At the beginning of 2022, I suggested to Chris that for all future present-giving occasions – birthdays, Valentine’s, Christmas, etc. – that we should gift each other experiences, whether it be a trip somewhere, a day out, or an activity. He jumped at the idea and was all for opting for things we could do either together or for one another over material items.
So when his birthday rolled around in early March I organised a little trip away with a full itinerary to cover the weekend!
A Farm Stay
The destination of choice was Heathcote part of the City of Greater Bendigo and roughly 2.5 hours from Torquay. We’ve been trying to tick off different places around the state and this is one town we hadn’t been to, it wasn’t too far away either for a 2-night getaway and had plenty on offer to keep us busy. It also had a really unique accommodation option: The Barn.
The Barn is situated on 6 acres, 10 minutes drive out of town, and is exactly as it sounds but a little bit more.
Behind the doors of the rough sawn timber exterior, it’s a fully converted space decked out with a lounge area and fireplace, open plan kitchen and dining area, as well as two separate sleeping arrangements which can accommodate 4 guests.
Attached to the outside of the barn you’ll find the shower, and if you’re having one at sunset I recommend leaving the door open and enjoying the colours of the sky. The toilet is an outhouse style one, which occasionally might have an extra eight-legged guest frequenting it at the same time as you!
The property also has a little dam, which is the perfect spot to enjoy some sunset drinks.
The added bonus, it’s pet friendly – just keep an eye on your four-legged friends who might take an interest in the numerous kangaroos that roam the rural property, especially at dawn and dusk.
We headed up from Torquay late arvo on the Friday, so not much was planned other than enjoying the accommodation and a home-cooked dinner by yours truly. While there is a supermarket in town, I did a full grocery shop prior to leaving Torquay and had all the necessities for making gnocchi and garlic bread. The kitchen is fully equipped with a stove and mini oven, which is easy enough to cook the basics, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying you could have your Sunday roast here.
Immerse Yourself In Nature
When it comes to outdoor activities, you really are spoilt for choice in Heathcote. We spent Saturday morning exploring the Pink Cliffs, followed by a hike from Viewing Rock Lookout (which gives you a pretty impressive view of Heathcote) down to the Heathcote Powder Magazine and back up again. As we were a bit short on time and had a lunch booking, we did the shorter circuit, however there’s an additional option which takes you via Devil’s Cave. It’s worth noting that all of these activities were dog friendly too!
If you’ve got a car that enjoys a bit of offroading, then I’d highly recommend exploring some of the tracks past the Viewing Rock Lookout car park. Alternatively, you can hike these tracks as well!
Enjoy A Local Bevvy
Heathcote is well known for its wineries and craft beer with plenty of cellar doors and breweries to check out and enjoy a cold one at.
As we had Quakka with us, we were limited in where we could go. However, Palling Bros Brewery is in the heart of town and dog friendly so was the obvious choice for us! Their backyard beer garden was a great spot to enjoy some lunch and, of course, for Chris to indulge in their beer tasting paddle.
Cosy Up At The Barn
While there’s plenty to keep you occupied around town, sometimes the simple pleasures of snuggling up in front of a roaring fire watching a movie also makes for the perfect afternoon.
After you’ve done all the exploring in and around town, I’d highly recommend heading back to The Barn and meandering up to the dam with a couple of drinks and maybe even a game (in our case we took Bananagrams) and watching the sunset. Once the day has come to an end, stoke the fire, put on a movie and settle in for the night.
An All Season Destination
All in all it was a perfect, chill weekend away and the unique accommodation of The Barn really made it. Victoria being Victoria, we really got every season in the one weekend. It was high 30’s when we arrived on Friday and pouring rain Saturday night!
It’s a getaway I’d recommend doing no matter of the season; the fireplace makes it a cosy winter destination, while the added benefit of an AC cools the place for the warmer days.