Akah-Lan Nature Haven is a place where Nature thrives and you can relax and unwind. We offer comfortable living and the freedom to roam around our 270 acres of natural bush land, which merges with Butterleaf National Park close to the crest of the Great Dividing Range in the New England region. This is granite country- huge boulders, along with massive ancient eucalypts are home to wombats, lyrebirds and many other birds and wildlife, such as echidnas, quolls and sugar and greater gliders commonly found in natural areas such as this.
At an altitude of just over 1200 meters, we enjoy all four seasons (occasionally on the same day!) Summers are moderate and the summer air is dry, with a refreshing breeze and we occasionally have a thin covering of snow in winter!
Accommodation is in a self-contained octagonal cottage (Akah-Lan), which we built by hand. Recycled materials were used wherever possible to create a hand-crafted interior. The floor was constructed using ancient earthfloor building techniques- compacted, oiled and then waxed, to create a beautiful sensation underfoot as well as a thermal mass effective for helping to regulate the temperature throughout the seasons. This is a small, beautifully designed open plan house (one room- no separate bedroom) and is super insulated, making it toasty warm in winter and cool in summer. The doors and windows are restored from an old Queenslander house- the window frames are silky oak and the vaulted ceiling is lined with cypress pine.
A bookshelf housing a large range of books takes up one entire wall. Topics include nature, travel, health and healing and there are many “coffee table style” books. Games (suitable for 1 or 2 players) are available as an alternative to simply quietly gazing into the fire on winter evenings.
The bright ensuite bathroom has a flushing toilet and shower. Water pressure is a gravity fed system, which (while completely adequate) is lower than the mains pressure those guests normally living with mains water would be used to in their own homes. We provide bath towels, soap and shampoo/conditioner, which we encourage you to use because it is "earth friendly" and suited to our septic system.
For those cooler days there is a wood heater- all wood is supplied and this also heats the water through a flue-heating system. In summer the water circulates through pipes on the roof to be heated by the sun, so in summer and winter there is usually ample hot water, however on warm cloudy days in spring and autumn there is sometimes a need to light the fire for a couple of hours to heat the water. We are happy to help guests with this if required.
The Octagon has a restored cast iron sink and gas ring for making a cuppa- we provide a range of teas and instant coffee or coffee beans if preferred (with coffee grinder and plunger). Close by (outside) is the area for preparing and cooking meals. A small lean-to structure, this is a sheltered place open on two sides where there is a small fridge (bar fridge sized), two gas rings and a barbecue (Webber Baby Q). We provide all those “smaller essentials” such as salt and pepper, herbs and spices, cooking oil, and most utensils.I generally bake bread once or twice a week so if you would like a loaf then just let me know. If there is something more you need we shall happily provide it from our own kitchen if we have it. There is no microwave or 240v power in the kitchen.
Note- the only electricity in the Octagon is provided by a 12-volt solar panel. This powers the lighting and some small devices (such as phones) can be charged in this way. Please be aware that the Octagon does NOT have 240v power or a mobile phone signal. There is a limited, patchy signal around the property. We have a 6m aerial attached to our yurt to improve the signal and this allows us to respond to booking queries (we check for messages twice a day), as well as providing you with a way to send/receive messages in case of an emergency.
The "stick house" is a very popular place to hang out on hot days. It catches the breeze coming up the gully from the creek and is a great place to relax. This is a shared area with enough hammocks for everyone.
Please be aware that we, (your hosts, Sarah and Matti) live within the same area close by and so will be around most of the time. This means we are on hand to help with anything if asked- however, we appreciate guests usually want privacy, so we leave it up to you to approach us if you would like to chat.
The Octagon has a decked veranda at both the front and back so you will always have a place where you can choose the sun or the shade. (The back veranda has privacy and catches the morning sun beautifully and is in full shade in the afternoon)
Access to the property involves 22km of unsealed road through farmland (cattle) from the main highway, then a 3 km track through bush land. Although 4WD is not essential, PLEASE NOTE: without the use of a high axle vehicle you may sustain damage, or have difficulty if it is wet. We will transport you the last part of the way if you are concerned about this. There is NO freezer or microwave, however we will help with cold food storage if you find there is insufficient space in the fridge provided. The nearest shop is 45 minutes drive away, so please bring whatever you need. No coffee shops, however many people agree that the starry, starry sky most nights makes up for this!
You are most welcome to wander around the property at your leisure. Clear tracks cover most of the property and the more agile may choose to climb the rock formations. Two seats overlook different parts of the gully, which is the ideal place to relax and watch the wildlife as it visits the creek below.
So this is rustic, off-grid living, where "time out" from the hectic day to day pressures of the "electronic age" provides the perfect opportunity for rejuvenation- peacefulness, stunning natural surroundings, and a focus on moment-by-moment simple living.