Our paradise: “Bambou” Retreat
If you need a break to reconnect with what truly matters, look no further. This is a retreat place we created when we moved from Sydney a long time ago and now we are happy to share our paradise with you. We are now mostly overseas and can’t be self-centred enough not to share the beautiful land which welcomed our family. We wanted to reconnect with ourselves, our children, life: what truly matters to appreciate life and why we live in this beautiful planet.
“Bambou” French spelling Retreat is a home. The energy will grace you when you enter the property. The Ying Yang in the front yard will surprise as it’s rather hidden from the street. Then the house and its unique design will invite your curiosity to discover more. The wooden cottage is made from recycled logs. The fireplace, the mosaic in the bathroom and kitchen will have a WOW effect on you. From the back deck you will discover that the land is over 125 meters long and one acre of landscaped garden… You can walk down the river without meeting anyone. It’s that secluded. Alternatively, if you are not up for a swim or spotting platypus, you can simply enjoy a cuppa with Kookaburras by the bamboos or Ponciana. Just listen to the bamboos rattling against each other. You are not in Asia but in secluded Bellingen. The native forest down the bottom of the property will amaze you. We used to be WIRES rescuers, so we planted koala food trees
The acre of land impeccably manicured and its short walk to the river will surprise you with its magic spell. It’s very unique. The separate studio is literally 2 metres away from the main house: ideal if you would like a little privacy and independence from your teens?
We are happy to share our home with you.
We are a family who is very grateful that Bellingen had a spell on our inner happiness. We moved away from busy Sydney to settle in Bellingen 13 years ago. It was a significant spiritual journey for all of us. Escaping the rat race in an increasingly stressed city for a more simple, grounded lifestyle where we found meaning and higher purpose.
Anthony is English from New Zealand, consultant, writer, violinist, life and adventure enthusiast. He consults around the world in risk management. He is a keen gardener and enjoys seeing the fruits of his labour growing with love.
My is French Vietnamese… therefore the many Frenchy Vietnamese art touches in the house. She loves mosaics, learning and taking photographs. She is an executive coach specialised in emotional intelligence and in positive psychology, a published author and an international speaker on wellbeing and EQ. Her aim is to help as many people as she can to find inner happiness in their work life. She is also a carbon management consultant. We work in South East Asia mostly in Vietnam.
We speak French English Japanese and Vietnamese.
The lovely Laura or Alice will welcome you and help you make the most of your stay in beautiful Bellingen. Laura manages all the bookings and will be your primary contact when you stay with us.
Inside the house
The kitchen is an open one. Views on the back garden which is more like a park. We hope you will like the mosaic touches and the versatile space. You can dine in the open plan lounge/dining room, and have breakfast by the bar overlooking the back garden, next to the meditation – quiet space.
The back deck also offers another space to have your morning tea; or at the front deck admiring lorikeets in the grevilleas by the ying yang. We follow the sun for our meals
In the evening you might like the fire place, and its delightful ‘organic TV show’ of flames.
The bathroom is also mosaicked so we do hope you like our arty touch. There are 2 toilets.
Your bedroom is upstairs under the wooden ceiling. 2 bedrooms in the house are locked as we come back here quite often.
The studio will be opened if you decide to rent the whole property. It’s 36 sqm with its own private deck. It’s used to be our music room and office and carport before the renovations. There is a sofa, sink, double bed and a Balinese antique desk. If you are a writer you will love the reflective setting.
Who might want to stay here?
This space is suitable for couples who need a break from their busy life, newly weds or near wed couples We are LGBTI friendly of course.
Environmentally friendly minds
We are interested in sharing our space with people who are respectful of our planet. Therefore, we will ask you to carbon offset your flights or car when you come here. Then we will ask you to be mindful about your plastic usage, your waste. Of course we have compost. If you shop at the organic food store Kombu in town, bring your own container. We will ask you to be as mindful as possible with your diet… meat has an enormous impact on our planet through clearing land. Not eating meat for a week end is rather healthy. Reconnecting with the food chain is also a very powerful exercise for our mental health.
