When we were talking about staying in the Blue Mountains near Sydney there was one place that many people told us we had to stay, Madison's Mountain Retreat.
The drive through Richmond to Bilpin and Madison’s Mountain Retreat was gorgeous! As we often do, we took the long way around but it is such beautiful countryside how can you resist. We finally arrived at Madison’s to a beautiful sight, lovely woolly alpacas.
The girls were so excited because we were staying in one of the extra special cabins – it was an old converted train carriage. They thought it was absolutely wonderful, especially with all the lush green grass to run around and play on outside the train.
Madison’s Mountain Retreat is a working alpaca farm and they had the cutest goats with their kids in an enclosure just near our train. Teddy (and the girls too) had a great time running over to the enclosure to chat with the goats, he learnt very quickly that he could put twigs over their fence and that they would run to them and have a chew – he would giggle as they did.
The grounds are immaculate with lovely lush grass throughout, an indoor swimming pool, great BBQ facilities by the dam and even a games room complete with DVD’s to borrow. By far the most fun however was the little cubby house that was made to look just like the bigger cabins surrounding it. Jemma thought it was great, until we were playing tennis and heard a great yell and saw Jemmy run out like a lightning bolt. Greg and I both looked at each other “Spider” we said in unison.
Jemma shot over to me “I thought it was a toy... but it wasn’t... it was under the plate... I picked up the plate...” yes, it really was that long, Jem takes her time to tell a story!! “I picked up the plate and saw it... I picked it up... IT JUMPED.... A F F F F F FROG!!!” Poor Jemmy, Greg and I were killing ourselves laughing! By the time we all revisited the cubby, the poor frightened frog had disappeared, but Jemma’s version of events lived on and has been retold to absolutely everyone, especially the part about the big black eyes (with her fingers in circles around her eyes)!
Julie, the lovely manager of the farm took us to feeding time with the alpacas and to the girls delight there was a big black one called Edward “Teddy, that one’s named after you!” they exclaimed (Teddy is short for Edward). The kids all fed the alpacas who were very friendly and welcomed a pat. Jasmine and Teddy were not at all scared, Jemma took a little more warming up to them before she was confident. It was such a lovely experience that was just so different for the children, and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
When we left Madison’s Mountain Retreat, Julie gave us a bag of alpaca wool for the girls to take to school and show their friends. That too was a winner with news time!
While in Bilpin, we had to have one of their legendary apple pies, we took it back to our train and heated it up - yes we had a fully equipped kitchen with a convection microwave. YUMMO!! The best thing about this area is the farm gates – the produce that you can purchase from honesty boxes set up outside farm gates right beside the roads. We saw everything from cherries to apples, and we had a great time tasting all the local produce. If you ever visit this area then make sure you support the local growers, you’ll be rewarded by the lovely fresh produce.
Armed with lots of different preserves, we headed for home. We had such a lovely time and the children really got to see and taste some of the best things about Australia – the greatest views and the fresh produce right from the farmers. While we only visited a small part of the Blue Mountains areas, this is one place in Australia you can visit plenty of times yet always experience something new. The views NEVER get old!
Madison's Mountain Retreat is located in Bilpin, NSW. It is about 60 minutes from Sydney CBD (on toll roads).
Accommodation starts from $225 per night and includes a (VERY) generous country breakfast hamper - ours had lovely fresh eggs, bacon, bread and more! Also includes full use of the facilities.
There is plenty to do on the farm when you are not feeding the alpacas, you might even find the Llama - can you tell the difference? Madison's Mountain Retreat boasts an indoor pool, spa, tennis courts, games room and of course, the cubby house!
(02) 4567 7398
1880 Bells Line of Road, Kurrajong Heights NSW 2758
Or visit their wonderful website - www.madisonsretreat.com.au - make sure you watch the video through the train carriage it is wonderful, and I know what's on the other side of the door... do you?
As always - make sure you tell them the Great Aussie Road Trip sent you!!