Eleven peaks in the one vista, a 360 degree view, a romantic and fun escape in lush surrounds … what are you waiting for?
Thirty kilometres from Devonport and 93km from Launceston, Sheffield is a rural Tasmanian town nestled under Mount Roland. It is surrounded by rolling hills and gentle valleys which produce potatoes, timber and many vegetable crops and provide excellent grazing for lambs and pigs.
The area was explored in 1842 by Nathaniel Kentish, a surveyor who was given the job of creating a route from Deloraine to Tasmania's north-west. By 1862, 30 lots of land had been sold and the settlement of Sheffield had been named.
During the construction of Lake Barrington, Sheffield was a boom town, but took a downward turn when that project was completed. Taking inspiration from the Canadian town of Chemainus, locals decided to try something different for their town a program of murals.
The success has surprised everyone. Each year, 120,000 people visit, mainly to see the murals, but the town in general benefits from tourism. The murals were an entire town project and, locals say, have provided a sense of purpose and self-esteem. Even the town rubbish bins have been painted with mini-murals by local children.
Lake Barrington was built as part of Tasmania's enthusiasm for hydro-electric power and is now recognised as providing one of the finest rowing courses in the world. Its foreshores have excellent picnic and barbecue facilities.
In 1973, dairy farmer Des Brown and his wife Dianne purchased 20 hectares between Sheffield and Lake Barrington and dreamed about creating a retreat which would provide a unique Tasmanian experience. The project saw Des become a landscape designer, architect, furniture designer, interior decorator and lighting consultant.
Eagles Nest is a two-storey open-plan design, with a 186-square-metre layout. It has two bedrooms, one king and one queen, two bathrooms with heated floors, spa bath and shower downstairs and spa pool and twin shower upstairs. The kitchen has been designed to make self-catering enjoyable. There is an open fire and air conditioner, mood lighting and private courtyard with barbecue and campfire area.
The highlight is the amazing scenery wherever you look, including 11 mountains, and though it is a working dairy farm, there is plenty of wildlife, including platypus in the dam, ringtailed possums at night and wedge tailed eagles.
There are windows everywhere and, believe it or not, the sofa is on a revolving platform so you can take in 360º of the panorama. There is a large cutout window in the ceiling of the upstairs master bedroom so you can see the stars as you drift off to sleep.
The Browns used Tasmanian products wherever they could Tasmanian oak, blackwood, Huon pine, Ben Lomond granite and endemic alpine plants. Their aim was to recognise cultural links to the past and to use various mediums to utilise and show the talents of Tasmanian artists.