If you’ve ever been to the QT in Sydney, you’ll have noted architect and creative designer Nic Graham has a flair for the dramatic. Graham is the architect behind Ooralba, a modern masterpiece set on a hill in New South Wales’ Kangaroo Valley. Here though, he’s more restrained, as if letting the natural beauty of the area speak louder than the building, which exists in perfect accord with its surrounding orchards, olive groves and an enormous vegetable garden.
For the princely sum of $12,000 a night, Ooralba, in its glorious isolation, can be yours. The house itself is a sprawling seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom marvel. Classic mid-century furniture – think Eames and Grant Featherston – mixes with dry-stone walls and rich wood panelling. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the rooms feel as if they’re wide open to the valley, letting the outside in. In the morning, the rolling hills are often bathed in fog; in the evening the sky can be ablaze with pinky-orange sunsets. Later, clear nights reveal a carpet of stars.
Image via Luxe Houses
The enormous stainless steel kitchen is equipped with the best culinary equipment but whether or not you cook is entirely your decision – a private chef and housekeeper are at your beck and call. In the lounge room, a stunning trussed ceiling and massive fireplace provide the perfect environment for gatherings. A bronze bar with Eames stools feels like the right place for cocktail hour, while the huge outdoor deck is ideal for entertaining at night and yoga during the day.
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There’s enough to do around the house, especially for those seeking relaxation – ensuites with twin bathtubs and a sauna, a fire-pit overlooking the lake, bedrooms with beds many times wider than they are long. Outdoors, there's a beautiful pool, as well as a teahouse, an in-ground trampoline and even a flying fox zipline for action-types. And don’t forget to visit the chooks, pick some vegies for dinner and explore the orchard’s offerings.
The property’s management, Luxe Houses, will happily make plans for you, too: horse riding, farm tours, cellar door visits and golf are all within a short drive from the property.