In our family for 4 generations, the homestead on our property Galwiji (made up by combining the names of 4 brothers Gordon, Alan, William and Jim) will give you a delightful taste of Australian rural life.
The quoted prices for Galwiji Homestead don't include linen (this is available at a cost of $30/head), they don't include internet (a sliding scale from $15/night to $40week) and they don't include LPG ducted heating ($60/night because the gas has to be trucked in). Included heating is electric blankets on all the fixed beds and for the living areas, 2 new slow combustion wood heaters (coonaras) and an unlimited supply of pre-cut hardwood.
There may not be many recent reviews for Galwiji on homeaway.com.au as we source our bookings from a number of different websites, including our own.
It's spacious (25 squares) - there are beds for 15 and even a 300m2 level grassed area especially for camping if your group's a bit bigger. It's also very comfortable for small groups or even just a couple on a romantic getaway.
8 minutes' drive to shops, 15 minutes' to Sovereign Hill, 20 minutes' to the centre of Ballarat, 1 hour to Geelong and Avalon Airport and 75 minutes to Melbourne Airport (Google Maps says 1 hour 40, but we know a back way :)
There's ample parking. Internet is available for a small charge (see above), but mobile phone reception is good (due to the proximity of Mount Buninyong) and the sims on our iPads work well. 3G Reception is clear on the Telstra and Optus' networks and improving all the time on Vodafone.
Mostly, we just love Galwiji for the peace. A gentle breeze, broken only by the occasional baa-ing of sheep and the twittering of birds. The farm is home to various animals from time to time, and if they're about, you may be able to go and greet them (they've had plenty of human contact).
The range of bird life is extraordinary and the many different calls are worth sitting quietly for a while to hear. We had an ornithologist visit, and he was able to catalogue 40 species!
If you want to break the solace, there's a recently-rebuilt 1899 piano and a nylon-string guitar.
There are many kids' (and adults') board games, table soccer and table tennis indoors, while outdoor treats include a large oak tree with seats underneath (in the middle of the sprawling garden), an outdoor quiz, yabby (freshwater crayfish) fishing and a 200 acre tree farm (a.k.a. a forest!), not to mention endless open spaces to run around in.
The house consists of 1 master bedroom with ensuite, 2 other queen bedrooms, another bedroom with 2 single beds and a set of bunks (two single beds, one above the other), another bedroom with a king single bed, a queen sofa bed in the sitting room facing the kitchen and all the normal amenity rooms (t.v. / lounge / dining area / kitchen and laundry), 2 additional bathrooms, (one newly accessibly refurbished for our wheelchair guests with shower, basin and toilet in the one room and the other with an enormous bath) and lastly a very large family room with sofa bed sleeping for 3 (1 x single and 1 x double), table tennis / table soccer / lounges / chairs and a large slow-combustion wood heater.
As far as amenities are concerned, Galwiji is fully self-contained, and then some. It has a full kitchen with a dishwasher, toaster, kettle, large microwave oven, large fridge, urn, rice cooker, large flat grill, sandwich maker, electric mixer and coffee machine. Our Weber Kettle BBQ and 4 burner gas barbecue on our brand new extended BBQ deck provide an opportunity to grill outdoors if you desire. There is a separate 2 burner BBQ if you really need to get some quick tucker going.
There's a large flat screen TV with DVD player, and a radio, as well as important appliances such as a front-loading washing machine, an ironing board and a hair dryer in each of the 3 bathrooms. The games room has a second smaller wall-mounted flat screen TV with DVD player.
For a really special evening, a telescope is available, because the stars at Galwiji are a - may - zing!
It's quite an environmentally-friendly property too. Apart from the 200+ acre tree farm (we're growing Sugar Gums), most of our electricity is provided by solar panels, our hot water is generated by a very efficient heat pump and all of our water comes from the sky. With that in mind, we provide you with a large external clothesline, and some freestanding drying racks. Unless it's mid-winter, it does also limit your ability to do water-intensive activities, but if you'd like to bring a blow-up pool or similar, it may be possible to fill it from the nearby dam, so please ask!
Your hosts, Ann & Bill, Malcolm and Angus are seasoned travellers. Ann and Malcolm are fluent in German and French and Angus dabbles in German.
The property is non-smoking (fire danger). Sorry, no pets.
Apologies for the high cleaning fee. When you see the size of the house, you'll understand why - it's about a 4 hour job!
Late departures/early arrivals are not included in the basic fee but you're welcome to upgrade. Just enquire about the very reasonable charges for this service.
P.S. The site is handicap accessible (the house and grounds are fairly flat, with 'made' pathways and we have a designated accessible entrance and bathroom). We've had several groups of wheelchair-bound guests enjoy the facilities.
P.P.S. For the full terms and conditions of a stay, look up the terms and conditions tab on our website (which you can find by putting our property name into any internet search engine)
P.P.P.S. We've just recorded a 2 minute video tour of Galwiji. Look us up on you tube :)