Day 1 – Tuesday – Warburton (on the way to Noojee!)
- We left home around 10am and headed towards Warburton in the Upper Yarra Valley, where we had lunch at the Riverview Cafe & Wine Bar… it was absolutely delicious while watching the river flow by! We walked around this lovely little village checking out the local retail shops. We then headed back towards Yarra Junction where we turned off towards our destination – Noojee. This is the ‘rainforest’ way to Noojee and it is an amazing feast for your senses…. visually so many trees, the smell of oxygen & lots of it, while listening to the bird song!
- We arrived at Rosemont House Luxury B&B (our home away from home for the next 3 nights) around 4pm, where we were met on the verandah by Di, the owner. She settled us into our newly renovated room & gave us a run down of the room & the area. She popped away & came back with a freshly brewed pot of coffee & some very delicious chocolate, salted caramel biscuits which we enjoyed sitting on the verandah overlooking the Noojee bush.
- We headed out after coffee for a quick walk to the Noojee Trestle bridge, an easy 15min walk from the back fence of Rosemont House. This amazing structure spans 102 metres, is 21 metres high, and is supported by 19 sets of piles. It was once part of the railway that ran to Warragul for the logging industry, today it’s just for tourists to enjoy. As we are here on a Tuesday we had the bridge all to ourselves. On the way back we wandered around the Noojee township along the river and back to Rosemont House.
- After some much needed downtime (and maybe a nanny nap!) we headed out for dinner to the Noojee Pub – a 5 minute walk from Rosemont House. The specials board was our go to and we enjoyed some fabulous local Noojee trout for dinner. Our food came out quickly and it was delicious.
Day 2 – Wednesday – Noojee & Mt Baw Baw
- We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast – a scrumptious breakfast basket delivered to our door at the time we requested (9am!). Super spoilt especially since it was a Wednesday morning!
- We headed out around 10.30am to do the circuit walk of the Toorongo & Amphitheatre Waterfalls Walk located a 15min drive from Rosemont House. The walk usually takes around an hour to complete but it took us longer as we stopped to take in all that nature had to offer here & to take some amazing photos! There are two waterfalls to see and the walk is a little steep in parts but it is mostly an easy graded walk. We only encountered another couple on the walk, it was so pleasant to really enjoy the sights & sounds of the bush without having to juggle the track with other tourists.
- From Toorongo we headed up to Mt Baw Baw. This drive took around an hour & is was very windy for the most part but it took us through some stunning bush & pretty little towns with no traffic at all. The last 15min of the drive was very steep as we made our way up to the Mt Baw Baw Village. We stopped & had coffee & cake at the restaurant (still a little full from breakfast!) feeling like we were on top of the world, the view was spectacular!
- We got back to Rosemont House around 4pm just in time for some more downtime – I read my book on the verandah while the other half popped on the bed & watched a Netflix movie. Something we never really get to do at home!
- This night we took advantage of Rosemont House’s plentiful, scrumptious, locally sourced cheese platter. It’s was nice not to have to go out after a busy day walking & exploring in the area.
Day 3 – Thursday – Noojee & Jindivick
- We went to the Little Red Duck Cafe (a minute walk from Rosemont House) for breakfast. The service was quick & there were only a handful of other diners (from what we could tell mostly locals stopping in for a chat & a coffee!).
- We had trouble deciding what to do today. Some more walks in and around Noojee or to head out further afield? In the end we decided to head to Jindivick, a 30min drive away where we spent 4, lovely hours visiting the Red Tree Gallery & Sculpture Garden and the fabulous gardens at Broughton Hall. Broughton Hall, with the backdrop of the Tarago Reservoir, is a terraced garden of 4 acres cascading down a slope towards the water with an amazing variety of plants which fill the banks with dramatic foliage including the formal rose beds. And while you’re here don’t miss the rare plant nursery & the man cave! While at the Red Tree Gallery & Sculpture Garden we found was full of interesting art & sculptures. This home to the artist, Laurie Collins who is fabulous to have a chat with & full of knowledge about the area.
