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“Make friends with the wildlife on Kangaroo Island”

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Demole River Retreat, Gaia
Reviewed 15 May 2012

Five nights here was perfect for myself, my wife and my parents. Despite all of the sights and wildlife on KI, this was by far the best place to spend some time. A trip to Flinders Chase was fantastic, and Seal Bay was so memorable; however ‘Gaia’ was something else (which was very handy, given it takes 30 minutes to get to/from the main highway).
The wildlife around Gaia was phenomenal; the Kangaroos were so friendly that we struggled to even walk out of the door without some very close attention! Remarkably, I even found the possums to be pleasant company! Echidnas would nonchalantly walk by, and one even came right up to me when I was standing still. The walk to the nearby bay was terrific; some stunning cliffs and even a pod of dolphins close to shore.
I would definitely recommend allowing for at least two whole days just staying put and hanging around with some new-found friends. The cabin was comfortable and spotlessly clean, and the wood burner was an essential centre-piece for the evenings and some mornings (and worked very effectively in warming the place up quickly).
The serenity, the wildlife and the beautiful bush setting made this a memorable experience. Graham has an excellent knowledge of the area, and was always available to point things out, explain the wildlife and make us feel comfortable.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Andrew_76_h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 - 32 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 30 April 2012

We stayed here for Easter 2012 and had the most incredible few days. The setting in perfect and waking up to kangaroos outside our bedroom window was a once in a lifetime experience (not to mention being able to hand feed them!). The owner, Graham, went out of his way to make our stay special and we will always cherish the time we spent here.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Look, you gotta be OK with drinking rain water. If not, go stay in the city. Will a little running river keep you awake at night? Go stay in the city. Don't have any interest in watching amazing colorful birds close at hand? Don't go here. You've already had the experience of a family of friendly roos knocking on your door to get fed? Lucky you, but if not, this place is unique! If you really need to have lots of people around, and if you must have TV and internet service every minute of the day, you can find that most anywhere, but not at Gaia. Here you will find all the comforts of home, because you have your own home -- with no neighbors and no street noise. Demole River Retreat is the story-book life work of Graham Burnell, and thanks to him, it is a rare shared legacy. This experience was an outstanding highlight of our ten week retirement trip to Australia and New Zealand.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TomFrostman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

This piece of heaven on earth, or should I say Kangaroo Island, is a definite must if you are looking for a complete break from everything. The whole combination of everything is mother nature at her best. We, three friends, stayed for 2 nights in mid March, 2012 and easily could have forgotten that there was another world out there. The caretaker of this land, Graham, is a fountain of information thrown in with a great sense of humour, with his amazing family of wildlife to keep you happily entertained. Bless this beautiful spot.

Room Tip: This is peace and tranquility, any room will do.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lynne B B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Our family of five (kids 11, 8 and 5) stayed 2 nights in late January 2012. We should have stayed longer. We live in Adelaide. The house was surprisingly spacious, is very well set up and very clean. The kids were totally absorbed with the wildlife, especially having kangaroos, possums and goannas as residents and red-tailed black cockatoos as evening visitors. The nights were magic for a city folk - completely quiet with a huge star-filled sky. Our kids saw stars properly for the first time. With access to Kangaroo beach we enjoyed a full day as private beach 'owners' on a perfect, secluded white-sand beach. Not bad as an inclusion in the house rental! We will be back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Paul T
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Reviewed 10 February 2012

DeMole River retreat is not just a lovely and peaceful accomodation, it's a destination in its own right. Once upon a time, a kangaroo was shot dead and a very kind man by the name of Graham saved the joey from the same fate. Through this simple act of kindness, there are now a dozen offspring of "Bella" who roam around the cottage. To be around them is pure magic. Many thanks to Graham for his warm generosity to us, as well as his world. A five star rating is short by a couple of stars.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Nancy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

We stayed here for four nights over Christmas 2011 and it was one of the most special places we have ever been. The house is very remote, but then you have this wonderful company! We had nine kangaroos one night, including two joeys. Graham, the owner, who is most helpful with everything you want to know, provides you with some “roo food” and you can feed them and watch them eat. Then most of them usually stay around for a while.
To get there a 4WD is recommended and you have to bring all your food. On Christmas day Graham brought us a special Xmas treat: some crayfish he had caught, and it was already cooked and ready to eat – yumm! Thanks Graham for an unforgetable stay!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank greendog25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Demole River Retreat, Gaia

Address: near Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 5223, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 50 Speciality Lodging in Kangaroo Island
Price Range: £107 - £154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your very own wildlife sanctuary in the middle of Kangaroo Island's bushland on the northwest coast. Close to private beaches, stunning bush and cliff top walks, plus fishing and swimming. A home from home. Great for nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and animal lovers. The essence of tranquility. No TV, no mobile reception, just you and nature in a comfy self contained hand built house - most of our guests don't want to leave! ... more   less 

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