Have you ever been to the Hawkesbury, or like me, had you only crossed it on the drive north from Sydney? Every time we have done that drive, I have looked up the river and thought, wow, it’s really quite stunning here. But until last week, I had never stopped and actually experienced it.
A couple of years ago, during covid, we were watching some travel show, as I tend to do, and Marramarra lodge, an all-inclusive luxury retreat on the Hawkesbury was featured. We ooed and aahed and drooled at it’s beauty and inclusions, and added it to our short trips in Australia wish list.
Then late last year we saw an offer to stay there, and we jumped on it. No it is not cheap, but it is worth every penny you pay. We were collected from a boat ramp just off the highway, a 45 minute drive north of Sydney. As soon as we boarded our boat the stress and tension started to fade away, as did real life, and the beauty of the landscape embraced us.
On arrival we were met with a glass of Champagne, shown around the resort, and then taken to our gorgeous bungalow overlooking the Hawkesbury, and reminded lunch was in 30 minutes!
We really didn’t want to leave our room, but hey, there was food and alcohol calling, so off we went. The food was amazing, served up with the incredible view as a backdrop. Now should we nap, paddle board, kayak, swim or bush walk after lunch? We napped, after reading on our deck enjoying the view. The afternoons at Marramarra are made for relaxation, but you can also take one of their Kayaks for a paddle (we did that one morning after breakfast, and yes it was stunning!). You can grab a paddleboard and explore the peninsula from the water. (we did that too, another day!). You can book in for a massage or a facial, you can sit by the pool, you can go on their included champagne and oyster cruise, (you bet we didn’t miss that one), cruise to a nearby island for a short walk and history lesson, or you can take an amazing bushwalk. Remember this is an all inclusive retreat. You can do as much or as little as you want, and apart from the spa treatments, it costs you nothing!
Dinners are a 5 course degustation served with matching wines. We had buddied up with another couple so enjoyed sharing one night’s dinner with them. The night before we arrived at Marramarra we visited Margaret, Neil Perry’s new restaurant in Double Bay, and dinner cost us around $550 with one pre dinner drink and a bottle of wine. The food we had at Marramarra was equally as good as Neil Perry’s and drinks are unlimited, and you get this at lunch time as well! That puts the price into perspective. It really is good value if you love good food, amazing service and great wines.
Now Covid has been limiting to our ability to travel, and some of us are still nervous to leave Australia, but honestly, you really don’t need to. You can have an amazing time in our own country exploring places that have been on your wish list, and you are yet to get to.
Marramarra has a special on as a write this, starting from $2378 per person in a Hawkesbury Bungalow. Package includes:
One 45-minute treatment at Iyora Day Spa
Guided Marramarra heritage walk
Bottle of sparkling wine in room on arrival
Champagne and Oyster river cruise
All-inclusive gourmet breakfasts, light lunches, degustation dinners and paired wines, fully stocked mini-bar and beverages, return scheduled transfers from Deerubbun Boat Ramp and all onsite activities including canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, fishing, biking, books and board games.
Email me if you are interested in staying!