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River House (aka Federal Hilton)

Bedrooms 2
Space 90 m²
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 1 - 7 nights


About the property

Secret hideaway in the Byron Bay hinterland, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom sleeps 4

This is the secret hinterland hide away that has up til now been word of mouth only. The cottage is an eclectic mix of style and comfort. And feels like you're staying in your own holiday house

The 10 acre property has been planted with a variety of tropical fruits - perhaps a grapefruit for breakfast, mango for lunch and a pomegranate for dessert!

The star attraction is the privacy and the beautiful Wilsons River that provides an excellent swimming hole and a regenerated rainforest to wander through or have a picnic lunch.

The layout of the cottage includes combined kitchen and dining room, lounge, main bedroom with double bed and second bedroom with a double bed and a trundle bed, bathroom and covered deck.

You're in the hills but we do have everything a modern holiday maker could want - Electricity, cold and piping hot running water and will be turned on prior to your stay. We have an upright gas stove & oven, fridge, dishwasher, wood burner and cd/radio/ipod dock, tv and dvd, basic furniture, cutlery, crockery, blankets and dooners for all beds + a CD library and some games and cards. Outside you can cook on a great wood barbeque or on the gas barbie. Plus we have an iron, electric blanket and all the kitchen appliances you’ll need to whip up delicious meals.

The Federal Store: The store is the only shop in the village and is a meeting place for the locals for anything and everything. It acts as the supermarket, bottle shop, post office, newsagent and eftpos outlet.

All you need to bring are sheets, towels and provisions. Some tips: A torch for night time spotting, gum boots for wet weather and table linen for glamour dining.

Trips in the area

Within the region can be found a number of attractions.

Byron Bay:

Eastern most point of Australia. Lots of restaurants and shops in this rapidly growing tourist spot. Beaches such as Wategoes, Broken Head, Tallow and the Pass are well worth a visit. A pleasant walk and picnic can be had from Wategoes to the lighthouse. There is a golf course on the south side of town.


The home of the big lobster, movie theatre and airport.


A ‘pretty’ town and now bypassed by the highway. The town has been restored to it’s former glory and hosts galleries, second hand/antique stores and cafes. Try the Utopia and visit the country market on the last Sunday of the month.

Minyon Falls:

15 minutes by car from Federal is a 300m cascading waterfall into the valley of the palms. Picnic grounds, look outs all set in rainforest. A number of walks, including a 5km walk to the bottom of the falls.

Brunswick Heads:

10 minutes up the Pacific Highway from Bangalow. Great pub for a counter lunch and lots to discover.

Lennox Heads:

Best right hander on the coast, but watch the rocks.



Lismore - Lizard ville:

Bustling regional centre 30km west of Federal. Supermarkets, cafes, airport and University.

Mount Warning:

A day trip for the more adventurous.


A 10km drive from Federal along the Coorabel ridge, giving breathtaking rural and coastal views. ‘The biggest little town in Australia’

The Channon:

30 minutes west, tricky to find but worth the trip for the monthly market (2nd Sunday) great variety of plants, food and crafty produce. Along with the sights and sounds.

The Gold Coast:

Only an hour up the highway to glitz, glamour and gluttony. Casino, Pacific Fair and airport.

Just some suggestions, but you can discover the rest yourselves.

More Details

Louise Bickle
Member since: 2015
Speaks english
Calendar last updated:
20 April, 2018

About Louise Bickle

We live in the inner city suburb of Redfern and this is our much loved holiday escape. We like to share this beautiful hideaway with other like minded guests (although not at the same time of course).

We try to get up to the hills as often as possible so our house has that homey feeling rather than your usual holiday let + we are always updating something or making things more comfortable.

Louise Bickle purchased this cottage in 1978

Why Louise Bickle chose Federal

Before the original European settlers arrived, the Federal Valley was a rain forest & bush area called the ‘Big Scrub’. The settlers were afraid of the ‘big scrub’ so they cleared all areas of the land. The land was then used mostly for the running of livestock.

We bought the property in 1978 & at that time there was only one tree on the entire 10 acre block, (it’s the one to the left of the deck, the Red Apple Tree). All the other trees & shrubs have been planted by us or spread by birds or the elements. The rain forest at the creek edge has slowly regenerated by it self.

From 1979 to 1986, the top paddock was planted as an orchard of avocados. These unfortunately were slowly killed off by phitopherous (a root disease).

The Federal Valley was also a proposed dam site, a 10 year battle was fought & won by the community in 1995. The dam would have flooded the valley entirely, our property would have had water to the top gate. All the wild life & trees would have been lost.

Our 10 acres now hosts many interesting trees & shrubs, among them we have grapefruit, limes, oranges, tung oil, pecans, black bean, mango, custard apple, macadamia & coffee as well as a huge range of gums, cedars and pine trees to name a few.

We are slowly creating a beautiful garden, there are both fragrant & colourful species that do their thing at different times of the year.

At the creek we have turtles, a platypus family, a kingfisher family & hundreds of other birds, butterflies & reptiles.

We hope you relax & enjoy your stay!

What makes this cottage unique

Our back grounds are in textiles, theatre and interior styling - so you'll find an eclectic mix of furniture and furnishing.

We like cooking and eating at home so the kitchen is very well equipped for the holiday chef.

We have a teenage son who has spent his growing up years, holidaying on the property, so we have a very child friendly environment and lots of books, CDs and DVDs to keep all ages entertained + a trampoline!

AND we have no wifi, no internet and no mobile coverage - so off grid = 100% relaxation.

