Yarrandabbi Dreaming Retreat, a B&B island escape right on Brisbane's doorstep, is one of South East Queensland's best kept secrets and makes the perfect escape for those looking for a peaceful haven without sacrificing life's luxuries.
This award winning retreat on beautiful Macleay Island provides luxury accommodation and many added extras. Peaceful and secluded, Yarrandabbi Dreaming Retreat enjoys an absolute waterfront location, with views across Moreton Bay to North Stradbroke Island - perfect for watching the new day dawn.
There are three guest suites here, all sharing a very well equipped kitchen, lounge and dining area. A supply of books, magazines, board games and DVDs can be found in the lounge for use by guests. Each guest suite has its own private entrance and balcony area (complete with outdoor setting) overlooking the grounds and the bay. The interiors are beautifully decorated, spacious and very comfortable. With quality linen and bath robes supplied, a two person heated spa, large flat screen television and DVD/CD player in each suite, there's every opportunity to simply chill out and relax. Reverse cycle air conditioning and cool island breezes ensure guests' comfort throughout the seasons.
Those looking to get into the great outdoors are well catered for with bikes, fishing gear, crab pots and a Canadian canoe available. Tropical gardens and beautifully kept grounds make it a real pleasure to just sit and soak up the surrounds here.
Feel like a stroll on the beach? No problem. Just walk out the door of your suite, across the lawn and onto the beach. Turtles, dugong and dolphins inhabit the bay and those choosing to paddle out in the canoe are guaranteed to make the acquaintance of the local marine life. The unspoilt environment of the island also sees a wide variety of birdlife on Macleay Island and waking to a dawn chorus is just one of the treats to be enjoyed.
After a day of discovering the island, guests are invited to join hosts, Yvonne and Trevor for happy hour at the Sundowner Bar on the dining deck - they both enjoy sharing a good wine with their guests. The views from here are breathtaking, particularly as the sun goes down and lights up the white sandhills of North Stradbroke Island. Yvonne and Trevor are very gracious and generous hosts and make every effort to ensure that their guests take home fond memories of their visit to Yarrandabbi Dreaming B&B.
Yvonne has years of experience in the tourism and travel industry whilst Trevor has an engineering and business background and is also a qualified chef. Visitors couldn't be in better hands. he couple has a real passion for the island and its community and happily share their knowledge of the area. Whilst both have worked internationally, Macleay Island is definitely their chosen home.
A full breakfast is included in the tariff at Yarrandabbi Dreaming and is an experience to be savoured. Whilst delicious hot breakfasts are served daily, on weekends guests are treated to a champagne breakfast and a slightly expanded menu.
Tables on the dining deck are set beautifully, creating the mood for a relaxing start to the day and making guests feel very special. Yvonne and Trevor are very particular about the quality of ingredients and produce used and support island growers and producers wherever possible - fresh seafood, honey, breads and edible flowers are all sourced from island businesses.
Weekend breakfasts begin with a glass of champagne and/or orange juice, followed by a breakfast parfait which consists of seasonal fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt and Bircher muesli. Guests are then presented with possibly the biggest decision of the day - which hot breakfast to choose. The menu varies seasonally, ensuring guests enjoy high quality produce. Trevor's Eggs Benedict is highly regarded and rightfully so. But it doesn't stop there. Freshly baked croissants with a selection of jams and preserves and tea and coffee finish off this five star breakfast that is likely to see you through until dinner time.
Overlooking the 12 meter pool is a BBQ deck, for the use of guests. This deck also enjoys a view of the bay and on a warm day is the perfect spot to enjoy a BBQ lunch or dinner and to cool off.
How to spend the day? Guests can either avail themselves of the facilities provided at the B&B or enjoy discovering the island. Yvonne provides guests with a familiarization tour of the island as part of the greeting. This is great and gives visitors an idea of what the island has to offer. It is possible to use the bikes to check out Macleay Island, but taking a car across to the island allows guests to get around with ease, no matter what the weather is like.
There are many little beaches and coves to visit on the island, with several beaches suitable for swimming and fishing. Pat's Point is a picturesque beach with a swimming enclosure, playground, BBQs and picnic shelters. The island has a golf course, bowls club, boat club, an arts complex, a heritage walk, several parks, playgrounds, supermarkets, pub, restaurants and cafes.
If cooking is too much trouble after a day of discovery, evening meals can be pre-arranged (for an extra fee) and are worth every cent. As with breakfast, Trevor prepares an amazing dinner menu and dining at Yarrandabbi Dreaming is an experience guests will remember long after their visit.
For those preferring to dine out, a booking can be made for dinner at one of the clubs. At the end of the day, enjoy complimentary tea, coffee and gourmet biscuits or perhaps a glass of port and chocolates. Be lulled to sleep by the sound of lapping water and birdsong and awake refreshed and ready to enjoy another day in paradise and another awesome Yarrandabbi breakfast.
This retreat is perfect for so many types of holidays: romantic escapes, relaxation retreats, special occasion celebrations, family gatherings, getaways with friends or for just escaping the "real world", soaking up the tranquillity and breathing at a slower pace. All three suites (referred to as Curlew Cove) can be booked out for larger gatherings, giving groups the sole use of the retreat.
The Southern Moreton Bay Islands are beautiful and well worth exploring as holiday destinations. Macleay Island has a wonderful laid back vibe that transports visitors back to a time when life was simple and people had time for a chat and each other. With a population of roughly 2,500, the island boasts a strong community spirit and some real characters. The eclectic mix of "islanders" includes artists, sculptors, glass artists, writers, poets, potters, professionals, retirees and families.
Need to know - Macleay Island is just a 15 minute passenger ferry ride from Redland Bay or for those taking their car on the vehicular ferry, a 40 minute trip (contact Yarrandabbi Dreaming B&B as they can arrange a "frequent floater" discount when booking for you). Hop on board, leave the rat race behind and discover the magic of Macleay Island where the heart rate slows, the mind and body relax and smiles are given freely.
Nice to know - Future plans for Yarrandabbi Dreaming B&B include the addition of a cooking school, to commence in the New Year (2016). Details will be posted on the website and Facebook page.
By Sandy Ludinski
Must Do Brisbane was a guest of Yarrandabbi Dreaming Retreat.