Good Weekend's 52 weekends away

On the trail: Spring Spur Stay, Tawonga, Vic.
Sometimes in this job, you just get lucky. And getting to stay at Spring Spur was lucky indeed. I didn't realise, but I'd ridden here, up in the Victorian Alps, years ago. The hard-working Baird family have since built new accommodation with their own bare hands.

This is my inclusion in the Good Weekend's annual 52 Weekends Away:

Tree-change chill-out, gourmet getaway or back-to-nature adventure: take your pick - the air's fresher, the tempo gentler. Book in, breathe out and feel the serenity.


52 Fredas Lane, Tawonga, Vic
PHONE: (03) 5754 4849

The location  In the rich Kiewa Valley, Spring Spur Stay is also the home for Bogong Horseback Adventures. This is Victoria's dramatic high country, with the ski resorts of Mount Hotham and Falls Creek nearby.
The place  Kath and Steve Baird have run Spring Spur Stables for 23 years and their sons, Lin and Clay, are third-generation packhorse professionals as well as being dab hands in the kitchen. The new accommodation wing has six double bedrooms, all with private ensuite bathrooms and full-length windows that look up to the (sometimes snowy) peaks. The d├ęcor is a blend of Steve's art and rustic high country curios, and the ethos is a blend of eco-energy meets espresso machine.
The experience  Live out your mountain fantasies on a half-day ride up into the Alpine National Park, a tranquil journey through the bush. The family has bred and trained most of its horses using "natural horsemanship" principles and, like good dance partners, the Bairds' super-responsive Australian stock horses will make you appear a far better rider than you actually are. After a morning in the saddle, pull up a pew (literally) at the handmade table in the cavernous new Riders Lounge and tuck into a home-cooked Sunday lunch.
Don't miss  On the drive up from Melbourne, jump off the Hume Highway and onto the Snow Road (C522) for a pit-stop in cafe-tastic little Oxley. No time for cellar doors? Clever Milawa Hotel, a little further along, stocks a great range of local wines.

Need to know
Cost: From $485 for a two-night weekend getaway.
Distance: 4.5 hours' drive (360km) north-east of Melbourne.
Children: Yes.

This story was part of Good Weekend magazine's annual 52 Weekends Away. To read about more great weekend escapes, click here

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