BERRY, NSW. AUS.
It’s a typical February summer’s day; 40 degrees and not a single cloud in the sky. The air conditioner’s set to high and we drive through the charming village of Berry, a two hour drive south of Sydney. Shortly after crossing Broughton Creek, we find ourselves driving through the countryside, past many fields and pastures. The car begins to slowly climb and wind its way upward.
We arrive at the gorgeous Mt Hay Retreat and are both distracted by the 360-degree mountainous views, when we meet the owner Anthony. He shows us to our private suite and explains all that we need to know for the duration of our stay.
Right from that moment we both knew how incredibly lucky we were to be given the chance to stay at such a special property. Even the smallest of details has been considered. A fresh bowl of ripened fruit awaits us and next to it, a personalised letter welcoming us to the retreat. Even the weather forecast for our entire stay was detailed.
The electric floor to ceiling blinds ascend. Revealed is the one of the most amazing views I have ever seen. We open the oversize sliding door and step out onto our private verandah. My eyes mesmerized by the large white freestanding bathtub. For a moment I forget the all about the forty-degree heat. I’m lost in the view, my thoughts, our immediate surroundings. I can’t help but feel a special kind of excitement.
In the evening we share the bottle of champagne. We sit for hours talking together, enjoying every moment that the full moon is over us. Romantic is an understatement.
Even the pillows have been considered, with two firm and two softer pillows offered. We chose to leave the blinds up and fall asleep watching the moon and twinkling stars in the king bed.
Awake early to photograph the sunrise, I was initially a little disappointed when yesterday’s sunshine was replaced with drizzle, clouds and everything but summer’s warmth. But it was the perfect morning to snuggle back into bed and enjoy our beautiful suite.
The bathroom itself was stunning. A double shower featuring more wall to floor glass windows, with views out to an enclosed lush green garden. The exquisite bathroom bench top features his and her sides, a rail which automatically warms the large white bath towels whilst white robes and slippers also await. I’m in heaven this morning. I almost don’t even feel like going outside. I would have been more than content to spend this sleepy day lazing and indulging around our beautiful suite.
We take a morning walk around the property and farms. I feed the large colourful carpe in the fishpond. Just sitting here I find myself again feeling lost in the moment of the beauty of my surroundings.
We walk a little further and come to a large wooden swing constructed from old telegraph poles. We take turns. I begin to think back to my childhood when I used to like swinging. There’s something peaceful about it. I find myself enjoying this as I begin to swing higher and higher, looking out to Coolangatta Mountain and Gerroa in the distance.
A little later in the afternoon Anthony and Louise show us around their incredible property. I jump in the four wheel with Louise and Hupa is chaperoned by Anthony. We’re off to see the cows. All thirteen of them and their little bull friend.
I thought it was a joke when Anthony informed me that we would be feeding the cows oranges. But sure enough we did and the citrus fruits were a hit with some of the hided females. As we left, the ground resembled more of a game of boche’ than feeding frenzy.
I learn that the property is a lot larger than I imagined. Louise points up to the rainforest escarpment that trails right back, up to the base of the clouds it seems. 364 aches to be exact. For the second time, I’m blown away.
We drive on, past the ‘two’ neighbours properties and up to the base of the rainforest. We pass trees that have been struck by lightening and a series of wombat holes. Stopped at the edge of the waterfall trail, Anthony and Louise tell Hupa and I to venture down the short walking trail together. Careful of the mossy and rocky terrain, we pinch ourselves that we are traversing to the top of a waterfall. There’s that magic feeling again. The same feeling I had last night on the verandah under the moon. We come to the peak of the waterfall and peer down over the topmost point. I find myself imagining how it must look after the winter rains. We take photos of each other and just enjoy this time amongst nature. We hear a loud grunting noise and assume it was a kangaroo. We slowly make our way back up the rocky path. Anthony informs us it could have in fact been a wild deer we heard.
We pass the dams and I wonder to myself what it must be like to live on such a property. Louise says to me that ‘I tell my friends back home in the UK that I have the best office in the world’. I couldn’t agree more.
A farm experience wouldn’t be complete without chickens. We stop by the clucking creatures and I’m lucky enough to have a hold of ‘Goldie’ the cute little yellowish chicken. She didn’t take much of a liking to me and was far happier when I was feeding her than holding her.
Anthony and Louise take us to the 33m indoor lap pool and spa. This would be the ultimate haven in winter. Hupa and I spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing. The mist coming off the water and fog lining the windows add to the experience. We meet ‘Teal’ the family dog before heading back to our suite.
Hupa fills the bathtub and surprises me with a scented bath bomb and pretty coloured flowers he’d collected from the floor of the garden. I told you this was the perfect romantic getaway! I spend the rest of the evening soaking in the tub, sipping champagne, listening to music and feeling the cool breeze on my skin. All I can think about is how much I already don’t want to leave tomorrow. I’ve had the best day.
We wake in the morning to a whiteout in the mountains. Mist completely fills the air and it’s impossible to see the mountains that were so clear yesterday. As we leave this beautiful property and think of our time here the past few days, I struggle to determine which I like more; the misty wintery feel or the clear blue summery skies feel.
The Facts: Included LUXURIES:
- Five spacious private suites with the finest of finishes.
- Large private deck with a feature outdoor bath for two.
- Expansive living areas combining both indoor/outdoor living,
- King sized beds and high quality cotton bed linen
- Modern kitchenettes fitted with a capsule coffee maker, kettle, toaster, microwave, bar refrigerator, crockery and cutlery
- In room safe, hairdryers and ironing facilities on request
- Spacious ensuite bathrooms with double walk-in showers
- Lotions, potions, bathrobes and slippers
- Heated towel rail
- Reverse cycle air conditioning
- Large HD LCD TV
- Complimentary Wi-Fi internet access
- Private gardens
- A 33 metre indoor heated pool and spa.
- A BBQ is also available for use
- 5 -10 minutes drive down the mountain to Berry
Mt Hay has a strict no smoking policy and that due to the nature of the property children are unable to be welcomed as guests.