Old Leura Dairy

Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia Book from AU$210

Delightful eco-friendly self-catering lodges (sleeping 2-11) on the edge of the attractive town of Leura in the Blue Mountains
An unusual, rustic and relaxed place to stay, Old Leura Dairy is a 5-minute drive from Leura on a quiet residential road. It offers 6 self-catering lodges of varying sizes, all of them cleverly converted and renovated using tin, wood and mud brick walls, and recycled materials. We found them a wonderful, welcome change to spartan contemporary design - there are cupboards made of old fence palings, renovated cast iron baths, coffee tables magicked out of traditional ovens, white goods clad with distressed wood, wacky oil paintings, milking stools, ancient cream urns and butcher’s blocks turned into kitchen work tables.

Pretty landscaped gardens dot the property and there’s a communal outdoor hot tub. Come here to chill out or go bushwalking, mountain biking or pottering in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. The largest house sleeps up to 11 people and you can rent all 6 lodges at one time, so this is a great place for a family get-together, party or business retreat; or you can do as we did - choose a smaller property and cosy up as a couple.

Highs

  • Truly eco-friendly: straw bale walls, rainwater collection, recycled toilet paper, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and a cooling tower for temperature control
  • Hot tub made from a recycled milk vat
  • Unique, cleverly designed lodges that are cool in summer and warm in winter - The Straw Bale House is made with 80% recycled materials
  • Perfectly based to explore the Blue Mountains but a good distance away from tourist hangout Katoomba

Lows

  • The property is on a residential road (albeit a quiet one) and the lodges are quite close together
  • The rustic, old-fashioned and reclaimed furniture won’t please everyone - it's by no means 5* accommodation but it's super cool
  • If you didn't have a car, you'd feel pretty isolated and find it hard to make the most of the area

Best time to go

The Blue Mountains are cooler and wetter than Sydney - typically 5-10 celsius in winter (June-August) and around 20 celsius in summer (December-February). Winter is actually the most popular time, for cosy fireside escapes with the (small) chance of snow - there might be 4 or 5 snowfalls per year, and predominantly on the mountaintops around 1000 metres. In summer it is a welcome relief from Sydney's sticky heat; spring and autumn can have wonderful clear days which suit outdoor pursuits; September is excellent for wild flowers. The Leura Gardens Festival is held annually in October, and the Blackheath Rhododendron festival is held in November. This would be a great place to come with a group to celebrate Christmas.

Our top tips

In need of serious indulgence? Spend a day at Ikou Day Spa in Leura, an eco-sanctuary with a pristine, chemical-free environment which offers a wide range of beauty treatments and therapies.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • = Makes the grade
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Cottages
  • 6
  • Self-catering + meals by arrangement
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: The Studio

Rooms

Each lodge is decorated differently with quirky, reclaimed furniture, fab original artwork and wooden floors. Couples should go for The Studio or Buttercup Barn, which has a courtyard filled with poppies and lots of greenery, a lovely loft bedroom and lots of light. The small but perfectly-formed kitchen in The Studio also offers lots of light - the microwave is cleverly disguised behind the reclaimed door of a traditional oven, and the sink is a giant stainless steel casserole pot.

The Milking Shed, set in the original hayloft and sleeping up to 4, would be great for friends; families of 4+ will find more space at Moo Manor. The Worker’s Cottage sleeps 6, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, while the huge Straw Bale House has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large kitchen and dining area. People fight over the ‘hidey hole’ room here, which you have stoop to get into.

All the lodges have simple white Ikea crockery, cutlery and glasses, DVD players, TVs, iPod docks and gas heaters. Most also have wood burners. Bathrooms are contemporary and well thought out - homemade organic toiletries and large towels are provided. Eco-friendly temperature control has been carefully thought through, so each lodge is positioned to catch the most light and decked out with ceramic floors that heat easily in the winter but remain cool during summer.

