Steam Carriage Renovation, Part Two

During the Covid 19 enforced closed periods of 2020, we took a gamble and funnelled our funds and energy into taking the train experience to a whole new level.

Tin Roof

The train had many incarnations but in 1927 it was launched as a first class luxury carriage. We decided to tap into that theme and hope guests feel a little bit of Great Gatsby inspiration.

Craftsman and Swiss army knife, Fred completed much of the work. Fred and I replaced the rotting shingle roof with corrugated iron. A massive job at around 70 square metres. As a legacy, we used part of the shingle roof to make a wall next door. From the bath you can admire the lichen and moss garden growing on the old shingle roof/fence.


We had a painter repaint most of the interior using colours popular in the 20s. To make the bathroom a bit more edgy, we painted it black. We found some beautiful Jacobean chairs that match the claret velvet curtains and carpet throughout.

The main alteration was to add an alfresco ensuite bathroom, off the master bedroom with an authentic period bath, sink and mirror. Fred correctly surmised there was originally a sliding door at each end, which allowed us to replace the end window with a sliding door to the ensuite, and make a new outdoor (under cover) room. We found some art deco gates that we turned into balustrades and finished it all off with a chandelier that was originally a wedding present. We finished it off by finally screening under the train.

We’ve spruced up the outdoor living area under the old carport, with some period Ratan furniture that Fleur cunningly found, table chairs and installed a dado sink. With some swing chairs, a coffee

table and chairs on the deck around the back, it all feels more spacious. Finally we found a temperature solution and installed a low energy reverse cycle air conditioner, some easy to use heaters and fans. Warmer in winter, cooler in summer.

We fixed, patched, chamfered lots of things that you'd hardly notice. Caretaker/seamstress Emmaleen custom made velvet curtains, we trimmed the carpet and so on. The result is that it feels more curated, more polished, more luxurious. A project like this is never finished but it is nearly there, and we are proud of it.

With solid bookings and the likes of Country Style and Better Homes and Gardens taking notice, it seems our gamble has paid off. See the Featured In page of the website for media.


July 2021