Eco Immersion in Margaret River
Experience Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat
I’m being watched by a woylie. She’s very calm and composed, and I’m very excited because I’ve never met a Woylie before. These miniature, critically endangered marsupials – imagine she’s like a kangaroo but only 10 inches tall – are just one species of the very friendly wildlife you can expect to encounter during a visit to Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat and Sanctuary, I’m discovering.
It’s early evening and I’m enjoying the twilight surrounded by Jarrah, Sheoak and Peppermint trees outside my delightful chalet. Earlier, I’d sprinkled a few pellets of the marsupials’ favourite tucker on the grass as instructed by owner Joy Ensor, and now it seems I have more company as a shy Bandicoot and then a Brushtail Possum slowly emerge to forage in front of my eyes.
The specially chosen pellets and the feeding stations outside are just one of many thoughtful touches which Joy and her husband Simon say they love providing for their guests. As passionate conservationists and wildlife lovers, they understand the thrill visitors feel with such access to nature and have designed an incredibly relaxing and uplifting experience at their Metricup property which they have owned for an incredible 29 years.
It is a true sanctuary, complete with entrancing walk trails, a babbling brook, seasonal wildflowers, secluded seating areas and, best of all, those adorable inquisitive animals who are utterly at home here.
The Roy Road entrance has an impressive and effective electric gate which slides closed after guests and is part of the predator proof fence to protect the wildlife. This eco spa retreat nestled in the heart of a Margaret River forest has held advanced Advanced Accreditation with Ecotourism Assoc of Australia for 18 years and has won many environmental and energy efficiency awards.
On arrival earlier, our welcoming party consisted of no less than four kangaroos who stood silently on the verge of the track to Fern Chalet, watching our arrival with interest and no concern at all: we stopped to take a photo and they were happy to pose for our camera!
Slipping into a private large hydrotherapy massage spa outside the chalet here after a day touring the Margaret River Region felt like heaven, and it seemed only fitting to toast the star filled skies with a glass of the region’s famous Chardonnay (purchased that day, naturally!)
With only five chalets set well apart from each other on this large and unique 100 acre conservation sanctuary, guests are assured of peace and privacy. Each features a 6 person ‘Spa under the Stars’ and is beautifully appointed inside with lovingly crafted native timber features such as the very comfortable four poster bed I slept in so well (helped no doubt by the quality of the lovely linen chosen by Joy). Leadlight windows, Australian fauna art on the walls and – bliss! – under floor heating in the bathroom, were the finishing touches in this very comfortable abode.
The kitchen of the chalet was a great discovery. The pantry is really well stocked for guests: there are dried herbs to prepare meals with, quality salt and pepper grinders, and much more. Continental breakfasts can be provided for an extra charge and come with healthy servings of quality muesli and cereals and local milk. Joy also provides local free-range eggs and freshly baked house bread on request which, lucky for me, was provided as a sample and was totally yummy.
Joy and Simon also suggest dropping into Bunbury Farmers Markets – the Ikea of food – for provisions so guests can truly relax and unwind. There is an excellent BBQ beside the outdoor setting on the patio, and many a guest enjoys a classic Aussie dinner event, Simon tells me. And, if you’d rather not cook at all, just enquire about their in-house chef service and they will arrange it!
Another special experience visitors to the Margaret River Region can access through Yelverton is a nocturnal animal tour. Joy and Simon have partnered with South West Eco Discoveries whose guides take guests on a short bush walk to a viewing area where woylies, kangaroos, bandicoots, possums and other nightlife come to visit. Part of the tour fee for this is re-invested in the sanctuary’s valuable work.
Guests at Yelverton are from around the state and around the world. There are many couples seeking the romantic escape this retreat delivers so beautifully, but there are also families and groups of friends who are repeat guests. Next to my dwelling, through the forest, was a handmade earth brick 2 bedroom spa chalet set up with two queen bedrooms (plus a sofa bed) and the delightful option of a wood fire. Joy has thoughtfully provided a large and full toy box too!
Joy and Simon are happy to arrange tours ‘from whales to wineries’ and Yelverton has a spa menu with your choice of in-room massages, beauty treatments and more. I was treated to a facial expertly delivered by Joy herself using the revolutionary skincare range of Sisel products which are available via Yelverton. A lifestyle in itself, Sisel is a company focused on delivering energy and vitality through science and I felt revitalised and refreshed after Joy’s expert application.
I sat outside in the early morning sun contemplating life with a fragrant cup of herbal tea (another one of the niceties inside the pantry) and my attention was captured by movement in the bushes. Slowly but surely, Ms Kangaroo – with her baby joey peeking pertly out of its pouch – crossed the lawn to join me and grazed quietly on the dewy grass beside me. Another perfect Yelverton moment to remember!
STOP PRESS: A brand new Glamping experience is coming soon to Yelverton – the most unique fully self-contained eco-tents in Australia!
Just the Facts:
- Rates from $295 per night for 2
- Upgrade to specials including – satin/hemp/organic cotton linen, chocolates & sparkling wine plus Romantic, Ultimate & Indulgence & Girls Pamper package and add your preferred Day Spa treatments
- Included in every stay are 6 free range eggs, small fresh milk, butter & local paper are included on arrival day. Freshly baked Organic bread is only $7 extra
- Request the “The Larder” to pre-stock your private spa chalet with local goodies ready for your arrival
- Other Eco Linen options like Hemp Sheets, Organic Cotton sheets & towels & Satin Sheets are available for a small extra charge
- South West Eco Discoveries nocturnal animal tour $45 adults $20 child $120 family