Gippsland has long been known as prime dairy country. This particular lot dates back to 1885. Peter and Annette Thomas moved in a century and a bit later, transforming the dry, hilly paddocks into a lush jigsaw shaped by an orchard, trufferie, veggie patch, and paddocks for cows and sheep. With four dogs, two horses, and even peacocks roaming the grounds, it feels like an eccentric menagerie.

The site contains two pet-friendly cottages.

Elements of the old dairy have been preserved in the three-bedroom Arkenstone Cottage. Relax among the indoor and outdoor living spaces with a glass of local wine while the sheep graze in a paddock just beyond the deck. There's a fireplace for winter and an on-site spa. The cottage has a full kitchen, but you probably won't need it. In-house chef Josh Thomas makes his own charcuterie, cooks with vegetables from the garden and puts eggs from the chooks to good use, perhaps in a camembert-stuffed breakfast omelette with homemade pickles on the side.

Bag End is a couple's cottage that can house up to four guests. An old cement water tank has been transformed into the wall of the bedroom, keeping the room naturally cool like a cellar. This second cottage is smaller, but no less extravagant or well equipped, with a kitchen nook and a hot tub out front.

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Updated: October 4th, 2019

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