Project Description


Rachel Hanson

Neil, my husband and I took over Araluen and moved to the Yarra Valley in January 2017. We came to Araluen with enthusiasm and passion and a combined 35 years of experience in the Australian travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Both our jobs allowed us to travel extensively both domestically and internationally and also provided us a four year living placement in Brisbane. Previously living in Doncaster, we would often come to the Yarra Valley for day trips with our three young children. Looking to move out of the city, we found Araluen for sale as a lifestyle property. The previous owners had run a successful business for 20 years, but wanted to retire.

With my background in airline corporate sales, product and marketing management specialising in acquisition, retention and client management and Neil an aeronautical engineer, it was never part of our life plan to own and operate a B&B in the Yarra Valley. On first inspection we fell in love with the dwellings, but more so the serenity and stunning location Araluen could offer our family both personally and for me professionally. We could also see the potential of transforming Araluen into a leading accommodation venue in the Yarra Valley. It was a no brainer, so the sold sign quickly went up!

Over the past three years we have focused our time and effort into upgrading the accommodation and grounds. We have built fantastic relationships / friendships and collaborated with a number of local businesses. We have built a reputation in providing an outstanding group accommodation product for the regions wedding market, which lead us to be awarded in 2019 a ‘Highly Commended Award’ for Outstanding Wedding Accommodation in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges via Brides Choice. Our hard work has also delivered us a TripAdvisor 2019 Certificate of Excellence award. We have also had success in working with Yarra Ranges Tourism in there international program and are now contracted to nine local and international wholesale and inbound tour operators.

With a strong commercial background in the airline and tourism industry I enjoy managing and fostering client relationships and planning and managing project deliverables. Professionally and personally I pride myself as a dynamic leader skilled at utilising the strengths of my immediate and extended business relationships to support commercial growth. I am grateful for being elected into the TNYV committee, so that I can use my skills and experience in building and expanding opportunities for our community of industry partners.