Johanna Seaside Review
We spent 4 nights at the Johanna Seaside Cottage on the Great Ocean Road this month after I was captured by this image above and the tranquility of it. I have been itching to tell you about it. I arrived there and just exhaled.
I literally drove through a storm to get to this divine spot, a perfect Great Ocean Road retreat, after a day of work that was testing my resolve to get away. The kind of day when your printer breaks, your internet fails and your mail despatch almost doesn’t make it out of the door, when you do start to wonder if you are supposed to be going anywhere. You run out of time to be early and then suddenly phone call after phone call and toilet break and nappy change and ticking clock, you’re late. Then after all of that your car battery dies in a car park just before you are set to leave. In the dark, in the pouring rain, with a car full of sleepy babies and a wet dog. You persist because you know you need this. This was the start to our holiday and one that still makes me smile, such a comedy.
While we sat there I called Joy from Johanna. Joy had waited several hours beyond our ETA and despite keeping contact with her, I’m sure 9pm wasn’t exactly what she had been thinking for our check in. Joy could have been angry at me or at the least frustrated or could have suggested we turn back. Instead she rested my heart by being caring and helpful. She had been to the cottage and made it ready for our arrival, she had even set the wood fire for us. She was more concerned for our safety, so genuine. This is a family owned company and before I keep going, I know that they would value it so very much if you could like their FB page. You can do it from right here, just click the like button below and keep reading.
My beautiful DH drove to Bunnings in another car, bought a new battery and installed it while I did my best to entertain the children by singing [no battery in car equals no lights, no music]. Keep going. I had just recovered from gastro-instestinal surgery 7 weeks previous, I needed to get away for our health. For our sanity?!
Then we were on our way, DH had to work in the region so we travelled in our 2 separate cars. He knew the roads well and they are relatively direct; we took the inland route instead of the picturesque coastal Great Ocean Road due to the time of day and were in Colac before we knew it. We had a quick chat at the servo and in a less than alert decision decided DH would keep driving ahead and just get there, rather than trying to drive in convoy. A few minutes later, my phone lost reception and both my DD and our Au Pair fell asleep in the back seat. It was absolutely driving rain and there I was alone without a sure clue where I was supposed to turn off. I just kept heading toward the Great Ocean Road and the coast. I had myself going over all possibilities of what might happen if I pulled over [I’m that Nina type whose reflex is to continue a dramatic conversation in her head, a compilation of all the scary movies I have ever seen :P] . I kept going, watching traffic signs and then, there the turn off was and I arrived.
Grateful for accurate signage, I had found my way to the farm stay at Johanna Seaside, turning off just before the Great Ocean Road and DH was already there. That was a bonus as I had decided that I was to come across his vehicle in a ditch or arrive to find he too had been ‘lost’. It was all so easy in reality, and another great lesson that about the lack of value in worry. We all had a laugh about my thought processes.
We were staying at the Farm House and there are 4 other cottages to choose from. I let the dog out, and confirmed with DH that the full, big yard with lawn area provided at the farm house was secure. What we also found was that there was an entrance area complete with dog bed and sheets for the dogs bed where our dog could seek shelter. There was also a laundry room off that area with washing machine and dryer as well as 2 toilets! Outside, there was a kennel for her too.
Coming inside we took a quick tour of the main bedroom with king size bed, another bedroom with a queen size bed, a third bedroom has two single beds and bedroom 4 has two x two single bunk beds. Much to the delight of my little DS5. We unpacked and immediately we settled in, there are full cooking facilities and a big farmhouse style table in the authentic Farm House kitchen area. We did make use of the plentiful vegetable garden which visitors may use to supplement their own provisions. Whilst we have our own Super Chef DH ;P you can also even arrange catering for your visit; though this does not cater for dietary requirements it is a great option to consider. You can even have a full Great Ocean Road Retreats Package arranged.
We spent 4 beautiful nights relaxing in the surrounds of the farm, watching the cows come home beside the Farm House each night, collecting chook eggs and delivering them scraps, visiting calves, taking a driving tour to the Great Ocean Road tourist spots such as the Twelve Apostles and Otways Forest and generally turning down the pace. We were so relaxed we didn’t even get time to take advantage of the pool and there are so many other things to do in that part of the Great Ocean Road that we have talked about going back in Summer. What we did manage to catch was our Au Pair’s first sighting of kangaroos in Australia! There were a bunch of them lounging around just down the road – awesome. Joy also let us know that in better weather we could have taken a walk to find Platypus in the creek nearby.
What I have to tell you that I liked about this place the most, is that they don’t know aren’t even marketing themselves as eco and yet they are in so many ways. They have a recycling bin set up, they are reusing water and they are sustainable with their chooks and vegetable garden. Those sort of people that have been ‘eco’ and ‘sustainable’ long before us and for whom those things are just a way of life. I loved the personal touches, learning about the farm history and the family behind the farm history which is well linked to many parts of the Great Ocean Road story.
I’ve saved a bunch of great pics from our trip at the bottom of the page for you. I’m so thrilled that you got to the end of the post. Can you spare another little click for me and like my FB page? So so appreciated xx
*We have included mentions of our sponsors in this post which we are very transparent about, it is the right balance of energy to acknowledge and be acknowledged for our support of something awesome. Most of our sponsors we have proactively approached after loving what they do. Opinions are always our own xx You can read our full official statement on this type of thing on our policies page.
Great Ocean Road Retreats: Johanna Seaside Cottage Memories