Greenwood Guides

Markdale Homestead

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Please note that this guide was last updated quite a few years ago (2006), so there will no doubt be changes in rates and possibly ownership.

Geoff and Mary Ashton
Markdale, Binda, New South Wales

Tel: + 61 (0)2-4835-3146 or 02-8212-8599
No cell number available
Fax: + 61 (0)2-4835-3160

Those who travel through the countryside of the Southern Tablelands to Markdale encounter something quite special: a house, a garden and a family woven into Australia’s past in a mesmerisingly peaceful setting. This 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm is Geoff’s ancestral homestead.....

.... His father and three uncles achieved fame as the polo-playing Ashton brothers who represented Australia in the 1930s and frequently beat the Brits. So no change there. Markdale is grand, from the homestead (built in the 1920s), to the rural setting, to the Edna Walling-designed garden. Guests stay in two 19th-century cottages on the property a few minutes from the homestead. You’ll probably end up wandering repeatedly backwards and forwards. The five-acre garden is an asymmetrical delight with small lawns, flowing lines and nooks aplenty. There’s a dam with rowing boat and island, wisteria-clad archways coaxing you to the tennis court and a polo-practice pit dating from the 1930s. I confirmed what I already knew by falling off the ‘horse’. The cottages are lived-in, comfortable and full of polo memorabilia. There are big fires, lots of flowers and verandahs with views across Ashton-shire. It’s a great farm for watching seasonal activities or for exploring, with an old slab hut, shearing sheds, ten kilometres of trout-fishing and long walks. They have recently renovated the Shearers' Quarters... and shearers never had it like this!! Modern kitchen/sitting room with slow combustion stove and open fire, 2 bathrooms, 2 double bedrooms and 4 twins, so maximum of 12 people and all have electric blankets. It's self catering, bring your own food and bedding, but cheaper than the Stone Houses. The Shearers' Quarters are about 30 metres from the two other Houses.

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Symbols: No Smoking    Special Wheelchair Access    Off-street Parking    Children Welcome    Working Farm    Meals Can Be Provided    Swimming in Pool/Sea/River    TV in All Rooms    Good Hiking or Walking    
Symbol Definitions
Rooms: Stone House: 2 dbl, 1 tw, 1 bunk; 1 en-suite shower, 1 separate bath. Annexe: 1 dbl, 1 tw, 1 shower. Both cottages have kitchens and sitting rooms. Also new Shearer's Quarters self-catering.
Price: Please consult the owners for current prices.
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Meals: Self-cook breakfast provisions provided. Self-cater for dinner, or pre-cooked meals available.
Directions: 80km NW of Goulburn. From Goulburn go NW to Crookwell then 20km to Binda. 9km beyond Binda turn L towards Bigga. After 5km turn L to Markdale. 3.5km of sealed road then 2km of gravel rd to hse. Directions can be faxed.

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