Your hosts, Don and Jan McEwan purchased the 30-acre property in February 2002. The cottage was established, but there was open paddock where the house now stands. The cottage had been built in Werribee in 1996 then transported to Yackandandah in 1998. The previous owners established the garden and commenced a Bed & Breakfast business under the name of Crystal Creek Cottage.
We initially used the cottage as a weekender while developing plans for a new house and for the Farm-stay/B&B Cottage business. The site preparation for the house commenced on 1st March 2003 with us operating as owner builders out of Melbourne, but ably supported by local builder LakeRise Homes. After selling up in Melbourne we moved to the cottage in July 2003 to take a more active part in finishing the house and establishing the business. We moved into the house during mid-October and the cottage opened for B&B on 1st November 2003. Initially, we planned to take guests in the house but we have abandoned these plans for a few more years.
So far we've had a drought in 2000, flooding in 2002, bushfires in 2003, a massive down-draft storm in December 2005 and close calls on Black Saturday 2009. Thankfully we haven’t been affected by the bushfires but we lost hundreds of trees in the storm, which nature has repaired remarkably.
We often need to clean and set up the cottage for the next guests immediately after you leave, however if you want to stay longer please ask us.
Cottage check in time is after 2.00 PM
Check out time is before 11.00 AM
The master bedroom has a Queen size bed, the second bedroom also has a queen bed and the third has bunks with a trundle. The bunks have solid mattresses that are suitable for adults. We also have a portacot.
There's a washing machine and dryer in the laundry and a clothes-line in the garden.
There's a Kettle-style BBQ outside under the back veranda and we have another 'spare' in the shed. We keep a spare gas bottle at all times.
The kitchen has a gas cooker and a microwave.
The lounge has an HD flat-screen TV, CD/Stereo and DVD - we have a small selection of movies and music.
There are some books and games and a very popular bird book.
The air-conditioner is reverse cycle and we have a wood fire with plenty of firewood.
The bathroom has a bath with shower. There is only one toilet.
It's a no smoking cottage, although you can smoke outside on the veranda. We ask guests to dispose of their butts in the outside bin.
Dogs are welcome by prior arrangement. We have a kennel outside with a couple of chains if you want to use them. We don't mind dogs inside but we prefer them to sleep in the laundry. We do have a rule that dogs should never be left alone inside the cottage or loose around the property and we like to know if a dog is going to be left chained to the kennel during the day.
Buster, our extremely friendly Staffie, will sometimes come up to visit and check out the canine guests and we've never had a problem with fighting. He is probably our best asset and we have appointed him Guest Service Director as a reward - he works pro-bono. Tell Buster to "go home" and he will, otherwise you can let us know if he bothers you and we'll work out a way to deal with it.
The telephone in the cottage is restricted to local and emergency calls. If you need to give someone the number it is (02) 6027 1229. If you want to call us at the house our number is 6027 0686, Don’s mobile is 0425 752 274 and Jan’s is 0417 434 097.
Mobile coverage for Telstra is supported by the tower just opposite the entrance to Haring Lane and reception is reliable. Optus also works from the cottage but Vodaphone can be unreliable.
You will find extra linen, blankets and pillows in the linen cupboard in the hallway – you should be able to find something to warm you or cool you as needed.
You are welcome to walk around the property and explore the variety of settings. Please be careful around the gulley behind the cottage and the cliffs this side of the creek. These have been sluiced by gold miners in the past and there are some very steep drops in some places and it may be that the sides have been eroded - so keep yourselves and especially children well away from the edges.
Also be careful on any steep slopes. The gritty nature of the ground makes it very slippery when it's hot and dry.
Watch out for the electric fence wire. We usually turn it off around the cottage when guests are staying, but it's best not to rely on this without first checking with us. A "hot" wire stretches along the outside of the cottage garden fence.
There are some beautiful birds around the cottage. Red breasted Robins in winter, Blue Wrens throughout the year, Rosellas, Galahs and King Parrots. And it you look up into the sky you will often see Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring and flocks of Ibis that descend to the dams.
On certain occasions you may see an echidna or even a tortoise strolling by. There are plenty of Wallabies and Kangaroos and you may even see some near-white Sambar Deer that have come out from the nearby forest. You may see a lot of rabbits, particularly on the road, and you may see an occasional fox.
The cottage garden sits in a bush setting and we can't ignore the possibility that you may encounter a snake - particularly in spring and early summer. Please be vigilant in long grass, around wood and rock piles and around water; and make sure you wear sturdy footwear in these areas. If you do happen to see a snake, the best approach is to leave it alone and not attempt to chase it or kill it.
Our guests enjoy the company of Buster, who often accompanies them if they walk around the property.
Our horse is called Seymour, he's a Thoroughbred who raced under the name of Seymour Sky in his younger days. He's really gentle and friendly, but please be cautious around him - approach from the front and talk to him while you do so.
We usually have a few cows. They help to keep the grass down and are mostly free to wander around the whole property and you will often see them along the cottage fence.
It's best to book ahead on weekends at the pubs. Both offer Bistro-type meals and typical counter meals and there are often special Pot and Parmi meals, pasta nights and cook-your-own barbie specials. Yackandandah is famous for its love of music; the top pub has Irish/folk music on Wednesday nights and the bottom pub often has a disco or rock band.
Sticky Tarts on the main street is a great place for coffee and a light lunch but you need to check if it will be open at night for dinner.
There are a number or other places to eat in the town during the day.
Nature Trail Video (Page back < to exit)
Ask us about the Nature Trail we follow around the property. Sometimes depending on the season part of it can be too wet or too overgrown or even flooded but there's always a way to wander around the property and visit some really interesting spots. Some interesting points along the way are mining gullys, huge tree ferns, quiet or turbulent areas of the creek with swimming spots and little beaches, dams with huge rocks and lilies (sometimes), rocky outcrops to sit and meditate, eroded cliffs along the creek, wetlands, lots of different species of trees, birdlife, open paddocks, forested areas - and lots of fresh air.
Our swimming pool at the rear of the house is not part of the commercial arrangement for the cottage but we’re pleased to let our guests use it subject to some fairly obvious conditions.
Finally, all guests using the pool do so at their own risk
This page last updated on 07/08/2011