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A place to breathe

Moonburra Stay
Lizelle Hartley at Moonburra

Nahrel Dallywater

Nestled at the top of a hill in tranquil surroundings overlooking the Avon Valley National Park is a “place to breathe”. This is the magical site of Moonburra Stay, a luxury forest retreat and event centre located in Kooyong Close in the Bullsbrook hills.

Lizelle and Michael Hartley stumbled upon the property in 2015, when searching online, and along with their daughters, Hazel and Robyn, instantly fell in love with it on their first visit. The family has since transformed Moonburra into one of the area’s premier destinations for special occasions, functions and getaways.

Michael, a hydrogeologist, and Lizelle, a former fashion designer, who currently runs a personal styling business (Smart Girls); are both originally from South Africa, but have embraced a new life in Western Australia, with new opportunities.

“I have always loved fashion and it will always be a strong passion of mine, however, Moonburra Stay has introduced a new dimension to our family life. With a very busy city life between Michael’s work, the styling business and schools, there is very little spare time. It is our escape, a chance to enjoy wonderful WA nature and it also brings out our creativity – from painting on canvas amongst the trees to photographing newborn baby birds.”

Opportunities to find flexible and homely accommodation which can double as a function centre are rare. “Moonburra’s layout offers a range of options for guests who can hire the whole place or separate wings. A popular package is the ladies pamper weekend which combines fun activities with wellness treatments, and we have also hosted corporate events such as Business Edge and Swan Chamber of Commerce sundowners,” says Lizelle.

Guests are treated to a feast for the senses including gastronomic delights sourced from local produce; home-cooked breakfasts as the morning chorus breaks into song or conversation and canapés, with woodfired pizza or a simple gourmet BBQ on the deck while watching the kangaroos graze at sunset.

At night, the antics of local kookaburras that perch high in the trees and sing whenever the moon comes out give the place its unique name.

Those who have visited are thankful for the experience and are reluctant to leave. In the words of a guest, “It feels like home away from home. From the modern rustic decor to the homemade gourmet spread freshly cooked by the host and delicacies prepared by the kids, everything was made from love. This serene location not that far from the city, would definitely be our preferred retreat for our future getaways.”

Being in easy reach of award-winning Swan and Northern Valley wineries, eateries and family attractions has also been an important factor in the success of this truly family-run business.

Handwritten notes from the girls which wrap the Swan Valley nougat placed on the pillow of each guest are just the sort of delightful details which give Moonburra a personal edge in an often all-too-busy world.

To visit Moonburra contact Lizelle
on 0433 655 983, or go to www.moonburrastay.com.au