- This night we decided to really treat ourselves & head to Hogget Kitchen Restaurant in Warragul, a 40min drive away. This is a hatted restaurant & it did not disappoint with the freshest local Gippsland produce on offer & it has a ‘top to tail’ approach to meat. We went for the ‘Trev Cooks For You’ option and the meal was absolutely exquisite with so much attention to detail it was clear to see a lot of ‘love’ goes into the food here.
Day 4 – Friday – Loch Village (homeward bound from Noojee!)
- Saturday morning we, once again, took advantage of Rosemont House’s fabulous breakfast basket. Before packing up & checking out at 11am.
- This morning we took the ‘rolling hills of England’ drive to Neerim South and then onto the village of Loch (an hour’s scenic drive through the hills from Noojee & Drouin). This village is truly a delight and we spent a few hours mooching around all the fabulous shops here. We really loved that each business was quite different, boutique, servicing a niche market! We particularly loved the upcycled men’s shirts (into beautiful women’s fashion) at Small Forest (me!), the fabulous Loch Distillery (himself!) & the jammed packed antiques at Carrington’s of Loch (both of us!). We stopped for lunch at the Olive at Loch, which (of course) did not disappoint just before turning towards home.
- We pulled into the driveway at around 4pm after a fabulous 3 night midweek break away in Noojee & Gippsland feeling like we had indeed been able to escape for a few days, connect with each other, relax & discover some new destinations so close to Melbourne. It truly felt like we had been away for a week!
Recently, I was lucky enough to enjoy a wine tour with Sharon from Into the Country Tours. What a fabulous day it was! If you are looking for something just a little bit different to do when coming to Noojee….. join one of Sharon’s wine tours from Into the Country Tours. They depart from Warragul or Drouin – I’ll drop you & pick you up too.
These are fabulously good fun. You visit off the beaten track, boutique (so not many know about them!) wineries & breweries located in West Gippsland, and there is a special 60’s diner that is not open to the public that is a real treat!
On the day I went, I joined a group of parents who all had a six year old, one couple with 2! – they had formed a friendship as a mothers group and they were the most welcoming and inclusive group I could have wished to be a part of for the day.
We all met in the carpark at Warragul train station at 10.30am (Sharon will also pick up from Drouin) – this is the carpark where the busses park (over the bridge) just to be clear as there are several car parks at the Warragul station!
Swampfox Winery Estate
We headed off at 11am with our first stop at Swampfox Winery Estate which is located just out of Drouin (15min drive) near Catani. It was an absolute delight to visit this boutique winery. The winemaker Bob & his wife Shirley (who have very Australian sounding names but are Italian through & through!) were very warm and personable and they made our visit to their gorgeous little winery feel like a big warm hug! At Swampfox, they have an array of cool climate wines of both white & red – but beware Bob really likes people to enjoy his wine & can be liberal with his tastings! Swampfox Winery Estate is only open on Sundays.
Howler Brewing Company
After Swampfox it was time to head to Howler Brewing Company in Lang Lang. This business is located in an old bank building & while the outside of the property is very unassuming the inside is a clever mixture of 70’s laminex tables, fabulous artwork (the creature on the wall as you walk in is amazing and is a depiction of a swamp animal located in the area) and great beer, cider & food. This place is VERY popular so don’t make the mistake of turning up without a booking because you will be disappointed. They are open Thursday to Sunday.
Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door
We were on the road again after The Howler Brewing Company towards Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door. This is a fabulous place to spend some time on the way to or from Noojee. Located near the village of Loch it is certainly a little gem of a winery. You will find your hosts Mark & Jane very personable & brimming with knowledge about wine (although nowhere near pretentious, Mark owns up to drinking wine from Aldi!). Cooked food is not on offer BUT they have a fabulous array of local produce that you can pick & choose from to create your very own picnic to enjoy while sipping on their wine or beer. The location is magic – you don’t sit looking over vines but nearly right in the vineyard amongst the vines, it is truly unique. They are open Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
A Very Special Garden & Diner in Drouin
We were off again after the Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door back to Drouin (this is where people tend to nod off after consuming great food & wine!) where Sharon springs an amazing surprise on the group – a very special garden & 1960’s inspired Diner. This is the ONLY way to see this space; it is not open to the public. We spend some time wandering & enjoying the very well organised, inspiring garden like no other I have ever seen. It was time for afternoon tea in the Diner. This is an absolute feast for your eyes with every nook & cranny filled with memorabilia. Lorraine & John are the hosts here and they really love what they do!
