Otway escape to celebrate 40th birthday

In May this year, I turned the big 40! Instead of hiding away and pretending it wasn’t happening, I used it as an excuse to plan a fun and luxurious getaway, in which I invited a group of friends along.

I don’t like doing things by halves (life’s too short!), so I booked a fabulous place called Sea Eagle Retreat for a week. It was a massive 4.5 star property in Cape Otway with spectacular views, open fireplaces and an indoor heated pool and spa. The Otways and Great Ocean Road are by far my favourite place in Victoria. I feel very comfortable there and I have a dream to buy a holiday house one day so I can enjoy it even more! I love the sea and I love temperate forest, and the Otways has the best of both of these.

Given the various work schedules of the friends coming, I arranged arrival times and accommodation to best suit everyone and to maximise room occupancy as the cost for the week was for the whole house. The 51 square house slept 12 people with 5 king size beds and 2 singles. The house was a little older than I initially thought from the photos on the website, but it was still an amazing place with incredible 180 degree views of the ocean and Cape Otway Lighthouse. The bonus of an indoor heated pool and spa was fantastic, with many of us taking the plunge in the afternoon before dinner was served. Sharing a house for a week can lead to logistical nightmares with feeding everyone, so to make things simple everyone made their own breakfast and lunch and each couple cooked one dinner for everyone. This proved to work quite well. There was a large pantry and two fridges to house all of our food!

I wanted the week to be a relaxing no-plans affair, so everyone kept their own schedule; going for long walks, driving into town, or just lazing on the recliners reading. Towards the end of the week I also arranged for a masseuse, Tricia to come to the house. She was excellent with quite a few of us enjoying half hour and hour massages. She was very accommodating, giving Christine a pregnancy massage which she most enjoyed.

The house was on a large piece of land with a couple of gated areas to keep the resident horses in. They were very friendly and Maria had a great time feeding them carrots each day. A real highlight of the surrounds were the koalas that were casually dotted in the trees. Koalas are generally not a commonly seen animal in the wild, and to have them only metres from the house was wonderful. Manna Gum Drive which leads up to the property was another koala rich area, with many being spotted on low branches and even on the forest floor.

For my actual birthday, Christine and Andy kindly provided me with a menu choice for the evening and also cooked my favourite cake – flourless orange. Because we had so many people, 2 cakes were made! Many other friends spoiled me and I thank you all for making it a lovely memorable time.

A very magical moment on the last day of our trip was when Neil and I went out for a drive. We stopped for afternoon tea at Lavers Hill and on the way home we were greeted by the best rainbow we had ever seen. The afternoon golden hour and light rain was creating a magnificent full double rainbow which spanned the Great Ocean Road. You could see both ends of it hitting the ground and you just wanted to run over and stand in it, it felt so close. We frantically took lots of photos and savoured the experience together. It was ‘one of those moments’ that made you feel happy and quite emotional. I said to Neil “see, it’s a sign – we are meant to have a house here!”. We laughed and stayed until the rainbow faded. What a great way to finish off a lovely holiday.

On the way home we stopped for lunch and took a group photo. Unfortunately we never got a shot with everyone while we were at Sea Eagle, but this was most of the group.

Celebrate each year of life with your friends.
Life is too short not to.

5 Responses to “Otway escape to celebrate 40th birthday”

  1. Sefie says:

    What a great way to spend a birthday! :)

  2. Betty says:

    What a beautiful post and what a good idea to celebrate a special birthday. You have great friends Naomi and that’s because you are such a wonderful person. Loved all of the photos.
    Love, Mum C.

  3. Jenna says:

    Naomi – I just now found your site. I can’t believe I didn’t know about it. I go to Betty’s site and that is where I saw your comment about it. I’m thrilled to be here and can’t wait to look around. Very happy late Birthday! Jenna

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