Local Escapes

Go Full River Cottage At This Kalgan River Farmstay in The Great Southern

By Rebecca Keating
14th Oct 2020

Front porch of the Grange in Kalgan River

When you’re ready to leave the big smoke behind, a trip to Western Australia’s Great Southern is the perfect place to relax, unwind and awaken your senses. Incredible food and wine, stunning landscapes and dramatic coastal planes make for an enviable trip when you’re ready to get away from it all. 

Just 20 minutes out of Albany, you’ll find The Grange on Kalgan, the farmstay belonging to Great Southern Outback Tours and Accommodation. Sitting pretty overlooking the Kalgan River, this bespoke bed and breakfast is the ideal place to sit back with a glass of wine by the fire or set yourself up for a weekend of exploring the Great Southern.

Drive past the Kalgan River and onto a winding dirt track and you’ll be greeted by owner-operator Wayne Monks. Wayne moved to this pretty part of the world five years ago and has spent his time building a homestay on to the property’s original cottage, setting up sustainable tourism practises and giving everything he’s got to make this one of the most beautiful and authentic farmstays you’ll ever see. Wayne is a serious legend, and we challenge you to find a better host. Lounge room of the grange cottage with fireplace

The farmstay can be booked as a B&B however we recommend taking advantage of the guest house and having the entire place to yourself. You’ll have your own bedroom and bathroom, an impressive verandah overlooking the stunning gardens and surrounds and a lounge area complete with a seriously cosy stone fireplace to sit back and enjoy a local wine or two. If you’ve got a furry companion, they’ll be welcome to hang out at the house with resident pooch Ollie, one of the sweetest little dog’s you’ll ever meet. Host Wayne has his own end of the house and there’s a common kitchen, so he’s never too far away for a chat or recommendation - whether it's about the region’s wine, things to do or places to see—Wayne will have you covered.

If nature is your thing, you’re going to want to spend some time exploring the incredible gardens and surrounds of the property. An early morning walk through the valley and along the Kalgan River will have you feeling all sorts of fresh and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you. Wind your way through the property’s native conservation areas and snap away some serious Gram worthy content before settling on the verandah or picnic table with a coffee. If you’re a fiend for all things flowers, this is one place you need to add to your travel list.

Woman in red dress standing in front of Merredin silos

Next up, it’s time to make friends with the locals. Head out with Wayne and feed the resident alpacas, chickens, peacocks and sheep. If you’re interested in agriculture and the eco-tourism practises behind The Grange, we suggest getting in on a tour of the property. It starts off by exploring some of Albany’s stunning landscapes and rich history before heading back to The Grange to walk through the native conversation gardens, fruit orchards and veggie gardens. Just before your afternoon wraps up, you’ll be treated to a glass of Great Southern wine while you look out over the paddocks and say hi to the kangaroos foraging for their evening meal. 

Aerial view of one car driving on a great southern outback road

If history is your thing, jump on a Great Southern Outback tour to discover some of the hidden gems of this region. Wayne will take you through iconic outback towns like Katanning, Broomehill and Kojonup, all rich with history and full of local characters to have a chat with. A drive up to the Bluff Knoll look out in the Stirling Ranges will make this day one to remember. 

While you’re staying at The Grange, we recommend heading out to the Porongurup region to discover some breathtaking natural landscapes and an epic food and wine scene.

Looking for where to explore next? Check out our wrap of the best things to do in Albany.

Image credit: Great Southern Outback Tours

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