Cedarspan Loft Cottage Becomes Tourism Icon

It’s one of the only places where the mail gets delivered by boat.

Welcome to Brooklyn, a small town, an hour away from Sydney.

Population 722.

It’s also home to a tourist attraction with a history.

Here stands a custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage known as The Riverboat Postman.

“I had exactly the idea of what I wanted it to look like, and it needed to become this icon of Brooklyn.”

 

Custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage, The Riverboat Postman, an icon of Brooklyn

 

One of its owners, Catherine Pignéguy, says, “it’s now become part of this little square of heritage-looking buildings, even though mine is brand new, but it looks like it’s been there forever.”

 

The first Riverboat Postman started its mail service in 1910, delivering post and essentials to the water access only settlements upriver from Brooklyn.

In 2012, the ferry postal run went into liquidation, so Catherine, her husband, and brother-in-law who run Hawkesbury Cruises found themselves delivering the mail.

“Australia post rang us and said, okay, now we’re in trouble because you guys are the only other charter boats in the greater Sydney area. Can you do it while we work out what we’re going to do next?”

 

And so began a long battle to give The Riverboat Postman a home on the Brooklyn Marina.

“All we needed to do was fight the Lands Department to get the shed that belonged to the post run, which was the dilapidated little thing that flooded knee-high at every high tide.”

 

The old shed, now the site of The Riverboat Postman

 

“When I went to Cedarspan™, I said, look, this is my problem. I have to submit a tender to The Lands Department with a plan of what I’m going to do, so I need a plan from you guys.”

“They were amazing. They designed the shed. They gave me all the plans for it which needed to be submitted to Lands.”

 

Meanwhile, Catherine set up shop in the marina carpark.

 

Catherine’s truck, The Riverboat Postman’s makeshift ticket office

“I ran my office at the back of a Pantech truck, selling tickets for the cruise.”

“I would have anywhere between 50 and 200 people coming, queuing up outside the truck. No power, everything had to be self-sufficient.”

Onboard for the ride as The Riverboat Postman delivers mail along the Hawkesbury

 

With patience came a big victory.

“I said to Cedarspan™; we’re done. We’re ready to go.”

“My absolute favourite memory is the fact that it took three years almost to the day of fighting with The Lands Department to allow me to do it.”

“After three years, it went up in 2 days.”

“It was phenomenal, absolutely amazing.”

 

An icon is born, The Cedarspan™ panels going up

Custom Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage, manufactured in a few weeks, assembled in two days

 

“The locals have embraced it now. They love the fact that it’s there, and they can use it as a directional point as well.”

“I would probably say without a doubt; it’s the most photographed Cedarspan™. It’s in everybody’s tourist pictures of Brooklyn.”

 

Custom-made Cedarspan™ Loft Cottage with Weathertex cladding

 

And now, it’s about to feature in an upcoming Destination NSW campaign as the State continues to revitalise tourism.

“We had to shut down for six months last year, so the mail was being run out of a tinnie.”

“All the deliveries coming through Australia Post had to be hauled up onto people’s wharves.”

“We were delivering these big boxes of toilet paper all over the river!”

 

The Riverboat Postman has become an icon of Brooklyn, NSW

 

While the path to running the Riverboat Postman was accidental, Catherine says it’s a time of her life she’ll never forget.

“To have left the next generations of this run with this cool little shed is even more special.”

“That’s my stamp on it.”

 

Dreaming of building your own rural retreat?

 

Cedarspan™ is the leading manufacturer of quality Cottages, Cabins, and Barns throughout Australia.

Made by Australians for Australians since 1976.

For more on how to get your own cabin, cottage, or barn made to order just for you,  give us a call on 1300 635 966 to get your project underway.

Click here to download prices.

Tips for Holiday Property Owners & Airbnb Hosts

As our beautiful country slowly opens back up again, we’re thinking about all the wonderful Aussie Airbnb & holiday property hosts who have had a rough time of it lately. 

As and where regulations permit, now is the perfect time to get your holiday property ready to welcome guests for the upcoming summer season. Roadtripping and staycations are becoming the new normal (and only option) for holiday-makers.

