Most frequent questions and answers

We are and we don’t even charge for cleaning and have never charged a deposit. Most booking sites do not provide any dog information prior to booking so when you read this, you know exactly what to expect. We work to ‘mitigation’. Not rules!

Your dogs of all sizes, shapes and types are welcome inside, on the couch with provided blankets and on your bed ‘if’ you have chosen dog friendly complimentary linen. Your dogs are also welcome to STAY on the property and even inside if you go out for dinner – with the knowledge that any damage caused will need to be paid for (so crate your dog if you’re not sure). 

How the ‘uber dog friendly’ policy works is we rely on people to know their dogs inside and out and make choices for them so that no pet damage occurs (inside or out – we like our gardens too).

We are dog friendly, not dog proof. There are some things to really be on top of but nothing onerous; jumping up/scratching windows, nesting (clawing) couches, chewing anything, accidents on beds, garden decimation or failure to notice a whoopsie. But we are more dog proof than the vast majority and make it easy. Now even with washable water repellent rugs in both cottages!

Hepburn Springs is the always open main star. Located in walking (hilly) distance from HS Main road, short distance from Daylesford with fast NBN and smart TV etc. Still on a regional forest and really serene. The laundry is inhouse.

Vaughan is our new, smaller little mining cottage (with larger zoomie land) in a rural setting 18 minutes from HS and 14 minutes from Castlemaine. She’s dedicated for weekends and special holiday periods. Almost off grid she has limited reception in the gully but new guest WiFi so you can access calls, email, general internet and socials (but no video streaming – watch the DVDs offered instead). Close enough to all the amazing eateries and farmers markets to go visit and bring home to chill out. No laundry use.

This is fully self contained accommodation so majority is BYO – expect empty fridge and some great pantry staples, wonderful coffee and teas plus few rolls of “toot” paper.

On Firewood

Firewood provisions are considered for ambience when coupled with the numerous other heating sources.

April – Oct 15th (cool season).

  • Fire will be set and ready to go. Provisions can be used for the firepit at Hepburn Springs if prefer.
  • 10 split logs for all stays 2 nights and beyond. Bags available onsite at Hepburn Springs for purchase.

Oct 15th – March 31st 

  • Fireplace will be set for cool weather only.
  • 6 split logs ready at the fireplace (approx 12kilos). Bags available onsite for purchase at Hepburn Springs and currently at Chewton service station for Vaughan.

Initial ‘natural’ kindling (sticks) provided for a couple of fires. Forage or BYO preferred kindling beyond.

Firepit for Hepburn Springs

Always put away during the whole fire danger period (usually mid Nov to start of May) – unfortunately out of our control as there is no ‘safe’ place away from vegetation, forest and outbuildings to place it. Guests risk hefty fines for outdoor fires in this time.

  • The yards are fully fenced and lowest is 87cm high (Vaughan deck where they wouldn’t be left alone).
  • They are bordered by regional parks so will be enticing/stimulating for your dogs. Vaughan is fenced from the separate land with safe front yard plays instead. No getting under houses or in nooks and crannies.
  • Neighbours are few
  • Yards are landscaped and relatively hardy but have many plants and fruit trees – dogs must be supervised for no dig or decimation.
  • They are more welcome than anywhere! Accountability is with you for your dog/s. Read the Main Doggy Mitigations below for detail.
  • The dog friendly bed option is for fully continent dogs only (no leak doggies only please).
  • Deposit bookings are available for bookings greater than 30 days in advance.
  • 50% is due on booking, whether bank transfer or Stripe.
  • The remainder will either be sent as a casual email reminder when due, or sent as a quick Stripe payment link. All bookings to be paid in full 30 days prior to your stay.

Just a special triple sheeted scenario with cushions and blankets removed. Doggy friendly linen is completely complimentary so just tick the box on the checkout! Otherwise no dogs on beds and unfortunately no peeing puppies or incontinent dogs on beds at any time. More info available to guests upon booking.

No early check ins or late check outs – whether it’s 5 minutes or 20. Even if there appears to be a night’s gap after you.

We offer all available single night gaps for single night bookings. These are more affordable for some guests now and they do get booked. We will open it for booking until 12pm on the day you leave (and you will be gone by then). So there is zero availibility to offer a late checkout in any instance without sacrificing a night’s booking. The only option to leave after the checkout time is to book an extra night.

If you arrive in town early, please sort your own activities or coffee but whatever you do, drive down the road ONLY after the check in time. Arriving early in town means going somewhere else first.

We are having some serious issues with lost bookings, upset dogs, not being ready in time after a late checkout and even near accidents of carers. Absolutely NO exceptions now, even if we know you well. We have the shortest cleaning window around and much more to do than non dog friendly places. Thank you.

No dogs on human soft furnishings (blankies or cushions). A small rolled grey blanket or summer couch ‘sheet’ is provided or BYO favourite couch blankie. Just pop the cushions away from dog access.

Dogs either attended or unattended inside or in secure yards.

  • Are at your own risk and mitigation. Guests agree by booking that they are responsible for damage caused by themselves or any animals. Please note this extends to garden decimation so supervise or crate at-risk dogs.

Unused bedrooms remain closed for all stays

Up to 3 doggies/cats and additional on request. Catering is for two and BYO.

Part teddy bear, part monkey. A Finnish Lapphund. This is a frequently asked question believe it or not! And now we have Mana the Maremma (1/4 great pyrenees) who is a fast growing pupper.

The land for both cottages is sloped. We’ve found this can be navigated by people with walkers (who can access around the back with two steps on the pavement). There is a small step at both that can make wheelchair access difficult – but not impossible with a friend – and the Hepburn cottage is all flat inside, with one step at Vaughan. We have had guests come and care onsite for elderly family and they have stayed inside/on the deck which has worked well once in.

If you have a wheelchair or specific requirements, please get in touch as I will be able to have a more personal discussion and share photos. 

At Vaughan you can drive directly up to the door and just navigate the initial step.

Local and happy to receive contact but always pends reception. The cottages are down to earth, self contained, self accountable sort of places where you will be doing your own thing once here. They’re also extremely nature surrounded so be comfortable dealing with some elements and possum noise 🙂

We work with different community organisations and people who are aiming to support the wellbeing of themselves and others. If you have a small gathering, an informal wellness retreat (this could be you supporting a friend or a carer) or otherwise want to discuss these please get in touch.

Hepburn has fast NBN suitable for working from home. Netflix, etc.

Vaughan is our almost off grid cottage but now has internet for the purpose of reception, emails, social media, zoom (no video streaming). So she is fully online for reception purposes now but the speed is slower than Hepburn.