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WITH ITS ROLLING HILLS, BREATHTAKING VISTAS OUT TOWARDS THE INDIAN OCEAN, SUPREME GOLDEN SUNSETS, AND SERENE ATMOSPHERE, FERGUSON VALLEY IS AS PICTURESQUE AS A POSTCARD AND A PLACE WORTH STAYING A WHILE.
Ferguson Valley really is an idyllic place to retreat and relax for a weekend away, so we’ve recommended some stunning spots to stay while in the region.
When visiting, we chose to stay at Evedon Lakeside Retreat in Burekup and the experience was one worth singing praises for.
Having been in operation for 30 years, this staple of the region is reminiscent of childhood experiences of cosy winter retreats with the family in secluded country locations, instantly feeling warm and welcoming upon arrival.
When driving down the red gravel road, the scent of fresh eucalyptus and woodsmoke fills the air as the view opens to a glittering lake, surrounded by a series of cabins and apartments that blend seamlessly into the surrounding bushland.
Greeted by Maddy at reception and manager Chris, son of owners Tony and Merilyn Jenour, the staff were as friendly and authentic as the property felt. They kindly explained the family history behind the bushland retreat and the optional extras to make your stay even more indulgent. It was handy to know they offer special breakfast packages delivered to your room, as well as tailored grazing boards, allowing you to select from a spread of homemade dips, meats, cheeses, olives, and various other charcuterie goods including locally produced wine and ciders.
This convenient and generous service means you’ll never have to leave the comfort of your cosy retreat – which is perfect because you won’t want to once you’ve settled in by your fireplace or on your private veranda set a stone’s throw away from the water’s edge.
Find Pure Serenity in
With all accommodation options overlooking the lake, the retreat comprises six classic lakeside cabins and 10 slightly sleeker two-storey apartments. The lakeside cabins have two bedrooms, sleeping five people (one queen bed, one single bed and one bunk bed) and are especially designed for families to enjoy the back to nature atmosphere of Evedon Retreat. The main walking trail comes right past your door, allowing for a leisurely walk around the lake or through the forest before breakfast.
The apartments each feature a wooden, spiral staircase leading to the mezzanine with two single beds and a separate queen bedroom. The spacious balconies overlooking the lake provide a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy breakfast as the sun rises over the hills or for your own private cocktails at sunset.
Both apartments and cabins feature cosy log fires for winter and air conditioning for summer. Although you may not need it as you reconnect with natural surroundings and disconnect from distractions, Wi-Fi that works is a real plus in this remote location.
If you’re keen to get out and explore, take an early morning or evening stroll around the perimeter of the lake for a chance to catch the sun in its most glorious moments. The fresh country air will help you to reset and feel invigorated, particularly in the cooler months when the air is crisp.
Make the most of the water and try your luck fishing for redfin perch or take one of the many kayaks dotted about the shoreline out for a serene glide. Oars and life jackets are provided in the rooms so it couldn’t get much simpler. Book your stay at evedon.com.au and Skating Goose Farm are serene places to stay for pur relaxation.
ESCAPE THE CITY
Evedon Lakeside Retreat
The Evedon Lakeside Restaurant is well worth a visit too. Open for breakfast and lunch from Thursday to Sunday and for dinner Friday and Saturday, take a seat inside by the warming fire or outside on the alfresco balcony and soak in the stunning country charm, with the bar area themed to the style of an old English pub.
When exploring beyond the boundaries of the retreat, an absolute must is Green Door Wines just a 10 minute drive away on Henty Road. Located high on the slopes of the Darling Scarp, the cellar door and vineyard offer panoramic vistas of the coastal strip from Myalup to Dunsborough.
But the focal point of the cellar door is the grand green door, imported from Fez, Morocco, which sets the tone for a Moorish theme.
Skating Goose Farm
Fergusson Valley’s latest accommodation option, Skating Goose Farm, is the ideal luxury setting for a romantic getaway or intimate retreat in the Valley.
Owned by Tansy and Cameron McMurtrie, Skating Goose is situated in Lowden on a 150 acre property that the McMurtries purchased approximately five years ago after falling in love with the land.
Retreats at Skating Goose Farm offer simple but luxurious, completely offgrid accommodation for adults only. At present it features just two dwellings accommodating a maximum of two guests in each, ensuring the few guests at a time enjoy a particularly tranquil experience.
“We opened “Honey” our first escape pod at the end of February 2021 and “Minnie” followed in August 2021,” says Tansy. “Honey and Minnie are named after and in tribute to the two Murat Matriarchs Honey and Minerva who still lived on the farm when we purchased it. Both beautiful, humble and hardworking women.”
“The majority of guests are craving peaceful time in nature and time with one another, and Skating Goose Farm is the perfect place for this. We have spared no expense in making these unassuming “pods” as romantic and comfortable as possible,” says Tansy.
When arriving at Skating Goose, guests will be delighted to find a charming welcome hamper including Skating Goose’s own house-made sourdough, jams, and muesli, eggs, butter, and milk, plus a bottle of wine from a local winery.
Complementing its house-made and locally sourced ethos, Skating Goose goes the extra mile to keep its footprint as light as possible too, while maintaining a luxury experience.
“In being completely off-grid, using our own harvested water, composting, recycling and using minimal or no waste products, we are doing our utmost to be clean and green,” says Tansy.
“We also devote considerable efforts in reforesting our land which had been previously cleared for grazing. We feel a huge responsibility as the current custodians of this land to leave it a better place whilst still sharing its beauty with our guests and I feel our guests really appreciate this.”
As well as being completely enamoured by the land, the McMurtries also felt the Valley could do with an additional accommodation option to enable more visitors to spend