Billabong Retreat - The sanctuary of our dreams
Just under an hour north of Sydney’s bustling CBD, in the quaint little town of Maraylya, lies Billabong Retreat. Set amidst a forest, this yoga and meditation retreat is both grounding and rejuvenating for the soul. With a vision to create somewhere where people could come and reconnect to the nature and life within them and around them, it makes for the perfect city getaway.
Earlier this year in April, we both made the journey from Melbourne to Sydney to attend a 3 day, 2 night stay at the eco-nature retreat. Offering a number of accommodation options ranging from deluxe cabins, shared dorms to treehouse ensuites, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Upon arrival, we marvelled at the tranquility of the property, it was as if time stood still and all our worries seemed far away.
Billabong Retreat is absolutely stunning. The lodging is sprawled out across the property, and the common area features a dining room, an outdoor lounging area, a library/TV room filled with inspirational books, and a beautiful high ceilinged yoga studio.
The retreat offers tailored stays. With twice-daily yoga classes, numerous workshops and a spa offering relaxing treatments (from facials, naturopathy, massages reiki, kinesiology and more), you are free to curate your own visit. Check out their current programs here. Although a short but sweet stay (having to fly back to Melbourne for work), we were fortunate enough to have booked our dates during the Self-Care Essentials program.
For both of us, this opportunity fell at a perfect time in our otherwise busy lives. Both working demanding corporate jobs and personal lives, our break at Billabong Retreat was a godsend. From the yoga & meditation classes that were taught by lovely, patient yogis, the self-care workshops led by knowledgable and insightful professionals, to the delectable home-cooked vegetarian meals that incorporate the SLOW (seasonal, local, organic, wholefoods) philosophy, we had found heaven. Buffet style meals prepared by chef Simon Favorito (it is possible to get them catered to your dietary requirements) are served thrice-daily, and here are some photos - they don’t do the quality and taste justice. From bliss balls, local artisanal bread, organic fresh vegetables and fruits to delicious dahls and soups, creamy polenta with fennel seeds, ginger, turmeric and hemp seeds… we were both nourished and amazed at the difference such simple wholesome ingredients made us feel, inside and out.
We learnt what self-love truly meant, and took the time out to reflect and unwind in a hammock by the billabong, in the magnesium aqua-therapy pool, or during the inspiring movie night (regular movie nights feature films and documentaries that seek to pull on the heart strings). We won’t give too much of what we took away, for we highly recommend you book a little getaway to one of our newfound favourite spots to unwind.
Our visit at Billabong Retreat might have been short, but it definitely left a long-lasting impact on us. The friendly souls we met, the time we enjoyed rediscovering ourselves, and the beautiful programming and surroundings. These are memories we’ll hold for a lifetime and we’ll definitely be back.