Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Eco Tents begin at $130 per night and Eco Villas begin at $270 per night.
Commission: 10-12 percent
Romance at the Retreat
If I ever get married, I’m coming here for my honeymoon. For one romantic evening, the staff transported a four-poster bed ocean-side onto the beach, put some champagne on ice and lit a fire for a honeymooner wanting to surprise his new wife. In the morning, the staff came by to pick up the dewy-eyed newlyweds.
The Retreat’s sole access to nature’s finest expanses leaves possibilities unrestricted.
“It’s a privilege to have the freedom to be able to create such memorable experiences for people,” said Karl Plunkett, managing director of the Retreat. “Tell us what your dream is and we’ll try to recreate it.”
Dinners on the beach, cliff-top candlelight weddings and almost anything else imaginable can be arranged.
As I stood on top of striated red rock, the Western Australian sun dissolved into the horizon, and turquoise waters lapped at a seemingly limitless line of sand on which lies the Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat. Purple gradients filled the sky, illuminating the rock formations lining the beach, and the soft sand led us back to the Retreat, the home base for our exploration of Australia’s rugged yet serene landscape.
The resort, which reopens on March 26 after the wet season, serves as the entrance and exit to nine miles of uninhabited coastline known as Eco Beach. Its remote location between three distinct landscapes allows for unique and unlimited access to Western Australia’s spoil and for a nearly inexhuastible number of day trips.
The Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat rests on nine miles of uninhabited coastline. // (C) 2010 Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Front and center is the Indian Ocean from which clients can set off in one of the retreat’s six kayaks. Guided blue-water cave kayak tours ($53) last three hours and explore sea caves along Eco Beach’s Cape Villaret where migrating whales can be spotted between July and October.
On shore, red pindan cliffs serve as a picture-perfect viewing platform for sunsets over the ocean. Accessible via a short trek, guided or independent bushwalks allow guests to work off the gremolata-basted kangaroo loin or Asian-infused noodle salad they enjoyed earlier in the day at the resort and earn their breathtaking view with a bit of sweat equity.
Guided bushwalks can range from 90 minutes ($18) to three hours ($35) in length and vary in difficulty and distance. A two-hour sunset walk ($45) includes beer, wine and a cheese platter.
Tucked away amidst the Australian landscape is Jack’s Creek, a snaking cerulean estuary. The creek is accessible via Polaris buggy and is home to mangroves, marine life and white sand in all directions. During the My Country tour ($80) at Jack’s Creek, the traditional aboriginal landowners at Eco Beach teach guests about their historical and cultural relationship with the land, traditional hunting-and-gathering techniques and how to catch and cook delicious mud crabs, something eager (or hungry) guests can attempt.
It might normally be tough to fall asleep knowing some of the planet’s pristine landscapes are waiting to be explored by dawn, but Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat makes relaxing easy. Its 25 Eco Villas and 30 safari-style Eco Tents are designed to be both environmentally and weary-traveler friendly. King-size beds, bamboo flooring and widescreen views of the ocean await.
The main lodge has ample outdoor seating for enjoying dinner under the Southern Cross and an infinity pool for lounging in front of the dauntingly beautiful Indian Ocean. From dirt to doorstep, Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat is an all-natural experience in the midst of nature. In fact, it could even be said that the wallabies that skip around the property and munch on grass are eco-friendly, as well.