'Wow, this looks interesting!' I exclaimed, as our car drew to a halt at the end of the fern-lined gravel driveway. 'Doesn't it, just,' Peter replied, his raised eyebrows indicating that he, too, was pleasantly surprised.
The kitchen is well-appointed and comprises worn timbers, unusual wire-fronted doors and stainless steel benchtops - but the real showstopper is the hand-painted island counter top, featuring giant hibiscus flowers in shades of gold, lilac and tangerine. This is complimented by the surrounding gardens, which have plantings en masse displaying foliage in similar colours. Amazing!
We have arrived at 'Sahali', a luxury holiday retreat tucked into the hillside of Cambewarra Mountain on Moss Vale Road, Beaumont, a short drive from the hamlet of Kangaroo Valley. We're visiting the region for the autumn harvest at Kangaroo Valley Olives with Foodscape Tours, and Sahali will be our home base for the weekend.
Right away the property captures our interest. Our eyes are drawn to the angled rooflines and different materials used on the exterior of the building - the natural colours of which sit well against the bushland surrounds and the valley on the horizon. In a former lifetime, Peter dabbled as a realtor at around the same time that I worked as a property manager, so the phrase 'location, location, location' comes up in conversation before we've even stepped inside the front door.
Now dear readers, please allow me to introduce you to Sahali through my postcards and morsels:
As we are to discover, Sahali was built in 2002 with the remnants of a 1930s weatherboard cottage that was previously located in the nearby township of Berry. The result is an eclectic blend of weathered old timbers, corrugated sheeting and modern surfaces sympathetically crafted into a comfortable, user-friendly and architecturally-striking home. Truly, we spent the first few hours mesmerised and 'just looking' at the house from ceiling to floor, and one end to the other!
Just off the kitchen there is a well-stocked galley-style butler's pantry that doubles as a laundry and cloak room.
It is raining and we start to undo our shoes on the verandah outside. In the entry hall we are greeted by this canine companion, who bears a note that reads: 'Please let me mind your shoes while you are inside. I am well trained and do not chew or bury'. Cute!
The spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen area has cathedral ceilings, a wood burning combustion heater, surround-sound home theatre and French doors that open to the rear deck, BBQ mezzanine, and wet-edge pool. To my mind, Sahali feels charmingly rustic and 'designerly' all at once. The interior colour palette - inspired by nature - is clever. Restful earthy tones with splashes of burnt orange and deep ocean blue, are contrasted by the rich, lush greenery outdoors in the gardens.
The walled fernery (which is visible from the kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom) offers a quiet sanctuary of green.
While the lounge room, dining area and kitchen form the central hub of Sahali, there are other living spaces offering a quiet retreat. One is a sun room-come-reading room or study, complete with a Chesterfield and desk. The other is a music room (complete with piano) that can be used as a bedroom or TV room if preferred. Indeed, the owners have thought of everything, and Sahali is stocked with an assortment of books, board games, music CDs and movies on DVD.
Sahali deck, BBQ area and pool...
'Sahali' means 'high ground', a fitting name for this property. The views of the Kangaroo Valley escarpment seen from the rear deck, BBQ mezzanine and swimming pool are quite spectacular, no matter the weather nor time of day. Watch the mists roll in and then disappear again, as you sit listening to bird song, or wade in the pool. On clear evenings, Sahali is perfect for star gazing, too.
Sundown at Sahali...
As the sun begins to set, the mists roll in and there's a distinct chill in the air. It's time to light the fire and snuggle on the sofa with a glass of locally-produced Yarrawa Estate wine, or simply gaze at the impressive array of stars in the evening sky. This is a rare treat for city folks like ourselves.
Good night, sleep tight...
Bed time at Sahali is fun, for there are six comfortable bedrooms to choose from and they are separated by different wings of the house. The upstairs master suite has French doors that open to a private balcony overlooking treetops and the valley. It also offers an ensuite bathroom. On that topic, there are three bathrooms in all, one of which has uninterrupted views to Sahali's swimming pool, expansive gardens and the escarpment. The linen is fresh and crisp, and the bed is comfortable. We close our eyes and fall asleep quickly, lulled into slumber by gentle sound of rain on the corrugated roof. Zzzzzzzz.
Rise and shine - morning walk in the garden...
Sahali is set on two acres of well-manicured, established gardens that are surrounded by tall trees and lush Australian rainforest. There is much to discover around every corner and along each of the rambling paths. Despite the rain, I greatly enjoyed losing myself in Sahali's outdoor space. It is paradise for bird watchers, photographers and plant enthusiasts alike!
Farewell Sahali and thank you for a fabulous weekend!
Tell me dear readers and fellow travellers, do you love a relaxed weekend getaway as much as we do? And have you ever considered holidaying in the Kangaroo Valley of New South Wales? Incidentally, thank you for taking the time to enjoy this photo-rich post.
The Good Things team enjoyed a weekend in the Kangaroo Valley as guests of Sahali. Opinions expressed are our own.
The list - Sahali, Kangaroo Valley
Sahali 979a Moss Vale Road, Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales, via the climb up Cambewarra Mountain between Kangaroo Valley and Nowra. For information and bookings visit the web site
Kangaroo Valley Olives, 110 Cedar Springs Rd, Kangaroo Valley, NSW
To find out more about visiting the Kangaroo Valley, including dining options, shopping, farmer's markets, food tours, scenic drives, markets and other good things, see the Kangaroo Valley Tourist Association web site.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.