It was our 10 year wedding anniversary just recently and to celebrate we snuck off for a few days kid free to Clarendon Forest Retreat. I first heard about Clarendon Forest Retreat about 20 years ago, on an episode of Sydney Weekender and I knew I had to go there. It looked picturesque, with kangaroos and other wildlife all over the property.
Clarendon Forest Retreat is 100 acres of property, located close to Taree and about 30 minutes from Forster. It’s around 10 minutes off the Pacific Highway, in the countryside. They have a number of cottages available, some are for adults only and others are great for families.
We stayed at The Chapel, a one bedroom, adults only, cottage shaped like… you guessed it… a chapel! It’s three split levels, with the middle level being the entry. This level has a full kitchen, a small dining table and some lounges.
The top level is the bedroom, with a queen sized bed, a wardrobe and a TV. It has little windows overlooking the property. It’s gorgeous!
Downstairs is the highlight though – and one or my favourite things about the Clarendon Forest Retreat – a giant spa overlooking acres of green fields with so many amazing birds and wildlife.
However, my favourite thing about our little chapel was the Willy Wagtail couple that lived on our patio. I spent the whole time stalking them to get some pics but they weren’t cooperative. Once, we were eating lunch out there and they beautifully posed on a chair for me, but of course, I didn’t have my phone on me. Here’s a sneaky pic I got of the boy one.
What you need to know about Clarendon Forest Retreat
There are seven cottages on the property. The Sanctuary, The Hideaway and The Chapel aren’t suitable for children, while Talawhal Eco Lodge, Waterlily and Tara Lodge are all three bed + family homes perfect for a group holiday.
There’s no wifi! You’re in the country and the reception is patchy as well, so prepare for a real device detox as you enjoy your country break.
There are DVD players though, and some DVDs on site. Take some if you have some though as the range isn’t extensive.
All the cabins are self catering and the closest shops are in Nabiac, about 15-20 minutes away, so stock up before you arrive. We just did simple dinners like pre-made quiche and curry from Woolworths.
There is a pool on site but it’s not heated so it’s best in summer. Every cabin has a spa though so you can enjoy that all year round.
They are pet friendly – so this is a holiday your dog can come along to.
You can bush walk, horse ride, mountain bike, swim or just lie around and relax in your spa. It’s all up to you!
To book your holiday visit www.cfr.com.au
*We were hosted by Clarendon Forest Retreat but all opinions are our own