Venue Crush: A Coastal Retreat With Old-World Charm
For a dreamy getaway that is dripping in coastal luxe, Dunoon Farmhouse is the place to stay.
Wander up the long drive, past lush paddocks and beneath overarching fig trees, to an old farmhouse turned luxe getaway. Beautifully poised along Gerringong’s stunning coastline on the NSW South Coast, Dunoon Farmhouse is a place that seems worlds away from your every day, yet it’s just under two hours from Sydney.
Breathing new life into a home weathered by time but packed full of old-world charm, was an unexpected journey of discovery for the Miller Family, owners of the luxury guesthouse, Dunoon Farmhouse. Having grown up in Sydney, Jodi Miller moved to Gerringong where her husband’s family have been dairy farmers for generations. And now with a home that's steeped in family (and local) history, Jodi and her family have turned the farmhouse into a must-book destination.
“Dunoon is a very special place for us because that is where old Pa lived with Nana. The house was desperately ruined, and it had to be done up, and we tried to do it justice by keeping it as a farmhouse, and by not replacing everything,” explains Jodi.
The Look & Feel
Dripping in history, Dunoon Farmhouse has an all-embracing warmth from the moment you pull up in the drive. A place where two worlds collide, the outside of the home has been kept in-tact, complete with a rusty tin roof and a wide veranda. Beautiful moments of comfort and relaxation are at every turn, from the natural textures inside to the outdoor stone fireplace and mineral pool.
“We were inspired by the coastal farm, Hamptons style vibe. Neutrals that blend seamlessly with the repurposed stone and timber finishes. Natural and textured fabrics, and of course linen, which is a feature in all our bedrooms,” says Jodi.
The home’s luxe country feel is a nod to its coastal farmland. Lovingly restored with light-filled interiors and bespoke finishes, and throughout contemporary furnishings sit alongside pieces that are reminiscent of times past. Yet, it’s the home’s original sandstone walls that pull at the heartstrings.
Built over 150 years ago, the three-bedroom, two-bath farmhouse became part of the Miller Family farm in 1956. Made from sandstone hauled by horse and cart from the north end of Werri Beach, the very same spot that the farmhouse overlooks.
“We tried to keep as much of the original beauty as possible when we restored the farmhouse in 2019,” explains Jodi. “It was sometimes challenging as no one was 100 per cent sure of what we would find as things were pulled back. But we reused as much of what we could to create and restore its beauty.”
Aside from knocking out two walls to bring in much-needed sunlight and pulling up floorboards from the kitchen and living area, the farmhouse was kept intact. Pressed tin ceilings, beautiful big floorboards, and original glass window panes are all a defining feature. And in the rooms where the original floorboards had to be replaced, what was salvageable were turned into bench seats and a stunning timber panelling around the kitchen island. And the stone from the walls was reused around the outside fireplace.
Falling in love with all the disused machinery, household items and hardwood in the old sheds around their property, Jodi collected items that could be repurposed inside Dunoon Farmhouse.
“The sheds are full of old machinery – where my husband sees work, I see the beauty,” says Jodi. “The beautiful concrete tub in the laundry had been sitting in the calf yard. The calves were drinking out of it, but I had them pull it out, clean it up and put it in the laundry.”
Jodi and her family have created a luxury retreat that honours the old and celebrates the new. The open plan kitchen, living and dining area with a cathedral ceiling, has pendant lighting and a bespoke kitchen filled with modern conveniences.
Each bedroom has a large king bed that can be split into singles, while the master has an ornamental fireplace. The bathrooms feature an exposed sandstone wall, with one boasting a bathtub that you sink into. Year-round the outdoors is an oasis. A large outdoor fireplace made of sandstone, and an undercover dining and lounge area that overlooks the paddocks and ocean. In summer, the mineral pool is the place to be.
And if you really want to go all out with your country meets coast retreat, Dunoon Farmhouse partners with South Coast Experiences to round out your stay, which can include anything from a pop-up cinema by the pool to private dining and grazing platters.
“Having been fortunate enough to travel quite extensively, I can easily say Gerringong is still one of the most picturesque places I’ve seen,” says Jodi. “There is nothing like coming home, driving around the Kiama bends, to look down at the beauty that is Gerringong.”
Rolling hills of lush green farmland surrounds Gerringong, a small beachside town just south of Kiama on the South Coast of NSW. Easy-going with a dash of urban chic, Gerringong is a prime spot for surfing, swimming and playing by the water’s edge. And although the town itself has its fair share of on-trend cafes and restaurants, neighbouring Kiama and Berry have everything on hand; markets, boutique shopping, and a foodie scene that celebrates local produce.
Dunoon Farmhouse Favourite Hangouts
The Deli has some of the best breakfast in town.
The Hill Kiosk for ocean views with your morning brew.
You’ll be popping in for coffee, but end up staying for lunch at The Hill Bar & Kitchen thanks to the food and amazing views.
Located inside Cronin’s Hotel, Jack’s Grill by Smith St. Foods is the local go-to for quality pub food.
The Gather for sundowners.
There are so many great places to shop in the local region. Bombo Clothing Co & Gallery in Kiama, Amara Home and Cabana Jo’s in Berry, Willowvale Road Candles, Siang, Ziba Lifestyle and Natural Necessity in Gerringong, and T & C Furniture in Albion Park.
Shop The Look
“Our furnishings were sourced both locally, and from various suppliers across the country, such as Byron Bay Hanging Chairs, I Love Linen and various local merchants,” says Jodi.
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