Welcome to Stone & Straw...

 

BED AND BREAKFAST STYLE ACCOMMODATION and activities - DAYLESFORD/hepburn springs region

Stone and Straw Retreat is a European style b&b with 5 bedrooms in total. A great place for groups to stay with a romantic separate suite at the end of the building. Adjacent to the accommodation is an activities studio and treatment room in our eco friendly straw bale building. Set amidst 5 acres of landscaped gardens near Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, this is the perfect location to unwind and relax.

The Activities Studio@Stone & Straw is a large space constructed of strawbales making it cool in summer and warm in winter with breathable healthy properties. We have a number of activities starting in 2019 such as glass art workshops, music afternoons, yoga and meditation, art classes, cooking workshops, sharing stories and school holiday programs and these will be publicised on our facebook page as well as our events page on this site. Workshops can be customised to suit your group.

Stone and Straw can also offer snacks, lunches, evening meals and refreshments.

Here @ Stone & Straw Retreat, we are proud of our ongoing efforts to offer an authentic eco friendly living environment. With our multiple rain water catchments, solar panels, vegetable and herb garden and waste water treatment plant, Stone & Straw is becoming increasingly self sufficient.

The great variety of colourful birds and native wildlife surrounding Stone & Straw are a delight to experience. For those guests wanting to explore on foot or bike, there are many walking/cycling tracks including the Goldfields Track at our doorstep. The temptations of The Chocolate Mill are a mere 500 metres away, whilst Hepburn Springs is a short 5 minute drive, where the famous Hepburn Bath House and Spa is located.

The Central Highlands region is home to a great variety of restaurants, wine and cider bars and pubs as well as a vibrant art and music scene

 

 

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Located in Central Victoria in the popular historical goldfields and spa region near Daylesford - Stone and Straw Retreat is an easy drive from Melbourne taking just over an hour. By train, the nearby towns of Castlemaine and Ballan are 20 or 30 mins away respectively and we can collect you from either of these railway stations by prior arrangement and for a small extra cost.

Stone and Straw has a number of accommodation options as there are 5 bedrooms - so the whole house can be booked - which sleeps up to 12 people comfortably. Alternatively, individual rooms can be booked European style. There are three ensuite bathrooms and one shared between the two bedrooms of the Garden View Suite. For those wishing to relax completely, Anne and Sean can cater for your dietary needs. A complimentary continental breakfast is already included in the room charges, but light lunches and evening meals are available on request.

Although it is great to escape technology when you are away for a few days, we have catered for those who wish to stay 'connected'! The  living spaces have flat screen TVs connected to Netflix and free to air as well as music systems for your enjoyment. A large screen and projector is located in The Activities Studio making it perfect for small conferences or groups wanting to wind down with a good film. Free wifi is available throughout the property.  During the winter months there are wood fire heaters to keep you warm and cosy. On hot summer days there are ceiling fans as well as an evaporative cooling system.

An outdoor hot tub has recently been installed in the courtyard with capacity for up to 8 people - there is nothing better than sitting in the warm water underneath the Milky Way and totally relaxing in natural surroundings!

This area is a great base for outdoor activities such as bushwalking, mountain biking and exploring wineries! There are a variety of walking/mountain biking tracks to choose from or for those wishing to just chill - spas abound! Anne is a qualified beauty and massage therapist with a treatment room - see www.seannahealth.com.au for details, so come away and indulge yourselves!

The 5 acres surrounding our property is a bird lover's paradise with only native birds inhabiting the grounds. We also have many other native visitors such as wallabies, echidnas, kangaroos, lizards and the occasional koala. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting outside, watching the birds, reading a good book and sipping on a cool glass of wine - this is the life!

 

 

 

Attractions Nearby

 

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs is home to the largest collection of mineral springs in Australia – taste tests are a must! The region is also inhabited by a number of artists, musicians, writers, chefs, organic food growers, and wineries which means there is always something happening every week of the year. Check out the Visitor Information Centre in Daylesford and Visit Victoria for the latest offerings!

Stone and Straw is located near many significant historic sites, such as Mount Franklin (or Lalgambook) - an extinct volcano revered by indigenous Australians and used as a sacred site.  Lavandula – a 150 year old stone cottage built by a Swiss Italian dairy farmer and now operating as a lavender farm and cafe. The Convent Gallery in Daylesford - once a girls school but now a gallery and events space - provide fascinating insights into the recent past.

For those who enjoy artisan chocolate – and who doesn’t? – The Chocolate Mill is a very short walk away – both children and adults alike enjoy this indulgence! After this intake of carbohydrate, guests can walk a section of the Goldfields Track which meanders in front of and behind the property!

 
 

About

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We - Sean and Anne - are the owners and builders of Stone and Straw Retreat. Our concept is to create a space for people to come and stay whilst also participating in classes and workshops - as they desire.

Sean loves working with glass and is running glass art workshops in the Activities Studio for guests, visitors to the area and locals to enjoy.

Anne has qualifications and experience in beauty, massage and nursing and provides a variety of treatments for guests and others in the SeannaTreatment Room onsite. For details see www.seannahealth.com.au.

Our story in brief is that we started by renovating the stone house - adding another floor making 3 character filled dormer rooms - which now easily accommodates 12. Building with straw has long been a passion for both of us, having attended a strawbale workshop in Austria in 2013!  A straw bale Activities Studio and Treatment Room plus private quarters to the side of the stone accommodation was built with volunteer help, paid help and our own free labour in 2017. The Activities Studio takes advantage of the natural qualities of the straw and is proving to be a beautiful space in which to run classes, small conferences, cafe style space and workshops.

The latest addition is a cedar hot tub located in the courtyard which is proving to be very popular with our visitors.

Besides being passionate about building with straw, we are also keen to 'tread lightly on the planet' so we have our own rainwater tanks plus solar panels with batteries as well as other eco friendly initiatives.

Finally we would like to encourage those who are undergoing the cancer journey to come and enjoy our space especially during the week when the pace is slower. We feel that it is essential in these situations, to take time out with loved ones and escape for a few days to a beautiful location in the knowledge that there is a registered nurse in the background.

There are many options - to hire out the whole house for a group, the upstairs for family and friends, The Courtyard Suite for a bit of romance with its 4 poster bed and 300 year old grandfather clock or just book separate rooms European style.

Stone & Straw Retreat generously donates time to Cancer Council Victoria’s Holiday Break Program, where families affected by cancer are able to enjoy a short break away at no cost.