The Riverwood Downs Story
Welcome to Riverwood Downs, where our shared dream has been our family's life's work.
After 17 years in the bustling corporate world, both in Australia and overseas, Chris and Val Hall decided to abandon the hustle and bustle of the city and chase their long-term goal of returning to their roots in the country. In 1980, they took a leap of faith, purchasing a slice of heaven at Monkerai, nestled in the foothills of the Barrington Tops.
With their daughters, Toni and Rachael, aged nine and eleven at the time, they embarked on a remarkable journey. With determination, Chris and Val set about planning and crafting the infrastructure that would shape the new property into the sanctuary it is today.
A small, unplanned detour saw Riverwood Downs host 30,000 people for the Tanelorn Music Festival in October 1981, and then the work started in earnest. They built dams, established an 11,000-volt electricity supply, created underground water systems, and laid 5 kilometres of roads. Their journey was not just about construction but about building connections with the local community. They enlisted the expertise of local tradespeople and sourced materials, tools, and produce from neighbouring suppliers, fostering partnerships that endure to this day.
As the blank canvas evolved into a camping and caravan park, it became a place where nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers found refuge.
Being avid animal lovers, their dream encompassed the inclusion of family pets as part of their guest's holiday experience. Riverwood Downs quickly earned an excellent reputation and a 5 Paws rating for its welcoming approach to pets.
The early '80s saw bush dances beneath starlit skies, with a semi-trailer as an unconventional stage, but Mother Nature occasionally added her unique and often wet twist to these gatherings. So, to ensure that nothing could dampen the festivities, the iconic Woolshed was erected, adding rustic charm to the landscape. Its completion in November 1983 marked a pivotal moment in Riverwood Downs' story.
Amidst these developments, the Hall family nurtured another aspect of their vision: a thriving cattle farm. Riverwood Downs is more than just a resort; it is a working cattle property, home to a robust herd of around 200 cattle guests can experience from the property walking trail.
By 1989, their dream expanded to include the creation of the Guest House, a haven of rustic elegance. True to their commitment to the local community, Chris and Val enlisted the skills of local artisans to craft six boutique rooms, a Restaurant, a Kitchen, and a Kiosk.
The Guest House proudly became New South Wales' first four-star rural resort. Around the same time, their daughter Rachael embarked on an international hospitality management course in Hong Kong, bringing her newfound knowledge back to enhance the family's dream. She returned just in time to witness the completion of the second set of six Guest House rooms in 1993.
The final eight boutique rooms required the relocation of the Bunkhouse from beside the Woolshed to its current location. They took over its original position, bringing the total to 20, each with its unique décor and story. Milestones came and went, including the addition of Timber Park cabins, Riverside Spa cabins, the Conference Room, Rose Cottage, and the River Cottage.
These expansions are underpinned by a commitment to quality and community, culminating in an array of accommodations to suit every traveller's desires.
In 2005, Chris and Val decided it was time to step back. Their daughters, Toni and Rachael, jumped at the opportunity to take ownership of the Riverwood Downs Resort while enjoying their parents' ongoing support.
The dream continues with the third generation of 4 granddaughters now involved in Riverwood Downs, which has become a sought-after venue for country weddings and events while remaining a tranquil haven where couples, families, and their pets can find solace amidst nature.
Accommodation offerings have continued to grow, including a luxurious 6-bedroom Homestead on the property, providing a 5-star experience of unparalleled comfort amongst the stunning views of the tranquil, natural countryside.
Riverwood Downs is built on realised ambitions, hard work, dedication, friendly customer service and a strong sense of community.
Toni, Rachael, and their families continue to run Riverwood Downs with the help of their friendly team and the wealth of experience and expertise of Chris & Val, who still live on the property.
We invite you to become part of our journey, immersing yourself in our country paradise for an experience you'll always remember.
- The Hall Family