PHOTOS: Old bank becomes unique B&B
FIFTY-FIVE minutes from Casino is a weekend getaway in a grand 1932 bank in Bonalbo.
Karen Webb and John Menzies came from Western Australia to Bonalbo four years ago and John fell in love with the bank in the main street of the village. John hails from New Zealand and Karen spent her early childhood in Dorset in the UK before the family moved to Mount Isa when she was 12 years old.
Former mining employees, the couple run the B&B and the Le Bon cafe at the Bonalbo Memorial Hall. Karen is up at 4am to bake sourdough bread for the markets and the smell fills the old bank kitchen. John is master of the garden and cooks a mean poached egg. We asked for his secret to the perfect poached egg.
"Watch your mother do it for 10 years," John said.
He grew up in a country pub in New Zealand where his mother did all the cooking.
The couple are welcoming and friendly, and proud of their bank home with original features including the large steel vault. Once the Bank of NSW and CBC, the imposing red brick building dominates the street and sits conveniently opposite the Bonalbo pub.
There are three guest bedrooms and a guest bathroom with a in-bath spa. There is an outdoor spa as well in the vast garden.
- Bean Creek Falls.
- A drive over Haystack mountain. Best done in a 4WD with some fantastic views. Takes three-four hours.
- Swimming or gold fossicking on the Clarence River near Paddy's Creek road.
- Breakfast at the Le Bon cafe at the Bonalbo Memorial Hall.
HOW TO BOOK
Find The Old Bank on Airbnb (search Bonalbo) or on Google. Prices start a $90 per couple per night. Continental breakfast included.
The writer was a guest at The Old Bank B&B in Bonalbo.