Stepping off the boat onto the shore at Bremer Island, we meander up a sandy path bordered by seashells, driftwood and fishing nets to Seabreeze Restaurant – the hub of Banubanu Beach Retreat. Perched atop a hill, the restaurant has a deck with a plunge pool at one finish and overlooks a crescent-shaped white sand seashore, lined with safari tents. It’s exhausting to imagine this resort started its life as a fishing shack 16 years in the past when Helen Martin and Trevor Hosie started taking guests there. Guests slept in cabins earlier than three eco-tents had been constructed on the beachfront in 2017. Three extra tents, the restaurant and pool had been added in 2019. The retreat is on the northern tip of Bremer Island, a 40-minute boat experience from the mainland. It’s named after the rocky outcrops on the jap finish of the seashore, coined by Maccassan merchants earlier than European arrival. Banu is a Persian identify for “girl”, which the massive boulders represented. Martin and Hosie sought permission from the standard homeowners, the native Yolgnu individuals, to lease the land the place the resort was constructed. Boats depart beside Gove Boat Club in Inverell Bay, about 10 minutes’ drive from the mining city of Nhulunbuy. Guests can fly from Cairns or Darwin to close by Gove Airport with Airnorth.
Housed in a big eco-tent with glass doorways to maximise the view in the course of the moist season, the restaurant space additionally encompasses a lounge and a bar. It is adorned with wicker furnishings and maps of the area and Indigenous paintings on the wall. A brief stroll away, the previous shack is now additionally a bar adorned with an eclectic mixture of driftwood, life rings, buoys and hats which have washed up from Indonesia, and different nautical paraphernalia. The resort is 100 per cent photo voltaic powered, and the principle water provide is bore water.
With names like Sea Clusion, Sea La Vie and Sea Renity, it is simple to slide into the relaxed island vibe in one of many six safari tents. There are 5 “beachfront bungalows”, whereas the “penthouse bungalow” sits in prime place on the hill. All tents have twin beds which may be mixed to make a king, ensuite loos, deck, ceiling followers, bar fridges, and that every one vital outside bathe.
FOOD & WINE
As you’d count on, there’s a robust concentrate on seafood. Think wild caught barramundi served with tamarind dressing, or freshly caught crab, peppered with herbs grown on the resort. Other menu gadgets embrace crispy pores and skin duck served with sesame Asian greens, orange and candy chilli glaze; and white chocolate and macadamia parfait served with poached berries for dessert.
OUT & ABOUT
The island is identical dimension as Lord Howe Island, however guests can solely discover a small part which is leased by the resort. There are 4 marked strolling trails, as much as 5 kilometres lengthy, taking you over sand dunes, previous wildflowers and alongside abandoned seashores. If you are fortunate you might spot sea turtles nesting. Other actions embrace swimming, kayaking or snorkelling, with the recommendation seeming to be to “watch for crocs”. “They pass by a couple of times a decade, but don’t seem to stick around,” one staffer says. NT Tourism says to solely swim in areas which can be clearly marked secure to take action and defer to the experience of locals. (See becrocwise.nt.gov.au) You also can e-book constitution fishing journeys, and it is a twitcher’s paradise, with 65 hen species calling the island residence. Or simply borrow a e-book from the library and whereas away the day studying within the hammock.
Offering barefoot luxurious in a distant location, this resort is a superb place to relax earlier than or after a Top End journey.
Beachfront Bungalows begin at $872 an individual an evening, together with all meals, airport choose up, transfers and allow charges. A minimal two-night keep is required. Bremer Island, East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Ph 0427 272 772. See banubanu.com
Sitting on the deck consuming a calamari salad and sipping wine whereas watching different visitors kayaking and snorkelling within the turquoise cove under.
Day trippers and locals can go to on excursions or in their very own boats on weekends, so e-book a mid-week keep if you would like exclusivity.
Angela Saurine was a visitor of Banubanu Beach Retreat and Tourism NT. See northernterritory.com