Vineyards, deserted beaches, world-class food and wine, rolling farmlands… the list of reasons to visit Western Australia reads like a wish list for the dream life.
With so much to see and do, finding a place to stay that showcases the local region while welcoming days of retreat and relaxation is the key to planning a balanced getaway. To help narrow down the search, we’ve discovered the best of the west with this hit list of Slow Stays in WA.
Toying with the idea of a tree change? One night at Upland Farm in Western Australia’s Great Southern region and you’ll be scheming how to make the serene country life your reality. Everything about this sustainable guest house celebrates its rural location — from the warm, iron ash exterior and the oversized windows that welcome panoramic views, to the cosy furnishings that were chosen for their tonal relationship to the outdoors. If time permits, stick around on a Sunday to visit the nearby Kwoorabup Community Markets for a local produce haul that will beg to be whipped into a comforting meal in the self-contained kitchen. When stomachs grow full and the sky turns dark, head out to the firepit for a nightcap under the stars.
INJIDUP SPA RETREAT
It will be virtually impossible to leave Injidup Spa Retreat in the Margaret River region feeling anything but relaxed, refreshed and completely rejuvenated. Secluded and private with uninterrupted views of Injidup Beach, there are 10 oceanfront, adults-only villas that make up this eco-luxe sanctuary. Whilst your very own plunge pool and optional in-villa dining may make it difficult to want to explore beyond the property, it’s worth meandering for a little while along the captivating 130km Cape to Cape track. Do yourself a favour and line up a post-trek massage at the on-site spa, Bohdi, for a decadent wellness experience, created to soothe tired feet and recalibrate busy minds.
Outside of Perth, WA
Herman Melville writes in Moby Dick, “it is not down in any map; true places never are”. This quote couldn’t be more fitting for our next Slow Stay in WA. Tucked away in two secret locations, outside of Perth, you’ll find Henry and Florence, a pair of off-grid tiny homes with the ability to turn stressed-out city folk into Zen-like beings. Full of little luxuries, like a king-size bed, hot water rain shower, a ‘bush mini bar’ and a wood-burning fire for chilly winter nights, you can take your pick between waking up in a vineyard (Henry) or the blissful Australian bush (Florence). With nature in abundance and to-do lists non-existent, this is your chance to soak in the surrounding beauty, test your board game skills and do not much else.
LITTLE HOP HOUSE
On a working hop farm in the verdant Preston River Valley, sits a small one-bedroom cabin beckoning for adventurous couples to come stay. Aptly named Little Hop House, this quaint abode, decked out with new and vintage finds, is a short five-minute drive from Donnybrook in the southwest of Western Australia. Set up camp here and discover nearby hiking trails, the property’s freshwater river and the boutique wineries dotted throughout the Bunbury Geographe that deliver some of the best small-batch wine you’ll ever sip. When it comes time to rest, head straight for the comforts of your home away from home and chow down on fresh farm eggs and seasonal produce by the toasty fireplace.
PETIT ECO CABIN
There’s so much to love about Petit Eco Cabin, but if you have a soft spot for sustainability, architecturally designed pads and wine, then this Margaret River Slow Stay is your WA soulmate. Sharing a property with a certified organic winery, Windows Estate, this north-facing timber pavilion basks in sunlight and is filled with local goods, and features daybeds that make prime reading nooks and a 1940s bathtub that you’ll find perched on a wooden platform among the trees. And it goes without saying; if you’re going to stay on a vineyard, a visit to the cellar door is a must.
It’s not always easy to find a Slow Stay for groups that is as spacious as it is captivating; but there is a bushland retreat, about 30 minutes from Margaret River, that succeeds at both. Spread over two levels, you’ll find an open-living space with high vaulted ceilings, four comfy bedrooms, fireplace and a freestanding bath on the five-acre property that makes up Cape Rendezvous. There’s so much to explore close by—Busselton is only a five-minute drive—but before heading out, jump on the coffee machine and get a buzz going using the locally roasted beans supplied from the owners’ café.