Features include:

  • Wifi internet
  • Phone
  • Tv
  • Cd player
  • Dvd player
  • Radio
  • Wifi internet
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Fan
  • Cots Available
  • Full kitchen
  • Fridge
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Coffee tea making
  • Barbeque
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine

Eating

Breakfast can be provided in the morning (additional charge), and consists of Whisk & Pin homemade mueslis, breads, juices, milk, butter, jams and yoghurt. Otherwise, you're self catering. You can order all your food in advance and the owners will stock your fridge, or you can shop when you arrive - there are plenty of options nearby. If you're celebrating a special occasion, why not be cooked for? There are 3-course dining menus devised by a local chef which can be ordered for a minimum of 8 people. Dishes include steak served with wild mushrooms, crispy duck salad with light soy dressing and rack of lamb with melted herb butter, followed by crème brûlée or lemon tart.

When we stayed Buttercup Barn was the only room without its own cooking facilities, though this was set to change following planning permission from the council. All of the other lodges are well set up for self-catering with basic ingredients and equipment provided and grills outside each lodge so you can get into the Aussie spirit and barbecue.

Leura has lots of food shops, delis and restaurants offering pizza, fine dining, Thai, modern and Indian cuisine. Silk’s Brasserie is by far the best restaurant in town for lunch and dinner and there's even a vegan cafe: Rubyfruit.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Children meals
  • Food and wine
  • Full kitchen
  • Fridge
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Coffee tea making
  • Walk to restaurants
Eating: Moo Manor
Activity:

Activities

  • Leura is one of the most attractive towns in the Blue Mountains and it's filled with boutiques, delis and galleries. Visit the nearby formal gardens, Everglades, and its Art Deco house or take children to Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum
  • Go bushwalking, mountain biking, canyoning and abseiling in the Blue Mountains. There are fabulous trails for all abilities
  • Take a scenic drive, going early or late to avoid the tourist hoards. Check out the Three Sisters rock formation at Echo Point, the Katoomba Falls, the sandstone crevice of Devils Hole, and the vistas of the Jamison Valley. The amazing limestone formations of the Jenolan Caves are about an hour’s drive away
  • Have a game of giant chess then chill out in the world's quirkiest hot tub, created from the former milk vat!
  • Get off the tourist trail - Tread Lightly Eco Tours offers guided bushwalks, 4-wheel drive tours, trips to local canyons, moonlit night walks and astronomy talks under the stars
  • Check out the antique shops at Blackheath or wineries at Mudgee
  • Golf and horse riding can be arranged locally

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Kids activities nearby
  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Food and wine
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Museum
  • Plantlife
  • Swimming
  • Trekking
  • Wildlife
  • Shopping

Kids

Children are very welcome and it's a great environment for them: eco-friendly with quirky design and plenty of space to play as well as outdoorsy activities to pursue in and around the Blue Mountains. It's also a great place for an extended family group or families holidaying together. Kids of all ages are welcome.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

We'd recommend the Milking Shed or Moo Manor for families with up to 2 children; otherwise book the Worker's Cottage, which sleeps up to 6. All lodges have a bathtub and you can request twin beds instead of kingsize beds where you need them.

Babysitting:

An independent nanny service is available; book in advance and contact the owners directly to find the right childcare solution for you. It's all paid to the nanny service rather than the hotel.

Baby equipment:


  • 2 baby cots

  • Baby bedding

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

It's self-catering so do your thing; there is a microwave and blenders for baby food and nearby you'll find child-friendly cafés, restaurants and takeaways. The nearest supermarket is in Leura Mall, 1km away.

Kids Activities on site:


  • Outdoor hot tub (shared with other lodges)

  • Kids DVDs

  • Board games

  • Books from baby to adult

Kids Activities nearby:


  • Leura playground

  • Selwood Science and puzzles

  • Leuralla toy and railway museum

  • Edge cinema

  • Scenic World in Katoomba (combining skyway, cablecar, steepest railway incline in world, walkway)
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park (1hr away, towards Sydney)

  • Trees Adventure
  • Horse riding

Families Should Know:

Some cottages have stairs; you'll need to supervise children in and around the hot tub.

Distances:

  • Airport: 90 minutes
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Doctor: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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