While this is what we did on the day I did the tour, there is usually a stop at Baw Baw Cellar Door in Warragul (which is also a fabulous cellar door located down the same driveway as Hoggets Kitchen). Kim is the host at Baw Baw Cellar Door and make sure to ask her about her champagne opening skills with a very large knife!
So if you want a great day out by yourself or with a group then Into the Country Tours could be just what you need. Oh and there is more than just wine tours on offer!
I am often asked, Why Noojee? And there are 3 intertwined reasons – Family – House – Location!
So family…. Long story short I was adopted at birth by a fabulous couple & spent my early years growing up on a farming property in Northern NSW. In my early 30’s it was time to find out where I came from & who I looked like! This is where Victoria comes in. My birth mother (Annie) had met and married Bill (deputy Dad as he is now known and the maker of all the yummy jams on offer at Rosemont House) & was living in Melbourne. With my parents both passed away (the people who bought me up in Northern NSW), my children finished school & me in my early 50’s living in Armidale (NSW) I thought it might be time to move closer to the family that, while I had met & saw a couple of times a year, didn’t really know very well.
So now to the house and the location…. I worked out pretty quickly that I wanted to be on the eastern side of Melbourne as the family all lived in the peninsula area and I really wanted to be no more than an hour away from them. My sister had recently purchased a house in Drouin as well so somewhere in Gippsland was going to work.
I firstly looked around Loch and was very keen on that area but I really needed somewhere where I could fulfill this dream of owning & running a bed and breakfast business. The town had to be right & the house had to be right. I had been researching the house aspect of a B&B for a couple of years & I knew, for it to work for me, the property had to have a shed building I could convert into a B&B or a house where the rooms could easily be cut off from my part of the house with their own entracnces & bathrooms. I had a fair idea of what floor plans would work & those that wouldn’t and I knew the house would need to be pretty or at least be an ugly duckling that could be turned into a swan. Not so much right?
In the end the house found me! My mother (Annie) actually found Rosemont House (then called Langholm Cottage) in this place called Noojee! She had been helping with the house hunting & was sending me quite a few different options. “You’ll LOVE Noojee”, she said, and you know what I did! But probably not for the reasons Annie thought.
Everything about the house & Noojee ticked the right boxes for me personally & for the B&B business.
- The house was SO cute!
- The area is so naturally beautiful.
- The layout really was going to make turning the building into a B&B easy – just a few walls & a bathroom.
- The town was small (very small – population of 160!) but it was a tourist destination, so for me it was the best of both worlds – quiet during the week but touristy enough for an accommodation business to do well.
- The town had 2 places for people to eat out at night – guests would have a choice and I wouldn’t have to offer dinners.
- There was also a cafe so there were 3 choices during the day for guests to eat out.
- There are 3 wedding venues in town – people coming to weddings need accommodation.
- It is at the bottom of Mt Baw Baw so during winter there was a steady stream of people chasing the snow.
- Noojee is only 1.5hrs drive from Melbourne.
So on Christmas Eve 2019 I saw the house for the first time & made an offer on the drive back to Melbourne… And the rest, as they say is history!
When we were little, we didn’t realise all the day-to-day things, large and small, that our mums did for us.
They fed us, comforted us, gave us advice, taught us endless lessons, and made sure that we were always taken care of. Growing up, we probably never said “thank you mum” enough.
As Mother’s Day approaches, thanking our mums is top of mind. There are many ways to show gratitude — from getting her a thoughtful gift to sending a simple message. To give you some ideas about how you can show appreciation for your mum, we’ve created a list of 10 special ways to say “thank you mum.”
- Be her chauffeur for a day. Mum’s love being with their children so an offer to spend time with mum doing things that she needs to do and driving her to and from these activities or appointments will ensure she knows you love her.