Here are a few key tips & pointers to help you get back on your feet, illustrated by examples from some of the many beautiful Holiday Properties in Australia!

 

Make it Memorable

As a host, it’s important to create memorable experiences that your guests will remember and talk about long after their stay with you. ⁠
⁠⁠
Think about special touches that you can offer your guests as part of their stay.

Do you offer a welcome hamper on arrival? Bespoke local supplies for a DIY breakfast the next morning? Perhaps coffee tokens for the local cafe? ⁠When your guests get home from their weekend away, it’s these special little touches that they’ll remember and tell their friends about. And as we all know, word of mouth is the best marketing!

Make sure these gestures are photographed and mentioned in your social media and listings – these are the things that guests will remember you for.

 

Small gestures like a token that entitles your guests to a free coffee at the local cafe are a great way to make guests feel welcome. Image: Salt at Shoal Bay on Instagram

 

Make it Easy to Book

Make sure it is clear how & where guests can book a stay at your property.

If you have your own website, but all bookings are through Airbnb or similar, make sure there is a clear button on your website (ideally in the top right hand corner), so visitors can click and make a booking. 

People shouldn’t have to hunt around for your booking link.

If the link is clearly mentioned on all of your social media pages, and listings online, it will be easy for guests to book, and your calendar will fill up!

 

This Cedarspan cabin is a beautiful Airbnb destination in Oberon, NSW known as St Clements Cottage.

 

Tell us about the Locals

It’s important to remember that guests staying at your property are not familiar with your area, and looking to you for advice!

They might not be sure where is the best place to eat, the best coffee in town or local tourist attractions. 

What do you love most about your area? Where’s a great place to eat? Where should guests visit? Are there any hidden local gems that tourists don’t know about? When you share these local secrets with your guests, you make their stay easier, and at the same time increase interest in your property.

Bonus Tip: Create & print a checklist for your guests to tick off during their stay. 

 

Is there anything better than a hot cinnamon doughnut? And I'm not talking about the day-old ones you can get from that dodgy bakery in the train station. At the Berry Donut Van, they'll make your order fresh, which means a piping-hot cinammon creation that tastes like nothing you've ever tried before. So. Damn. Good.

Suggest where your guests can get coffee, meals or snacks nearby, as well as places to visit and things to do. Image: The Berry Donut Van is one of the highlights of Berry, NSW; a must-visit if you’re in the area!

 

Define your ideal guests

As with any company selling any product or service, it’s important to define who you are trying to reach.

This will allow you to tailor your words to speak right to your ideal guests (and will make your words more effective!)

 

Are you trying to reach:

  • young families with kids or pets? (mention that your venue is kid or pet friendly!)

  • road trippers? (mention how far your property is from Sydney, or whichever is your nearest capital city!)

  • beachgoers (mention local beaches and tourist destinations)

  • honeymooners (mention the privacy of your location, and special gestures like champagne and strawberries on arrival)

  • couples looking for a wedding venue? (mention the features of your venue, and packages you offer to couples)

  • businesses who will use your venue for meetings or events? (include photos and descriptions of your venue: large meeting areas or conference tables etc).

 

Once you know who you are speaking to, it will make it much easier to write your posts and listings, and your words will resonate with your ideal client!

 

For example – here at Cedarspan we help people turn properties into destinations with beautiful hand-crafted prefab buildings.  So we’ve created this post to help you if you’re a Holiday Property Owner, or inspire you if you’d like to become one!

 

No. 20H30, cedar cladding upgrade, additional Windows, Cedar Window upgrade, Add verandah & deck, add elevated floor, solid timber door

 



Post beautiful photos from your area

What do the local attractions look like? How far are they from your stay?

By posting photos of local attractions such parks, beaches, wineries or other tourist destinations, you’ll make it easier for people to plan out their weekend, and make yourself the obvious choice for their accommodation. 

Another benefit of this is building healthy relationships with the local businesses.

When ‘out of town’ visitors stop for coffee and ask “where is a good place to stay round here?” guess who they are going to recommend? It’s a win-win.

