As a girl I grew up in a country town in WA so you would be forgiven for thinking that I am well acquainted with our native wildlife and in particular our national animal, the kangaroo. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that the majority of my experiences with our national animal have been seeing them lying lifeless on the side of the long dusty road between Perth and Kalgoorlie as we whizzed past at 100km/hr. Having said that, I do have a few memories of seeing Skippy alive, I remember, as a child, seeing a few sad kangaroos trapped behind the chicken wire at Hammond Park in Kalgoorlie. Then, in later years, I recall catching a glimpse of their furry tails as they bounded off into the bush while we were on family holidays. But truthfully, despite the world’s perception that our national animal is just walking, or rather jumping, around in the streets, kangaroos do not factor into most of our everyday lives and I for one, certainly have never had much chance to see them up close. That is until recently.
3 hours south of Perth near the towns of Margaret River and Vasse, is a 100 acre property with several chalets peppered about the grounds. “Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat and Conservation Sanctuary” is a relaxing way to spend a weekend and a fantastic way to get back to nature.
Joy and Simon Ensor purchased the land back in 1988 and over the next few years proceeded to build 5 chalets on the property. The chalets themselves are simple if a little dated; there is an abundance of lace and floral patterns, however they actually fit quite well into the natural bushland surroundings and are understated and cottage-like. Exposed timber beams are in keeping with the rural theme and hand tumbled clay bricks sit well against the landscape.
The chalets, which are available in 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom configurations, are well appointed with a full kitchen as well as books, DVDs and CDs to use for your stay. They are very homely and it actually feels like you are staying at a friend’s place rather than a rented cottage. Each chalet is set up with a welcome pack consisting of freshly baked bread, butter, fresh eggs, milk, juice, coffee, tea and sugar. There is also a local paper, maps and brochures waiting for you in the room.
Outside the chalets are walking trails and each chalet has its own barbecue. You can take your own food or if you prefer there are several food options available for purchase. (These are outlined on the website which is linked below). There is a private chef who can come and cook you a 4 course meal or a few places nearby that will deliver food. We ordered our food from a place called ‘The Larder’ in Margaret River and they were fantastic. They will drop off fully prepared meals that you just need to heat up as well as BBQ or picnic packs and platters or gift boxes. I would definitely recommend this for a hassle free stay. We ordered a few days before and our food was waiting for us in the chalet when we arrived.
If you are on a romantic trip or really wanting to relax, day spa services can be purchased, the ladies from Inroom Indulgences will come to the chalets to do treatments onsite.
So while the chalets are quite sweet and the seclusion is nice, really there are hundreds of similar places in the south west. I feel the chalets themselves are not the draw card. There were 2 highlights however which made Yelverton Brook Eco Resort a bit special. The first was the hydrotherapy spas which come with each chalet. These 6 person outdoor spas provide the perfect vantage point to relax and watch the bush and all its creatures during the day or sit back with a champagne and watch the stars at night. A fantastic way to relax and indulge.
The second highlight which is really the thing which sets Yelverton Eco Chalets apart is the abundance of wildlife. Kangaroos, possums, birds, lizards, woylies and bandicoots will not only be very visible in the bush but they will approach the chalets and come right up to the windows. If you were a visitor from another country this would definitely be a perfect place to see our wildlife up close and personal.
Each chalet has containers of properly prepared feed pellets so the guests can feed the animals which is a must as that’s when you get to see them at their peaceful best. Being spring, many of the kangaroos had swollen pouches and at night we even saw a brushtail possum come in with a tiny baby clinging to her back. It really was a wonderful experience watching the wild animals interact and feed in their natural surroundings. They are contained on the 100 acre property with no predators so they all looked well fed and content.
If you have guests here from overseas or children who love animals or even if you are like me and have never really had much chance to get a good look at our national animal and her friends, I would definitely recommend Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat.
There is something really magical about witnessing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat and being so close you can see the spots on their fur, their strong tails and their long doe-like eyelashes. This is how kangaroos are supposed to be seen.