- Cook her favorite meal. Yes, you cook! And if you don’t know what her favourite meal is ……….ask. She will love that you have bothered to make the effort.
- Throw a get together for her and her friends. A mini surprise party or it doesn’t even have to be a surprise. Offer to do it all so she can spend time with her friends instead of in the kitchen & cleaning up. And of course d o i t a l l….
- Clean her house. Yep, this will certainly impress & she will be unbelievably appreciative that you have done this for her, including the bathrooms!
- Organise to spend the day doing mum’s hobby with her. Gardening, painting, knitting – something she likes doing.
- Take mum out for the day to do something she wants to do – a movie, a show, some shopping, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner. Something special just for her.
- Have a spa day with mum. Go for a facial, massage, get your nails done, a pedicure or do it all. This is sure to make her feel very special & completely relaxed & refreshed.
- Offer to be her help for the day. A day helping her with something she has been putting off forever like painting her bedroom or cleaning out the gutters or cleaning out her storage area. If your mum is practical she will love this offer of help & support.
- Send her a long message about how much she means to you & how much you love her, not just “I Love You” but “I love you because……”, put in some detail. She will love this & will mean more to her than anything you can purchase her.
- Book two nights at Rosemont House Luxury B&B in Noojee, VIC where she will be located in a luxurious private, decadent room, overlooking pristine bushland only 1.5hrs drive from Melbourne. Breakfast is included & will be delivered at a time she requests and a cheese platter is also included to enjoy on the verandah or in front of the open fireplace. She will leave feeling relaxed & rejuvenated, and totally spoilt!
I recently had dinner at the Hogget Kitchen Restaurant in Warragul to celebrate one year of living in Noojee & what an absolute treat it was! Located a 40 minute drive from Noojee this is well worth a visit if you are staying anywhere in the local area. We are so lucky to have this amazing restaurant located in Baw Baw Shire.
The food was amazing & I particularly loved the simplicity of it all. The menu is not overly complicated with masses of choices but what is on offer is of the highest quality and beautifully presented for every course.
There are basically two main menu choices – $80 per person & have Trev (the owner & head chef) cook for you which includes 5 courses of yumminess, so no food envy as Trev decides on what you are going to eat (this is what we had & it was amazing)! Or $70 per person & you choose three courses from a small list of local offerings. It is very easy to tell there is a lot of love put into the food at Hogget Kitchen – it is ultra fresh, seasonal, full of locally grown ingredients with amazing attention to detail with every dish delivered to your table.
There is a simple philosophy about food at Hogget Kitchen which means the ingredients should be allowed to ‘speak’ for themselves. They use a nose to tail approach when it comes to all the meat they prepare and they do all the carving and butchering themselves in-house – ensuring the best possible cuts of meat with the least wastage. All the pickling, bottling, charcuterie, smoking, brining and more is also done by hand in-house – skills they are passing on to the staff to ensure these techniques for future generations of chefs.
As you can imagine bookings are a must & don’t delay as they are more often than not booked out!
What a treat it is to have Brandy Creek Estate just up the road from Noojee in Drouin East. We headed there for dinner recently and in one word it was fantastic!
The restaurant is situated above the vineyard and has views of the Baw Baw ranges across an olive grove. It is the perfect place to enjoy a meal and have delicious wine, in a relaxing atmosphere. The floor to ceiling glass windows brings in an abundance of natural light and the eye-catching Spanish themed decor makes it even more appealing. You can also sit by the fireplace, on cold days, while sipping on some of the famous Brandy Creek cool climate wines.
Brandy Creek Restaurant is known for Tapas, Paella Feasts and Brazilian Churrasco BBQs. The restaurant hosts a Paella Feast with live entertainment where they cook giant paella’s right in front of you! You can also enjoy a mouth-watering Brazilian flame grilled Churrasco BBQ every Friday at Brandy Creek Estate restaurant.
We had tapas and each dish was delicious and perfectly cooked. We were party of 3 and ordered 4 small dishes plus 2 large dishes which was the perfect amount of food for us. I was impressed with how the staff handled themselves particularly when there was some confusion over a dish which they fixed very quickly and without any fuss. We certainly thought the restaurant achieved great food, service and value for money the night we were there. It was fabulous!
