Maraylya hardly seems the setting for an ecological wellness retreat but nestled in the treetops beside a hidden billabong, that’s exactly what you’ll find.
Merely a stone’s throw from Sydney, Billabong Retreat—as it’s so aptly named— is the perfect spot for a restorative weekend or a day’s getaway. It’s simple, sustainable and effortlessly beautiful. Surrounded by nature from every vantage point, it was designed for its guests to disconnect from daily demands (there is no wifi) and reconnect with themselves and the land.
Founded and built by Paul and Tory Von Bergen, Billabong Retreat is imbued with the love and passion that only comes with a family-run business. They left their unit in Bondi for the bush, to create the retreat as, “a place to find peace of mind, contentment and discover inner wellness. It is somewhere to rediscover the magic of life and find meaning, connection and purpose. It is a place of heart and kindness.”
But it’s not just a relaxing getaway. At the heart of the retreat are their ever-popular wellness programs. They offer courses in meditation, mindfulness, yoga, in varying lengths, to varying experience levels. The programs delve into both theory and practise and are led by an expert team of yoga and meditation teachers. They’re designed to provide guests with the tools to implement mindful techniques into their daily lives.
As for the rooms themselves, you’ll find yourself in a tree house literally immersed in nature. Fall asleep to the sounds of insects and wake up to the songs of birds—don’t be surprised to be greeted by a Kookaburra or two while you unwind in the bath on your balcony.
The food is home-style (if your mum is an insane chef), vegetarian and sourced locally. Every meal is cooked with love and shared over communal tables. Other features include the pool and wellness spa, where you can book yourself in for a range of treatments, from massages and facials to hypnotherapy and kinesiology.
As a fully certified eco-retreat, they strive to minimise their environmental impact through rainwater usage, water recycling, solar hot water and electricity. Best practice is at the heart of everything they do.
There is no other way to describe this place but peaceful. It’s an eco-conscious sanctuary that you really need to try for yourself.