Deb & Brian Vanallen had lived in WA since late 1987, and during this time had enjoyed numerous holidays throughout the beautiful south west. These getaways ranged from group holidays with friends, to luxury weekends escapes ‘before children’, adventure treks through several of the national parks, and ‘farm stays’ when their girls were young. On returning from each of these many and varied trips, feeling refreshed and energised, they would slot back into the City mayhem often pondering the possibilities . . . “wouldn’t it be great to live down south!”
Balingup Heights offered Deb and Brian the ‘tree change’ they were chasing. They fell in love with the uniqueness of the property, seeing many opportunities to enhance ‘The Heights’. They moved into Balingup, taking over Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages with their two children Asha and Mia, in September 2009.
After successful careers in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, Balingup Heights provides Deb and Brian many a new challenge. Previously Deb had worked in facility management, having been Centre Manager at Perth’s historic Beatty Park Leisure Centre and prior to that as Manager of Craigie Leisure Centre. She has also lectured in sports and event management. Brian’s background is in marketing and event management, having worked for companies such as SGIO, LotteryWest and the RAC, managing the RAC Centenary in 2005. Brian’s event experience also includes managing a world championship sporting event.
Balingup is a diverse and vibrant community and has warmly welcomed Deb, Brian, Asha and Mia into their extended family. With their experience in event management, Deb and Brian have also enjoyed getting involved in several events in the Balingup region. They continue to learn about life on a rural property and can tell many a funny story about ‘learning on the job’!
The next exciting phase of the upgrades to the property have been completed. Air conditioning has been installed in all Cottages and during February 2014, new kitchens, bathrooms and floor coverings were fitted into all five Cottages. Rest assured, the cosy ‘country cottage charm’ has remained!
Our small Gum Nut Cottage received a major make over in February and March 2014 with an extension resulting in a comfortable two bedroom Cottage sleeping 4 – 5 people. A large deck now leads off the reworked living/dining area making it comparable to our popular Hepton Hill Cottage.
In early 2015, construction was completed on a sixth Cottage, Red Gum. This is another two bedroom Cottage located on the southern side of the property some 60 – 80mtrs west of Kimba’s Cottage. Red Gum Cottages affords spectacular views over the valleys and has the same comforts and privacy found in our other cottages
2018 saw more changes with the main loungeroom windows in Misty View, Kimba’s, Blythe and Gum Nut Cottages more than doubled in size.
This small change had a big impact. At first glance from the outside the cottage, it looks like nothing much has changed, but once inside…WOW!, you feel completly immersed in nature.
Thank you for sharing our journey and we look forward to updating you on future developments with Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages.