My husband and I recently got married on the beach in Mandorah and upon looking for accommadation found that the Wagait Beach Bush Retreat was our only option.
We booked it as a place for the bridal party to get ready in and didn't actually intend on staying there.
Upon arrival we were instantly in awe of the property and really had not expected something so beautiful and unique.
The layout of the house is so welcoming and homely that you don't feel like you are in a stuffy hotel, but it is also simple enough that you don't feel there is any clutter or stress. There is everything you need to have a relaxing getaway.
The kitchen has all the basic appliances and crockery needed which are in good clean condition. Something that would have turned me off in this kind of environment would have been dirty or used crockery and cutlery but everything was perfect :) There is a gas oven and stove top, microwave, a clean fridge/ freezer and a beautiful breeze and view of the natural bush gardens out of the louvered windows while you are cooking/ preparing :)
The only thing I would suggest is if you are staying for a period of time to bring some disposable chinese containers for leftovers as there is no tuppaware to store in the fridge. All this is available from the shop if you aren't prepared though :)
On from the kitchen is the open deck/breezeway which was my favourite part of the house and where we spent most of our time! It has a sturdy hammock overlooking bushland, a big beautiful solid dining table, a day bed that folds out, a stereo and a tv. We spent most of our days lounging in the hammock or bed, reading books, watching tv, listening to the radio or even just the sounds of the surrounding nature. We had green tree frogs visiting us daily and even a beautiful Kookaburra coming in for scraps in the evening. It was so great to be able to relax without being cooped up indoors.
The bedrooms are simple and tidy. Made for a comfortable nights sleep. The aircons work well or if you want a natural breeze the louvered windows are big enough to open up and still get a cool nights sleep. I can honestly say that the bed in the main room is far more comfortable than my bed at home!
The bathroom is clean and tidy. The bath/shower has a big louvered window overlooking the pool and bush. Lovely if you are by yourself but if you are with friends then perhaps don't shower while others are swimming ;)
Outside of the bathroom is a small laundry and clothes line. Again, great for if you are staying for longer periods. Be sure to bring some laundry powder.
Outside features a decent sized plunge pool, bigger than your average spa. Deck chairs and a large wind up umbrella. Also a clean new bbq and outdoor table under the shady trees. Again, i would have shied away from the bbq if it was used/ dirty but it was perfect and simple.
We stayed there the night before our wedding with our 3 year old who had an absolute ball. We couldn't get her out of the pool all night. On the wedding night we offered it to some of our guests who also loved it.
Besides staying at the house we found plenty of other activities to do around Mandorah. We went for walks along the beach and explored the rockpools. We visited the nearby war plane crashsite. We went fishing on the jetty (Didn't catch anything :( but all the local fishos down there did and were lovely for a chat) We wen't to the local club for a night out. The lady in the kitchen cooks beautiful home cooked meals at a great price and if you go on darts night (Thursday) you will get to meet all the locals who are very friendly and more than happy to have a chat with the newby's :)
Chris and Sue are also the perfect hosts and you can find them at the shop almost any time to answer any questions while you are there, whether it be about the house or just to gain some local knowledge on things to do and places to see.
Leading up to our wedding we hadn't really organised a honeymoon. We were planning on just waiting until we got home and perhaps jump on a flight to Bali for a few days.
Instead we went home, dumped everything in the house, packed a bag and went back to Mandorah :D We booked in for 2 nights and once that time was up we booked ANOTHER night as we just couldn't bring ouselves to leave! It was the best decision ever! We plan on returning every year for our anniversary.
I will admit the price is maybe a bit high and had it not been our wedding we maybe wouldn't have spoilt ourselves that much. But I'm glad we did as we gave ourselves the chance to fall in love with the place and will have no doubts coming back in the future.
Do yourself a favour and forgo your 13th annual trip to Bali. Have a look in your own backyard, this place is Australia at it's best! Even catching the ferry over will give you that feeling that you have really travelled somewhere away from Darwin.
Thanks again Wagait Beach Bush Retreat, we'll see you soon :D
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If you are looking for a getaway to sit back, relax and enjoy the lovely bush surroundings this is the place! A ferry ride from Darwin or you can drive there (about an hour from outer Darwin) once you arrive it's time to chill out. Located near Mandorah, Wagait Beach is essentially a country town. If you drive over there are lovely beaches and scenery to enjoy. If you ferry over you will need to be transported to the retreat. There is a well equipped shop where you can pick up supplies and even get a cappuccino
Then it's time to relax, enjoy the pool and surrounds. We went with two couples and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
There are a number of things at this property that need attention in order for me to be able to recommend anyone staying here or justify the price of $250 per night for a minimum 2 nights. They are as follows -
• The kitchen is old and is not big enough to have multiple people in using the minimal bench space provided
• The oven took twice as long to cook anything as well as not having any operating instructions
• The fridge door is mouldy
• The dining room chairs are too short for the table (and I'm tall)
• You cannot block off the lounge/dining from the elements so there are mosquitoes and termites galore, not to mention heat
• There are no railings on the deck so don't bring young children
• It's promoted as secluded but your neighbours are 20 metres away
• Only half of the outdoor BBQ works and has seen much better days
• Some of the walls are dirty and in need of painting
• There's no way of winding the matchstick blinds up in the main bedroom
• The main bedroom aircon remote batteries were jammed in the remote and dead and even when replaced the remote still didn't work
• The pool is much smaller than the size the website picture implies
• There are holes in most of the fly screens so even in rooms where you could close the doors to escape the bugs, you can't
• The walls are paper thin so you hear every noise anyone else in the house makes
Brutally honest but it's just not worth the money. Maybe with a spruce up but not until then.