Old School, is the original Hartley Vale Public School - c1878 hidden away in the Blue Mountains western valleys only two hours from Sydney.
The property has a series of unique & historic buildings. The Old School is open plan with a mezzanine bed. Beautifully appointed, warm and comfortable. Historic but with Wifi!
There's an acre of land - outdoor living surrounded by majestic escarpment country. The Tuckshop can be booked separately and can be used by other guests - see our other listing
To start by describing the Old School building, it is a beautiful small, church-like dwelling from 1878. There is one generous sized school room with a slow combustion stove, the original blackboards and a mezzanine where the super comfy queen sized bed sits in the morning sun. Tall casement windows catch views of the surrounding escarpment and bush.
The main room is surrounded by a longer L-shaped room where you will enter - the kitchen at one end, the bathroom at the other. The kitchen is rustic but well equipped with a gas stove, slow cooker, coffee machine, fine wine glasses and beautiful china. The green bathroom is enticing and beautifully finished, including a clawfoot bath. The whole house is appointed with vintage furniture, art, books and games.
THE PROPERTY & THE AREA
The Old School is situated on an acre of land in historic Hartley Vale village. It is 20 minutes after Blackheath and 15 minutes before Lithgow. It is a true 'vale' tucked back into the base of the Blue Mountains, sheltered from strong winds and off the beaten track. It is a lovely place to experience the seasons – from winter frosts and fogs, to spring blossoms in the orchard that backs the property.
The property is also imagined with the outdoor spaces in mind - there are a range of sitting spots around the yard including the long table under the Willow trees or the timber swing that hangs from an ancient Pine. There's a BBQ for cooking bacon and eggs in the morning or a bush bolognese!
WHAT TO DO LOCALLY
There are fantastic (and historic) hikes to do in the area, brilliant lookouts and a number of surprising places to visit – The Zig Zag Brewery, Glow Worm Tunnels, the friendly Tarana pub and the Mt Vic Flicks are a must. Or head back up to the Blue Mountains villages in under 20 minutes and enjoy the treats to be found - then run away, back down to the secret Hartley Vale.
Old School is a unique little window into rural NSW. It's a world away but not isolated; equipped with Wi-fi, instant gas heating and hot running rainwater! There's no TV. Please do note that it can be cold in winter so come with your woollen hat and slippers. We provide lovely warm blankets to ensure you sleep toasty warm, and there's additional heaters but we want to reiterate that on a cold winters night, Hartley Vale can get under 0 degrees. Please note that you must supply your own firewood. We supply light kindling, firefighters and paper to get you started.
Once you book we will send you a more detailed description of how to get to the Old School and how things work best. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Please note that Old School is not suitable for parties or small children.
You will have access to the Old Public School building and the area defined around the School. You are also welcome to use the rest of the acre of property but please note, in some cases, the Tuckshop may be used by other guests.
Interaction with guests
Once your booking is complete, we'll ask for your email and send you a short PDF guide for getting to the place and making it work for you!
At the moment, I am away in the Arctic sailing and saving tourists from Polar Bears. I am leaving the property in the capable hands of Josh Barnes.
Josh is very hospitable; last year Josh was shortlisted last year for hospitality awards by Airbnb and they flew him to Paris. He'll certainly look after you.
Other things to note
If driving at dusk, dawn or at night be careful of wildlife or livestock. We are pretty sure you will see a (big) Kangaroo!
On long weekends (public holidays) it's a three night minimum or a premium for two nights.
Please note that you must supply your own firewood. We supply light kindling, firefighters and paper to get you started.
This is an historic and lovingly restored building. It is unique in some of its operation and there are some things to be cautious of. So please read these rules and the guide we will send you.
- No young children especially on Mezzanine
- Practice water conservation, we are on tank water
- Care to be taken with the open fire - use the spark screen
- Don't walk into the dam - even without water the clay is deep
- There's an old well in the back corner of the property surrounded by a simple rope - steer clear
- Respect the neighbours and no parties
- No outside fires
- No pets
- Smoking outside only
- No extra guests, even day visitors, unless otherwise arranged
- Please leave all artefacts/sandstone/old timbers alone
- Please note that you must supply your own firewood. We supply light kindling, firefighters and paper to get you started.
I am a regular traveller. I work each year in Antarctica as a climbing and skiing guide and travel in South America either side of my trip down south. I am friendly and considerate and always looking for inexpensive ways to travel more and for longer.