About the house
Situated in two and a half acres of beautiful gardens, Varuna is a friendly and relaxed residential retreat for writers. The house has five separate bedrooms, each with a writing space attached or nearby; three bathrooms; homely living and dining rooms; an extensive library; and a spacious, well equipped kitchen and laundry.
Writers who visit Varuna regularly will often fall in love with a particular room, as each has its own unique charm.
Bedrooms and writing rooms
Every bedroom at Varuna includes a separate writing space, in most cases attached to the bedroom itself. Three of the four upstairs bedrooms share a common bathroom, and the fourth room has its own ensuite. The downstairs bedroom has a separate bathroom. Each room has a patchwork quilt made originally by the Varuna Quilt Project.
The writing workspaces each have a large wooden work table and adjustable office chair, a desk lamp, bookshelves and a window overlooking the garden. There is Internet available throughout the house, and access to a shared printer downstairs.
Eleanor Dark’s studio
Eleanor Dark's garden studio is for use by the writer who is allocated the small bedroom downstairs. The studio is a large room separate from the house, with an outlook across the garden. Writers who work in the studio are invited to leave a sample few pages of their work-in-progress in the manuscript drawers that Eleanor used to store her manuscripts in.
Living and dining rooms
Writers generally meet in the spacious, comfortable living room in the evenings. The living room has several comfortable sofas, a fantastic library of contemporary Australian literature, and a large open fireplace.
Kitchen and laundry
The kitchen is large and well-equipped (including a dishwasher). Writers help themselves to breakfast and lunch while dinner is cooked each evening by Varuna's wonderful cook Sheila Atkinson. The laundry is equipped with a washing machine so writers can do their own laundry as they wish.
All the rooms look out on a peaceful scene of the large and beautifully landscaped garden, which is maintained by Eleanor Dark's grandson, Rod Dark. The garden has many quiet places to sit, and includes an orchard, a small pond, hidden paths through the undergrowth and a rose garden.
You can view a video tour of the garden below.