Barn Hives Photo Credit Taya Reid

Sliding under the skin of the Margaret River Region is about walking in step with the character of the land.

When it comes to sustainable accommodation considerations, that means choosing from the wealth of experiences that thin the veil between civility and Country without relinquishing comfort. Thoughtful travel begins with the turn of the key in the lock.

These gracious hosts understand the small touches that will contribute to your connection with the environment while ensuring a future for our pristine bushland and coastal ecosystems.

They are also all self-contained and secluded, with space to exhale and relax.

You won’t want to go home.


It feels like being a kid again. Cubbies in the bush. That is, if your cubby house had glass-walled showers, wood fireplaces, King-sized beds, and timber boardwalks leading to secluded outdoor spas framed by forest.

All four styles of self-contained chalets at the Hidden Valley Forest Retreat share the commonality of solar water transfer pumps, use of natural water sources, power conservation and a sustainable approach to facilities: glass milk bottles, compostable bin liners and paper wrapped Vasse Virgin soaps.

But each cabin in the quiet Carbunup location has its own distinct character. Maybe you’ll want a slice of Stone Stable and its internal timber courtyard with raised spa. One of two Eco Lodges set apart in forested seclusion with suspended timber decking made for sunset sparkling and star gazing. Or Deepwater Retreat’s lakeside seclusion.

It’s a retreat from urban noise that puts you right at the heart of the region.

Hidden Valley Forest Retreat
Soak in the serenity at Hidden Valley Forest Retreat. Photo: supplied.


Six thousand rose gum trees are the frame and the feature at Tree Chalets. The family-owned farm just outside Busselton covers 90 acres of bushland, ensuring ultimate immersion for those lucky enough to secure a booking at one of just two private chalets.

Tree Chalets has achieved Eco Certification for Nature Tourism and have been built from timbers grown on the farm; positioned to draw in the bush views. An outdoor cast iron tub is an obvious luxury, but it’s what can’t be seen that contributes to the sustainable accommodation’s quietude: solar power, rainwater and discrete EV charging stations lighten your imprint.

There’s a wood fire for winter, and a fully equipped kitchen in case driving to nearby Busselton or local wineries feels like too much of a stretch.

Trail walks leave from the property. Book an outdoor gum tree massage. The adult-only retreat calls for a slowdown.

Tree Chalets
Tree Chalets are nestled in beautiful Australian Native forest. Photo: West Beach Studio.


Barn Hives takes a contemporary approach to sustainable accommodation. Coastal but not rustic. An adult-friendly retreat for those who love cape tracks by day and a reminder of cocktail comforts come end of day.

Tucked up near the northern corner of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge in coastal Yallingup, the Barn Hives play on hive ecology and ideas of natural construction. Pod accommodation settles atop the landscape and utilises contemporary aesthetics to create passive design befitting the Smiths Beach location: oriented to capture light for warmth and prevailing winds for cross-ventilation, Barn Hives use rainwater and solar energy for heating.

The colour scheme is muted. There’s height in the two-storey open living spaces to capture arcing views. Private decks for sunset and star spotting. A restaurant on site – Barnyard 1978 – engages renewable energy sources and a sustainable agriculture approach to sourcing meat and produce. There’s also a cellar door and honey store on hand.

And all of this just up the road from photogenic canal rocks. Needless to say, sunset here is a must.

Barn Hives Eco Pods - Romantic Accommodation Credit Taya Reid
Simple, chic and sustainable at Barn Hives. Photo: Taya Reid.


Lara and Jamie McCall don’t so much offer sustainable accommodation at Burnside Organic Farm as they do an intimate insight into life with the land. Farm. Winery. Home.

For more than two decades the couple has cultivated their 15-hectare allotment in the Burnside bush-scape creating a close-looped ecosystem: the McCall’s are personally self-sufficient in meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, honey and wine.

Via three limestone and rammed earth bungalows you’re invited to move in for a little while. Jamie and Lara built the bungalows to make the most of natural materials and the organic farm’s private location. A rammed earth luxury spa bungalow is a romantic retreat with its indoor spa, wood fire and views from every glass-framed room. Outside stone baths make the two limestone bungalows a favourite with families and small groups.

Each bungalow is fitted with a modern kitchen because access to produce is a highlight: Lara runs farm tours, there’s wine to purchase from the on-site cellar door, and the chance to play with creating your own taste of the Margaret River Region from what’s on hand.

Burnside Organic Farm Outdoor Bath
Finish your day at Burnside Organic Farm's rustic bungalows. Photo credit: supplied.


Kangaroos at sunset. Flocks of the rare and endemic forested red tail black cockatoos calling to the end of day. Between the Witchcliffe and Augusta townships in the bush enclave of Forest Grove, the Margaret River Retreat has utilised original materials from the retreat’s original incarnations as a former horse hotel and farm to build a unique sustainable accommodation experience.

Four self-contained studios welcome you with sustainably sourced flax linen, rain showers and indulgent Vasse Virgin products. A glamping village has luxury twin belles with solar lights, cool boxes and luxury linen for comfortable queen beds – because being in touch with nature doesn’t have to mean being remote from comfort.

Margaret River Retreat has ecotourism accreditation. The 75-acre farm is framed by national park and forms a wildlife corridor preserving habitat for Western ringtail possum, masked owl and white bellied frog who call the neighbouring creek lines home. Get to know them all around the communal fire pit (seasonal), where towering Marri trees frame brilliant night skies.

You’ll leave with a re-purposed focus on the riches of simple living.

Studio Accommodation at Margaret River Retreat
Choose from self-contained studios and glamping tents at Margaret River Retreat. Photo: supplied.


A visit to Tanah Marah is a chance to unwind and connect. The expansive property includes a number of different ways to get active on your holiday, including a tennis court, rowboat, 9-hole golf course and walking and biking trails that intersect karri forest, streams and farmland. Alternatively meet the day leisurely, settle in with a good book on your private terrace and enjoy a selection of local gourmet produce.

While exploring keep a watchful eye out for the native flora and fauna that calls the area home, with useful resources in the on-site library available to help in identifying them.

Each of the six two-bedroom chalets are solar-powered, with fresh water supplied by an underground spring.

Travelling with a group, or hosting an event? The lakeside function centre is the perfect place for weddings, family reunions, or retreats that require space and tranquillity amongst nature.

Self Contained Chalets at Tanah Marah overlooking the lake
Enjoy views of the lake at Tanah Marah. Photo: supplied.


Little House Republic offers a unique and sustainable off-grid experience that will nourish your soul. Their luxury retreats are nestled in the serene Scott River peppermint trees on 750 hectares of private property, providing the perfect getaway for couples or solo travellers.

The architecturally designed ‘little houses’ exemplify sustainable tourism, displaying how you can make a lighter impact while travelling. Powered by solar energy and rainwater, each property is thoughtfully designed to immerse you in nature from the moment you arrive.

Accessed via a private driveway on unspoiled active pastoral land that has seen only family for over 130 years, you will feel like you are worlds away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, whether it’s a hike to the private beach, exploring nearby national parks and wineries, or simply relaxing with a good book, you are invited to experience sustainable luxury in the heart of nature at Little House Republic.

Little House Repbulic
Glorious views in all directions at Little House Republic. Photo: Supplied

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