I was lucky enough to go to the charming and soulful Billabong Retreat in April 2016, looking for a little R&R and short break from Yellow Front Door
Billabong Retreat is just 60 minutes from Sydney CBD but feels a world away. It's all about peace and tranquility, with the focus on yoga and meditation. It also offers lovely bush views and bush walks (around a billabong of course), a magnesium-rich swimming pool, thoughtful vegetarian home-cooked food, a wellness centre, wonderful roaring fire on the deck, and dedicated staff. You can be as social or as solitary as you like amongst the birdsong and cicadas.
My husband and I stayed in a treehouse cabin - a simple but comfortable room with it's own balcony. I loved the sign on the bathroom suggesting you keep showers to three minutes as they have limited water and gas. This frugality is what makes Billabong so special. There's no ostentation, wastefulness or over-stated luxury. It's all about reconnecting with yourself and nature.
Four classes are offered daily - at 7.30am, 9.30am, 3.30pm, 7.30pm. These switch between yoga and meditation, or are a bit of a mixture. The yoga classes are fairly straight-forward, beginner-level, while the meditation sessions actually teach you"how" to meditate, rather than just doing guided meditations.
Like a day spa, this offers remedial massage, and the best facial I have ever had.
There's also a relaxing lounge and a large deck with roaring wood fire.
The natural looking outdoor swimming pool contains magnesium which is great for relaxing muscles and inducing sleep.
A lot of love goes into the simple, organic and locally-sourced vegetarian meals. They are tasty and offer a range of vegetables plus whole grains and lovely sauces like the green tahini sauce. Example meals are chia seed porridge with nuts and seeds for breakfast, a brown rice and asian vegetarian bowl for lunch, and Indian or Mexican for dinner. Dessert might be a cacao and quinoa pudding. There is no alcohol, though I did notice instant coffee along with the huge array of herbal teas.
The price for two people, for three nights in a treehouse cabin was very reasonable - $1650 including accommodation, food and all activities/classes. There are also deluxe rooms which offer a sitting area and a bath on the balcony.
If you're looking to re-charge your batteries and don't want to go far, look no further than Billabong Retreat.