Duckcottage is a five room stone settlers cottage built in 1853 on five acres of bushland at Second Valley. We call it 'duck' cottage because of the height of the doorways. It has been lovingly restored, and is secluded but close to the beach
The cottage is nestled into a five acre garden in the undulating hills of the Fleurieu Peninsula. It has been lovingly restored and is maintained by a local builder. It has been our summer cottage for 30 years and is full of memories for us.
When we first bought the cottage the land around it was entirely bare, except for a row of pine trees along the roadside boundary and some ancient trees near the house which are wonderful for climbing or for supporting the hammock. Now the hillside is a flourishing bushland and the garden surrounding the cottage is full of birds and flowers.
Inside the cottage we have introduced the best of modern conveniences but made them compatible with the era, so there is a nicely appointed bathroom and kitchen, but we have a minimum of electronic devices- there are no screens or clocks but there is a CD player and a selection of books and games to enjoy in front of the huge open fire - or outside in the hammock.
There are two living rooms, the lounge room with its retro settee and open fire is warm in winter and cool in summer. The large country kitchen /dining room has up-to-date electric appliances as well as the original wood stove which adds warmth and nostalgia. (it no longer works as an oven).
The small bedroom has two single beds, and the main bedroom has a queen sized bed. All have quality linen, pillows and doonas (with cotton blankets for summer)
Electric heating is provided to supplement the wood fires and there are fans in summer.
Duck cottage is a private, restorative space which is a perfect 'get-away'. Mobile phone coverage is quite good ... so those who need screens can bring them.
Guests have exclusive use of the entire cottage and surrounding property. The cottage is nicely appointed with good quality linen and furnishings suited to the era. The kitchen has everything you need - except food- although basic salt condiments, tea and sugar are supplied.
There is dry firewood provided and the open fire will be set ready for you to light when you arrive.
There is plenty of car parking space but not undercover. Guests are welcome to explore the gully paddock and the bushland hill paddock in addition to the garden surrounding the cottage.
There are no neighbours to disturb so you are welcome to practice your bagpipes or open your lungs, however the quieter you are the more of the local wildlife you will see.
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We are not able to meet guests as they arrive because we live some distance from the cottage. We provide guests with a code to the keysafe so they gain access the cottage and use the keys provided. We are happy for you to contact us with any questions before and during your visit either by phone or email. If problems or concerns arise during your visit we will either come and sort them out or have our friend who lives nearby do so.
At the cottage there is a book with information about the cottage and the surrounding area including emergency contact details.
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Although the cottage itself is peaceful, outside there can be road noise noticeable from time to time. This is not constant -usually just when cars are heading to or from the Kangaroo Island ferry. The road noise has only become noticeable recently since the drought killed a number of the large pine-trees along the boundary. These had been providing a sound barrier. We have replanted the gap in the trees but it will take several years for them to provide a sound screen so in the meantime we have constructed a long 'wall' of hay bales along the road edge.
Please treat the cottage as you would your home, as we do.
Fire prevention is important. Do not light fires on the property (except in fireplaces inside the cottage. Ensure that the spark screen is in place at all times when the open fire is alight – even if you are in the room and sitting close by.
NO smoking inside the cottage.
The property has is a strictly no-pets policy. This is because our re-forestation has created a habitat for a diversity of wildlife (birds lizards, kangaroos and even an occasional echidna) which are disturbed by the presence of dogs or cats. The wildlife does not know that you pet is gentle, harmless, ancient or an inept hunter, they and their habitat will be disrupted by the presence of domestic pets.
I am a landscape designer and retired academic who loves to sing. My partner Leon (who also sings) and I enjoyed hosting overseas visitors for many years when we were WWOOF hosts (WWOOF is willing workers on organic farms) WWOOFing is about building relationships based on travel and hospitality, so this attracted us to Air BnB. Over the past 40 years we have relished the project of reforesting the bare land around Duckcottage. Many wonderful working bees with friends resulted in thousands of trees and shrubs being planted over many years. Then we set about repairing and restoring the cottage with the aid of a wonderful local artisan. We are delighted to be able to share the cottage, which has been such an important part of the lives of our family and friends. We go there ourselves as often as possible we enjoy the complete change of pace from our busy lives, which are filled with our passions for family, academic research, study, travel, the environment, running and LOTS of singing.