Varuna house and gardens


Eleanor and Eric Dark moved to Katoomba in 1923, where they purchased a modest weatherboard home on a two-acre block in Cascade Street. In 1938, the Darks built a separate writing studio in the garden and the following year, they replaced their modest cottage with a roomy two-storey brick house with a stucco exterior. Both the house and studio were designed by Eleanor, their large north-facing windows catching the sunlight.

Eleanor was a keen gardener, building dry stone walls and creating pathways through a mix of exotics and native plants, as well as planting an orchard. These gardens are still tended by Rod Dark, the grandson of Eleanor and Eric.

Today, 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.

About the Dark family

About the history of Varuna

Rooms and facilities at Varuna including a video of a garden tour.