Escape To An Adorable Country Cottage Overlooking The Grampians

Stoneycroft Cottage is a beautifully renovated farm stay nestled among the gum trees, overlooking the breathtaking mountains of Victoria’s Grampians.

The residence was originally built in 1864 as the shearer’s accommodation for the property’s working farm, which has been in the homeowner’s family for 100 years.

Interior stylist Madeline McFarlane and her husband Johnny Gardner are now the fourth-generation custodians of South Mokanger farm, and they’ve recently put a modern touch on this dreamy country getaway!

Christina Karras

Inside Stoneycroft Cottage! Photo – Jenah Piwanski

The accomodation dates back to the 19th century. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

It’s been a bnb since Johnny’s mother, Jill, converted the historic property and shearing quarters into a country escape in 1984. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

‘As an interior stylist, when I moved back to the property in March 2020 it seemed only natural that I would begin some work on the accommodation,’ Madeline explains. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

Shearing would go for months at a time when the accomodation was first built! But nowadays shearing is much more efficient so the teams don’t stay on site. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

The adorable kitchen is complete with matching vintage tableware! Photo – Jenah Piwanski

A spacious main bedroom inside the cottage. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

The cottage features two bedrooms, the kitchen and a living space. Photo – Jenah Piwanski

And the shearing quarters has another five bedrooms! Photo – Jenah Piwanski

The dreamy regional getaway is the perfect escape from city life! Photo – Jenah Piwanski

Christina Karras
19th of August 2022

Victoria’s regions are full of cute cottage-core escapes and grand homesteads that are well worth making the drive out for. Stoneycroft Cottage, located about 3.5 hours west of Melbourne, on Gunditjmara Country, is one of them!

The accommodation is in the middle of Cavendish’s South Mokanger Farm, immersed nature with epic views of the nearby Grampians/Gariwerd ranges. Originally built in 1864, the farm stay features a cottage and adjoining shearers quarters that have been beautifully converted for guests. All up there’s eight bedrooms, which can sleep up to 16 people.

Interior stylist Madeline McFarlane and her husband Johnny Gardner are the current owners of the property, who took over the romantic bed-and-breakfast Johnny’s mother first opened in the ‘80s. The couple have since ‘nurtured’ Stoneycroft Cottage with some recent renovations. But it hasn’t lost any of its vintage charm!

‘It is important that the accommodation reflects the environment on which it is built,’ Madeline says. Textured bluestone walls have been painted white inside, while the wide veranda and a wood fire help set the scene for a dreamy country escape filled with stories from another era. The ‘rustic heritage feel’ has been maintained thanks to second-hand furniture, and seasonal colours like green, terracotta and mustard bring in modern pops of colour.

‘The working farm has a mixture of cattle and breeding ewes that lamb down in June,’ Madeline explains. ‘We also have chickens and encourage our guests to collect their eggs.’ Curious visitors can even explore the grounds with a farm with a tour if work permits or simply watch the farm’s everyday activities. It’s a chance to learn more about modern-day food production while taking in the breathtaking surrounds.

‘The magnificent gums surrounding the cottage are 500-plus years old. It’s an opportunity for guests to stop and reflect on history and the Gunditjmara Country they are on,’ Madeline adds.

You can also walk or bike ride along the farm’s 4km laneway, venture out to the Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park or indulge in ‘an elite pub meal’ at the nearby The Bunyip Hotel!

Book your stay at Stoneycroft Cottage here.

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