A short stay here is a wonderful antidote to the stresses and strains of madcap 21st-century city living.
Murray River, NSW
Perricoota State Forest Road, Moama
Phone: 0418 253 764
The location Approximately 25 kilometres from the nearest shop, Perricoota Station lies west of Echuca/Moama on the Moama side of the Murray so, although officially in NSW, it's an easy drive from Melbourne. The Murray features in a major way, as the 140-hectare property has an extensive river frontage.
The place Although the property was established in the early 1840s, the origins of this nine-bedroom homestead date from 1861. The entrance is grand, the ceilings extra high, and the reception rooms large (the antique mahogany dining room table seats 20 and came with the property when it was bought by Mark Evans in late 2010). The Murray River is just a couple of minutes' stroll from the back door and here you'll find the property's pontoon, complete with table, chairs and barbecue. For recreation, there is a fully fenced in-ground pool, plenty of space in which the kids can play, a billiards table for the big kids, and large-screen television and surround-sound system for the lounge lizards. There's a well-equipped kitchen and scullery.
The experience Perricoota Station opened to the public for the first time early this year and is booked predominantly by large groups (family get-togethers, groups of friends celebrating birthdays, wedding parties etc). A short stay here is a wonderful antidote to the stresses and strains of madcap 21st-century city living and affords a marvellous insight into another, Upstairs, Downstairs-style era.
Don't miss Walks around the property, with its mature gardens and parkland dotted with century-old date palms, its elderly citrus groves and Murray River frontage, are a highlight. Take time to absorb the history of this once massive property (whittled down from 48,000 hectares over the past 160 years), which has farmed cattle and sheep, bred horses for Cobb and Co, and been home to one of the largest citrus groves in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Port of Echuca and take a paddle steamer trip up the Murray (03 5482 5244; murraypaddlesteamers.com.au). Many of the boats operating today were also working the river in the late 1800s.
Need to know
Cost: $1000 a night for up to six guests; extra guests $40 per head (sleeps up to 24), minimum two-night stay.
Where: 245 kilometres (3.5 hours' drive) north of Melbourne.
Wheelchair access: Downstairs only.