The SpaceIn our family for 4 generations, the house on our property Galwiji (made up by combining the names of 4 brothers Gordon, Alan, William and Jim) will give you a delightful taste of Australian rural life.
It's spacious (25 squares) - there are beds for 12 and even a lawn for camping if your group's a bit bigger and you want to rough it a bit :) It's also very comfortable for small groups or even just a couple on a romantic getaway.
We guarantee to beat any price you will find on any internet site by 5% if you come directly to us via our own site (which can be found by putting our name, Galwiji Homestead, into any internet search engine).
8 minutes' drive to shops, 18 minutes' to Sovereign Hill, 22 minutes' to the centre of Ballarat, 1 hour to Geelong and Avalon Airport and 75 minutes to Melbourne Airport (Goggle Maps says 1 hour 40, but we know a back way :)
There's ample parking. Internet is available for a small charge, but mobile phone reception is excellent (due to the proximity of Mount Buninyong) and the sims on our iPads work well. 3G Reception is clear on the Telstra and Optus' networks and improving all the time on Vodafone.
Mostly, we just love Galwiji for the peace. A gentle breeze, broken only by the occasional baa-ing of sheep and the t-w-i-t-t-e-ring of birds. The farm is home to various animals from time to time, and if they're about, you may be able to go and greet them (they've had plenty of human contact).
The range of bird life is extraordinary and the many different calls are worth sitting quietly for a while to hear. We had an ornithologist visit recently, and he was able to catalogue 40 species!
If you want to break the solace, there's a recently-tuned Lipp German upright piano (dated at 1899!), and a nylon-string guitar.
There are many kids' (and adults') board games, table soccer and table tennis indoors, while outdoor treats include a large oak tree with seats underneath (in the middle of the sprawling garden), a treasure hunt, yabby (freshwater crayfish) fishing, exploring around the shearing shed and tree farm, not to mention endless open spaces to run around in.
The house consists of 1 master bedroom with ensuite (with an additional double sofa bed), 2 other queen bedrooms, another bedroom with 3 single beds, another bedroom with bunks (two single beds, one above the other), all the normal amenity rooms (t.v. / lounge/ dining area / kitchen and laundry), 2 additional bathrooms, (one newly accessibly refurbished with shower, basin and toilet in the one room and the other with an enormous bath) and lastly a very large family room with sofa bed sleeping for 3 (1 x single and 1 x queen), table tennis / table soccer / lounges / chairs and a large slow combustion wood heater.
As far as amenities are concerned, Galwiji is fully self-contained, and then some. It has a full kitchen with a dishwasher, toaster, kettle, large microwave oven, large fridge, urn, pressure cooker, rice cooker, large flat grill, sandwich maker, electric mixer and coffee machine. Our Weber Kettle BBQ and 4 burner gas barbecue on our brand new extended deck provide an opportunity to BBQ (grill) outdoors if you desire. There's an additional 2 burner BBQ if you really need to get some fast tucker prepared.
There's a large flat screen TV with DVD player, radio / c.d. player, as well as important appliances such as a front-loading washing machine, an ironing board and a hair dryer in each of the 3 bathrooms.
For a really special evening, a telescope is available, because the stars at Galwiji are a - may - zing!
It's quite an environmentally-friendly property too. Apart from the 100 acre tree farm (we're growing Sugar Gums and Blue Gums), most of our electricity is provided by solar panels and all of our water comes from the sky. With that in mind, we provide you with a large external clothesline, and some freestanding drying racks. Unless it's mid-winter, it does also limit your ability to do water-intensive activities, but if you'd like to bring a blow-up pool or similar, it may be possible to fill it from the nearby dam, so please ask!
Your hosts, Ann & Bill and their sons Malcolm and Angus are seasoned travellers. Ann and Malcolm are fluent in German and French and Angus dabbles in German.
Strictly no smoking on the property, either indoors or outdoors (due to fire restrictions) and strictly no pets.
Apologies for the high cleaning fee. When you see the size of the house, you'll understand why - it's about a 4 hour job!
For all stays, we provide pillows, blankets and doonas. The prices quoted do not include linen, but at a cost of $20/person, we are more than happy to provide it. You are of course welcome to bring your own, taking into account that at a minimum, every bed requires a pillow case, a fitted sheet and either a flat sheet or a sleeping bag.
P.S. The site is handicap accessible (the house and grounds are fairly flat, with 'made' pathways and we have a designated accessible bathroom). We've had several groups of wheelchair-bound guests enjoy the facilities.
P.P.S. For the full terms and conditions of a stay, look up the terms and conditions tab on our website (which you can find by putting our property name into any search engine)
P.P.P.S. We've just recorded a 2 minute video tour of Galwiji. Look us up on you tube :) Guest AccessThe entire house, the outdoor entertaining area and all of the surrounding paddocks and tree farm are yours to roam.
The only areas that are out of bounds are the farm outbuildings, which contain the vehicles / equipment to keep this a working farm. Interaction with GuestsYou will be checked in and out by Bill and Ann Pryor. They live nearby and are available to attend quickly should the need arise. They are available by telephone for the duration of your stay if you have any questions / queries. The NeighborhoodIt's not possible to arrive at Galwiji Homestead without relaxing.
The simple reason is the absence of noise! Once you arrive somewhere that really quiet, you realise how loud the city actually is. Getting AroundBecause Galwiji Homestead is 3 km (2km of which is dirt) from the Midland Highway (Geelong-Ballarat Road), you will need a vehicle or at the very least a bicycle :) Other Things to NoteWhat to bring with you:
•If it's not been agreed for us to provide it, please bring linen for your beds inc. fitted and flat sheets, pillow cases, towels, hand-towels, bathmats and tea-towels etc. If you'd like us to supply this, please let us know in advance. The charge for this service is $20/person.
We blankets, doonas and pillows for all the beds.
•Sneakers for walking (if that’s your thing). Galwiji Homestead offers numerous walking opportunities including two marked bushwalks. Some guests enjoy bringing a frisbee/football/cricket gear/golf clubs/bikes to take advantage of the wide open spaces.
•Seriously warm clothing, as Ballarat is, in general, a really cold place (Galwiji is at nearly 1600 feet elevation). The house is warmed by two fires - a slow-combustion stove in the kitchen/sitting/dining area and another one in the games room. There is an unlimited supply of pre-cut hardwood for your usage.
Every bed has an electric blanket. Your warmth when you're out of bed is maintained by keeping the fires going, so if you're not comfortable with this please let us know ASAP.
We are able to provide gas ducted heating at Galwiji Homestead at an additional charge of $50/night. (The cost is so high because the LP gas has to be brought in on the back of a truck :( Please do not bring your own heaters, as we cannot vouch for their safety, and this a mostly wooden house.
For the warmer months, we are able to provide 5 kW of air conditioning in the large games room (which also covers the kitchen / meals / dining areas at an additional charge of $10/night.