The early-morning light flows through the trees. It’s a still summer’s day and a cool pillow of wind bounces up from the Ovens River. Ripples appear on the far bank and a wet and leathery bill of a platypus emerges from the cool clear water.
‘He is one of our neighbours,’ says Samantha Pasquinelli. She and husband Marco used to live in the charismatic riverside house on the quiet side of the Ovens in the heart of the subalpine town of Bright in Victoria’s North East. They adore the property with its towering eucalypts and poplar trees, delightful neighbours and constant babbling of the Ovens River, just metres from the front door.
They have since renovated the property giving the house a tasteful and comfortable makeover, installing state of the art creature comforts whilst celebrating its mid-20th century architecture and Brady family aesthetic. Northbank House is one of the most desirable and affordable family and couples holiday accommodation properties in the region.
Samantha and Marco have not spared a cent when it comes to fitting out the house, which has three bedrooms boasting two queen beds and a single in the other. The beds are ultra-comfortable, covered in real feather duvets with luxurious down pillows. The master bedroom has a spa bath and shower, while there is another bathroom with shower servicing the other two rooms.
The kitchen is fitted out with brand new Electrolux stove, oven and refrigerator. The fridge is hidden, European style. The drawers are lined with top quality cookware making a perfect destination for those who like to self-cater. ‘We thought about the way we Italians love to cook and have set the house out, so you can go to the farm gates and wineries during the day and buy fruit, cheese, meat, wine and vegetables from our local farmers and winemakers and cook up a feast at night,’ says Samantha. There is a deck for those long summer nights, sheltered from the westerly breeze, yet open to the clear alpine night skies. The BBQ is nearby.
For those who want to let someone else do the cooking, there are half a dozen restaurants within walking distance of the front door. A short walk along the riverbank and over the bridge takes you into town where there is a waterside brewery and café, other cafés, supermarket, bottle shop, award-winning butcher and the Billy Button cellar door selling excellent Alpine Valleys wines.
If the weather turns cool, Northbank House is well heated, has great lounge suites and a Netflix subscription so you can binge on the latest offering. The property has been set up with sports people in mind with a lock up shed big enough for a peloton of bikes or several packed-down hang gliders. For dirty mountain bike riders there is an entry directly into the laundry and then to the shower to wash up and cool down after a day on the Bright mountain bike park.
It is, however, the proximity to the Ovens River and its natural beauty that sets this property apart from others. Outside the front door is an avenue of poplars. In the native trees surrounding Northbank House a family of sugar gliders leaps from tree to tree when the sun goes down. Across the river is the Bright Canyon Walk and the river itself is alive in summer with the sound of children as they float down the river on lilos and tubes to the beaches downstream. ‘While we made the house so beautiful and so comfortable,’ says Samantha. ‘It always has been and always will be all about how people appreciate being so close to such a beautiful and ever-changing river.’
10 Showers Avenue, Bright, Victoria
Tel 0411 569 727