Water is too cheap. It should not be as it’s scarce and not an unlimited resource. We will ask you to be mindful with your usage. A 1 minute in the shower is 10 drinkable litres of water.
As to electricity we have PV panels and also hot water panels. Please be mindful of your usage: no need to waste A/C if you are not around. Switch off consciously as it’s not a hotel so there is no system to switch off electricity automatically.
Obviously, we can’t enforce these wishes, but we will at least ask you to bring conscious awareness about your impact on our planet.
The main residence is adjacent to a separate studio 36 sqm with private deck. It’s a 4-bedroom house and you will have access to the upstairs bedroom, the living room, arty kitchen and bathroom, toilets and music room piano, double bass and guitar.
You can rent the studio as well if you wish. It can accommodate 2 people.
The house is rather big, and our aim is not to cram people in to make money: we rather you enjoy your big space by the fire place or on the deck looking at king parrots eating banana flowers.
We have 1 acre with a range of fruit trees, open space, magnificent bamboos and a small native forest for birds at the bottom of the property which is adjacent to the small Council reserve between us and the pristine Bellinger River.
You will love switching from the gravel ying-yang at the front to our orchards to our bamboos screens and native trees. We have lemonade, lychee, chocolate mango, longan, guava, jackfruit, banana, macadamia and custard apple trees. 5 types of clamping bamboos, 6 types of gum trees, cardamom leaves for cooking and other secret ingredients tucked away in the garden.
WIFI and TV
You will have access to unlimited wifi. However, if you are retreating you might like to play with the idea of putting your devices away in our special box and do a conscious digital detox.
There is no TV. Only millions of stars and thousands of bats to watch every evening as they head out from their colony 500 metres down the road.
As we would prefer not to have any mishaps the property is not designed to welcome young children less than 12 yo. We have stairs and deck with no rail for instance.
We love pets. You are welcome to bring your furry animals with you. We know how hard it is to travel with dogs. However, as we have wildlife lizards, blue tongues, water dragons, all kinds of birds, bandicoots etc, we will ask you to put your dog at the back of the balcony…unless they are WIRES trained like our vegetarian dogs.
They need to be restrained. No dogs or cats inside the house please as we have beautiful Tibetan and Persian carpets. Moreover, one of our cleaners is allergic to dogs, so she will report it to us. If we have to spray the house you will be charged consequently $500.
You are expected to have your dog on leash within the property, to protect the wildlife and the occasional chook wandering from next door.
We have space for your dogs at the front and the back decks. Please bring your own dog bedding and leashes. We have dog bowls if you forgot yours. You need to clean up after your dogs obviously.
You can’t leave the dogs at home by themselves as they are likely to make some noise. The neighbourhood might not like it and Council fines can go up to $500.
You can bring your horse as well if you wish let us know first but the fencing might not be adequate.
The house 2 nights minimum
2 people: $150 per night
December – January: $300 per night
The Studio can be rented only if the house is rented
1 to 2 people: extra $100 per night
December -January: Extra $150 per night
Cleaning: $60 for basic cleaning
If extra cleaning is needed you will charge $60 per hour eg mishaps with chocolate, wine…
For 3 night stays you will receive one night at 50 discount and a bottle of champagne.
If you refer us to your friends, you will receive a 20 off your next booking.
Your exclusive experience
A personal meet and great with Laura or Alice
A home where we care about your experience and memories
Either local fruits or organic food to take home in Australia
If you are from overseas a surprise from Bellingen
A picnic hamper vegetarian for 2 with wine optional for $40 or $60
We are in the Bellingen township on the north side of the river, 10 mins peaceful walk to café central.
35 kms from Coffs Harbour. Rent a car at the airport and you are here within 30 minutes.
Half way between Sydney and Bellingen.
What should I bring?
Bikes if you are exploring the Promised Land
Hiking gear if you are interested in exploring Dorrigo region
Swim gear if you are heading down the river at the bottom of our garden or to pristine ocean beaches at Repton or Urunga. And yes there are dog-friendly beaches