C+G take a break and stay in a charming A-frame Eco Hut at Kimo Estate, located halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on a 7000-acre sheep and cattle farm. Wedged between the hills near Gundagai, this property is the oldest in the region and certainly one of the most charming. The bespoke architectural hut known as JR’s was created to maximise the spectacular 360-degree views and to provide a quiet spot to refresh, reset, and take in the Australian bush.
Kimo Estate (pronounced key-mo) is a dream destination. Its one of those places. Well before we even started Carlotta + Gee, we remember seeing just one photo and we immediately fell in love – we knew it was a place we had to visit. Lucky for us, the stars aligned and the wait wasn’t too long before we got our chance. We’re excited to share with you our experience in this our new favourite getaway.
We set off from our Sydney home towards Kimo Estate. Our anticipation grew as we turned off the Hume Hwy later that night. It took us 10 minutes from the turn off to drive to reach the hut – which at that point was just a pin drop on Google Maps in what appeared to be endless acres of outback. We found the entrance, drove up the steep long hill in the paddocks and with excitement arrived at the hut.
We stayed at the stunning JR Hut located high in the hills. It is completely eco-friendly and being there makes you feel like you’re one with nature. Walking inside we turned on the solar powered light switches and found the fireplace all set up for us, ready to be lit, while a bottle of wine lay ready to be opened. From that moment on, we felt totally relaxed. The hut has everything you need: there is a bathroom which has stocked Leif body wash eucalyptus-scent, a small kitchen sink, cooking utensils for breakfast and loads of books to enjoy. Of course, the main feature of the room is the bed, positioned right in the middle of the room and looking out through the A frame glass far into the distance of rolling hills.
After a wonderful sleep - in Carlotta + Gee of course (it comes everywhere with us) - we woke extremely early to watch the sunrise. This is a must! It was not only beautiful to watch, but acoustically it was wonderfully peaceful to waken with the birds singing along, as they began to busy themselves for the day. After the sunrise, we sat and enjoyed our morning coffee next to the log fire which was still warm from the previous night. Then it was time for breakfast!
All the produce was fresh – we had local eggs, tomatoes, bread, orange juice and milk all waiting in the esky outside. This added to the adventure of the stay as we felt like we were camping by cooking our breakfast outside, and yet we still had the A frame hut to keep us warm and comfortable once we were done (it’s the little luxuries that count!). After the soft launch for our recent Carlotta + Gee tablecloths (and napkins) we wanted to try them out during the meals of our stay. They simply looked stunning in the surroundings.
For the next few hours we were greeted by local Wagga Wagga photographer, Matt Beaver to take some photos of our linen in this location. Meeting locals and working with local talent is what we love the most about our adventures. Matt was a superstar to work with and his images were real and captured the essence and beauty of the location with our range of colours.
By early evening it was time to relax, start the log fire again and open a bottle of wine to watch the sunset. Neither of us could believe the transformation we felt in the 24 hours we had, and we were very sad to have to leave the next day. Its these rare chances to get away though that really do make you feel energized and ready to tackle the world again.
While we could list a million reasons why we loved Kimo Estate – here a few additional things we thought made it that extra little bit special:
1. Dave Ferguson, who’s parents owned the farm until a few years ago, is an excellent host. He’s recently decided to return to the land and see what farming was all about. To this end, he’s learnt a lot along the way and you can tell this is his new passion. If you are fortunate while staying to meet him, like we were, you will be swept up in his energy, passion and drive to transform Gundagai. He really is a pioneer and he already has over 50K Instagram followers!
2. The JR Hut sits like an eagle on the estate’s highest peak, overlooking the Murrumbidgee River flats. Designed by Anthony Hunt and Luke Stanley for two people, the structure is an A-frame-tent shape with two open ends and a corrugated metal roof. As Stanley said “I jumped at the opportunity, you don’t get projects like this. David wanted it to be simple and contemporary, tying in with the landscape. It needed to be something that was really anchored to the site, something that could deal with severe winds and gave you a sense of shelter, but still had an opportunity to appreciate the view”
3. The designers used the same materials found around the farm - there’s concrete, solar-powered lights in the industrial-looking fittings, reclaimed hardwood, corrugated metal and Australian timber - “we brought the outdoors inside”, Stanley said. There’s no electricity and the water is collected from an underground rain tank (heated by solar power).
After our experience, we realise there are some things you might need to consider when booking a trip. First, if you don’t get the chance to stay in the JR Hut, then there are also two other huts, two cottages and shearers quarters which are all great places to stay. There are no children allowed so you should really only plan to go with one other person. And remember, there is no TV or wifi – and we think this is the best part!
To recap, here at Carlotta + Gee, we feel more than ever finding an escape from the everyday 9-5 is non-negotiable. While luxury hotels are nice, sometimes less is more. Heading back to nature can give you that extra space needed to really switch off and relax. No place does this better than JR Hut at Kimo Estate. It is completely off the grid with no electricity. So, what are you waiting for? The Kimo Estate books out up to 4 months in advance so get out your calendars and lock in your dates – you won’t regret it!.
For more information, visit https://www.kimoestate.com/
NB: Kimo is the Australian First People’s name for “mountains” and refers to the large hills in the surrounding Kimo Range