How it all began

The idea of owning and running our own B&B came about whilst we were living in Melbourne, the idea of country living and providing a slice of paradise to visiting guests was our dream. We spent about 2 years researching and visiting properties located within the Sunshine Coast hinterland and used that excuse to stay in other B&B’s located in the Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Montville / Maleny and Hunter Valley all in the aid of research. Eventually after several trips from Melbourne, we were fortunate enough to find the perfect property that was just right for what we wanted to achieve. We then first walked the area the Luxury Studio is now located on and knew that it was meant to be.

The property was purchased in 2004 and our dream was underway, we were still living in Melbourne and used every spare moment to visit when we could. Our property at that time was very dry and had been used previously to run miniature horses on and the paddocks were not as we see today. We then spent considerable time clearing weeds and planting native trees to add to the natural beauty of our patch of paradise. In 2006 we were lucky enough to move to the Gold Coast and spent every weekend at Melawondi, firstly having the small cabin (in the past was called the Spring View Cabin) and building the deck on a weekender and planting more trees and our fruit orchards. In 2007 we started building our current home and started the process towards approval for our B&B.  After a lengthy approval period and crossing a few hurdles the studio building work started early 2009. During 2009 we also started major earth works replacing a log bridge that had been eaten by white ants and other creek crossings that today takes you up to the studio. By late 2009 we were satisfied that we were ready for opening and to provide total luxury for those wanting to escape a busy life.

Currently when you stay with us you can choose from a range of dining options all sourced from the freshest local produce. Options range from BBQ hampers, seasonal lunch and dinner hampers and fireside dining packages to make your stay perfect. In preparing our meal options we endeavour to source local quality produce that highlights the diverse range of produce available in the Mary valley. Utilising this produce we are supporting local farmers and growers and can speak directly with them to ensure quality and freshness.

The name Melawondi Spring Retreat was derived from the name of our local area. Melawondi it has been said derives from the name of a local Aboriginal Tribe from the Dawson River district others say that it translates from an Aboriginal dialect meaning “lonely place”. The small dam that is located forward of the small cabin is spring fed and even during the driest periods is always full, very handy for providing water to our fruit orchard and the local birdlife. And retreat, we will let you decide on that one!

During our story we had received many enquiries from guests wanting to bring along their fur babies and family! So in May 2018 Studio 149 was setup for guests ready to bring along their pooches and family.

The story continues…

We love local produce

When we first started out in the B & B world we never thought that local produce would be one of the main reasons people seek out a destination when looking for a weekend away. We are commonly asked how did we start our B & B business and this is often followed by “and the food was fantastic – is it all local?” Soon after first opening we found it quite hard to source good quality local produce and often had to travel outside our region to provide produce for our guests. One of the biggest developments we have seen during the past few years is the availability of very good quality local produce that we are proud of and can happily supply to our guests.

We are proud to say that we love our local produce and growers and love to tell the story to our guests. Regularly our guests are very interested in where the produce is sourced from and the whole foodie story, and often the next question is “where can I get some?” We also love to experiment with our local produce and base all of our menus and specials around the seasonally available produce. And having such good-looking produce we use this in photos to promote our business and the diversity of our region.

Initially in the design of our accommodation we allowed for full cooking facilities so our guests could source produce from markets and growers close by and return to their accommodation and enjoy cooking with locally sourced fresh produce. We love to encourage our guests to source locally and learn about our local produce and in turn economically support our local growers and producers.

So, if you are staying with us and your are a little unsure where to start, just ask and we will send you down the right garden path.