I am yet to try out the Brandy Creek Day Spa but how awesome it is to have this escape for mind and body located just next door to the cellar door and restaurant. For the ultimate indulgence why not go for lunch & have a relaxing massage or facial before or after dining, the choice is yours!
I always describe Walhalla as storybook gorgeous, and just like a movie set! It has to be one of THE most picturesque villages in Australia. Located just north of Moe & Traralgon it is nestled in a steep sided valley at the southern edge of the Victorian Alps, surrounded by national park, lush forests and fern gullies.
Originally settled during the gold rush of the 1860’s, Walhalla was one of Australia’s richest towns in its day. Nowadays there are only a handful of permanent residents but it receives around 100,000 tourists each year. This amazingly well preserved village is full of heritage buildings including old hotels, shops, a school and churches. The focal point of the town is an amazing, raised, wooden rotunda that is just so lovely. The fabulous pub, cafes, corner store, gift shop, lollie shop and museum are dotted along Main St (the main road in & out of Walhalla) and are not all grouped together.
This storybook village is at it’s very magical best in autumn when the colourful deciduous trees that line the town’s streets and random scatterings of wildflowers come out in full colour & bloom. The houses are very quaint workers cottages with some only accessible over their own private bridges from Main Street.
Plan your visit to Walhalla to take advantage of the Goldfields Railway which operates three days a week (Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday), three times a day (11am, 1pm & 3pm). Tickets can be booked via the website www.walhallarail.com.au. This is a spectacular return rail journey to Thomson Station. You will find yourself travelling through Stringers Creek Gorge meandering over six large trestle bridges that criss-cross the creek, it winds its way down the hill where it passes through Happy Creek, and then across the spectacular Thomson River Bridge finally arriving at Thomson Station.
There is also the option of experiencing the town’s gold mining heritage with a tour of the Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine accessing Cohens Reef – a three kilometre vein of gold running through the town. The mine is located on Telecom Track (left off Main Street). Tours of the mine are conducted every day of the year. On weekends, public holidays and school holidays scheduled tours are conducted at 12noon, 1.30pm and 3pm. On all other days tours are conducted at 1.30pm. While they don’t take bookings, arrive 15min before the tour so not to be disappointed with having to go at another time.
Walhalla… step back in time & imagine yourself in gold rush Victoria!
The road to perfecting baking a good sourdough loaf has certainly been a long one for me! In 2019 I began the quest for the perfect loaf. Of course I tried to do it myself, impulsively I purchased a bread maker from Aldi and failed miserably! I looked up no fail, no knead bread making – failed again! I really wanted to get this right though, as I had read a review of a property in Tasmania who served fresh, hot bread to their guests & how much they loved it, so I thought why not, that sounds like an awesome idea. At the beginning of 2020 once I’d started renovating the house to transform it into what is now Rosemont House Luxury B&B it was time to get serious as the finish line was fast approaching for opening and I needed time to perfect this skill (like 6 months).
I needed a professional!
Like all good things you are trying to find, whether you think it, voice it or look it up on the internet, a post appeared on FB – a sourdough bread making workshop no less, with Christine from Christine’s Cooking Classes in Korumburra. The price looked amazing @ $110 for the day.. Perfect! Then (of course) COVID hit & poor Christine had to cancel her sourdough workshops for a few months! Finally she was able to start again & I was in one of the first workshops. There were 6 of us in total, socially distancing of course (no masks needed then)! It was a great day & I was completely impressed with the bread Christine serviced at lunch thinking finally it’s going to happen, I’m going to make bread just like this!
Everything went well with Christine telling me I was a natural bread kneader, fantastic! At the end of the day we were instructed to take our bread babies home (who were snuggled away in a cane banneton basket) so they could continue to rise & we could cook them later that night or the next morning. Christine, very gently, reminded me to treat it like a baby, as I put something on top of my dough walking out the door, they weren’t called dough babies for nothing!
