Getting a pass to leave work early on a Friday afternoon meant my weekend was already off to a great start. Beating the traffic and enjoying the picturesque drive through Dural, I was feeling incredible, albeit a little apprehensive. Arriving at the Billabong retreat, nestled in the peaceful bushland, like an oversized treehouse, was not a disappointment.
The cabins and grounds looked gorgeous, private and well maintained. The lady (I've forgotten her name) who met me at the desk was incredibly welcoming, quickly showed me around and to my cabin, which I would be sharing with another retreat goer. It was a 4 person room, but luckily there were only two of us, as the room was partitioned down the middle dividing the beds with 2 and 2 on either side. There was a tidy, separate toilet and shower to share inside the cabin as well.
After getting settled in, I went to join in the welcome chat and afternoon yoga session. It seemed that everyone was there with friends and groups so I felt a little silly being on my own, but then I remembered that was why I came. I tried to leave my phone in my room as much as possible because I was trying to cure my phone addiction. Unfortunately for me, 2 nights wasn't enough for that particular obsession to be cured. The desire to take photos or check my messages was too overwhelming. Maybe a phone check in at the desk could be an additional service? 🙈😂
The yoga classes were a mixture of a more vinyasa style and yin (which I love). The yoga teacher was from the UK and appeared highly trained and extremely knowledgeable in all things yoga and meditation (even though they are the same thing). I was very impressed with quality of the yoga teacher at this retreat.
There was a beautiful meditation on the Friday night, which I really enjoyed as it ended in yoga nidra. I would have preferred more full meditation classes as it was a meditation retreat. The learning workshops on the Saturday only finished with a very brief meditation. I only attended the workshop on the Saturday morning as on the Sunday I decided to skip the class to enjoy reading by the Billabong with another retreat goer that I had met. There were plenty of places to relax there and the scenery was so picturesque that I didn't want to waste the opportunity to be outdoors. The common areas were also warm and cozy and there were plenty of places to sit if you didn't want to walk and explore. The winter weather meant that I didn't use the pool facilities but perhaps if some people like ice baths they could warm up later by the fire?
I couldn't blog about the Billabong retreat without mentioning the food. You my friend, should you treat yourself to a visit are in for a massive surprise. The vegetarian food was filling, flavourful and super delicious. Spreads of amazing food and dessert that you will be left wanting to know the recipes for. One chef in particular, who cooked most of our meals was incredible . A young girl called Tash who has her own food catering business called Burbery Wholefoods. The other chefs were amazing too, but her soulful nature and genuine care just seemed to make the food taste even better. Overall, I wish I could have stayed long and I hope to be back to try one of their different retreats one day.
Rates: Prices depend on duration of stay and room type. Approx. $500 for a 2 night stay on a weekend in a dorm room, up to $1000 for a deluxe cabin.
Full price guide:
Types: Yoga, Mindfulness Wellness etc. See website for all types: