A Brief History of Balingup Heights
As far as we are able to ascertain, the land has a local history going back to the First World War – 1918.
The first owner was given the land as a resettlement block. The second owner, the Blythe family developed the property as a dairy farm also planting fruit orchards and other crops. By all accounts the terrain was fairly impenetrable bush land and the steepness made only the lower slopes usable. The original farm consisted of some 200 acres and incorporated teh land on the north side of Balingup-Nannup Rd, running right down to the Balingup Brook.
Dairy farming, fruit orchards and crops were the main industry with buttermilk provided to The Cheese Factory from 1935. Mr Blythe reluctantly sold the property in 1956. He sold to a local farm whom we understand cleared the remaining slopes for cattle grazing.
During this period, sadly the beautiful jarrah homestead was destroyed. Reminders of the original homestead are constantly present. Old water storage units and copper piping run down from the elevated natural deep water spring located halfway up the hill directly above the Cedar trees. Known as “The Frog Hole”, it provided pure spring water for the homestead and still runs today.
The land was sold in 1978 to Mr and Mrs Hepton, who painstakingly accessed the top of the hill and built the stone farm house you now see. In the early nineties they set up adventure tours for the Asian tourist market and due to the success of these, added Cottage accommodation in 1993. The Asian market crashed in 1996/97, and sadly the business suffered and was sold in 1998 to Chris and Kethrine Spence.
They moved onto the property in July 1998 and worked to enhance the environment, improve the comfort and standard of the cottages, roads and land management.
In 2009 Chris and Kethrine decided it was time for another change and sold the property to the Vanallen Family; Deb & Brian and their two children Asha and Mia.
Deb and Brian moved to Balingup as a form of ‘tree change’ chasing new challenges after successful careers in Perth. Deb worked in facility management, having been Centre Manager at Craigie Leisure Centre and Perth’s historic Beatty Park Leisure Centre, and Brian in marketing and event management, having worked for companies such as SGIO, LotteryWest and RAC, managing the RAC Centenary in 2005.
Deb, Brian, Asha and Mia moved to Balingup Heights in September 2009 after falling in love with Balingup and the uniqueness of the property. They have continued to build on the work of previous owners. In early 2014 they completed the first stage of Cottage renovations which included the installation of new kitchens, bathrooms, floor coverings and air conditioners in all Cottages. Gum Nut Cottage was extended to include an enlarged living area and a deck. A new 2 bedroom cottage, Red Gum, was built in early 2015, taking advantage of the spectacular views on the southern side of the 25 acre hilltop forest.
They’ve also added extra seating at the lookout . . . more options for sunset drinks!