My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend two nights at Payne’s Hut over the 2018 Easter weekend. Payne’s Hut is a small boutique lodging located in Glen Valley a 6.5 hour drive from Melbourne and a 12 hour drive from Sydney. The drive via the small Victorian ski village of Falls Creek is nothing short of spectacular owing to the seemingly infinite alpine scenery.
Payne’s Hut is a labour of love. Its owners, Tess and Graham Payne, have painstakingly built the property from ground up. The rustic buildings and meandering garden sit on a 1 acre lot carved from the remote Australian landscape. We especially loved the arbour enveloped with a magnificent kiwi-fruit vine under which we ate breakfast and afternoon tea each day.
What to do at Payne’s Hut
Relaxing, reading a book and taking in the scenery are high priorities but for the more active traveller, your options are hiking, horse-riding or trying your hand at fly-fishing. I am lucky enough to have my very own fly-fishing instructor (husband), so we set out each day to experience some of the most remote streams in Australia. I did not manage to land anything but just being out amongst the stunning beauty of the Australian bush far outweighed my dismal fishing score.
Eating and drinking
Given the remoteness of Payne’s Hut, there are not a lot of restaurant options. In fact, the only option is the local pub, the Blue Duck, which is a 10-15 minute drive away. Fortunately, Tess and Graham give you a half-board option which we readily took-up. They can also provide lunch provisions on request. The half-board option also includes afternoon tea. On our first day, we were treated to the most delicious carrot cake and home-made coffee scrolls fresh out of the oven. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in the arbour and the three-course dinner is served in the formal dining room. You can take in your own alcoholic provisions but there is really no need as unless you have a special bottle that you wish to enjoy, Tess and Graham have a bar stocked with wine, beer and some spirits.
Payne’s Hut can accommodate up to 11 guests. We stayed in “The Hut” which is the honeymoon suite. It was very well-appointed with a very comfy queen sized bed and high quality linen and toiletries. The hut also had a small stove for the colder months which we kept us snug and cosy. For those who want to experience sleeping outdoors, Tess and Graham have set up a day bed on which you can roll out a sleeping swag.
- Payne’s Hut can be found at https://payneshut.com/.
- If you are not as lucky as me and have your own fly-fishing guide husband, then my recommendation for the area would be Scott Mcpherson of Indulgence Fly-Fishing who can be found at http://www.indulgenceflyfishing.com/. Scott is a long-term high country resident and knows the area like the back of his hand.
- Payne’s Hut is very remote and for time-poor international visitors, our recommendation would be to charter a helicopter from Melbourne which can be landed in the paddock adjacent to Payne’s Hut. Please contact Payne’s Hut for recommendations on charter companies and landing arrangements.