I first visited Saddleback Farm around 1995 when the Schutzingers became the custodians of this 1880’s old dairy. Over the last 25 years they have lovingly restored and converted the property to create a very special place indeed. I photographed part of my book, Bowerbird, here about 7 years ago on the jetty, lake cottage and spectators cabin by the tennis court and now they are kindly opening up this magical land for all of us to enjoy.
Set on 135 acres, originally a land grant of 1 square mile, it became a dairy farm back in the 1880’s. The main house which can now accommodate a large family was the homestead and the outhouses were the dining hall, kitchen and butter factory where you still see the beautiful old stencil work on the walls. The workings of the dairy and the old milking shed were tucked away next to where the pool now resides.
It is a stunning drive in that reveals the farm next to the lake and the spectacular trees & scented garden add to the magical location. The planting is thoughtful and from every view the continuing vista is considered, through the trees, around the lake, a framed window or verandah view or looking internally to the protected courtyard. You may spot Giant Strelitzia, Nyssa water nymphs, Swamp redwoods & water gums, Illawarra Flame, Angophoras and in the garden Port Wine Magnolia, roses, honeysuckle and camellias.
I have been lucky enough to spend a few weekends-away at Saddleback and each visit I have a hard time choosing a favourite spot; it may be by the silky salt water pool set into the lawn, the jetty and beautiful cottage perched on its edge, the chefs kitchen that effortlessly spills into the entertaining spaces inside & out, the ready-to-pick vegetable and herb garden or the tennis court with drinks on hand in the courtside shed.
Saddleback Farm has all the mod cons and comforts from air conditioning, super comfy beds, beautiful bathrooms to the best equipped kitchen including a pizza oven with chopping wood on hand. There’s a romance about the place (part of which is the miniature horse Willy!) and by the end of your holiday you will feel you are a part of it.