Staying The Mavis Way

WORDS: Steve and Estelle Hunt PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Usher - [email protected] and Supplied

Have you ever spent the night in a kitchen?

There’s something truly liberating about driving into northern NSW from the Queensland border and escaping – quite literally – into the pristine Tweed Caldera and all it has to offer.

Far from the stunning beaches of Byron and Belongil and south to Ballina, lie pockets of enchanted countryside that have enticed and lured the curious, the reflective and the adventurous to enjoy some form of cathartic experience, whether just to immerse oneself in stunning scenery, sample exquisite cuisine or just…. stop!.

Hidden in the rolling, lush volcanic hills at the base of Mt Warning, and minutes from Murwillumbah and the nearby township of Uki, is one such place – Mavis’s Kitchen.

It’s an establishment tucked away like a mushroom in its own rural wonderland yet has spawned to become one of the region’s most reputable dining establishments.

So much so, that this quiet, humble destination was last year named Australia’s premier tourism restaurant – a feat as monumental and lofty as Mt Warning itself as it competed with the best tourism restaurants around the country.

But behind the growing and glowing reputation of this coveted fine dining experience you’ll find more of Mavis’s secrets.

What many people don’t realise is that Mavis’s Kitchen isn’t just a place to eat and drink and then be forced to return immediately from this majestic setting into the world from which they escaped.

You can actually stay, well, a little bit longer.

Welcome to the Farmhouse, the Log Cabin, the Secret Cabin or the Old Dairy – the four rare vestiges of accommodation on offer at Mavis’s Kitchen that allow visitors to immerse themselves into this pocket of paradise and let the minutes, hours and days blend into one.

“It’s true, a lot of people don’t realise you can stay onsite at Mavis’s Kitchen” says General Manager Clive Bailey.

“I guess the accommodation has been somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of the restaurant.

“But we have worked very hard to create a variety of residences that add value to the total experience.

“If you’re a couple of families looking to base yourself around Uki and this beautiful region, you can stay in a 5-bedroom farmhouse which has a large deck and its own cooking facilities with all the trappings of high-quality accommodation.

“We often book the Farmhouse to larger groups who may be celebrating life milestones and who come in from far and wide.

“If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway we have the Log Cabin and the Secret Cabin.


“All these are self-contained but are only a short stroll to the restaurant where we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner most days.

“The common theme of our accommodation, befitting the location, is that we want people to come here, relax, re-connect with themselves and others and unwind, and Mavis’s Kitchen and the accommodation is the perfect place to do this.”

The Farmhouse offers accommodation for up to 12 guests, with two bathrooms, a large open-plan living area, gourmet kitchen and a huge deck perfect for dining and socialising. The choice is yours to dine in at the restaurant or bring your own supplies.

The Log Cabin is described as ‘the perfect romantic escape for you and the one you love’.

It is located at the rear of the property but close enough to wander to the restaurant. The studio-style layout includes a queen-sized bed and a double sofa bed, a self-contained kitchen, eco-friendly bathroom, and a porch that grabs the sun and overlooks the lake.

The Old Dairy Cottage has been renovated and is designed for a couple but can comfortably sleep up to five with a fold-out double and single bed in the living room.

Rich in character, the Old Dairy Cottage features a unique stone-walled skylight bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen and a living room leading into a private patio.

The Secret Retreat is ideal for couples wanting solitary time or contemplation, offering absolute privacy via a separate driveway which leads to a private hilltop.

The Secret Cabin features a king-sized bedroom with an eco-friendly ensuite bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen and a light and airy living area that flows onto a timber deck offering spectacular surrounding views.

The location of Mavis’s Kitchen is the perfect location to explore all that there is to offer in this pristine part of the caldera.