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“Disappointing...”

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Johanna River Farm and Cottages
Reviewed 13 April 2013

Whilst the location was lovely, quite frankly for over $200 (which seems to be the going rate for this area) this is somewhat overpriced for what is essentially a basic cabin. We weren't warned about the rough track to get to Acacia cottage (having a low ride sports sedan this was somewhat worrying). There are also very restricted eating out options so best to take/make your own (but be wary of the very inquisitive goats!).

Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank RoyWMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johannafarm, Owner at Johanna River Farm and Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2013

We are so sorry to read that you found your experience at our farm and cottages ‘disappointing’. We strive to ensure that our property and cottages meet or exceed expectations and that guests have an enjoyable experience.
The Acacia Cottage is independently assessed and rated '4 star' by AAA Tourism. Tariffs are determined by a wide range of factors, not only the amenity of the cottages but a range of additional guest services and features of the farm which we provide and offer to our guests. There’s also seasonal variations, length of stay – longer stays attract lower nightly rates, etc. Your two night stay was in April, so two night tariff for Summer/Autumn applied.
We’ve never actually had a guest comment to us that they thought our driveway was a “rough track”. In an effort to avoid this concern for future guests, we will upload a couple more outdoor photo’s of the cottages on our website so that people can determine whether their vehicles are suitable to unsealed roadways prior to booking. We are always happy to clarify if guests contact us and let us know what type of vehicle they have.
Yes, eating out options are “restricted” although the 5 businesses in our little country town LAVERS HILL - which is just 8kms up the road- all offer meals (breakfast, brunch, lunch, Devonshire teas, and takeaway). Unfortunately only 2 of them offer evening meals. Our website details a variety of catering options for guests:
SELF CATERING: Each cottage is equipped with a well stocked kitchen - electric stove & oven, microwave, gas bbq, and all cooking utensils. If you decide to self cater – you should buy groceries before you arrive in the region.
DINING IN: One option is to buy prepared meals - takeaway pizza, or a selection of pastries from various local cafes and bring it back to your cottage for reheating in the oven. Or, you can contact a local café, liaise directly with a chef, and order a selection of meals to be delivered to your cottag. We recommend The Ridge Café
DINING OUT: There are a number of cafes and restaurants in this area. - Please speak with us during your stay for our recommendations - and check the visitors compendium in your cottage for updates on operating hours and seasonal menu's.
Sorry about our ‘inquisitive goats’ Our friendly farm animals are not here to pester guests. Mickey – the baby goat - is getting used to a new paddock away from the cottages and on his side of the fence!

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Reviews (88)
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52 - 56 of 88 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2013

Wanting to get some rest between the Labour Day long weekend and the Easter rush, we decided to get away for a few nights. Our criteria for selecting our accomodation was pretty straight forward:

■It had to be on the Great Ocean Road
■It had to have something different for the kids

After conducting our obligatory search on TripAdvisor we settled on Johanna River & Farm Cottages, a 280 acre working farm complete with horses, cows, sheep, alpacas, geese, chickens, ducks and, of course, two friendly dogs who love nothing more than to keep the sheep in check.

The accommodation options at the farm consist of four fully self-contained cottages with magnificent views over the sloping hills and Johanna beach. We stayed in cabin 3, the 2 bedroom family option. The master bedroom had a Queen bed and the 2nd room had a single and 2 bunk beds, but was still large enough to fit a porta-cot for our toddler.

Upon arrival, the owners of the farm, Julian and Helen, immediately made us feel welcome and came to our rescue by supplying us with butter and bug spray (2 essential items we forgot).

Our day of arrival was an absolute scorcher (40 degrees), so even though we got there around 7pm, the cabin was like an oven. Not to worry! With host supplied tropical strength bug spray generously applied, we sat outside and let the kids catch crickets until it got dark, after which we lay on a picnic blanket and tried to spot shooting stars and satellites.

Predictably in a Victorian autumn, the next two days were about 25 degrees cooler. However, we still managed to get to the Otway Tree-Top walk, Twelve Apostles, some local chocolate, whiskey and ice-cream makers and some great eating spots. All were an easy drive from the farm. In the evenings, with the temperature dropping even further, we cosied up by the wood stove.

When we weren't checking out the local attractions, the kids had a ball at the farm; feeding the sheep and alpacas, collecting fresh eggs from the hen house and wandering through the fruit orchard to the fern grove looking for glow worms.

If you're looking for a genuinely unique accommodation experience, and are happy to be surrounded by farm animals and the odd friendly bug, then Johanna River & Farm Cottages will not disappoint.

Room Tip: The Teatree Cottage is more than large enough to fit a family of 5. However, it does not currently h...
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Stephen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2013

Would highly recommend this farm stay. Our 3 yr old daughter absolutely loved it. A great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Set high on one of Great Ocean Roads majestic high rolling hills. Terrific views our to the ocean. If you want your kids to experience getting close to animals, then you won't be dissappointed. Hand feeding horses, donkeys, sheep, chickens, alpaca's, ponies, cows. Collecting eggs from hens - 1st time I have ever eaten an egg within 10minutes of it being laid - still warm - yum! There are also orchards where the guests can pick some fruit - pears, lemons, peaches, apples, plums. Walking up hills and paddocks with ponies and horses beside you - just a terrific experience! Great hosts in Helen and Julian. A cosy cabin - not very big but cosy with log fire. Wish I took a fishing rod. The dam is apparently full of trout! Definitely visit Johanna Beach - a rugged strip of coastline, Apparently a great spot for beach fishing Australian Salmon. The kids will love Berry World in Timboon - pick your own strawberries. Run by an old couple who have had the farm for 45 yrs. they love visitors and were great hosts explaining the technique of strawberry growing. Also a great spot to travel the great ocean road from - visit 12 Apostles and Port Campbell. Excellent and highly recommended. It really put a smile on our faces, especially our 3yr old daughter.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Gooma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2013

We stayed a few days at Johanna River Farm and enjoyed the location and the amenities in the cottage we rented. Hosts were very friendly and informative and everything was very comfortable. The Great Ocean Road, the Otway Peninsula and the walking in the area was just fantastic and we will come back again to experience more of it. Local food and wine was good too! Didn't feel the need to do the farm animal thing but we could see that families with young children would love it and several did just that while we were there.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MaryJB_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

It was not difficult to get there with the guide map and info provided by Helen & Julian. We love the location, the cottage, farm and the beach. Helen and Julian were fantastic host. They provided us the necessary info to get us around and best to see Koala bear in the wild. Its a good place for family and a place to stay while exploring the Great Ocean road. Will definitely visit again as there are beautiful memories for our family.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Gerald Yale A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Johanna River Farm and Cottages

Address: 420 Blue Johanna Rd, Johanna, Victoria 3238, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Johanna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Johanna
Price Range: $218 - $296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Johanna River Farm and Cottages 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideal base from which to explore the Great OCean Road - central to all attractions. One and two bedroom fully equipped cottages - offering guests all the comforts. Secluded spa cottage - ideal for couples and two bedroom family cottages - wonderful for a fun family holiday. Located on 280 acre working sheep farm - with friendly farm animals to meet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Johanna River Farm And Cottages Great Ocean Road

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