The Royal Mail Hotel get’s it right in so many ways. For a country hotel with on site luxury room accommodation and also operating a fully working sheep station with luxury homestead and renovated shearers cottages available for accommodation , this operation has made the small farming town of Dunkeld a gastronomic destination for foodies around Australia and internationally.
It was a brave vision of the Dunkeld pastoral operation to have the belief that they could turn this hotel, 3.5 hrs from Melbourne into a viable up market fine dining and luxury retreat destination. The Homestead above is awesome, for more detail reador scroll down below and the views of Mt Sturgeon are unrivalled.
With 3 levels of dining options, starting from public bar with limited menu, but with an outstanding Wagyu corned beef that was sublime in it’s succulence and great authentic curries,
Bistro dining, where the catalan version of the crème brulee was a fantastic way to finish the dinner.
The staff at the hotel are very friendly, be warned though, the public bar is the only country public bar in this town ( with some gastronomic influences.) you may hear some very colourful language as it is frequented by local shearers and farm hands amongst others. So if you are relegated to the public bar for food (as the bistro and fine dining can book out up to 8 weeks ahead) and you are accompanied by young children, suggest using the public bar dining room, adjacent to the bar.
I was accompanied by my wife and 4 year old daughter, looking a little spooky above, which precluded us from the fine dining degustation experience (and rightly so) I believe this is also a sensation, I suggest that families with young children avail themselves of the rustic fully refurbished shearers quarters on the Mt Sturgeon estate.
We simply cherished, no TV and no Phone. For someone who is constantly tied to these instruments of business, this was one non inclusion that was very welcome. They are fully refurbished but still retain much of their original fittings, these are highly reccommened for those who want to really relax, they are also very private.
With great leather couches, large kitchen table, stone floors with great fireplace and sumptuous breakfast provisions including dried and stewed fruit from the Mt Sturgeon homestead orchard accompanied by local Grampians sheep yoghurt and modern bedrooms this was more than we expected.
Waking up to the awesome views of Mt Sturgeon, the start of the Grampians ranges was a sight to behold. One of the most intriguing aspects were the really old trees, liberally scattered around the property.
Reminding me of the old ‘Ents” from Lord of the Rings, they truly added a sense of mysterious history.
Above the tree outside the “Singlemans” shearers quarters where we stayed. My daughter was kindly invited to watch a mob of sheep being rounded up by the dogs, for some care and maintenance, this was not planned and also very welcome.
The homestead itself is also available for private accommodation and certainly is luxurious in appointments and the 2 master bedrooms were simply superb. With a supporting suite of another 3 double bedrooms, the homestead is suited to around 8-10 pax.
Huge verandas again overlooking the Mt Sturgeon hills and gigantic gardens suite relaxation and outdoor games. With a very modern kitchen and 2nd modern lounge, it’s a sensational destination for groups and multiple families.
The royal mail hotel provides complimentary transfers to the dining rooms from the homestead. I rang reception for one of these transfers from the shearers cottages and was told sorry not available, so plan ahead for this service with them as it’s around an 8 minute drive on a patrolled highway, for those who want to fine dine and enjoy their degustation experience and wines, i’m told local baby sitters are available to come to the homestead, so it’s all doable with young family. Older kids will obviously be suited to the bistro dining.
Great walks and other attractions including a small fauna reserve top off this great spot. There is abundant birdlife, wild and farm animals around the cottages, homestaed and estate.
Heli Experiences and Jet experiences provides helicopter and also private jet, twin engine and vinatge DC3 gooney bird air transfers for small to medium sized groups to the Royal Mail Hotel and Mt Sturgeon Estate on a charter basis. Our larger aircraft land at Hamilton airport. Its around 30 mins flight time in a jet, helicopters take approx 90 mins but can land directly outside the homestead. For further details simply contact us.