We stayed for 5 nights at the Fraser Island Wilderness Retreat, and had a fantastic time. We had a lodge overlooking the pool. The lodge was a large room with double bed, lounge & TV, and kitchen; with a separate bathroom and a small verandah. The lodge had a fan, which was adequate cooling for the weather at the time. Unfortunately the windows did not all have mosquito screens, so we had to close a lot of them at night. And of those that did, one fell down during one night, resulting in lots of bites for us! We made sure it was up properly after that. The kitchen was reasonably well stocked, although could use a cutting board, dish drainer, and some new sharp knives.
The Retreat is located in Happy Valley, mid-way up the east side of the island. It's a perfect location for accessing all areas of the island, as staying at either the top or the bottom of the island would make it too difficult to see the other end. The Retreat is accessible by both beach and inland tracks.
The Retreat has a small shop where you can buy certain foodstuffs and necessities, and a restaurant and bar with a delicious smelling bbq. We didn't eat there as we had a self-catering lodge, but did have some good cocktails and cheap jugs of beer at the bar. There was also a bbq provided for guest use. The Retreat shop also served as one of the very few places to buy (expensive!) fuel on the island, and guests were provided with a hose to wash down cars. We stocked up on food on the mainland before we crossed to the island, so we were able to live cheaply for the 5 days we were on the island, as food, alcohol and fuel are very expensive there. I would recommend anyone staying at the Retreat to do this.
We hired our own 4WD, at a special rate the Retreat organised for us with Safari 4WD hire at the time of the booking.
The only disappointment was that the Satinay bar wasn't really "happening" past about 8pm. It stayed open but no-one was there, which was a shame because it was a really great spot. In the end that didn't really matter as we had brought our own wine and beer to drink in the lodge.
Staying at the Retreat in an eco-lodge was really great. We stopped for lunch at the Kingfisher Bay Resort, and we were very glad that we stayed at the Retreat. It was a place for more independent travellers, and not so children-oriented, so was perfect for us.
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- Also Known As:
- Fraser Island Backpackers Hotel Fraser Island