Knottapharm is the perfect location for a family friendly weekend getaway just outside Sydney
All good weekends away start with a winding road! Knottapharm is no exception. To get there you need your wits about you, especially if you plan to arrive after dark. This hidden gem is one of those places you can’t believe actually exists until you arrive. The switchbacks leading down to the driveway are steep but rest assured, you are only a few twists and turns away from a valley oasis.
Nestled deep in the Yarramalong Valley, Knottapharm fits the bill for a family friendly weekend getaway, with ample room for up to three families.
The accommodation is divided into pavilions, two with bedrooms and one as a grand kitchen / dining / sitting room. Wrap around verandahs provide the ideal space for morning, afternoon and evening lounging. Between the buildings, a plentiful stretch of grass is the ideal platform for playtime. The swimming pool is take-your-breath-away icy, but that won’t stop the kids from jumping in. Beyond the homestead, the property is a wonderland of discovery. Let the kids go free range and don’t be surprised if you see one of them wandering by, happily holding a chicken. There are beehives to check out, wombat holes to discover and a creek for muddy splashing. Wander (or cycle) up the country lane beside the property and you will get the full effect of the ridge above you. Knottapharm’s neighbours are straight out of a storybook, complete with abundant fruit trees and quacking ducks.
Family friendly weekend getaway: BYO everything
It’s a decent drive back up to Peats Ridge for supplies, so come prepared with everything you need. When catering, think pizzas or a Mexican feast, to be enjoyed outside or at the indoor dining table for ten. City Slickers will be relieved to find that Knottapharm has a coffee machine, ready and waiting to kick off a breakfast of sizzling bacon and eggs or decadent pancakes. And don’t forget the marshmallows! Unless there’s a fire ban, the kids will love roasting them over the outdoor fire pit.
Relaxation and adventure in one
The deep valley location of Knottapharm does not lend itself to mobile reception. There is wifi, but why not give yourself a proper break and leave your devices behind?
The kids will have no choice but to spread out across the grass, investigating beetle migration paths and rediscovering their love of nature. If the dreaded “I’m bored” rings out, take them for a mini-hike along part of the Great North Walk, which snakes past the property on its way to Newcastle from Sydney. Nothing says ‘trip to the country’ like a bush track, complete with moss covered rocks, trickling streams and fences for climbing over.
Feels like home
The colonial decor of Knottapharm invokes the simple life of days gone by but the place is kitted out with all the mod-cons. The bedrooms are spacious, with fly screens and heaters to make you cool in summer and cosy during those cold valley nights. This utopian hideaway eliminates almost every trace of the outside world. No matter what your reason for visiting, you will come away feeling like you were finally able to leave the rat-race behind.
Clea Sherman is a Sydney-based copywriter and family travel writer. She heads off on the open road with two kids in tow and has recently ventured to Fiji, Tasmania, Canada and the USA. Read about her adventures in Fiji here or get in touch for more information.