 

Post images of local beaches and tourist attractions to inspire your guests. Image: Jervis Bay, NSW. Via Pinterest

 

Add a CTA (Call to Action) 

It’s important that you add a CTA or Call To Action at the bottom of every post you share about your Airbnb location. Every post should have a purpose.

What do you want people to do after they read your post? Call you? Ask a question? Message a friend? Book a stay? 

Ask them to do exactly that, give them the link to do it, and you’ll see results. 

For example “We have a few slots left for a weekend stay in December! Click the link here to secure yours before they’re gone. We can’t wait to welcome you to beautiful [your suburb].”

 

Feeling inspired?  Create your own Airbnb or Holiday Property.

If you’re thinking about creating your own Airbnb with a prefab Cedarspan cabin, we’re here and ready to make it as easy as possible for you.

CEDARSPAN™ buildings are pre-made in our western Sydney factory to lock-up stage (externally complete) and then assembled onsite in just few days. 

It really is the quickest & easiest way to build on any rural property and has been proven time & time again since we started in 1976.

We have installers we can recommend, or you can use any qualified local builder to assemble the kit on your property.

Click here to download our price list, which contains dimensions + pricing for the Cedarspan range. We’ll be in contact within a few days to answer any questions you may have.

Already downloaded the price list? Click here to schedule a phone call so we can help you further. 

 

Exploring NSW: Things to see & do in Gerringong

The second exciting destination of our #explorensw series is the town of Gerringong.

Just 10 minutes from iconic Kiama on the south coast of NSW, Gerringong boasts gorgeous beaches, fine food and fun experiences to be had. 

We first came across this little gem of a town when we stumbled upon the @soulofgerringong Instagram account which paints a gorgeous picture of cozy weekends away: soft crushed linen, long starry nights and hot chocolate by a crackling fire.

Read on for our roundup of The Best things to See & Do in this charming seaside town.

 

1. EAT // Piles of Pancakes, Local Sweets & Good Coffee

A key ingredient to a good time is good food and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Gerringong.

 

The Blue Swimmer Restaurant

First stop is the Blue Swimmer Restaurant. Open from 7am every morning, this charming European Bistro by the Sea is the perfect spot to drop by for a relaxing brunch with ocean views.

(Kitchen closes at 3pm most days, so we’d suggest you make this right after your sleep in and before the day’s activities).

More stunning pics from The Blue Swimmer here and here

 

 The Blue Goose Cafe

If a quick bite and a good coffee is what you’re after,  The Blue Goose cafe is a must-visit.

This pretty little location boasts mouthwatering cakes and slices, all made in-house, as well as towering burgers and pancake stacks. (Holiday appetite activated!)

There’s also plenty of gluten-free options available (and they look amazing too!) 

 

2. EXPERIENCE // Hands-on Workshops at Buena Vista Farm 

An ‘old farmhouse by the sea’, Buena Vista Farm will take you back to your roots with hands-on classes taught right on the farm.

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at sourdough baking, cheese making or fermenting, be sure to secure your spot before this popular activity sells out!

And for the coffee lovers, there’s a ‘Bean to Barista’ course which takes you through the whole process of harvesting, processing & roasting coffee beans. (You’ll also take home a small tree in a pot and a bag of roasted coffee. All snacks and a delicious farm lunch are included.)

For bookings visit buenavistafarm.com.au and definitely check out @buenavistafarm on Instagram to see Fiona’s inspiring updates from the farm.

 

 

 

3. EXPLORE // Saddleback Mountain & Werri Beach 

Rising to about 600m above sea level, Saddleback Mountain is a photographers dream.

You can drive up to the lookout, or if you’re keen for some cardio, follow one of the bushwalking paths up the mountain.

The views at the top will be worth it!

image via instagram @nbattishall

 

image via instagram @trinnny93

 

Werri Beach

Another must-visit whilst in Gerringong is the family-friendly Werri Beach.

The beach is 1.5km long, and great for paddling and surfing, with a lagoon & rockpool at one end for the kids.

