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Share in the magic of the South West

Imagine waking up in your very own South West holiday accommodation every day, with Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages now on the market.

Current owners Deb and Brian Vanallen moved to Balingup more than 12 years ago with their young family and have grown Balingup Heights into a successful tourist accommodation business.

Deb and Brian Vanallen with their daughters in 2009.
Camera IconDeb and Brian Vanallen with their daughters in 2009. Credit: Supplied.

“For us, it was an opportunity to do the tree change thing – own our own business, reconnect with nature and immerse ourselves in a small country town – it’s been an amazing experience,” they said. “We’ve been able to utilise our marketing and facility management experience, while being energised with the excitement of new challenges.”

The business boasts a gold three-peat in the WA Tourism Awards and won gold on the national stage at the 2019 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

This stunning 46-acre property sits high above the town of Balingup, with sweeping views over the valley below.

“Watching the morning mist rise up the valley during the cooler months is otherworldly,” Mr and Mrs Vanallen said.

The business consists of six fully self-contained cottages with two-bedroom, one-bathroom configurations and one-bedroom, one-bathroom layouts dispersed around the 25-acre hilltop bush portion of this property.

“The bush cottages are clad with American cedar while internally they feature stunning picture window views, pinewood panelling and woodfires, making for a wonderfully cosy atmosphere that immediately induces guests to relax, unwind and immerse themselves in nature,” Mr and Mrs Vanallen said. “Each has its own large private balcony, all with spectacular views, a barbecue, outdoor seating and lounge.”

“The unique property design could not be replicated in today’s planning framework,” JMW Real Estate Principal and Licensee Joe White said.

“Zoned ‘tourist’, there is a planning framework in place, which recognises the importance and legitimacy of accommodation facilities such as Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages.

“As a personal tree change location, it would be disingenuous to describe this as anything other than virtually unbeatable in the south-west area of WA.”

The bush cottages are clad with American cedar while internally they feature stunning picture window views.
Camera IconThe bush cottages are clad with American cedar while internally they feature stunning picture window views. Credit: JMW Real Estate.

The quaint stone farmhouse nestled into the hillside has served as a manager’s house – with three bedrooms, one bathroom, a loft and a large office, it can also easily be converted into tourist accommodation. Numerous other homesite choices are available if you wish to build your dream forever home or further accommodation.

The six cottages currently target couples retreats and family getaways, however, with the Bibbulmun Track winding through Balingup and a developing cycling and mountain bike network, this property is brilliantly located to capitalise on the adventure and eco-tourism trend.

The business is for sale as a going concern, with all intellectual property to be handed over to the new owners. This includes the website, incorporating an online booking portal, active and engaged Instagram and Facebook feeds, a customer database of more than 4500, comprehensive policies and procedures, detailed business and marketing plans and very strong forward bookings in place.

“With both of our daughters now at university and living in Perth, and family and friends spread across Australia and the globe, we’ve decided it’s time,” Mr and Mrs Vanallen said. “We will always be connected to Balingup – there’s a certain magic about it that is hard to quantify.”

The business is run on a part-time basis by the Vanallens, who have both continued in their professions.

Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages is located 1.5km west of the Balingup townsite at the northern entrance to the Blackwood River Valley and is about three hours’ drive from the Perth CBD.

65 Balingup-Nannup Road, Balingup

Beds: 1-3

Bath: 1

Price: $2.85 million

Agent: JMW Real Estate

Contact: Joe White, 0417 939 715 or Rob Farris, 0418 956 700

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