Payne’s Hut featured in The Age ‘Traveller’ Section

The word is getting out! Payne’s Hut was featured in The Age Newspaper today. Check out the words from the ‘Traveller’ Section.


Article Transcript:

Weekend Away: Glen Valley
Date: August 3, 2013

Sue Wallace enjoys the rustic charm and high-country air at Glen Valley.


Payne’s Hut is in Glen Valley, north of Omeo in north-east Victoria. Follow a winding road in the high country to the isolated, rustic retreat surrounded by towering gums and stunning scenery in the heart of the upper Mitta. You almost expect the man from Snowy River to come thundering down from the hills. Payne’s Hut is surrounded by a colourful, cottage garden in spring and a thriving herb and vegetable patch in summer.


The retreat has been built with purpose and passion from the ground up by owners Graham and Tess Payne, with help from the German League of Travelling Guildsmen. Four accommodation options are available including a stand-alone hut with bedroom and en suite, the two-storey barn with east and west wings with a bedroom and en suite either side of the dining room, and a small loft above the greenhouse with a shared bathroom downstairs. All rooms have timber floors, walls and ceilings and most of the furniture has been handmade by Graham.


Beds have crisp linen and snuggly blankets and doonas, and you can request a hot water bottle in winter. The hut has a queen-size bed, en suite, sitting area and private verandah to soak up the views. There’s a Primus stove for making tea or coffee and a gas heater to keep away the winter chills. The setting is the drawcard; in summer, pink hollyhocks sway in the breeze, bright roses bloom and climbers creep over rustic farm artefacts. In winter, camellias flower and there’s snow on surrounding mountains and occasionally underfoot. There’s no television and mobile phones are out of range but there are lots of interesting books and DVDs available.


In winter, snuggle up in bed or get toasty by the indoor or outdoor fire. You can sleep under the stars in summer covered by a canvas swag. Sit out on the new deck overlooking the pond and watch wallabies and kangaroos graze.


A hearty meal with produce from the vegie patch and local treats can be pre-booked. In summer, guests can cook or dine in the outdoor kitchen under Graham’s ingenious light made from rusty, stump jump harrows while a two-tiered water feature trickles in the background. We dined on the best pumpkin soup, tender lamb shanks and a berry crumble. Breakfast features cereal, Graham’s homemade bread, Tess’ delicious jams, preserved fruits or freshly picked berries and yoghurt.

The Blue Duck Inn Hotel at nearby Anglers Rest, about 20 minutes away, serves meals.


High-country heritage and history is showcased here where time seems to slow. It is perfect for exploring the high country on foot, mountain biking or four-wheel-driving. You can walk the Shannonvale track or the Kelly track in six hours. Trout fishing is popular in the nearby Cobungra, Bundara and Mitta Mitta rivers. Birdwatching, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseriding and scenic driving can keep you occupied, or just laze around and contemplate life. It is also a photographer’s paradise with scenic vistas everywhere you look. The Paynes honed their cooking skills in France and offer workshops to learn everything from filleting a fish and baking bread to chopping wood, navigation and gardening.


Perfect for chilling out in beautiful surrounds – knots in your shoulders untangle quickly.


Payne’s Hut is a 2½ hours’ drive from Albury, 6½ hours’ drive from Melbourne and 12 hours from Sydney. It is 90 minutes from Mount Beauty and an hour from Omeo.


Payne’s Hut, Fitzgeralds Road, Glen Valley, Victoria. Price for two including breakfast from $160 a night for the hut and the barn rooms, and $110 for the loft. Two-course meals are $45. Bookings, 5159 7255. See

Come and see Payne’s Hut for the first time or visit again to see the updates, we’ve been busy! Book your stay here:

Payne’s Hut: The Front Page of the Bairnsdale Advertiser

The front page of the Bairnsdale Advertiser today proudly showcases Payne’s Hut’s recent profile in The Guardian article ”100 boutique hotels for under £100: Asia, Australia and New Zealand”. Thanks to all involved!

Article transcript:

‘Hut’ joins world title


Tess and Graham Payne are onto a good thing. They know it, now they just want everyone else to know it too.

Fresh attention from overseas could help them with that – a listing on the website of British newspaper The Guardian as one of the top 100 B&Bs in the world for under £100 ($A250) puts the remote accommodation provider among the A-list in the hospitality world virtually overnight.

