2020 seemed like a blur after Covid-19 hit us all and when we got to Christmas and were put into lockdown we all had high hopes that we could see some light after being released to have a summer break at Smiths lake. We were lucky early on as Delta started to rear its head in India early in 2021 and with a few concessions being given we were able to get a way for some short trips. But in may we organised a family holiday to the hinterland of Byron bay and had two weeks of bliss with the eight of us.
The flights went well for everyone especially for Teddy with it being his first flight. He loved the whole idea of being in an aeroplane and Saige was on her second flight and coped well.
First stop was a night for the two of us at Cape Byron Retreat just a 10 minute drive from Byron bay central. A nice spot to adjust to and we enjoyed a Mexican meal in town and a nice Byron wander before getting a good nights sleep to be ready for heading out to Fernleigh.
We booked Luana Estate at Fernleigh, near Newrybar in the hinterland above Byron Bay for the next 7days. It was only a 20 minute drive into town and just 7 minutes from Harvest at Newrybar for our daily coffee fix so a great location all round. The place was lux to the max and sited on an extensive acreage with sunset views to the west down the valley towards Booyong and beyond.
We had organised delivery of food both fresh and cooked for the first few days which was great and we feasted like kings in the amazing atmosphere of the hawaiian inspired retreat. the nights were chilly but they had a great indoor fire as well as an outdoor fire pit so we were able to enjoy the indoors and outdoors well despite it being late autumn. The layout and design was ideal for the three families and we occupied the seperate studio in the garden which meant no waking to crying babies ! good move. The interior and exterior were seamless and the space allowed us to not get on top of each other at all so it worked out really well. The pool was heated once we got it going and the kids loved the spa section and got very prune like after a while,
There was plenty of fun to be had around the house and plenty more to explore in the region. Our first full day took us down to The Farm for an explore around the property and a great lunch as well.
The location and atmosphere were stunning and we used every bit of the space to spread out in and enjoy including the wonderful pool and spa.
The space was amazing and i have borrowed some professional photos here to get a better sense of it as mine below did not do it justice.
The tennis court got a good workout with the kids having a ball with all the various balls and space to run amok in, so anytime we needed to get the kids to blow off some steam it was out to the tennis court to get them in sync .
Plenty of sunshine and just a touch of rain made the stay a very relaxing one and the spa and pool were well used..
The professional photos really show the property off as it was below.
We had some great dinners and a few Watkins ( Kath & Sam ) visitors enjoyed the hospitality and atmosphere with us.
Saige and teddy had thier spots together at the head of the table well and truly sorted.
Bathtime had its moments but plenty of laughs and games to keep them amused.
We explored the local area a bit and John went for a surf up at Brunswick heads but mostly we just chilled in the zone and enjoyed our time together. Bangalow was just 15 minutes away so we shopped and wandered around the town a bit as well. There were a few dinners and lunches out but mostly in and the last day we all headed up to Pottsvile for a degustation lunch at the now famous Pipit restaurant which was an interesting experience.
Next stop for just the two of us was at the Blue-Green retreat just east of Newrybar on the Broken head road and wow what a classic it was. Our cabin was a recycled masterpiece that the owners had put together with every imaginable reused materials and the effect was fabulous. We were at the end of the 4 houses and looked out over the spacious manicured grounds and were located next to a coffee plantation so it was very quiet.
The pool was a masterpiece and although the stadium steps down from the deck were a bit ambitious it was well finished and effective . the tiles in the pool were beautiful and the sunny deck was very private.
Patrick and Sarah joined us on the first night and we had a great night out on the deck enjoying a fabulous meal we had picked up in Byron Bay at the Bay Grocer when we dropped in for some foraging that morning. we had a lovely breakfast in the garden at Harvest the next morning and said our goodbyes by midmorning after exploring the delights of the Newrybar Merchants store and Bungalow where we enjoyed a lovely morning tea and a good wander.
John was able to get some nice little surfs in at Broken Head as it was just a 12 minute drive from the cabin and we explored extensively around the ridges and valleys from Tintenbar to Clunes and up to Coorabell. Before we headed home we spent a day out at Kyogle catching up with John & Kathy which was a great and we had a lovely plowman style lunch together before hitting road back to Newrybar.