Our two week stay with Daryl at Palana Retreat proved to be the best holiday experience we have had in Australia. The Retreat is remote, at the end of a 50km (mostly gravel) road from Whitemark, but comes with loads of solitude, scenery and local wildlife. The use of a vehicle, along with lots of local tips on where to go, provides fantastic opportunities for exploring the island which rightly lays claim to some of the most pristine (and unoccupied) beaches in the country. There are also kayaks available to explore the local coastline and secluded coves. Despite the remoteness there are plenty of gastronomic highlights to be had, from freshly caught crayfish and whiting, local produce including Flinders Island Gin (a must try) to an exceptionally well stocked wine cellar. Daryl is a consumate host providing a level of interaction appropriate to each guest. We enjoyed beautiful trips out on the bay on Daryl's boat in hunt of crayfish (with some success), and a memorable cross country journey to visit an artistic "neighbour". A stay at Palana Retreat will calm the furrowed brow, reawaken the senses and leave you with some incredible impressions of a spectacular corner of Australia. But be warned - there is every chance you will fall in love with Flinders Island and never want to leave!
We had one week at Palana Retreat - what a treat!!
The house is fully equipped with mod cons and full connectivity to the outside world (if you need to be) but you are on a beautiful secluded island in the Bass Strait.
Palana beach is virtually a private beach - you almost don't even encounter anybody else's footprints netherlone see others!!
Daryl is very welcoming and provides lovely touches like lovely homemade bread on arrival.
He has a great supply of home made Island products or wine from his cellar for purchase so you don't need to drive unnecessarily if you just want to put your feet up.
What a lovely spot to commune with nature.
Daryl picked us up from the airport and we drove into Whitemark for some groceries and for a coffee at Freckles cafe. Don't bother buying any wine and there is a very large selection available at very reasonable prices.
It is about a 45 minute drive to Palana Retreat, most of it on gravel roads. The accomodation is secluded and very well equipped with great view over the valley and towards the sea. If you get lonely there are two chickens and a very friendly dog for company.
The beach is just amazing and you will rarely see another person on the beach.A car is provided with the property - you just pay a small fee per kilometre. There is everything you could possible want here including an online movie library and literally hundreds of TV channels if you want to be inside.
You must try the cray dinner which is prepared by Daryl and includes a large cray caught by Daryl. For starters there are homemade dips and crackers, followed by smoked salmon and finally the cray which is served with a large salad. Great food and perfect with some great white wine from Daryl's cellar.
There are kayaks available to use on the river and there are other distractions including the resident wallabies and wombat.
Great base to explore North Flinders with some amazing scenery to enjoy.
Can't recommend Palana Retreat highly enough!
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