For owners Graham and Tess, they’ve done the hard yards for more than 10 years to become an overnight success.

And to make it as only one of three B&Bs in Australia and New Zealand to make the grade, the Paynes are thrilled.

“We’re one of three in Australia, which is an incredible coup,” Tess told the Advertiser.

“We really are very grateful that we were chosen.”

For them, says Tess, it’s about presenting visitors with a taste of the real ­Australia, the best food and wine the region offers and promoting the beauty of the Mitta Mitta Valley, built on principals on connections with guests, Australian food, culture and history and excellent hospitality.

Payne’s Hut was ranked alongside a boutique hotel in Sydney and a B&B near Bowral in New South Wales.

Tess thinks Payne’s Hut, not far off the Omeo Highway at Shannonvale north of Anglers Rest, was chosen for the top 100 list partly because of the B&B’s first-rate service, food and facilities and partly because the British journalist who came to stay fell in love with the remote beauty of the high country, with a little help from a pre-visit interview from East Gippsland Marketing.

Tess was adamant Payne’s Hut offered the best product in Victoria from Albury-Wodonga to Lakes Entrance and the Payne’s were passionate about staying true to the property’s all-Australian theme.

“People can’t help but have an enjoyable stay,” she said.

Payne’s Hut’s next big adventure is a spring feast to celebrate the change of season and showcase the region’s ­produce.
To be held on November 2, the feast will offer live music and a range of five courses of local food and wine for 30 people on the day – visitors are welcome to stay but Tess says ample accommodation is available locally if visitors would like to stay in the area overnight.

Come and see Payne’s Hut for the first time or visit again to see the updates, we’ve been busy! Book your stay here:

Payne’s Hut in the Guardian’s 100 boutique hotels for under £100: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Payne's Hut featured in the Guardian Newspaper as Top 100 places to stay

“So remote that it even perplexes Google Maps, the rustic luxury of Payne’s Hut in Glen Valley is excellent value for those prepared to stray off the beaten path. Skimming the border of Victoria’s Alpine national park, at this distinctly Australian accommodation you’ll stoke your own wood-fire stove in a room with windows allowing for stunning star-gazing. Mobile reception is lacking but picturesque bushwalks are in ample supply. Fish for trout, glimpse snow-capped mountains, watch kangaroos bound by, or relax with fine local wine as kookaburras chorus. Gourmet meals are at an additional cost, eaten at a long communal table.

+ 61 3 5159 7255, Doubles from £93 B&B”

…And that is how the UK’s Guardian news sees us!

Come and see Payne’s Hut for the first time or visit again to see the updates, we’ve been busy! Book your stay here:

Tess’s Winter Gardening Tips

“The Garden has gone to sleep for Winter. We’re now doing pruning in preparation for Spring.

There is a story behind every plant here.

The rhododendrons for example weren’t my favourite flower but we’ve grown into each other because it keeps the garden below the Loft green over Winter.

We finally transplanted our 15 year old cherry laurel into the centre of the courtyard. The laurels are often seen as a weed, though in our harsh environment, the fact that the laurel is a midsize evergreen plant that doesn’t attract bugs or mould earns its position as a feature plant.

Despite the fact that the laurel is hardy, having transplanted it at the beginning of Winter, we’re giving it tender loving care to ensure it survives and flourishes to bring shade to the courtyard over Summer.

We’re also wondering what the name will be for the new outdoor shelter at the top of the property. It’s been affectionately known as “the Folly” though we’re thinking a more fitting name could be found! The roof is almost done.”

~ Tess

Come and see Payne’s Hut for the first time or visit again to see these garden updates. Book your stay here:

Firetwirling at Payne’s Hut

We at Payne’s Hut are always delighted by the range of guests who choose to spend time with us. From Danish gardeners to Antarctic explorers to city-dwelling Melburnians, from highly technical people to people working in humanities or social environments. It’s always a treat to hear their stories and share our own.

This weekend Ed, Helen Packer, Bernie, Ina, Sam, Tess and Graham donned their extra layers, warmed our backs by the warming flames of the outdoor fire and watched as Doug Millen firetwirled for us. Doug visits regularly and has entertained us with fire twirling in the darkness a a few times now – each time we have invited neighbours and guests to be entranced.


