About the Cottage

Luxury and European Sensibility


About the Cottage


Lovingly  restored (late 2012), luxury appointed, weatherboard cottage which  nestles itself amongst the renowned Norala Garden and perfectly placed  to make the most of the Ovens River and walking tracks at the back gate.

  • Open fire, with high quality wood provided, given a cozy warmth on colder evenings
  • Luxury linens imported from the USA
  • Bathroom products from New Zealand
  • Antique furnishings from Europe and the local diggings area
  • Soft furnishings from around the world
  • Local provisions in the kitchen (olive oils, vinegars and spices) to simplify your gourmet short stays
  • Spacious timber back-deck with BBQ and furniture for outdoor dining in the private garden setting
  • Additional heaters during the colder months and fans to keep you cool in summer

The cottage is equipped with all the  things you need; 4 hob gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, oven, washing  machine, dryer, TV/DVDs, Bluetooth Sound System, CD player plus CDs,  books, magazines, BBQ and even a small fly-tying desk for artisans  amongst us!

Enduring Quality and Comfort


Mrs  Simpson, the unique cottage at Norala Garden now gives you a special  opportunity to enjoy the renowned gardens built by Miss Norma McGown and  Miss Alma Stanhope in the 1960s, and lovingly maintained since then.  

Quality Bright accommodation, where you can enjoy the garden in privacy at your leisure.  Located right in the centre of Bright, this beautifully  renovated cottage magically sits in the ever changing landscape of the  historic garden and will allow you to truly unwind and recharge.

This cottage accommodates a maximum of 4 people, with one King and one  Queen size bed. For longer stays, the King can be made into 2  singles upon request. 

As the property has Bakers Gully running through it, Mrs Simpson at  Norala Garden is not suitable for children under the age of 8 and they  have to be supervised by an adult at all times when they are  playing near the water.

Mrs Simpson is dog friendly for well-behaved pooches - just ask us first!

Smoking is not allowed in the cottage, the decks or the garden. Thanks!

Contact Us

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Our calendar and pricing are up to date on HomeAway. But remember: you'll get a better deal by contacting us directly and see if we have availability.

Finding us is easy: as you drive into Bright from Myrtleford, we are on the left hand side of the road at the first 50km sign.

Mrs Simpson at Norala Garden

77 Gavan Street, Bright, Victoria, Australia


Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions Mrs Simpson 220419 (pdf)


Guest reviews

"A beautiful oasis"

Bright is very busy at Easter, but your quaint, cosy and superbly equipped cottage feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle, while still being central and convenient to everything. The gardens are magical, like a secret garden fantasy, and I loved being able to slip out the back gate to the river. Five nights was not enough and I can't wait to come back.

Sally, Easter 2019

"Until Next Time!"

This time we came a little earlier and were treated to tulips finishing, and the full bloom of dogwood, camellias, bluebells and azaleas and of course the best viewing platform - that back deck!

Val, October 2018

"Heaven on Earth"

When we opened the door to the cottage we knew that it was  exceptional! The garden is absolutely beautiful and backs on to the  flowing Ovens river. There is, also, a lovely creek that runs through  the garden with three bridges crossing it- which all adds to the  wonderful night's sleep in the very comfortable beds! This property is  amazing, to say the least!

Peggy, September 2017

"Absolutely Perfect"

Loved all the extra touches you've made to make a very special place  even nicer, eg sharp knives, canvas bags for shopping or carrying bits,  the fresh flowers, lovely decor, super comfy beds and much more.

Janet, January 2017

"Excellent - Thanks!!!"

We  had an excellent stay. The location is so perfect and had everything we  wanted and more! We have stayed in other places in Bright over
the years and this place tops them all.

 The major highlight for us? The  gardens, private access to the rivers . . it goes on and on. And one  other thing . . . . the best bedding. It was the best! 

