. Step through the front door and you are soon seduced by those views, while contented Angus cattle graze nearby.
Built in 1963, the original four- bedroom architect-designed house has been completely renovated and exudes the wow factor from the minute you open the wooden gate. A large patio lined with blue agapanthus, glass-fenced pool and sun lounges tempt you to take a quick dip even before you drop your bags. It's owned by the Milne family, and photos and memorabilia of Olympic skiers Malcolm and the late Ross Milne reflect the family's love of skiing and the great outdoors.
Two master bedrooms have king-sized beds, ensuites, TVs and walk-in robes while the other two bedrooms with queen-sized beds are separated by a family bathroom. You could have a party in the laundry, it's huge. The well-equipped kitchen with walk-in pantry has everything you could ever need from a juicer to a coffee machine. The open-plan dining area, with fireplace and plenty of cut wood, has a long stainless steel-topped dining table. Cosy up in the living area with three comfy couches, throws, cushions, large- screen TV and plenty of up-to-date magazines. You will be enticed to stretch out and relax but head to the verandah at sunset – glass of wine in hand – for memorable views.
Lazing on sun lounges poolside, watching a movie curled up on the couch, or reclining on the brown leather settees in the bedroom – there's plenty of quality comfort factor here with everything you could want for a few days away. Feels like you are hundreds of kilometres from anywhere.
Myrtleford is home to some great eateries including the Butter Factory where Naomi Ingleton makes her hand-churned daffodil coloured butter that graces the tables of many well-known restaurants. It is known for its lazy breakfasts, lunches and snacks – the baked buttermilk ricotta, herb and spinach gnocchi with a creamy garlic, parsley and white wine sauce and parmesan crust is a stand-out. Butter-making classes are also available.
Another find is Fez Cafe at Red Ramia Trading, where you can sip mint tea, fruit sodas, decadent cocktails and dine on Moroccan- styled cuisine from one of the low-slung cushioned booths. Close your eyes and you could well be in Marrakesh – well almost. Boynton's Feathertop Winery at Porepunkah offers gourmet alfresco dining, a DIY deli and some great drops.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
Myrtleford has some hidden shopping gems. Step through the doors of Red Ramia Trading ( 145 Great Alpine Road) stocked with exotic homewares from Morocco, China and India where a snake charmer wouldn't be out of place. Vintage Goat (55a Standish Street) is a new collectibles store, where you can pick up unusual gifts and keepsakes. Take a gentle rail trail pedal to the Australian Pumpkin Seed Factory where the chocolate-coated pumpkin seeds are addictive or head to the Bright Berry Farm at Eurobin for great berry cups.
A trip to Mt Buffalo is a great day out with 90 kilometres of walks to choose from, hire a canoe at Lake Catani or take a dip at Eurobin Falls or Ladies Bath Falls.
A romantic getaway with a bird's- eye view of magnificent snow-capped mountains, rolling hillsides, manicured vineyards and the Buffalo and Ovens Rivers.
HOW TO GET THERE
Myrtleford is 273 kilometres north-east of Melbourne via the Hume Freeway. Merrawarra Minor is six kilometres from Myrtleford.
Merrawarra Minor, 80 Merriang Homestead Road, Myrtleford, accommodates up to eight people; minimum stay is two nights, $1000 a night Sunday to Thursday, $1500 Friday and Saturday and all public holidays and $6000 for seven days except on public holidays. Bookings 03 5752 2888; see merrawarra.com.au