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Vision and Values
Cascade Cottage Country Retreat and Cascade Cottage Country House

24 years ago, our 40 acre property was a wall of black wattle and lantana. We’ve always been entirely off-grid and are now a forestry farm providing genuine eco accommodation and event venue.

BIRDWOOD forestry farm has over 70 bird species that have been catalogued; channel billed cuckoo’s, wedge tailed eagles, coucal bird, quails, red-tailed black cockatoo's, king parrots, lorikeets, eastern whipbird, grey fantail just to name a few...

With the help of friends and family Malcolm built CASCADE COTTAGE in 2016. It's fully insulated and by design, achieved a 5-star green building rating. We find air conditioning is not required, just passive, natural ventilation. Cooling the house is a breeze with 3 speed large diameter ceiling fans in all bedrooms and living areas to create wind-driven ventilation. When opened, the shutters upstairs create stack-ventilation, drawing air from downstairs which sails up and out of the open vents and windows. For cross-ventilation, all loungeroom doors can be open as a single door or folded right back to take advantage of the afternoon sea breeze.

In December 2022 Malcolm extended the cottage with a ground floor master suite, with French doors leading out to the North facing lawns. Because we’re getting older too, this new Private Garden Suite 'East' has accessibility features: 

  • A well-designed bathroom with accessibility features.

  • Clear and continuous accessible paths from the carpark straight inside.

  • All paths and interior floors are slip-resistant, firm, smooth and connected.

  • Contrasting colour on all floors and walls and good circulation space internally.

  • Wide, wrap around all-weather verandah's and pathway connected to the pergola.

  • Assistance animals are catered for and always welcome.

The cottage has a north facing orientation and the two Ficus Benjamina figs were planted to shield the cottage and our outdoor 42 sqm pergola from the harsh afternoon western sun in QLD.

In winter, the combustion wood fire heats our two-story cottage beautifully. Both the combustion wood fire inside and the outdoor fire pit is stoked with kindling and split logs felled from our farm.

The BBQ, 5 burner SMEG gas stove and instant hot water operate on bottled LPG gas.

 

All light bulbs are energy efficient compact fluorescent, and, over time, we are replacing with LED.

 

Our taps and showers are water efficient and we are replacing our cleaning products with eco-friendly.

 

Wild (non-domesticated) animals are not displayed/interacted with on our farm property or harvested, consumed, or sold.

All our power, water & wastewater treatment is generated on the farm:

  • We have a 5kw solar battery system with 22 monocrystalline photovoltaic panels to generate almost 7kw stored in 13 batteries. This means we’ve never needed the backup 5 kw petrol generator.

  • All potable water is harvested from two x 25000 litre corrugated iron tanks and pumped to the cottage for household and garden use.

  • Our EarthSafe standalone wastewater treatment plant feeds the cabinet trees via a sprinkler system. Our treatment plant is serviced quarterly and is fitted with audible and visual alarms to monitor water levels and air pressure in the treatment tank.

The pantry has three bins; general waste, recycle and bottles/cans. Red lid bin is for household rubbish. Yellow lid bin is for rubbish that can be recycled. Blue bin is for recycling glass, plastic, aluminium, and liquid paper board beverage containers. All compostable scraps go into the 16 sqm above-ground garden bed. Guests help themselves to anything in (or tend to) the vegetable garden or off the six fruit trees.

Since we began hosting two years ago, we’ve thought even harder on how to reduce our carbon footprint and still make our guests happy. We select recycled paper and biodegradable products whenever we can. We chose multi-use products such as, fair trade organic plunger coffee and all our complimentary bathroom essentials are full-size rather than single-use. We provide a French press and a stove top percolator rather than an electric coffee machine because, they need single-use pods which are unable to be recycled. We buy everything we can in bulk and decant. Rather than plastic water bottles we provide two glass jugs of water in the fridge.

We care about the impact of tourism on the environment. We have two, minimum impact, earthen walking trails. Hand cut through the naturally regenerated sclerophyll forest and past the deep-water billabong dams, with a bridge made from re-purposed timber. We also care about our neighbours. Cascade Cottage is surrounded by working farms and private houses with permanent residents. Noise resounds like a bell throughout the valley and to this end we have a no loud noise/music or large parties policy. Our stand-alone wastewater treatment plant can’t cope with lots of people either, hence the reason we have loo paper made from 100% recycled fibres that can be digested.

Cascade Cottage has evolved into providing exclusive use accommodation on 40 picturesque acres, a photo and film shoot venue, and intimate events/celebrations/reunions — including on-site camping for experienced campers who follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Our small, family run business is professional, and our availability calendar is synced with other online platforms to prevent double booking.  

Take a quick glance at some recent reviews from real people:

 

 

 

 

As you can see, our guests make sustainable travel choices without compromising on their comforts and we'd love to be included on your next family holiday itinerary. A place where you can reconnect: with self, nature and others.

Hopefully our story wasn’t too long or too boring!

Thank you for considering Cascade Cottage for your next inclusive staycation or celebration, kind regards Malcolm and Heidi :)

Jessica S said "The cottage was exactly as described, and immaculately clean. The property is stunning, and so peaceful. If you're into stargazing or astrophotography, this is an excellent spot as well - I got some beautiful photos."

Heath from Heath Missen Photography said "Upon closing the timber entry gates and following the tree-lined gravelled drive there is an immediate sense of seclusion. Atop the drive awaits a charming, white timber home and outdoor pavilion that offer spectacular, uninterrupted vistas over the established olive grove toward Ocean View, Mount Mee and the D'Aguilar National Park. Simply spectacular. The modern home is entirely off-grid but nothing is compromised; the house is beautifully appointed, extremely comfortable and has a lovely homely feel. The pride of the owners is evident in every element of the Birdwood property."

Alice H said "This retreat is beyond expectations, it is one of those rare places on earth that make one's soul sing for joy. More than that, it is such a privilege for us guests that Malcolm is willing to share that paradise he has created and built. It's an astonishing collection of hand-crafted structures carefully sited within in a wondrous agrarian landscape. Capability Brown would be proud of the result."

Clare D said "The most perfect pocket of paradise. an exquisite private cottage, immaculately styled and presented with breathtaking views."

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RESPONSIBILITY
 

We support responsible tourism by providing facilities which enable travellers to minimise energy use, conserve water, recycle and reduce waste.

SOCIAL VALUES

We believe that all of us have an ethical responsibility to treat all guests and staff, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation with dignity, with fair wages and respect for worker’s rights.

TRANSPARENCY

    We do our best to be as open as possible about our environmental and inclusive claims and know that we could do better. We publicly display our environmental and accessibility initiatives, enabling guests to judge for themselves.

    ACCESS and INCLUSION

    We understand improving access makes a safer environment for everyone. For us, for guests, for staff with disability (or difficulty with their mobility, hearing or vision) to live, stay or work here. So, we built an adjoining ground floor master suite to be disability friendly.

    INCLUSIVE PLACES TO VISIT

    Day trips and places to explore in our Moreton Bay Region...

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