10 soulful escapes in regional Victoria

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10 soulful escapes in regional Victoria

Japanese Zen Retreat
Words by Tehya Nicholas

Saddle up, the story of a lifetime is just a drive away.

Now that we can officially escape the small square-footage we’ve been occupying for the last six months, there’s a wee website called Riparide you should know about. The Australian start-up has curated hundreds of rustic getaway locations right around Victoria and New South Wales for your viewing and booking pleasure.

Each property has been tried and tested by some of Australia’s best storytellers who document their stay with glorious photographs and a detailed write-up. So you can get a full rundown of what to expect during your luxurious getaway.

Because their Instagram and website is so damn perfect, choosing your destination is the hardest part. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to selected 10 of Riparide’s most soulful, exciting getaways.

Japanese Zen Retreat – Crossover, Gippsland
When you think of Japanese architecture you think of simple and stylish accommodation in a relaxing surrounding and our Japanese Zen Retreat will not disappoint you.

Influenced by the styles of the Kyoto Palace and nestled at the base of a gully, the Zen Retreat has been built on a tranquil pond with only the sound of frogs and kookaburra’s to disturb you.

As the sun goes down in the afternoon what better place to be than sitting on the veranda overlooking the pond and drinking a glass of local wine or curling up on the couch while the delicate patterns of sunlight on water reflect on the walls and ceiling around you.

To book, click here.

Steam-Train Carriage – Forrest, Great Ocean Road
Take a step back in time, to bygone era, where life was simpler, where people spent time with dignified entertainment and life seemed to have more space and time. Welcome back to the great age of Steam. Steam is a Victorian era train carriage converted to a three-bedroom holiday house. Forrest is a gorgeous small town of weatherboard shacks, surrounded by towering Mountain Ash rain forest with lush ferny under-story. The dawn birdsong is deafening.

Check out the listing here.

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Beach Cabin Berry – Inverloch, Gippsland
A beautiful, cosy cabin situated in the stunning coastal town of Inverloch. Quality linens and decor and crafted interior to complement your bespoke private bathroom. Surrounded by quiet farmland with views of the ocean from all vantage points. Wake up to the sunrise over the ocean without having to leave your private deck and seating, your own outdoor fire and serenity to relax and view the stars and listen to the waves.

For more and how to book, click here.

Boonahview – Deans Marsh, Great Ocean Road
Boonahview is a cottage located on a working sheep farm in The Otway Forrest. The bed faces uninterrupted 180 degree views across the You Yangs, Ballarat to Mt Elephant and beyond. Sit on the deck with a glass of wine and enjoy the serenity. Listen to the kookaburras in the morning and keep an eye out for the kangaroos and echidnas.

Guests will be offered a continental breakfast consisting of juice, cereal, toast, and spreads the first morning. Amenities include, all linen, hair dryer, straightening iron, tea, coffee and milk and a BBQ on the deck overlooking the view. Pretty bloody not bad mate.

To view this listing, click here.

The Barn at Abington Farm – Heyfield, Gippsland
Tucked into a gap at the foothills of the Alpine National Park, Abington Farm and the surrounding country towns give a humble feeling to those who visit. Situated on a 36-acre property in Gippsland with fantastic farm views, it is the place to escape from reality while feeling very much at home.

The Barn is a private unit, separated from other dwellings for your privacy and enjoyment. There is also a river and swimming hole 500m across a field for you to discover. With rustic vibes like this, you’ll never want to leave.

To view or to book, click here.

Eco Shipping Container Home in the Bush – Wattle Bank, Gippsland
Set amongst the Bush in South Gippsland a mere ten minutes from Inverloch beaches, this pad will fulfill all your eco dreams. This shipping container home, featured on Living Big in a Tiny House, was built by local sustainable building company Modhouse. Relax in front of the fire after a day exploring the beautiful South Gippsland Coast, pick fresh seasonal produce from the vegetable garden and unwind.

During the day, meander the hills to the beautiful towns of Loch, Korumburra, Meeniyan and Leongatha for some beautiful local produce at local cafes. Explore the wetlands in Wonthaggi and around Powlett River. Or set out on a hike along the cliffs at Kilcunda. Whatever you do, you’ll be relaxing in the utmost style.

Click here to explore more or to book.

Plenty, Bespoke Caravan with ocean and Otway views – Apollo Bay, Great Ocean Road
Situated up above the Great Ocean Road in the Otway’s, Plenty is a 1980’s Franklin Hunter van renovated to accentuate the forest, ocean and land around her. Whether soaking in an outdoor tub or curling up by the fireplace is your idea of heaven, you can do it all here. This little lady is absolutely perfect for a couples getaway; intimate, cosy and totally breathtaking.

For all your booking needs, click here.

Grayling’s Gift, Romantic Church Conversion – Lexton, Goldfields
You don’t need to believe in Jesus to know that this place is something special. Steeped in history and charm, this 19th-century church has been lovingly transformed into a short-term accommodation space which boasts the wonders of yesteryear and the comforts of today.

Over 140 years old, Grayling’s Gift was built on land donated to the community by William Grayling – a descendent of one of the Pyrenees Shire’s first pioneering families. Using mostly salvaged materials, the humble red-brick building has been renovated and redesigned to ensure a luxurious getaway for all those who visit.

To book, click here.

Bushies Love Shack – Porepunkah, North East Victoria
This beautifully renovated forestry hut is located behind the owner’s main house and is a little piece of paradise. On 63 acres, home to Fay, Bushie, four horses, two dogs and one cat, this oasis is tucked away with only one neighbour looking at us: Mt Buffalo, or as the locals call her, The Grand Old Lady.

The property hosts an abundance of native birds, Mr Wally wombat, deer and kangaroos. Backing on to State Forest, there are many walks from a 20min walk to a 2-4 hour walk in the hills or quietly along the river. You have access to BBQ facilities and a pool in the summer months.

For more about this listing, click here.

Shack 14 – Chewton, Goldfields
Shack 14 is an architect designed eco retreat on 10 acres of peaceful bush setting in the Central Victorian goldfields town of Chewton. With indoor/outdoor sensibilities, Shack 14 will break down all barriers between you and the natural world.

Architect, Ken Latona, has created an open, tent like dwelling that helps guests to connect with themselves, nature and each other. Perfect for couples, close friends or families. Not suitable for pets due to the bushland setting.

For bookings, click here.