MARGARET RIVER RETREAT ACHIEVES ECOTOURISM CERTIFICATION
Margaret River Retreat, near the majestic Boranup Forest National Park in Western Australia, is our newest ECO certified accommodation, and offers a diverse mix of accommodation styles ideal for any holidaymaker. These include luxury eco-glamping and four self-contained studio rooms, plus a safari camp and bush camp, both of which should be open by 2021.
Hugged by Forest Grove National Park and adjacent to Wadandi Track and trails, the privately-owned property forms part of a natural wildlife corridor between Augusta, Margaret River and Nannup all the way to Contos Beach. The 75-acre farm has been meticulously re-worked to form an important connection to place, community, culture, family and friends.
The location offers market garden and small orchard growing areas to provide organically grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables to the onsite café, which focuses on grown and gathered produce from local producers and the onsite gardens. Margaret River Retreat also aims to harness its connections with the local Wadandi people through learning about local flora dyes for fabric printing workshops and developing ongoing relationships with the local community of Indigenous people.
Photo credit – Instagram – Margaret River Retreat
Glamping offers a value-filled, luxuriously appointed and sustainable way to stay in this beautiful region, and Margaret River Retreat’s canvas cabins are situated within a dedicated area overlooking the Forest Grove National Park. Cabins are designed by Australian companies who pride themselves on achieving a high level of sustainability, including the use and manufacture of Australian Army grade canvas that is much longer lasting.
The cabins are equipped with off-grid technologies, such as solar power batteries for recharging devices and providing ambient and direct lighting. Cabins also feature measures aimed at reducing energy consumption and increasing the use of renewables, an example of which is that six of the ten glamping cabins are solar energy cabins which use Yeti battery storage power boxes to charge mobile phones and lights. The accommodation also offers communal kitchen facilities for glamping guests, which further reduces the overall need for individual appliances. Guests are encouraged to hire an outdoor woodfire to cook on, bring extra warm clothes and sit around a central fire pit to reduce the need for heaters in their tents. Tents are treated with a natural mould resistant product and vinegar spray to remove and prevent mould stains on the canvas. They have also been raised to prevent mice infestations burrowing under the canvas and creating pockets in the floor. Each tent opening is regularly sprayed with Peppermint and Eucalyptus spray to prevent ants from entering the tents. The retreat’s goal is to get the most out of their tents to avoid replacement.
Studio room – Photo credit Margaret River Retreat
Further showcasing their environmental ethos, Margaret River Retreat uses locally owned Bio Bean Coffee – small batch roasted coffee with certified organic and Fairtrade coffee beans whose packaging is compostable. Used coffee grounds are collected each week and placed in the retreat’s composting and worm farming systems. Another supplier used is Bannister Downs, whose premium dairy products use Ecolean packaging which is lightweight, light protected and flexible for waste reduction and storage minimisation. Rooms are furnished and decorated with eco-minded suppliers, such as Armadillo, Pony Rider and Seljac Brand.
Photo credit – Margaret River Retreat complimentary Oz-pig set up at your cabin.
The environment is a key focus for Margaret River Retreat, with the business’ intention being to continue to rehabilitate the natural watercourse and wetland areas with annual endemic plantings. Weed control management is documented for invasive plant species, such as Arum Lily and Sodden Melon, and waste management is also well managed: soft plastics are collected and recycled through an available soft plastics recycling program (e.g. Redcycle) and organic kitchen waste is composted or fed to domestic or farm animals. The retreat also plans to implement solar hot water systems and grey water systems on all existing bathroom and laundry amenities.
Billy Camp – Photo credit Margaret River Retreat
Finally, Margaret River Retreat benefits communities by partnering with SoapAid to collect, recycle and redistribute soap from the tourism accommodation industry to communities in need of hygiene education, and donates all of its near date food to the local Margaret River Soup Kitchen on a monthly basis.
Safari Camp – Photo credit Margaret River Retreat
Staff are offered a sustainable best practice guide upon confirmation of their employment agreement and given a tour of the property on the first day to introduce them to the property’s recycling systems, gardening, composting, worm farm, sustainable cleaning practices and other waste management practices.
Congratulations once again to Margaret River Retreat for achieving Ecotourism certification for their glamping village and studio rooms, and welcome to the Ecotourism Australia family!