BEST OFF GRID AIR BNB
Wow. Wow. Wow. Hands down the best place I have ever stayed in my life, and at just $150 per night (and only 3.5hours south of Sydney), there is simply nothing like the Bush Hut at Brooman for a romantic getaway.
The selfish part of me doesn't want to write this review - because I want to keep it a hidden gem all for me – alas, fairness prevails and it's safe to say that Bob, Julie and Brian the donkey have totally nailed this.
Where to start?! How about by admitting that, no matter how much we may publicly tut-tut, deep-down, we’re all secretly nudists at heart – thwarted only in our pursuit for freedom by the watchful eye of nosey neighbours in the dense urban sprawl we each call home.
Now that we’ve got that bit of honesty out the way, let’s talk about that outdoor bath.
Is there anything more liberatingly romantic than bathing in public isolation, in the middle of the bush, aglow with nothing more than lit candles and the shine of the moon and stars? The trip itself can easily be justified on this basis alone, made all the more memorable by the soothing wakening sounds of nocturnal animals as the sun falls over the valley in front of your open-plan bath panorama.
When you’ve finished bathing under the stars, walk your bottle of Malbec back inside to dry-off in front of the log-burning fire. It’s at this point that you realise you’re standing in a little piece of Australian history. Back when this hut was built in the 1900’s, the settlers didn’t need mobile phones or laptops, so neither do you. Leave them behind and soak up the sensation of living in the moment and reliving a far simpler time. And when you’re done doing that, get some sleep – you’ve got a busy day of relaxation ahead of you tomorrow.
The birds in Brooman have impeccable manners. Fearing you may miss the best part of the day, they make sure to stir you gently from your slumber through soft dulcet harmonies. Once they have your attention, they encourage you to step outside and enjoy nature’s show ground.
First stop for the morning? Your own private creek, of course. But before you get there, make sure to stop and say ‘hi’ to Brian the donkey on the way. After all, he’d think you rude not to.
The Hut at Brooman is set in the deepest part of the freshwater Clyde River, and your hosts, Julie and Bob, want to help you make the most of what this has to offer. They think that giving you your own private canoe is the best approach. Having sampled it myself, I’d be inclined to agree. What better way to spend your first morning out of the hustle-and-bustle, than by drifting carelessly down kilometres of wide meandering creeks. Your only care in the world at this moment is whether or not you should up your strokes-per-minute to three. Having just spotted a platypus and some water dragons a few metres away, you’re inclined to think one stroke-per-minute will suffice nicely for now.
After returning to shore, you realise you haven’t seen another human for 24 hours. At this point, should you flirt with the idea of getting your resting heart rate above 40 beats-per-minute, the beautiful Castle bush walk and Pigeon House Mountain are but only a 25minute drive away. If your curiosity extends beyond the half-hour mark, why not try the beautiful beaches at Bawley.
Where-ever your sense of adventure takes you, make sure you save enough time to simply enjoy being at the hut and on the veranda overlooking the valley. You won’t find many places like this ever again.
Tell Brian I said ‘hi’.
Tom’s Top Tip: if renting a car to get here, get a 4x4 or one with higher ground clearance. It’s not essential, but it certainly makes the dirt track driving a bit easier.