Read a book on the deck, relax in the butterfly chairs, swim in the swimming hole, spot wildlife and enjoy the sunshine.

We do provide a landline for local calls - so you can easily make a booking at a restaurant!!


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage rental in Federal, Australia

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 90 m²
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower enclosure , and a beautiful view from the loo!
  • BYO towels please Bathroom has heated towel rain, vanity with large drawers, chair and lots of hooks.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 large double bed
    Bedroom 2 - 1 large double bed
  • Bedroom 2 also has a single trundle bed Both bedrooms have a wardrobe with hangers, full length mirror and chest of drawers and plenty of space to unpack. Beds have bedside tables and bedside lamps that actually enable reading in bed + bedside clocks. Bedroom 1 faces due east and bedroom 2 faces north both with views to the surrounding property. BYO linen but pillows, blankets, quilts and european pillows are in the house.
  • Books
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair accessible
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • cinemas
  • laundrette - not serviced
  • library
  • naturist beach
  • playground
  • pond
  • rain forests
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain climbing
  • paragliding
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(17 traveller reviews)

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River House (aka Federal Hilton)
average rating of 4.7647057 based on 17 reviews
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Green & isolated!

  • 5 of 5

Spent 7 nights with my family. Girls LOVED the river (we found 2 crystals) & my hubby & i loved the isolation & wall to wall greenery of the stunning trees. With no TV or phone reception we spent quality family time; we enjoyed breakfast in the sun every morning whilst listening to the gorgeous bird song & at night, we enjoyed wines by the fire & watching DVDs. After all the exploring each day, the girls were so tired they'd put themselves to bed at 6pm (woo!).

The shack is cute, cosy & full of character with all the cooking implements you need. Would stay there again in a heart beat. Great value for money and the views, tranquility & un-plugging from the world was priceless - thanks so much :)

  • Review Submitted: 02/09/2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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great accomodation

  • 5 of 5

beautiful property. We thoroughly enjoyed staying here

  • Review Submitted: 27/12/2015
  • Date of Stay: November 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Shailer Park, Queensland, Australia

Peace and Tranquillity

  • 3 of 5

Federal Hilton is a very cute little cottage that offers all that you need to make your stay comfortable. If you are looking for an affordable break away from the real world this is the perfect place to go. 10 acres to leisurely walk around, lots of wild life, citrus trees, great wood BBQ/Fireplace which is just perfect for the outdoor lovers.

  • Review Submitted: 22/11/2015
  • Date of Stay: September 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

A beautiful hidden oasis

  • 5 of 5

We have just returned from a week at the River House, and it felt like we were miles from anywhere - could not hear anything but birds, wind in the trees, rain, and the river down below. There was nothing more we could have asked for. It was perfect. I almost wish we could keep this delightful place a secret. Louise was lovely to deal with, and a kind phone call from Stephen to check on our well-being during the wild weather was much appreciated. We hope to come back soon.

  • Review Submitted: 03/03/2015
  • Date of Stay: January 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Amazing piece of paradise

  • 5 of 5

We loved every minute of the 'Federal Hilton'. The house was exactly what we were after and had everything we needed. The grounds were just magical and the water hole an added bonus to our stay. The location is just so quiet and perfect for day trips to Byron, Bangalow and all the local markets. Our children aged 10 and 9 were in heaven and explored the grounds most days. The deck a perfect place to eat and read a book! We had a wonferful time and would love to come back!! Our week felt like a month! Such a gem this place is and Louise the owner was an absolute pleasure to deal with. Thank you so much!

  • Review Submitted: 25/02/2015
  • Date of Stay: January 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Not to bad

  • 3 of 5

A really nice location and a cute little cottage. The kitchen was really well equipped and so we had no trouble preparing meals in the house.

There was no mobile phone reception which can be great if you are looking to leave that kind of thing behind, but not so great if you are trying to arrange appointments with local real estate agents and other service providers, as we were.

The only downside was a fairly strong musty odour upon arrival which meant we needed to air out the place and eventually moved some of the blankets to the outdoors for the duration of our stay, plus there was no access to a washing machine, so a trip into town was needed to visit a laundrette.

All in all I would give it a positive review but realise that it is at the lower end of the price spectrum and so you can't expect it to be like a magazine shoot.

  • Review Submitted: 16/04/2014
  • Date of Stay: February 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: April is traditionally a wet time up in the Federal Hills so sometimes after a lot of rain it can be damp - but things dry our very quickly once the sun comes out! Whilst there is no mobile coverage or internet at the house, your mobile is in range on our road and at our gate depending on your service provider. We do offer our land line free of charge to make and receive local calls. Water can be scarce up in the hills and we are not on town water - so all our water we have to catch and use carefully. That being the case we cant offer a washing machine to our guests. There are laundrettes in all the local towns and we suggest dropping in your washing on your way to the beach and picking it up on the way home. We also have a washing bucket, clothes line, pegs and clothes airer for you to use for hand washing at the house. We keep things simple so we can offer a well priced weekly rate. : )
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Nearest Airport
26.5 Kilometres
Ballina Byron Bay
Nearest Barpub
10 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
15.7 Kilometres
Byron Bay
Nearest Train
25 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
10 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
2 Kilometres
Doma Cafe Federal
Nearest Beach
15.7 Kilometres
Byron Bay
Car: necessary
Other Activities:

Byron Bay

The Byron bay hinterland is a beautiful natural environment. Our house is located on 10 acres with a natural swimming hole on one of the boundaries. Relaxing, peaceful, secluded yet close to cafes, shops, beaches and all that the North Coast has to offer.


Rates & Availability

Contact Owner

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made

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