CHASING WATERFALLS IN KANGAROO VALLEY
When I moved to Sydney after living in London for two years, it took me a good year to land on my feet. Those who have read my blog since the start know it wasn’t until I ventured off on my own on weekends, with a broken heart in one hand and a map in the other, where I realised my love for adventure and nature. And by default, I found out who I was; it was a fearless journey and I discovered the inner warmth of solitude along the way. In fact it was these moments of solitude which spurred me to share my adventures and start Mister Weekender. Over the years I’ve always known I would never end up living in a city, mostly because I never felt truly comfortable. However, the stifling concrete, the bounds of people and the unforgiving traffic were often miles away when I was planning to escape into the wilderness for my next adventure. There is just something indescribable about walking through fields of tall grass, hiking to lush mountain tops and hearing the rustling of leaves in the wind above me. It’s these moments where I am so mindful, knowing it always makes me a better person in some small, quiet way.
One place I retreated to often was Kangaroo Valley; it always felt like coming home. I went there many times on my own without telling anyone, because I do that often. Or sometimes I would venture down with someone close to me, who I know would understand why I loved the area it so much. So in the spirit of adventure and sharing, I am going to tell you about a little place in Kangaroo Valley which recently stole my heart – Heggy’s House.
Heggy’s is a 120 acre farm stay located in the heart of the Southern Highlands, just 10km from the heart of Kangaroo Valley and 14km from the quaint township of Berry. Only a short two hour drive from Sydney, I recently stayed at Heggy’s Cottage - a gorgeous one bedroom guest house next to Heggy’s House, which you can see in the photo above.
After vacating Sydney with haste on a warm Friday morning, I felt like I could breath again as soon as I was off the highway. Making my way over over lush rolling hills with happy, grazing cows aplenty I couldn't wipe the smile from my face; I've always loved driving through this incredibly gorgeous hinterland. Not soon after I drove up the long winding driveway to the top of a hill where Heggy’s House is located, which made me feel as though I was driving along a rainbow and the cottage was the pot of gold at the end. Instead of gold, I discovered a cute homemade sign post with arrows pointing towards the direction of Heggy’s Cottage, Waterfall, Chooks, Tennis, Pool, and Bees. So cute!
I was very warmly welcomed by my hosts Eva and Peter who graciously showed me to the elegant cottage which accommodates two people, and includes a self contained kitchen, a little dining table, a cosy lounge room with views over the range, a large bedroom with a wardrobe, and a separate bathroom with a shower and toilet. What struck me immediately was the privacy; I’ve stayed at cabins and cottages like this before but I’ve always been aware of people being able to look in – but this is nothing like that. It's so refreshing! After rustling through the complimentary Breakfast Basket with home spun honey, freshly baked bread and eggs from the hens on the property, I was ready to explore the surrounds.
I think Eva could sense I was intrigued by the spectacular setting, so she kindly walked me around the property, which offers a pristine tennis court, a lavish swimming pool, a hen house aptly titled ‘Buckinghen Palace’, bee hives and the main house – all with million dollar views across the escarpment. She let me know where an abundance of hiking trails around the property could be found, and that they also had a private waterfall! I knew immediately I had found paradise, nestled away in the hinterland of Kangaroo Valley. Seriously – who doesn’t love chasing waterfalls?!
Purposefully, there is no Wi-Fi or television in the cottage to distract guests, and it felt utterly indulgent. There is just something so relieving about going off the grid and focusing on what’s in front of me; it feels like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. So what did I do? I simply relaxed and enjoyed the view. I went hiking and chased waterfalls. I ate some seriously delicious food and kept myself in good company. I made friends with Eva and Peter’s two incredibly gorgeous dogs – hi Buster, hi Pippi! I switched off and I felt like I was home.
Whilst I was happy to spend my time exploring the property, Eva and Peter are very relaxed so they have created a compendium of things to see and do if guests want to jump in their car to explore the region. Whether it’s exploring the picturesque village of Kangaroo Valley and stocking up on lollies for the road trip home, or driving to Berry to enjoy lunch at my favourite café The Berry Sourdough Café – a place I love to take my nearest and dearest - Eva and Peter has it covered.
It’s so easy to see why anyone would want to stay here – wedding party guests, solo adventurers like me, honeymooners, couples and friends. Heggy’s really is for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, even if it’s just for a few days. My favourite part? Sitting on top of the hill in front of the main house, enjoying a glass of wine whilst watching the sun set over the hinterland. Heggy’s is truly a home away from home and I cannot wait to come back during winter where I can rug up and enjoy that utterly spectacular view again, but this time with a mug of hot chocolate.
TRIP NOTES What: Heggy’s Cottage Where: Wattamolla Road, Kangaroo Valley, Southern Highlands, NSW How: Located just a short two hour drive south of Sydney When: All year round! Bookings: www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/7827005
Keep up to date by following Heggy’s on Instagram. They are soon hoping to make the property available for weddings - can you imagine! Watch this space...
Almost at Heggy's!
Driving up the rainbow to Heggy's!
The little cottage, it's very relaxing and private
The cosy lounge room in the cottage overlooking the escarpment
The cottage kitchen - super cute
Romantic dinner for two perhaps? And how beautiful is that painting!
The gorgeous cottage bedroom with an even more gorgeous piece of Swedish art - something which caught my eye when I was looking at photos on Airb'nb!
Meeting a few of the locals on the farm
Enjoying a hike to Heggy's very own waterfall!
Too cute! You'll see...
The most beautiful (and happiest) chickens I've ever seen live at Buckinghen Palace
Enjoying my first gorgeous sunset from Heggy's - it was incredible!
Looks like I am not the only one who loves the view...
Not at all envious of the people in that plane because I was happy exactly where I was
All the shades of pink as the sun set over the horizon and drew a close to a wonderful day
Golden hour hitting the mountains the following morning, before anyone else was awake
This sunrise confirmed for me that no two mornings, or evenings, are the same at Heggy's - just look at that gorgeous low lying cloud cover!
The sun soon warmed things up, so it was time to go for another hike
It was hot, I was sweating, the air was fresh, my hair was tied up with a long piece of grass and I was stupidly happy
Making my way back, I had the choice of a game of tennis or...
...a few laps in the pool or...
...spend the rest of the morning reading and enjoying this million dollar view - which is exactly what I did!