book now

 

Location     Our Story     Sustainability

Location – the Undiscovered Wilderness Coast

We are located on the very southern coast of New South Wales, an area recently designated as part of the Wilderness Coast of Australia, which takes in the very southern parts of NSW and northern parts of the Victorian coastlines.

 

We really believe the landscape between Tilba and Tathra is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. It is a combination of storybook rolling green farmland, rainforest coastal eucalypt forest dotted with rainforest pockets, breathtaking coastline, made-up of stunning beaches, pristine lakes, and charming coastal villages.

 

It is a 15 minute walk or 2 minute drive along our private track to Murrah beach. From there you can access Murrah Lake or Bunga Lagoon or Goalen Head – the start of Mimosa Rocks National Park. Once in the park you can explore miles of coastline on foot from the retreat.

How have we preserved this part of Australia?

It’s sometimes hard for visitors to understand how this beautiful pocket has been so well preserved.

 

For thousands of years prior to European settlement, Yuin nation people were custodians for the far south coast of NSW. Yuin lands stretch from approximately the area near Eden in the south to an area near Nowra in the north. Special places near Indigo Retreat for Aboriginal People include Mumbulla and Gulaga Mountains – sacred spaces for Men and Women in traditional times. In 2005 Gulaga was handed back to its traditional owners, and it is now managed by representatives from local Aboriginal communities and NSW National Parks. (Take the walking track to the top of Gulaga, see more information here.)

 

After European settlement and at a time when major highways and train lines were opening up the rest of the Australian mainland, this area relied almost exclusively on shipping as its gateway to the world. When shipping stopped, it left our area without major transport links, relatively off the map and isolated.

 

Throughout the 1950-80s, large sections of coastline were bought and preserved by environmentally minded architects, artists and community leaders who are now widely recognised with gratitude as “Guardians of the Coast”. At a time when insensitive development was happening elsewhere, these lands were preserved and even regenerated from farmland back to forest. Large parcels of their land have since been gifted to Mimosa Rocks National Park, and recent coastal protection law is slowing any major development of the area.

 

Huge gratitude also goes to the longstanding persistence and hard work of environmentally minded activists who ran campaigns from the 1970s to the present day to preserve large swathes of local land that has since been protected in National Parks and Preserved Forest due to their direct action. Volunteer work continues today to protect local lands & species including particular recent work on Koala groups.


Our Story

Our story is fairly simple. We knew we wanted to leave the city and create a beautiful retreat – back in 1995, probably before that was a thing to do. We wanted to create a beautiful and healing environment. We’re pretty slow, it took a long time to achieve.

 

We were going to go all around Australia to find the best place to live the dream, and we came to Bermagui for a weekend and bought the first place we saw! We asked a real estate agent to show us a cottage on 25 acres, and bought a 130 acre bush block without even water or power. When you come to Indigo you will see why we were so rash– even back in 1995 it was hard to imagine a place in Australia where you could buy that much bush in such a stunning location so close to the sea.

 

We spent many years making it happen. Planning, designing, digging holes and planting… Building and more building…. Digging more holes… Amazing local craftsmen who helped us make the dream happen: Even a cooperative bank manager who kept loaning us more and more money. But we got there in the end and we hope you’ll love it like we do.


Sustainability

We’re not perfect – there’s always room for improvement – but the following are some of the ways our retreat aims to care for the environment:

 

ENERGY/GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION:

  • Back to grid solar electrical system
  • Gas backed solar hot water system and heating via our own high-efficiency hardwood boiler
  • Roof and wall insulation, foam insulation to concrete slab and on some exterior walls to improve R rating and energy efficiency of the buildings.
  • Cross Flow ventilation for natural cooling in summer

 

WASTE MINIMISATION:

  • We clean with chemical free ENJO cleaning products
  • Your room has been finished with the minimum of chemicals – render on walls and low emission paints on the woodwork. It should be low in toxic emissions.
  • Dowmus flushable composting toilet and greywater recycling system.
  • Recycling available in both lodges
  • All organic kitchen waste is collected and composted on site.
  • On-site vegetable garden, herb garden and fruit trees (Our veggie garden has been designed with permaculture principles – it faces north, is protected from winds and tries to be self sustaining with home made compost.

 

WATER SAVING MEASURES:

  • Rainwater tank on site used inside lodges
  • Water saving toilets and taps
  • Dam water used to water gardens
  • The dams and swimming pool act as fire breaks and water storage for bush fire protection.