Sarah Key's Australian Good Health Getaways are information sessions mixed with being in the landscape for picnics, observing nature and wild animals, walking and 4WD driving.
Fernleigh is a working rural property in the Upper Hunter high country producing fine merino wool and grass fed Angus beef. The accommodation of this understated bush hideaway exudes gentle luxury. It is a place of quality and comfort. Sarah has created this concept from years of looking after people as her patients, combined with her dream of sharing with others the best of Australian Outback life.
Sarah Key is a natural communicator. In this instance, she's talking to a group visiting her garden in the NSW Open Gardens Scheme. For her health vacations, Sarah likes to grow as much natural produce as possible in her potager garden at the homestead property next door.
The high country around Fernleigh has tall stands of Mountain Ash, typical of all Australian alpine areas, with soft sedgy grasses underneath. In winter, the air is so clear and cool it almost hurts your lungs to breathe!
It may seem a tall order rising before dawn to go walking in the wilderness. But encounters with the native inhabitants in the quiet dewy landscape as the sun rises, will remain indelibly etched in your memory.
In her health lectures, Sarah explores some of the medical understanding of many common diseases. Her information is fascinating. Some of it is confronting!
Treatment with Sarah is possible, though not part of the Good Health Getaways package.
If you've been to a Back-in-a-Week you will know that Sarah treats all musculo-skeletal disorders, as well as specific spinal problems.
Picnics in the rarified alpine air of The Tops and trekking the high ridge-lines is the perfect way to process Sarah's important information on disease prevention.
There's some fabulous 4WD driving on The Ramparts at 4000'; some of the best in Australia. You can see your Fernleigh Chariots await, but it's also a great place to bring your own 4WD vehicle. Not for the faint hearted.
Sarah has a mountain Hut on the Tops where she does a lot of her writing.
She says on a clear day you can see forever.
With those hills to countenance you'll need a hearty breakfast to set you up. In this photo you can see Sarah's homemade cumquat marmalade centre stage.
Of course, you don't have to go bushwalking, looking at flora and fauna, or 4WD driving. You can relax in the sun on the veranda with a good book (or asleep with your mouth open). Why not?
After tea, the the bell rings for Sarah's signature stretch class. Not that the troops need rallying; the enthusiasm for these classes, and the many requests at her Back-in-a-Week programs for attention to other parts of the body, is one of the main reasons Sarah started the Good Health Getaways!
There's nothing more quintessentially Australian than the smell of gum leaves burning. Dusk around the camp fire is great time to un-wind with a glass of Prosecco!
Our chef Kim Taylor makes everything from scratch with as much of our own produce as possible. Food is also sourced locally and in season. Sarah also uses grass-fed lamb and beef from the property.
And then of course, there's the creature comforts of the guest rooms, decorated by Sarah and all with their own original artworks. With all the mental stimulation and exercise, a lot of sleeping goes on at Good Health Getaways.
At Fernleigh you are amongst the elements. (You can see the weather coming in from the south over the Barrington Tops). It is crisply cool in winter and hot in summer. Even so, on summer evenings you often need to rug up in winter warm woollies. (And don't forget your walking shoes!)
Read for for details of the program at Fernleigh . . .
Read more about getting to Fernleigh, either by rail, car or charter flight . . .