Please Note: Tuki Retreat is offering 10% off accommodation and admission to Tuki Trout Farm before the end of Februrary! Just mention School of Mum to receive the discount! Enquire on their website today or call (03) 5345 6233
Picture this. Beautiful Australian countryside, wildlife at your doorstep, stone cabin with a king-sized bed, double spa and complete and utter seclusion.
That’s what you can get at Tuki Retreat…but there’s so much more I have to tell you. Not only is the accommodation and its setting amazing, but this is more than accommodation, it’s an experience. There’s walks, fishing, eating what you catch, fantastic dinners using only produce grown on the property and meeting the farm animals.
Tuki Retreat is located in Smeaton, Victoria. It is 40km from the regional centre of Ballarat and 20km from the gorgeous towns of Creswick, Clunes and Daylesford. All with their own personal charm and worth visiting.
When we were on our way to Tuki I was a bit dubious. There were hardly any signs and I was wondering what we were going to find when we arrived. Then all of a sudden we were entering a beautiful sprawling property and were being taken to our accommodation by a man on a bicycle…which was Robert, the owner of the property.
Yes, that is the reality of the seclusion of this accommodation. You have to follow a bike to get there!
The room we stayed in was their restored ‘Stoney Rises cottage’. It is surrounded by drystone walls, cathedral ceilings and an open fireplace. A glance outside leaves you filled with serenity as a private lake and the Australian landscape awaits you.
I loved the little touches provided by the hosts, Jan and Robert. Great care is taken to provide the little things – the lavender spray in the bathroom, the beautiful soaps and bubble bath and the self-serve full breakfast in the fridge that includes gourmet homemade sausages made right on the property.
The little touches kept on coming as Robert delivered dinner to our cottage. We were served an amazing feast of farm fresh trout and lamb, and home grown salads and sauces. And he even showed us the magic of removing ALL the bone from the trout in one hit! This was service at its best. The trout was like butter. You could literally taste the ‘no mileage’ in this meal. Everything was so fresh, nothing had been transported from one place to another. It was all straight from farm to plate.
In the morning we got stuck into the delectable breakfast that awaited us in the fridge. I took one bite of the sausage and exclaimed that it was the best sausage I had ever tasted. We sat outside and ate, with fresh plunger coffee in hand. I was in heaven. Mr.T loved it too!
We then ventured out to the spring fed ponds (even the water is straight from the farm!) a mere 5 minutes walk away, to do a spot of fishing. With their complimentary use of rods and bait, my husband caught 3 beautiful trout within minutes. They went to the kitchen where they were cleaned immediately for us to take home. I couldn’t wait to cook with them, and it was so great to be able to use such a fresh product! It doesn’t stop there though, we also left with some enormous cuts of porterhouse and some smoked trout – all bred, cut and smoked on site of course!
Tuki Retreat is certainly something special. It felt like we were entering and leaving a secret destination, although it was busy with other families and couples. The seclusion allows you to feel completely hidden away. I loved that Mr.T had a blast playing with the farm animals, running on the land and the fishing is great for older children too, but I’d love to go back there as a couple. It’s the perfect romantic hideaway.
Could you see yourself at Tuki? What appeals to you the most?
*We were hosted by Tuki Retreat for one night’s accommodation in exchange for this review however all thoughts and opinions are my own and School of mum only brings the best to its readers.