Plunkett Fowles, Oxley, Milawa, Myrtleford, Bright, Mount Hotham and beyond…

These words are republished a website of a close friend of Payne’s Hut and regular visitor – Samantha Bell.
“Amazing places to visit enroute from Melbourne to Falls Creek or Mt Hotham or for a long weekend around Bright, Victoria:
  • Plunkett Fowles (on Hume Hwy 1 hour and a bit out of melbourne)
  • Sam Miranda Winery, Oxley (GREAT courtyard on a warm day for the kids to run around – also nice for a tasting on a cold day with fire going inside. I really enjoy working from here on a weekday. So relaxing and often no-one there.)
  • King River Cafe, Oxley (potato rosti chips are amazing, good coffee.)
  • Milawa Cheese Factory, Milawa (great place for lunch)
  • Snow Road Produce, Milawa (great wine selection and lovely people).
  • Milawa – the main road has olive and mustard shops too.
  • Amazing Cafe Fez in Myrtleford is like stepping into a Middle Eastern Bazaar – extraordinary to be where it is and have so many items for sale as well as a cute cafe – it is next to the park too for the kids – lovely for a coffee and browse.
  • Bright: my favourite is Coral Lee, there’s also Ginger Baker and the Bright Brewery and a few other wine bars and restaurants that have popped up recently.
  • Take a drive up Mt Hotham to Danny’s Lookout on a clear day. The lookout is just before Mt Hotham so a 45 min drive from Bright and you can see for miles and miles….
  • Keep going to Payne’s Hut - I guarantee you’ll be pleased you did.
All the addresses and details of these places are on my “To the Mountains and Beyond” Foursquare list.
Tips on accommodation:
  • Top of the list Payne’s Hut.
  • Bright – Merrimeet Cottages is great for families. The website photos don’t do it justice – next to a park for the kids, the gardens are lovely for reading books and enjoying and there is a BBQ in the grounds. Apparently the photos on the site don’t do it justice and the people who run it are lovely:.
  • The house at Smoko looks divine. Often booked out – get in early.
  • Wombat Hollow in Smoko for families too – this will mean commuting to Bright. (Stay in Bright if you’re thinking of walking to and fro dinner.
  • Emma runs Alpine Valley Getaways – she’ll be able to help with other places.
  • And Bright Holidays is great too. This lovely house (with a spa) is recommended.”
Go play.

Photos to tempt you:

Another wonderful weekend at Payne’s Hut



It was a delight to have a very entertaining dinner with Lyn, Lindsay, Mel, Geoff, Tracey, Kathryn, Sam, Clive and Tess and Grae on Saturday night. So many rounds of raucous laughter as we celebrated (young-in-mind-and-heart) Geoff’s 86th Birthday.

Tess and Grae have been busy. The berry patch looks superb, the verandas around the main house are taking shape, and the garden – as always – is enchanting.

~ Sam for Payne’s Hut

Payne’s Hut in the Weekly Times – “A Hut Above the Rest”

It is wonderful to have Payne’s Hut featured in the July 2012 edition of the Weekly Times. Flip to the “Home section” (Pages 10-13) or click on the above images to enjoy reading about the history, Tess and Graham Payne and all they contribute to this area of the Victorian High Plains.

Come and see Payne’s Hut for the first time or visit again to see the updates, we’ve been busy! Book your stay here:

The Payne’s Hut Loft: It inspires poetry…

Payne's Hut, Mitta Mitta Accommodation, Room,

glorious loft
looks out over the valley
head resting on pillow in the morning
look through the window to the clear blue sky
clouds float past, tickled by gums

above the kitchen
smells of toast waft upward as others wake
footsteps crunch on gravel
murmurs of conversation through the window
clink of plates, boiling water into french press

feet turn out from the silken sandwich of white sheets
onto pristine lamb’s wool laid out beside the bed
some cocoon of honeyed timber, this is

birds call all around
door opened to the air
the balcony
sun salutation
recharging, filling, warming

a long stretch
a deep breath

in the loft

By Doug Millen

Payne's Hut loft, bed, inside

Thanks Doug! Doug visited Payne’s Hut for the wonderful Play Make Do event. He delighted everyone with one of his hidden skills: fire-twirling. Truly inspiring. As was his love for the High Plains and area around Payne’s Hut.

If you’re interested in staying in the Loft, send us your details and your dates, using this form at the top of this page, scroll up! And it’s on your right —>

Tune in to nature