Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages is located 240 kilometres south of Perth. The property encompasses 6 newly renovated secluded cottages set in 25 acres of Jarrah and Marri Forest, perched high on a hilltop, offering stunning views over Balingup and the Blackwood River Valley.Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages is owned and run by Brian and Deb Vanallen who reside in the gorgeous stone farm house located on the property. I found them to be incredibly warm hosts and great with the kids. I particularly appreciated receiving an email from them a few days before we arrived detailing local events that were taking place during our stay and opening times of nearby shops and restaurants.Entry to Balingup Heights is via a steep and mainly unsealed 800 metre driveway. It’s a little daunting when you first lay eyes on it, but we made it up to the top no problem in our sedan. The views from the top are breath taking!If you are looking for peace and tranquility you’ll find it here! Each cottage is located in its own corner of the forest, far away from any of the other cottages. You may just notice the twinkling of lights of your neighbour through the trees in the evening.All the cottages have recently been renovated with new open plan kitchens, bathrooms and floor coverings. I must say the shower had great water pressure and the water was lovely and hot! Three of the cottages cater for families sleeping up to 5 people.Each cottage features a cosy, pot-belly log fire. It was nice to sit in front of in the evening, keeping warm and watching the hypnotic flames. The cottages also have reverse cycle air-conditioning and a ceiling fan in the main living/kitchen area so you won’t overheat in the warmer months.Each cottage has its own jarrah timber decked balcony area complete with BBQ and offering sweeping views of the Blackwood River Valley. I can imagine that it’s lovely to sit outside on a beautiful summer evening, listening to the sounds of the abundant wildlife.I found the cottage to be very clean and the beds comfy with crisp white linen and warm blankets. There were even electric blankets on the beds to keep you toasty during the colder months.The kitchen is well equipped including plastic plates and bowls for the kids. Along with a microwave there is also a slow cooker provided. But please be aware that there is no oven, only a gas stove top. If you are feeling a bit lazy and don’t fancy preparing a meal you can order in advance a fabulous looking evening platter made by the local award winning café, Taste of Balingup. The platter contains a selection of fresh, local grown produce and gourmet provisions.I was very impressed with the additional homely touches that are provided to guests. Both the kids’ beds had cute teddy bears placed on them that they could look after for the duration of their stay. A small box of toys was also provided in the cottage along with board games, books and DVD’s.
There is a stereo with an iPod lead allowing you to connect up and listen to your music.
Locally hand crafted toiletries are provided in the bathroom, and in the living area is an oil burner with essential oils from the local herbal store, Tinderbox.If you are staying on the property during certain times of the year, you may be lucky to experience the magical mist that shrouds Balingup in the early mornings. The mists are a common occurrence between May to August.
Balingup Heights is the perfect place for kids to get back to nature. A highlight of the stay is the animal feeding that takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 8.15am. If you are staying during the week, you would need to check the feeding time with the hosts. During animal feeding you get to interact with all the resident farm animals. They are:
Spick and Speck the SheepTop Deck the LlamaPrincess, Raphee and Jacko, the three naughty horses, who on our visit managed to escape from their paddock and we had to go hunting for them through the forest.
Guinea PigsChicken and ducks. We even got to go away with a couple of freshly laid duck eggs for breakfast – delicious!And we can’t forget the gorgeous farm dog, Maddy, who followed us around the farm on our walks. Miss 4 declared her to be ‘the best dog ever’!It is recommended that you bring along some old clothes and gumboots/walking shoes, as it’s tough to stay clean when feeding the animals!
In the centre of the forest on the property is a magical Secret Garden which has been inspired by Nature Play WA. Think bush cubbies, fairy gardens and a little bit of magic all rolled into one space! The kids loved spending time in the area (along with Maddy the dog) and letting their imaginations run wild!
The property also features a guests only lookout which offers a 270-degree panoramic view over the valley below. It’s pretty spectacular, and I could have sat there all day just gazing at the view! A night walk to the lookout is recommended as the clear air offers a fantastic view of the Milky Way.If you do wish to tear yourself away from Balingup Heights, you’ll find plenty of things to do in and around Balingup and the Blackwood River Valley. You might enjoy a stroll through the Golden Valley Tree Park, a swim in Greenbushes Pool, a visit to the Balingup Museum or the kids won’t want to leave the Apple Fun Park in nearby Donnybrook. For a full list of activities click here.
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages have special offers throughout the year and for longer stays. Click here to see the latest offers.
Buggybuddys were guests of Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages.
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