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  • Milt Barlow

From coast to country: the perfect retreat, Tenterfield

Glenrock Gardens Cottage

Accommodation 3.5/5

Value 5/5

Would I return 5/5

Overall 5/5

Nestled amidst the enchanting Glenrock Gardens in the NSW Northern Highlands, is a rustic cottage offering a tranquil haven where guests can unwind, recharge, and create lasting memories. Just a short scenic drive from the historic town of Tenterfield, Glenrock Cottage is the perfect spot for a private stay, a relaxing retreat, a child-free romantic getaway, or to have a scenic change from the bustle of our busy coast. 

Upon arriving at the Cottage, you are greeted with a warm and inviting ambiance, where rustic charm meets modern comfort. The cottage is set between two small lakes and surrounded by award-winning gardens. There is a semi-enclosed patio out the back offering a cool change, comfortable seating, and breathtaking views of the lake, the gardens, and the classic old-country landscape - complete with granite boulders and twisting gums trees that rise from the grassy paddocks. This was the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or coffee in the morning. 

Inside, guests will find all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, adorned with tasteful decor that reflects the essence of countryside living. The kitchen is equipped with a full size fridge, oven and four burner gas stove, coffee making facilities and a farmhouse sink, allowing for home-cooked meals and negating the need to go out each day for supplies. The hosts also included basic supplies for breakfast and some of the best eggs I’ve ever eaten, provided by the property’s very own chickens. The kitchen does not have a dishwasher; however, this seems intentional to the space, as washing things by hand felt nostalgic of simpler, slower times. 

The staircase to the loft bedroom, while narrow, was easy to climb, and the loft had spacious headroom and was well-lit during the day by two opposing gable windows. The comfy queen bed had beautiful linen sheets and ensured a restful night’s sleep. The cottage also has a Koala sofa bed in the living room, providing an extra sleeping space right by the warmth of the fireplace. It was easy to use and the cottage had all necessary equipment to build and maintain it. Extra fire-wood could be found in the undercover carpark just outside the cottage. The bathroom contained all the usual amenities and a large shower, but includes a washing machine and extra basin which would be very convenient for a longer stay. The cottage runs off rain water and guests are encouraged to be mindful of their water usage; however, this was no issue for us as conscious water-savers, and due to the fact it rained for most of our stay. Usually, rain would ruin a holiday, but in this climate with the warmth of the fireplace accentuated by the chill of outside, and the general ambiance of autumn, it was the perfect weather to hunker down to write, read, and feel as if one was living in a fairytale. 

The beauty of Tenterfield during autumn cannot be understated. Deciduous trees stretch throughout Glenrock and Tenterfield, creating vibrant splashes of auburn, gold, and magenta. There is also plenty to do and explore in town, including visiting the giant cork tree, the famous Tenterfield Saddler, the Railway Museum and, my personal favourite, the notorious bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt’s hideout. 

Glenrock Gardens also has a rich history with the property originally part of Tenterfield Station and dating back to 1892. Over the years, intensive gardening, extensions and renovations have transformed the cottage and surrounds into a welcoming retreat with the recent inclusion of The Barn which can be rented as a venue, and provides refreshments and food on open days. The gardens are open daily between 10am–3pm but close during the winter period, giving full tranquility and privacy. There is a maximum of two guests, and no children or pets are allowed at the property, but you might come across the owners very friendly dogs when walking in the late afternoon. A Friday to Sunday weekend stay ranges from $670–$740 depending on the time of year, and includes the cleaning and service fee. The Cottage can be booked through Airbnb via the Glenrock Gardens website and the host and owners are very friendly and responsive.


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