Willowview Farmstay, near Marulan, NSW

We were looking for somewhere to stay within reach of Burrawang, and had a tough time finding anything. Links House, in Bowral, was an option, but it really wasn’t suitable for a young family. It looked lovely for a quiet weekend away. Eventually, we settled on Ferndale Cottage at Willowview Farmstay, just out of Brayton, on the border of the Southern Highlands and the Tablelands: 40 minutes from Bowral and 20 minutes from Goulburn.

Farmstays can work well for us. It’s a different environment, because we live in the city; the kids can explore and have some space around them; and they are usually incredibly quiet places. 

Set on one hundred and thirty acres by the Wollondilly River, the late 19th century cottage Ferndale offers uninterrupted views of the property and escarpment beyond, as well as a whole host of activities.

Ferndale at Willowview

The access and disabled facilities are pretty good too. It’s not perfect, but owner Jan Scali has made a good effort to turn an historic farmhouse into an accessible facility.

The shower is especially well designed, with a very solid bench seat, plenty of space and well positioned rails. The rails for the toilet were, however, a bit limited and need some attention.

The house is nearly all accessible, though sometimes via circuitous routes. There is a large step going from the lounge to the hall leading to the veranda. You access the veranda by going out the front door and down the side of the house. There is also a step down into one bedroom and at one entrance to the bathroom. But these things are understandable in a building of its age, and the steps taken to work around them are largely successful.

The entrance to the house is simple and well designed. You park around the back and the entry is smooth, though slightly hilly.

The only lack of access that irritated me was the brick platform surrounding the stove. It meant I couldn’t get close enough to the stove to cook.

Another extra is that the farm is pet friendly. There is an enclosure with room enough for any dog to enjoy all the comforts of home.

We had prior arrangements which meant we couldn’t sample the range of activities on offer, but they include swimming in the river, fishing, horse riding, bushwalking and much more. It would have been nice to stay longer. We did have time to relax on the veranda and enjoy the magnificent view.

In all, Willowview is a welcome addition to the range of accessible properties and an example of how many holiday locations can be amde accessible with a little effort. While the access isn’t perfect, there has been an honest attempt to make it as accessible as the limitations of the property allow. Jan Scali should be applauded for her efforts.

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