The property is located in the town of Narbethong some 80 kilometres east of Melbourne. It is close to the well-known and bustling tourist town of Healesville. Woodlands Rainforest Retreat is in the pristine Yarra Valley with all its famous wineries. Half an hour away is the Lake Mountain ski resort and Lake Eildon.
One of Australia's leading boutique accommodation destinations, Woodlands Rainforest Retreat is situated in the coveted Yarra Valley on 38 acres including rainforest remnant adjacent to the permanently flowing creek and boasts massive exotic trees, rhodendrons, camellias, azaleas and old trees (such as oak, tulip tree and douglas firs) creating the basis of this beautiful garden property close to Melbourne. Woodlands Rainforest Retreat is an indulgent short break destination for couples looking for a hideaway retreat offering a rare combination of genuine privacy and pampered luxury just over the Black Spur in the Great Dividing Range. The property consists of a family residence, a manager's office and residence plus four self-contained luxury bungalows nestled in rainforest adjacent to Hermitage Creek.
The main residence was built circa 1908 and was of such significance that Melbourne University architecture students regularly visited the property. This unique federation style building is constructed of old growth jarrah timbers from Western Australia. The principal rooms are lined with Russian Oak panels, creating a wonderful bygone era of charm and warmth. This fabulous house, recently re-roofed, has had all the plumbing, electricity and heating up-graded. It comprises of a large foyer, living room with adjoining expansive dining room, both with open fireplaces, a large kitchen and meals area, master bedroom with open fireplace, two other bedrooms, central bathroom, a separate toilet and laundry. The residence has a unique charm and beauty about it and it is easy to image a person like Edna Walling living here.
On the property are four architect designed self-contained luxury bungalows, called Laughing Ducks, Cockatoo's Nest, Gully View and Whispering Wattles. Each overlooks the fern gullies of Hermitage Creek. All bungalows are fundamentally similar, being a split-level open plan, with large floor to ceiling windows, brick open fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, a king bedroom, bathroom with a huge double spa and heated floor that open via a bi-fold glass wall onto private elevated decks looking out onto forest. A barbeque is on the deck. Each bungalow has reverse-cycle air-conditioned. They are all clad with radially sawn yellow Stringybark making them seem part of the forest furniture, blending into the surrounding bush.
There is a separate administrative building incorporating self-contained accommodation suitable for a resident manager or caretaker. Adjacent is a large machinery shed. The property is serviced by a spring fed permanent mountain stream providing pure natural water all year round. Access is via a 1 km all weather road from the highway, ensuring no traffic noise.
The current vendors commenced a Bed and Breakfast business on this property in 1992. It was then repositioned as Woodlands Rainforest Retreat in 2000. The bungalows were then designed and built over the next three years.
The business is now generating a gross income in excess of $350 000, producing a handsome profit and enabling a very pleasant life style. It is currently operated by two people on a part time basis. The occupancy rate is a modest 60%, showing therefore room for growth.
Woodlands Rainforest Retreat won the 2005 and 2006 Victorian Tourism Awards for Hosted Accommodation and won the Australian Tourist Award in the same category in February 2007. Woodlands Rainforest Retreat was ranked as the number one property in the inaugural national publication, Good Weekends Away. Woodlands Rainforest Retreat has many recent a 5 of 5 stars reviews on Trip Advisor as of October 2014.