Down to Earth Farm Retreat is situated on a 130 acre property overlooking the Gipplsand Lakes offers an outstanding opportunity for a romantic getaway in Victoria.
Private and secluded you can escape the city or just have a break from a busy life.
Admire the views looking north to the Great Dividing Range and over the Nicholson River flats. Look to the south over the Gippsland Lakes or face the west and to watch the sun set.
There are many places to walk over the property and you can try something different each day:
- The sheep are in the paddocks. They’re merino sheep, bred for their fine wool and if you visit in late winter or spring there will be hundreds of lambs
- Take the walking path through the bush at the entrance to the property. Explore the rocky outcrops and listen to the bush birds. Stop at the deck, take a seat and enjoy the breathtaking views over the river flats below with the Nicholson River winding its way through
- If you are interested in living sustainably, walk through the vegetable garden and orchards. This is a fascinating and educational experience for most of us. Experience how we live, growing most of our own food. See our wood-fired fruit dehydrator and how the compost heap generates hot water
- Explore the lower gully and again, sit and listen to the bird calls. When good rain comes, this entire area is a natural wetland
- Walk along the bush lines in the evening or early mornings and look for the kangaroos, wallabies and rabbits. Bring a light for a night walk to see these animals and the wombats and possums. In the daytime, find the echidnas in the paddocks. Look to the sky to see the resident wedge tailed eagles soaring.
The 2020 bushfires came within 500 metres of our property and we were relieved that we suffered no damage to our unique environment. We remained on our property as the fires approached however because we were safe.
Our buildings are specifically designed to be bushfire-proof and in fact this is the only guest accommodation of its type in Australia. During these fires our guests were safe and we provided a haven for others living nearby.
Since these fires many have visited to view the buildings and be inspired by the safe building design and construction. We are passionate about how we live and welcome questions from visitors.
- Our underground buildings take the temperature of the thermal mass of the earth
- We do not require air-conditioning
- Our hydronic central heating uses solar energy supported by a wood burning furnace when needed to circulate hot water through the floor
- The floor-to ceiling windows are double-glazed
We Grow our Food
- Our large vegetable gardens provide year-round organically grown produce
- We have three enclosed orchards for fruit trees
- We cultivate berries and table grapes
Guests are welcome to wander through the gardens and orchards. We are available to make these occasions guided if you wish.
Links with East Gippsland Aboriginal Culture
Observe the large dead tree near Lakeview and the scar on the trunk left from long ago, when the Gunai/Kurnai Aboriginal people cut a carrying container from the tree, most likely well before colonization.
Visit the Keeping Place in Bairnsdale to learn about Gunai-Kurnai culture in the Lakes Entrance and Gippsland Lakes areas prior to European settlement.