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Review 4507: Aquila Eco Lodges, Treehouse
1bed/1bath cottage near Dunkeld, Australia
March 2010, 4 days
The lodge is situated in natural Bush on the edge of the Grampians National Park in the foothills of Mount Abrupt, There are four lodges together with the owners lodge which are all situated about 1km along a dust track off the road. The lodges are well spaced out within the natural landscape of red gum trees, It was extremely peaceful, full of beautiful birds and the occasional wallaby and lots of kangaroos.
The lodges are located 6km from the small town of Dunkeld where there is a cafe, a local store, a garage and a renowned restaurant. The nearest supermarket is in Hamilton about 1 hour drive. The owner Harry makes the most amazing bread which he delivers to the door every morning. The walnut and fig bread was the best we have ever eaten. It was delivered with small samples of local cheese and jams, which was an amazing breakfast treat.
The Lodge that we stayed in is a modern tree-house built on two floors over an open al fresco dining area. The lounge, dining area , kitchen and bathroom are on the first floor and the bedroom is on the second floor. There is a huge amount of glass and the bedroom looks out across the top of the red gums. In the lounge you can laze on the daybeds and watch the birds. There is pot wood stove for the winter months.
There is a private al fresco dining area on the ground floor with a gas barbecue. It was spotlessly clean.
The lodge was immaculate and very spacious with leather armchairs, comfortable daybeds, four leather dining chairs, beautiful red gum wooden floors and furniture.
The double bed was extremely comfortable. Two wicker chairs in the bedroom to enjoy the treetop views.
The bathroom had a walk in power shower with an open aspect to the bush - although there was the option to raise the blind for privacy!
The kitchen was ample and very well stocked with good quality utensils and crockery, a gas cooker and a large fridge. We are avid cooks and went well prepared to self cater during our stay only to find that basics such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tea and coffee were all provided for us. We cooked some elaborate meals and enjoyed them at the generous dining table watching the birds in the trees.
Problems or Bonuses
The surprise was the quality of these eco lodges. We are experienced travelers and our stay at Aquila Lodges rates amongst the best. This is the way to live the beauty of the Australian bush and mountains. But be prepared to leave the mobile at home because there is no signal in the lodges, so no texts, no calls, no e-mails - a great opportunity to leave it all behind and just chill, eat, read, walk, talk and sleep in beautiful tranquility (but don't panic - there is a signal at the owner's lodge for those critical calls that just have to be made!)
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner Harry was extremely helpful about the area and a mine of information about the local bush and wildlife. The setting and the lodges were much better than we expected. We paid the mid-week rate, which was reasonable. I am sure that Harry would be prepared to negotiate a deal for longer stays, especially if it was outside his busier holiday season.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would certainly recommend these lodges to our family and friends who want the opportunity to get away from it all and enjoy the Australian bush in comfort.
Things to do in this area
The lodges are situated on the southern edge of the Grampian National Park, which is a very beautiful and historic area of Victoria. There is the historic gold mining towns, aboriginal cave paintings and the cultural center at Halls Gap to visit and of course, there is walking, climbing and other sporting activities.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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