You know what? After the lights have dimmed and the film crew departed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Energiser Bunny does take a cheeky little power nap every now and again!
Whether it’s hour upon hour of interminable meetings, strategising the bejeesus out of an asset performance improvement plan or simply buzzing around Hobart on any number of seemingly meaningless errands, a weekend away can be the perfect tonic. An opportunity to unwind, relax and leave the worries behind, if only for a fleeting, thoroughly enjoyable moment!
Over the last couple of days, Karen and I have experienced what can only be described as pure bliss!
I’m sure I would be right in saying that Buttongrass Retreat would be unknown to most. When you look beyond its four walls and a roof, the differences between Buttongrass Retreat and every other type of accommodation in Tasmania quickly become apparent.
Buttongrass Retreat would have to be one of, if not THE most southern piece of accommodation in Australia. EDIT: It has been confirmed; it is!!
Ida Bay is around one and a half to two hours drive south of Hobart, and you could hardly pick a more picturesque journey. The rolling green hills of the Huon Valley, the still, blue waters of the D’Entrecasteax Channel, the tannin stained depths of the Esperance River…this is Tasmania in a nutshell, and it is stunning!
Finding, and getting into the retreat itself is a little bit more difficult than most holiday rentals. After booking the retreat through HomeAway, you’ll get a call from the owner to explain the process.
Firstly, you’ll need to pull up at the Ida Bay Railway Ticket Office.
Then, you need to use the passcode provided over the phone to unlock the box on the wall of the ticket office and obtain your two keys to the property.
Taking the road back the way you just came, you’ll cross the railway lines almost immediately and then need to make a hairpin turn to the left onto a dirt road. There’s a small sign on the right hand side of the dirt road that says ‘Buttongrass Retreat’.
The key will get you through the padlocked gate and a few hundred metres down the road you’ll find your new home away from home!
For smartphone driving directions, use this link: How to Get to Buttongrass Retreat on Google Maps
Buttongrass Retreat was built with sustainability in mind, being described in their own words as an ‘eco-experience’. This means all electricity is generated through a combination of solar and wind power, while hot water is provided by a combination of solar and wood-fire, with gas acting as a backup option for cloudy days.
What this also means is that power consumption must be limited. There’s enough power to charge your phone, or to watch the odd DVD (there’s no TV reception!), but any attempts to blow dry your hair are going to end up with a blown fuse and no electricity for the rest of your stay (other than general lighting)! There’s no need to worry though. We didn’t have any problems managing our power consumption, even with extended showers, so don’t let this put you off.
Toilets are of the composting type. If you’re thinking the typical Aussie ‘drop dunny’ that you come across when bushwalking, then think again! I don’t know what sort of voodoo was going on under the hood, but there were no unpleasant odours whatsoever from the eco-loo.
Don’t worry about any of these electricity ‘issues’ limiting your options in the kitchen either. Both the oven/cooktop and the fridge are gas powered, meaning you’ve got a licence to cook up a storm! They’ve got everything you could possibly want, so don’t take too much with you. Whether it’s cake tins, pots, pans, steak knives, olive oil, vinegar, salt/pepper…it’s all there!
Built only a few years ago, Buttongrass Retreat combines modernity with simplicity. Two spacious bedrooms, warm and inviting open-plan kitchen/lounge, wood heater central to everything and double glazing for those cold winter nights…they’ve thought of everything!
With a great little deck running the length of the building, outdoor relaxation is guaranteed at Buttongrass Retreat!
After almost five hours spent bushwalking to South Cape Bay and back, we were absolutely knackered. The outdoor bath was the perfect tonic! Hot water in which to soak our weary limbs, a couple of glasses each of Tassie’s own Leaning Church sparkling, and an incredible vista sweeping across the buttongrass plains from Mt La Perouse in the south, to Adamson’s Peak in the north west.
There’s also a BBQ and outdoor setting if you’re keen for a bite to eat surrounded by chittering robins, swift parrots and the occasional call of a black cockatoo in the distance.
The buttongrass plain
On our last morning I was really keen to get up early and a catch a sunrise lighting up the buttongrass plains and surrounding mountaintops. Unfortunately there was too much cloud in the east for the sun to make as early an appearance as I would have liked, but the conditions were perfect for some really atmospheric fog across the moorland.
Here’s a selection of images taken over the space of perhaps half an hour or so…
I’m sure you’ll agree that Buttongrass Retreat is located in one gorgeous corner of the world!
You might think that being so far from civilisation there wouldn’t be much to do after arriving at Ida Bay. Again, you’d be wrong!
There are plenty of bushwalking options (a couple of which I’ll add to the blog shortly), there’s the Ida Bay Railway which sounds like a great day out (seriously!), there’s heaps of fishing options up and down the coast, Hastings Caves are only a short drive back up the main road, and there’s St Imre Vineyard for those that enjoy the odd tipple!
It was one of the most relaxing weekends we’ve had in a long, long time, and I’m sure we’ll be back again soon!
If you’re looking for that perfect weekend away from it all, why not book a short stay at Buttongrass Retreat?