Two hours later I called Christine (hysterically I might add!) to explain that I had arrived home to discover that something managed to slip onto the baby in the backseat all the way home (therefore 2hrs of wasted rising!) AND as I was struggling to get through the door, with hands full, that the “baby” had hit the deck, upside down! Chrisitne calmly explained that it should be fine……. I’m not sure that it was!
I then spent the next month trying to perfect the sourdough making but my loaves always seemed to be dense & flat so onto the phone I got to Christine who informed me that I “would get the feel of it” and to keep going! I then explained to Christine (who I must say is mighty patient) that I wouldn’t “get the feel of it” because I wasn’t that sort of cook! I would keep doing the same thing expecting it to work but it clearly wasn’t going to! (definitiion of stupid????)
Have I said how amazing Christine from Christine’s Cooking Classes in Korumburra is? She went above & beyond and spent a whole day, on call, for my sourdough making at every step of the process & we perfected it together that day plus a few extra hints like use warm water & maybe my oven wasn’t hot enough at 180! And poof…. Now I am an expert sourdough baker – well the guests at Rosemont House Luxury B&B tell me it’s pretty good as well as my sourdough biscuits I bake for cheese platters.
Thank you Christine…you are a marvel! And if you want to partake in one of Christine’s Cooking Classes head over to her facebook page or find her online at www.christinescookingclasses.com.au. She is VERY patient & it is an absolute pleasure to partake of one of her workshops & you too can be an expert sourdough baker!
There is a particularly special, bush gallery located in Jindivick, West Gippsland called Red Tree Gallery. If you are passionate about all things art (or even if you aren’t) this is a fabulous location to spend some time in. While not located in the main township of Jindivick it is only a very short 1 minute drive away and it is open every day from 10am to 4pm. Once you arrive you will be greeted by the creative owner Laurie Collins, and don’t worry if he doesn’t materialise straight away as his residence is located adjacent to the gallery and sometimes is over at the house.
The sculpture garden Laurie has created is certainly one of a kind and it is easy to spend an hour wandering around taking in all the different and unique art located here. My particular favourite is the old Mercedes car covered in mirror mosaic tiles! Recycled metal, garden and junk sculptures, unique furniture, fun metal animals and lots of other “stuff” are the sorts of things you will discover in the amazing sculpture garden. Laurie is happy to take commissions as well if you are looking for a bespoke, one of a kind metal sculpture.
There is an Art Gallery also located on the property where Laurie showcases local Gippsland artists and the exhibitions are changed monthly so there is always something new to see here from sculptures and pottery to paintings and photography. Laurie’s smaller metal offerings are also located in this space. If you are wanting to know more about the area he is even mini tourist information centre with brochures of local attractions he has produced himself.
To further checkout this wonderful little artistic haven go to www.redtreegallery.com.au, but I can tell you a visit here is something special if you are visiting the West Gippsland area.
The last 7 months have certainly held some blood, sweat, tears and a lot of swearing but also joy and excitement of seeing a long held dream become a reality.
Of course, it has taken a lot longer than the first anticipated 12 weeks from beginning to end – I mean really, how long does it take to move some doors, install new walls, change a foyer into a luxury bathroom, create a beautiful guestroom and build a couple of carports!!
I have been very blessed to have some fabulous people help create Rosemont House Luxury B&B starting with my right hand man, the ever patient, Kevin the old school builder, who loves working on old houses.
I’ve also been helped by Paul the cheerful electrician, Peter the clever cabinet maker, Scott the versatile handyman, Gary the air conditioner guru, Dick the man for anything to do with excavators, dingos, gravel, garden soil and rubbish removal, Anthony the knowledgeable plumber and John the attention to detail tiler and stone mason. As well as all the members of my Melbourne family who have been there to offer support, labour, advice and love along the way and of course not to mention my son, Rex, who has been through all the blood, sweat, tears and swearing!
Now with the doors finally open we look forward to welcoming couples who want a break away, in a country setting, in West Gippsland, Noojee!
Sit on the verandah, after a day exploring all this fabulous region has to offer, with a glass of wine and a cheese platter or kick back in your room with the fireplace on, relaxing, watching a movie! The choice is yours.
We can’t wait to welcome you to Rosemont House Luxury B&B very soon.