Re­treats so re­lax­ing, you’ll for­get you’re on Syd­ney’s doorstep

Qantas - - Contents -

At two in the af­ter­noon, where else would you want to be but soak­ing in Ep­som salts in a free­stand­ing tub on a tim­ber ve­ran­dah, star­ing up at gum trees and eye­balling a gold­en­brown bee­tle as it scur­ries by? It’s only about a one-hour drive or train ride from Syd­ney’s CBD but Billabong Re­treat feels like a true bush es­cape. The Deluxe Cab­ins are dec­o­rated plainly but el­e­gantly and are built from plan­ta­tion pine and re­cy­cled hard­wood. There are also Lodge and Tree­house rooms, all dis­creetly tucked around the billabong, where bell­birds ring, kook­abur­ras laugh and wa­ter dragons are be­hind those oc­ca­sional splashes. Teach­ers adept at read­ing a room and coach­ing a be­gin­ner lead ex­cel­lent yoga classes, which are held in an airy bower con­structed from tele­graph poles and se­cond-hand doors, with bam­boo floor­ing. The food is also ex­cep­tional – colour­ful, veg­e­tar­ian and glo­ri­ous – and a re­turn visit just for the bliss balls is to­tally un­der­stand­able.

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