We are looking forward to welcoming you to our home.
Some Background Information
In 2011 we decided to share our beautiful property with others by building and opening The Hide @ Mt Franklin Studio which is a 2 bedroom, self contained studio, with kitchenette and BBQ, located to the north of our back dam and south of the Homestead.
Our property is unique because it is totally self sufficient meaning we generate our own power via our off grid solar system and collect our own water. Gas appliances are supplied by gas bottles and not natural gas piped in.
As you can see by our reviews on Stayz, Tripadvisor, Airbnb and our website, our guests have loved staying at The Hide @ Mt Franklin and many have returned for the peace, quiet and serenity.
We really enjoy hospitality so we decided to alter our mudbrick homestead so that it could accommodate up to two people but as a Bed and Breakfast, not self contained apartment. The idea being that guests would stay for short stays and would choose to experience the wonderful food and wine at our local eateries. The Hide Homestead B&B is an alternative to The Hide @ Mt Franklin Studio which is available for guests wanting to cook and stay put if they want to.
The design of the house lends itself to being able to offer a completely separate entrance to the whole west end of our home.
As The Hide Homestead B&B is not like most other properties we want to ensure that you are aware of its uniqueness.
We built our home based on passive solar and environmentally sustainable principals. When moving to this area in 1999 we discovered that living here is not like living in the city. When you turn things on - like a tap, a light switch or the heater - the source is just outside the house and it is very precious. We have loved adapting to this new way of life and cherish the amazing things we have learned.
We are totally off grid which means we rely on solar panels and batteries to store the electricity. In winter there is obviously less sun to power the batteries. If we have several consecutive days of little or no sun we may have to use a petrol generator to recharge the batteries depending on our power consumption. We try not to run the generator when guests are in residence, but if we have to, the noise from the generator cannot be heard from The Homestead because of its location.
If all occupants of the property are mindful of their energy consumption during low sun periods we are less likely to have to run the generator and this is very satisfying. This doesn't mean you have to live in the dark and can't watch the TV. We just ask that we all turn appliances or lights off when not in the room or using them.
There is nothing better than a rainforest shower head, a bath and lovely hot water. We have all of these and want our guests to enjoy them. However water is not always in abundance. From October 2014 until May 2016 we experienced one of the worst drought years in the area since 1999. So please relish the large drops from the shower and the wonderful sensation of soaking in the 6ft bath but also be mindful of your water usage. As a guide, a 4 minute shower is generous (there is a purple egg timer in the shower that lasts 4 minutes - it's longer than you think!). When you first turn on the water in the shower and the bath it takes a while for the hot water to come through. We have a bucket in the shower for you to collect this water which we use either on plants or in our washing machine. When cleaning your teeth please don't leave the tap running. (if you were born around the 50's or 60's you are probably thinking I sound like your mother!).
Bathroom & Toilet
Local laws require us to be responsible for our own waste which means we have a waste treatment system with wonderful worms doing a great job filtering everything we deliver to them. Please consider the worms before anything goes down the toilet. No condoms, tampons or feminine hygiene products and definitely no wipes are to be put down the toilet - please. Please do not use anything in the bath or shower that is not provided by us, other than shampoo, conditioner or bath soap. Things like oils, salts, hennas and other body and hair products are not compatible with our waste system.
Heating and cooling
We built our home using mudbricks because of their excellent thermal properties. It is a wonderful building material, particularly if used in a house built to be oriented for maximum sun in winter and minimum sun in summer. Up until now we have had only wood burners for heating but this is not practical in the B&B so we have a gas heater (supplied by gas bottles not natural town gas) in the living room which is designed to keep the living room at a comfortable temperature in the colder months. Being a country homestead, it is not traditional or practical to heat all bedrooms and bathrooms. Our goal is to have the B&B toasty when guests arrive so that the heater is only required to keep the living room warm in the evening until you retire to bed and when you get up in the morning. Since moving from Melbourne ourselves we have learnt that wearing warm clothing inside (rather than just a t-shirt) generally means we don't need the heating up too high. We have also found sleeping in rooms not heated or airconditioned is so much better for a good night's sleep.
In summer and warmer months you will find that only on the hottest of evenings (most summer nights are very cool as daytime temperatures cool dramatically by nightfall)will you want to open the bedroom window above the door, the living room window and have your bedroom fan going. This circulation of air will still mean that sleeping under the doona will be necessary at some point during the night.
Privacy and respect
Whilst we have designed the space for the B&B to be private, with your own entrance and courtyard, it is important to know that the Hide is a shared property. There may be guests staying in the studio (60 metres away and facing away from the Homestead) and we, the owners are living at the other end of the house. The walls are mud brick which stops most sound from travelling. Closing the doors in the bedroom and living room blocks all sound from the owners' end. From a reasonable hour we need to feed animals and do essential chores. We endeavour not to disturb our guests. We request that all guests respect their co-inhabitants' space and observe the mapped boundaries provided on arrival. It is quite common for none of us to see each other the whole of the stay!
Thanks for taking the time to have a better understanding of our unique property.