It’s not often that you get a chance to have nearly 1400 acres all to yourself, but with only one holiday house on the property, Ironbark Farm near Dimbulah offers just that.
Perched on a hill overlooking a vast open landscape with no other buildings in sight, Ironbark House is unique in that you could spend days here without seeing a single soul apart from the odd passing cow or maybe a wallaroo coming for a drink.
Less than two hours away from Cairns, Ironbark House is located on a small working cattle station on the western edge of the Atherton Tablelands.
Surrounded by dry savannah landscape (which is usually brown but we went at the end of the the wet season), it’s close to Dimbulah, about 40 minutes from Mareeba, on the way to Mount Mulligan.
What makes it so unique is the endless space, privacy, wilderness and nature that you’d expect from a camping trip but with all the creature comforts of home.
Ironbark Farm is owned by Rachael and Kevin who bought the property as an escape from the coast over 10 years ago.
While its a working cattle station they are nature lovers at heart who want to protect the environmental values of their property and share it with wildlife lovers and birdwatchers.
Consequently after building Ironbark House they realised its potential for others to enjoy and decided to holiday let it, although if needed they are only a phone call away.
The house is off grid and fully sustainable so it is powered by solar and the only water source is the rainwater tank that fills up during the wet season (December-April).
The interior of the house is clean and fresh with big rooms, high ceilings and all the mod-cons.
The open plan living area has a modern kitchen fully supplied with all amenities and utensils.
It is a self-catering house and it’s a long way from a large supermarket so stock up before you go.
There are a few essentials supplied and there are a few shops in Dimbulah including a butcher, bakery/cafe and a couple of min-marts.
The living area also has a dining table, a couple of sofas and a TV.
On each side of the house there are two spacious bedrooms with comfy king-sized beds to guarantee a good night’s sleep, and modern ensuite bathrooms with nice big walk-in rainshowers.
The second bedroom also has a sofabed so the house can accommodate up to 6 people.
While the house is stylishly furnished with lots of beautiful finishing touches, the jewel in the crown is the back deck.
In fact, as soon as you arrive at the house, you will automatically gravitate towards the massive views, which are the main feature of the house.
Positioned on a ridge with a totally uninterrupted panorama, the house is in a perfect place to soak up the views of the surrounding landscape while enjoying a glass of wine on the deck.
And, if you’re lucky you will even be able to watch wildlife from the deck too. Within an hour or so of arriving, we were joined by a couple of wallaroos (a small type of kangaroo).
Besides the sofas and dining table, the deck also has a brand new BBQ so make sure you bring along the ingredients for a proper Aussie barbie.
things to do
Ironbark House is ideal if all you want is rest and relaxation, somewhere that offers complete peace and privacy to read, write, sleep and soak up the views with a glass of wine on the deck.
But if you feel like some action there are also a number of activities on offer:
If you enjoy bushwalking there are a number of trails that have been clearly marked out for visitors.
However, since Kevin is an experienced wildlife guide, we would highly recommend paying extra to go with him on a guided walk.
It certainly makes it lot easier spotting animals if you’ve got someone along with a keen eye and knows what to look out for.
Kevin has also compiled a long list of bird species that have been spotted on the property including water birds and birds of prey.
He took us up to a beautiful spot called ‘Wallaby Rock’ where there is a colony of Mareeba Rock Wallabies.
These wallabies are not so used to humans as other places so you’ll need to be quick with your camera to get a picture.
If you plan on bushwalking make sure you remember to bring sunhats, sunscreen and water bottles. The house is stocked with a snake bite kit as a precaution (this is Australia!)
Rachael is a very keen and experienced horse rider and offers horse rides around the property (at an extra cost).
You don’t need to be an expert.
I hadn’t been on a horse for many years so we just went for a walk but it was well worth it because we were able to explore different parts of the property.
For keen horse-riders who live locally, you can take your own horse either for the day or you can stay overnight (there is a horse shelter).
If you want to have a good look around the property, Kevin is also happy to drive you around on a farm tour.
travel nq fast facts:
- Ironbark House is about 10 minutes drive from Dimbulah, less than 2 hours from Cairns
- It is off-grid so guests are asked to mindful of their use of power and water.
- The house is fully self-catered so make sure you stock up before you go. The nearest supermarket is in Mareeba. There are a few small shops in Dimbulah.
- Dogs are not allowed.
- Phone reception is good.
- For more information email Rachael on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0423 925958 or go to their website at ironbarkhousedimbulah.com.au
- Click here to book.