Jason and Wendy, April 2015

"33 Trout at the Back Gate"

Read about Chris' stay at Mrs Simpson and his engaging Fly Fishing story when he and his team stayed at Mrs Simpson Cottage in preparation for his National Championship Gold Medal in 2014: 

Christopher Bassano, Commonwealth Gold Medal Champion Fly Fishing, 2014 and National Champion Fly Fishing 2014.


"This is truly paradise. As soon as I got there, I didn't want to go  home. The cottage is so comfortable and inviting with quality  everything. And the location couldn't be better. Right on the beautiful  Ovens River. You can walk everywhere and what spectacular scenery. The  garden is amazing a delight to explore. The hosts are very considerate  and do whatever they can to make sure you enjoy your stay. I will  definitely be back." 

Wendi, 2013

"Wish I booked a few more days..."

I wanted to say how much we all enjoyed the stay, and how lovely the  cottage was... I managed to get a sneaky couple of hours up on Morses  Creek yesterday which was great fun and had 5 fish and a couple lost up  to about 30cm or so, mostly rainbow() but one lovely brown that came to  the dry of the duo. Only wish I could have done a few more days...

Alex, 2012

Magical Norala Garden

Since 1961...


A long-time Bright Open Garden icon, Norala Garden is one of Victoria's notable gardens. It is the result of many years of establishment and maintenance by the  late Miss Norma McGown and her friend Miss Alma Stanhope. Feel their passion  for creating gardens for enjoyment, rambling woodlands, open lawns and shade trees.

Bakers Gully


Throughout the garden and from the back deck of the cottage, the gentle rushing sounds of Bakers Gully can be heard, which provides coolness and tranquility.



The garden first appeared as one of Australia's icons in the 1996 book  by well known garden writer Dr Holly Forsyth (The Constant Gardener TM);  Garden Lovers Guide to Australia. Her entry reflected on its uniqueness.

For all seasons


The garden features a large variety of camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and a  large tree canopy which frames the garden and further gives context. In  Winter the hellebores provide a carpet of muted colour whilst in Spring  the camellias simply light up the garden from every angle. 

Bright colours


At times the paths are strewn with crimson, red and pink as if the garden is making  itself up for a wedding procession.We encourage visitors to enjoy the garden and respect the work of Norma  and Alma who have created a unique place of great beauty and calm in a  very rushed world.

Relax and reflect


Guests to Mrs Simpson and Norala Garden enjoy the garden in a variety of  ways, with keen photographers taking shots (some of the images above  were taken by recent visitors; Mr. D. Male and Mr. A. Coloma) during the  recent Spring Festival or botanical painters adding own interpretation  to their holiday at Mrs Simpson.

Things to do



Ginger Baker, Reed and Co, The Bright Brewery, and Tomahawks are just a few names at walking distance, with the award winning Wandi Pub and Wandiful Produce a bike ride away and the Stanley Pub and Wineries a short drive.

Fly Fishing

The magic and prolific Ovens and Morses can be fished from the back gate, with the Buckland and Kiewa just a short drive away. But there is always another river, in another valley somewhere...! Local guide Matthew Howell can help you hook a trout and straighten your cast. Get your gear sorted out before you go though, and the team at the FlyFisher in Melbourne know the Cottage and can set you up with the right gear for the season.

Cycling and running

Breathtaking scenery, quiet country roads, alpine ascents,  happy-to-help locals and an action-packed events calendar. With such a  wide range of cycling options, this part of the world is THE ideal  holiday destination for avid road cyclists. Iconic rides such as the Alpine Classic can be tried by the brave hearted, for the rest of us, the rail-trail 

to wineries may be a more genteel way of cycling for pleasure!

For runners there are plenty of fresh air options including the Bright Running Festival or the Buffalo stampede for those wanting competition. For  those simply wanting to enjoy the outdoors there are plen

For the family

Take a movie in the sumptuous surrounds of Cloud9 Cinemas or take a walk along the Canyon walking trail or the Cherry Walk. Both start at the back gate of Mrs Simpson Cottage.