A quiet NSW retreat offers one of Australia’s best glamping experiences, with one special feature adding a unique appeal.

From the bathtub regally perched on the roomy deck, I see the gurgling Towamba River down below, a hangover of mist stubbornly sitting above it.

As someone that does not like baths, I have no trouble at all staying in this one until the lazy bubbles melt away and the water cools, causing a hasty retreat from tub to fluffy robe to back inside my salubrious tent, zipped tent flap and all.

It is not a normal tent. The canvas section is bookended by the aforementioned deck, with its bath, views, day beds and barbecue, and at the other end of the tent, a gorgeous bathroom awaits that would easily slot into a snazzy boutique hotel.

In between is a stunning queen bed, a lounge area complete with a wood burning fireplace and a kitchenette. There are mohair throws, plenty of hanging space, a neat firewood stack at the front door and a soundtrack of birds adding to the already delightful ambience. You might even wake to the special song of the strike thrush who comes to look at itself in the stainless-steel fittings on the balcony.

It is absolute bliss, and I don’t even care that it is winter and chilly. In fact, I think it adds to my experience. There is something so comforting about walking around the property in the fresh bracing air, sitting by the fire with a wine, and later, looking at the pinboard of stars from the deck before snuggling into the beautiful bed.

The guest experience

This exquisite glamping tent is one of three at Currajong Retreat, located on Currajong Common farm at the blink-and-you-miss-it Burragate, 45 minutes from Merimbula Airport in NSW. The retreat is the love child of Gavin and Jenny Forsdick and their daughter Lara, who pour every bit of themselves into nurturing and looking after their guests, the farm and everything on it.

Waking up in my tent I can’t help but notice the noise – or lack of it. No traffic. No city hum. I hear birds. The river. The whisper of trees. I make a coffee and head out to the deck, breathing in that fresh country air. Breakfast arrives in the form of a hamper that holds a staggering array of goodies including eggs from the farm chooks, homemade granola, and locally baked bread. Grant proudly tells me that several of the preserves and jams are made using some of the 26 varieties of fruit growing at Currajong.

Dinner is equally as good with a choice of two meals you can have in your tent, or up by the firepit in the African-style boma. Sometimes you can even join Grant and Jenny in the lovely hand-built mud brick homestead they call home. Grant tells me that it is 50 years old and that all the doors and windows came from houses demolished in Melbourne over half a century ago. This is testament to Grant and Jenny’s determination to be sustainable. In fact, the property is already completely off grid, with its own water and solar power.

The farm

The unexpected highlight of a stay at Currajong Retreat is the property itself. When Grant and Jenny found the farm of their dreams after five long years of looking, they didn’t know that 300 or so Angora goats came with it. Now Jenny knows the names of them all, with Mackie, Rosie and One-Eyed Jack the favourites.

Guests are welcome to join Jenny and Grant as they work around the farm. I go along as Jenny moves the goats from the shearing shed to a well-grassed paddock over yonder. The herd follow her pied-piper like, with her only inducement the shaking of a little tin full of treats.

The next day I join Grant as he checks his furry family in their new digs to make sure the younger ones had survived the night OK. One of them has a sore leg so it joins me in the front seat of the buggy, nuzzling my hand as we drive back to the goat ‘sick bay’ in the shearing shed to give her leg time to heal. I admire her woolly coat with its dreadlocks and Grant tells me that the curls are a good thing and are proof that the goats are happy and healthy.

He carefully tucks her into a comfy stall, and I toddle back to my tent to find my fire lit and the wood stack replenished. I pour a wine and sit outside on the deck, watching the river and thinking that the goats are very lucky indeed to live in this special place.

Top tips

A great time to go is September and October during kidding season. With so many babies on hand, guests are often allowed to assist by bottle feeding these beautiful kids.

Consider visiting Currajong Retreat on your way to or from the Snowy Mountains ski resorts, with Jindabyne 2.25 hours drive away.

This article originally appeared in Escape and was reproduced with permission.


published 2022-02-21 13:56:31