“It’s a crisp Thursday morning in the middle of May, just before 8:00 am and my guess is it’s around 4-5 degrees. The sky is clear, the perfect shade of light blue, and all I can hear are the friendly birds and their morning songs, the constant white noise of the nearby creek.”
This is a blog like no other and I’m not quite sure how to share it. If you’re not familiar with the history of this property and what the landscape has endured only a few short months ago, it’s fairly hard to understand just how much of a gift and a blessing it was for me to visit. So let me backtrack a bit for you.
In January 2020, the Dunn’s Road Bushfire, swept through their property, burning more than two-thirds of their land. This is what I mean by, you wouldn’t know it if you didn’t know what you were looking for.
Kestrel’s Nest has been a dream for Louise and David from the day they purchased the property. In Louise’s words, “We knew the moment we lived here, this place has to be shared, we can’t keep this to ourselves.”. This stunning hut wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the efforts of fire crews and members of the NSW NPWS, the RFS and all the volunteer crew who worked so hard to save this place!
I felt deeply honoured, almost a bit undeserving, to be their first “un-official” guest. To see it standing so proud and beautiful in a burnt landscape, perfectly unharmed and untouched, was a beautiful sight to see.
It felt like it had been a part of the land for generations, not months. Inside, the smell of stringybark and red box timber filled the warm air. The majority of the timber in the entire structure has been sourced from their property and milled on site. It was immediately evident how much love and hard work has gone into the hut.
The decor is a beautifully balanced mix of eclectic rustic charm, and modern country. It felt like they have thought of everything. From double glazed windows, that let in incredible amounts of light from almost every angle, to the hidden screen doors that tuck away out of sight. The double-height ceilings, the timber exposed beams, and the handmade bunk beds!
The kitchen was built to complement the original hut, which stood only a few meters from the entrance of this one. The gorgeous pressed metal from the old hut repurposed to become a part of the cabinetry of the new kitchen.
Then there’s other elements of the hut, things you wouldn’t expect. Like the beautiful handcrafted clay mugs, the artworks, books, things that “belong” that Louise and David have been collecting for years (unknowingly maybe, but everything fits so perfectly).
I’m really excited, grateful, and overwhelmed to be able to share this blog with you. To be invited to photograph this hut was such an honour, and I can guarantee you I will be back!
Oh, and I forgot to mention one of the best things about this place, it’s completely off-grid, and it’s also completely offline. No phone reception. No wifi. Nothing. It was pure bliss. Enjoy!
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of country
I acknowledge the wiradjuri people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the region, on which I live and work. I pay respect to elders both past and present. I acknowledge and respect the wiradjuri people’s cultural, spiritual, physical and emotional connection with their land, waters and community.