We asked Richard and Linda Banks to tell us about their romantic weekend break at Noonaweena on the Central Coast of NSW.
Our loved-up roving reporters
Linda Banks (54), a part-time service assistant, and her self-employed husband, Richard (52), live in Ourimbah on the Central Coast NSW. They met when Richard came into the pizza shop where Linda was working, and have been together for 23 years (it’s the second marriage for both of them). A weekend escape at Noonaweena was a welcome treat for the busy couple (who, between them, have five children and four grandchildren) – even more so because it was a prize! “We were at a Valentine’s Day dinner, entered a competition and won!” says Linda. “The prize was dinner for two at The Sitting Duck restaurant at The Springs Golf Club, plus accommodation at the beautiful Noonaweena.”
Noonaweena is a five-star retreat set on 100 glorious acres overlooking Yengo National Park on the Central Coast of NSW. Peaceful, luxurious and with wonderful views, its name, appropriately, means: “resting place in the bush”. There are four gorgeous, contemporary dwellings: Biram House, Treetops and Boronia Cottage, and Gymea House – Richard and Linda’s home for the weekend.
“Our first impression of Noonaweena was ‘wow’,” says Linda. “All of the lodgings are beautifully situated, well away from each other. Gymea House, in particular, was very secluded and private. It was one of the things that really appealed to us: to be left alone and not see anyone. It’s not often you get to enjoy true privacy and luxury, and we enjoyed every second!”
With five bedrooms (and bathrooms/en suites), two living areas, a massive gourmet kitchen and dining area, and large outdoor living space, Gymea House is absolutely enormous.
“It’s super-stylish and sophisticated, with modern décor and a well laid-out interior,” says Linda. “There’s air conditioning, but at this time of year we were more interested in the gas fireplace – so cosy and romantic. There was also a gorgeous pool and heated Jacuzzi and, best of all, our room overlooked the bush. It was lovely waking up to that scenery both mornings… sigh.”
“Breakfast was included in our stay and we were surprised (and delighted!) at the hampers provided. The variety – and the quantity – of beautiful produce was unbelievable. Hubby was suitably impressed!
“We also ordered the Ploughman’s Picnic Hamper to take with us when we went out sightseeing on the Saturday. Again, it was a beautiful selection: cheeses, cold meats, fruits, nuts, bread, sweets, a thermos of coffee and sparkling wine, plus glasses, cutlery, plates and a picnic blanket. The thought that Noonaweena put into this beautiful hamper made us feel even more special.”
Noonaweena is just an hour away from the beautiful beaches of the Central Coast, but there are so many other things to do in this beautiful part of the world too – check out Noonaweena's local attractions page for inspiration.
“On our first night we went to The Springs Golf Course – just 15 minutes’ drive from Noonaweena – and had dinner at the Sitting Duck Restaurant,” says Linda. “We live in the area and have eaten here many times before, and we’re always so impressed with the amazing dishes the chef comes up with.
“The next day we visited a local fruit and veg shop that sells produce from local farmers – we went home with a big box full of fresh fruit and veggies. Later, we went for a drive and found a secluded spot in the bush for a cuppa, but even though it’s such spectacular countryside, we were so impressed with Noonaweena that we went back there to have our Ploughman’s picnic by the pool!
“Throughout our entire stay at Noonaweena we spent ages walking around the grounds. We saw a wallaby and a pair of black cockatoos, and flora and fauna that’s typical of the Aussie bush. It was such a pleasure to be surrounded by so much natural beauty, and the peace and solitude were just magical.
“We loved our stay at Gymea House, Noonaweena. It’s so beautiful and luxurious, yet still so natural and peaceful, and we were thoroughly spoilt – we will be back!”
Address: 1442 George Downes Drive, Kulnura New South Wales 2250
Phone: 02 4376 1290