The beach is also the access point for the Werri Beach to Kiama Coastal Walk, which is approximately 6km. Find out more about the walk here.

image via instagram @mmikibacksunday

image via instagram @___forthelove

 

4. RELAX // The Soul of Gerringong & Jerrymara Farm

At the end of each activity-filled day, sit back and relax with a glass of wine.

 

The Soul of Gerringong

The lounge area, outdoor seating and inground pool at Soul of Gerringong set the scene for perfect long summer nights, whilst the indoor fire makes a winter getaway look good too! 

soul of gerringong accomodation

Image via @soulofgerringong

soul of gerringong accomodation

Image via @soulofgerringong

soul of gerringong accomodation

Image via @soulofgerringong

Bookings can be made at www.soulofgerringong.com.au.

 More eye candy here: 

 

Jerry Mara Farm 

Another pretty accommodation option in Gerringong is the Jerry Mara Farm.

A secluded rural estate set on a large property, the farm boasts two spacious cottages with stunning interiors. Relaxing bedrooms feature private ensuites and inviting lounge areas will make you feel right at home.

Outdoors, guests can enjoy a vine-covered patio with outdoor seating, a large deck, fire pit with seating, tennis court and a gorgeous pool!

It’s easy to see why Jerry Mara farm was named as one of the best Airbnb’s by Urban List! 

Click here for more photos of this beautiful location.

Jerry Mara farm at Gerringong Jerry Mara farm at Gerringong Jerry Mara farm at Gerringong Jerry Mara farm at Gerringong

 

We love exploring rural NSW and all of the special treasures this beautiful state has to offer!

Join us at @cedarspan as we celebrate the Relaxing Rural Lifestyle.

 

Adding a Cedarspan barn, cottage or cabin to your own property is easy & fast.

Click here to download prices, or give us a call on 1300 635 966 to get your project underway!

 

Exploring NSW: the best things to see & do in BERRY

If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway with fun to be had, #dontpassbyberry!

A pleasant 2 hour drive down the coast from Sydney will take you to the relaxed, inviting town of Berry, NSW.

With its combination of amazing stores, friendly locals and breathtaking landscape, Berry has all the right elements for the perfect weekend.

We’ve tracked down the best things to see & do in this picturesque town. You’re welcome!

 

1. E A T // DONUTS

Need we say more?

Drop by for a quick donut or two, a delicious Gabriel coffee and a pretty snap for the gram, and you’ll see why The Famous Berry Donut Van lives up to its name! 

 

2. S H O P // Gorgeous boutiques. 

While in Berry, be sure to browse the local stores for some #weekendaway finds. 

Globally sourced products, carefully curated and presented with a gorgeous small-town vibe will make you feel right at home.

Visit Amara Home for international designer pieces for the home and luxurious styling inspo.

 

At lunchtime, be sure to check out Little Rae General Store.

Between classic homewares, fresh salads and delicious sweets, there’s plenty to feast your eyes (and belly) on here!

 

 

3. E X P L O R E //Stunning scenery 

A 10 minute drive from Berry takes you to Shoalhaven heads and Seven Mile Beach. Two of the most picturesque areas of the NSW coastline, just brimming with things to see and do.

Whether its a casual bushwalk, a stop at the beach or something more adventurous like stand-up paddle boarding, memories are sure to be made and the hours will just slip away!

 

 

 

 

If you’re lucky, you might even come across Jack’s Espresso – Berry’s roving caffeine providore  – in your travels! 

 

4. E N J O Y // Picturesque Wineries. 

Sit back and relax at the Cellar door of Silos Estate.

Combining a beautiful restaurant, boutique wines and breath-taking views, Silos Estate is a must-visit in the Berry Region.

 

 

5. R E L A X // Cozy Accomodation. 

Last but certainly not least, somewhere cozy and comforting to rest at the end of the day, the Drawing Rooms of Berry is a gorgeous property that really feels like home. 

Make the most of the view from your room with a high-pitched ceiling & picture windows, or get outside for a morning walk around the beautiful grounds.

 

Have we inspired you to treat yourself to a weekend away? 

We love exploring rural NSW and all of the special treasures this beautiful state has to offer!

Join us at @cedarspan as we celebrate the Relaxing Rural Lifestyle.