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Island Farm Retreat is located on four acres of wilderness, cultivated gardens and wetlands. Designed as an immersive nature experience, the home is a luxury retreat for those looking to relax and decompress in a refined setting.

Island Farm Retreat | Meet The Makers

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms

Rates from $425 per night

Drawn to the unpretentious hedonism of regional Victoria and seeking a better work-life balance, Danny and Aaron purchased a block in 2012 on the outskirts of Woodend. The intention was to build and landscape what would be a private sanctuary. However, over time the plans grew and today the space is used to host guests looking for a luxurious country escape.  

The three bedroom architectural residence is surrounded by wetlands and cultivated gardens of wattle, grevillea and tea tree, not to mention some two thousand indigenous plants.

Located approximately 1 hour from Melbourne it’s the perfect destination for an escape from the city. The Origins Guide spoke with Danny and Aaron to understand the inspiration behind the home and what they and their guests love about the space.

What was the inspiration behind the space?

We’ve always thought that the whole purpose of living in the natural world was to be able to admire the beauty of the environment. So the intention was to highlight and celebrate the external views. The house sits low and is surfaced in weathered corten steel so that its rusty exterior echoes the red earth around it. Inside the house, there are panoramic views of the garden from all rooms and the key features and fixtures have been chosen and situated to draw the eye to the garden outside. For instance, the hanging fireplace is framed against the picture windows and the spa is located on its own private porch – taking advantage of the cultivated garden and wetlands.

What do you love about the area?

Woodend is the perfect rural environment for urban escapees. You can enjoy the country but you’re always in safe distance of great cafés and restaurants. At just under an hour from the city it’s great to have the best of both worlds. Even though the town is peri-urban, it’s friendly, welcoming and Aussie rural. We also love the great wineries, walking trails and produce markets. It’s the best of county living.

What do guests most enjoy?

Guests come to unwind and enjoy the views of the lake and the wildlife.  There are ducks, ‘roos, echidnas and countless birds of all types. They come to relax in the hammock by the lake during the day, enjoying champagne cocktails in the spa or up in the treehouse at dusk and rug up in front of the open fire with a cheeky glass of red in the evenings.

There’s also a number of great restaurants and wineries though it’s not uncommon to hear of guests cancelling their plans once they’ve arrived at Island Farm Retreat.

What do you most enjoy about escaping to Island Farm Retreat?

Island Farm keeps us sane and helps us to maintain perspective. There is nothing more therapeutic than wandering around and admiring the gardens, feeding a new brood of ducklings or releasing tension by chopping wood. We all know how beneficial it is to connect with nature but when we’re living in the city there’s always a reason to put it on hold.

If you could bring anyone on a trip to Island Farm Retreat who would it be and why?

It’s a fabulous place for a little romantic escape. The home was designed for indulgence, romance, decompression and contentment – we all know someone who would appreciate that!

Island Farm Retreat | Your Hosts Aaron and Danny

Island Farm Retreat is located on four acres of wilderness, cultivated gardens and wetlands.

Designed as an immersive nature experience, the home is a luxury retreat for those looking to relax and decompress in a refined setting.

Home: Island Farm Retreat

Photography: Christine Francis

Looking for more holiday home inspiration? Check out our latest Meet The Maker features here

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Brett Diedrich

Brett Diedrich

Prior to creating the Origins Guide Brett was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group where he worked across Europe and the Middle East. Originally from Australia Brett has lived in the USA, Denmark, Hong Kong and the UAE. These days you'll find Brett in Melbourne and regional Victoria shaping the Origins Guide and meeting hosts of unique homes. Brett enjoys spending time with his partner Johan, visiting friends and family (including his gorgeous niece Charlotte), exploring new destinations, places to stay and of course food.

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