A new wheelchair-friendly nature-based eco retreat is headed to the Whitsundays promising to deliver an “ambience of peace and tranquillity”.
Whitsunday Regional Council approved plans for Serenity Eco Retreat to be built on a former cattle and horse grazing property at 186 Tucker Road in Riordanvale just eight minutes drive from Airlie Beach.
The retreat will include eight 18sq m eco tents, two eco cabins and an eco-sustainable dwelling to be used as the caretaker’s residence.
Each are kitted out with a water tank, bathroom pod with toilet, shower and vanity, kitchenette with stainless barbecue and a 12V bar fridge — all powered by wind and solar.
“The eco structures offer generous space to move inside with all the lux creature comforts if desired and built to suit and blend in with the environment,” application documents stated.
“The location is nestled at the end of a gravel road that sets the ambience of peace and tranquillity, reflective of the rural residential lifestyle.”
The accommodation is complemented by a wheelchair-accessible organic vegetable garden made from recycled damaged shed roofing iron and discarded fence posts, “fruit and bush tucker” trees, a plant nursery and chicken coop.
“(It) provides guests the experience of gathering and cooking with organic home grown products,” documents stated.
“Serenity Eco Retreat is not only a relaxing destination to stay; it provides an education to its guests on environmental sustainability.
“The focus is on creating a way of life that reduces the impact on our environment, reduces stress and promotes conservation.”
As part of this aim, the retreat also includes a volunteer-run wildlife rehabilitation facility where guests have the opportunity to be involved in hands-on care and release of native animals.
Applicants Jason and Sandra Halstead said they had also carried out weed eradication on the property including removing 4m high lantana after the site was left vacant for 30 years, unveiling a “beautiful landscape” with natural water courses.
The Halsteads said they would plant trees and drought-hardy subtropical plants every wet season to attract birds, butterflies and bees for guests to enjoy alongside the wide bushwalking tracks creating a “national park feel”.
“We are part of our fantastic local tourism market place with access to some of the most amazing places in the world,” they stated.
“Serenity is all about health, wellbeing and the environment.”
Source: Heidi Petith – Daily Mercury