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“So far away so close to home”

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Demole River Retreat, Gaia
Reviewed February 26, 2012

Our family of five (kids 11, 8 and 5) stayed 2 nights in late January 2012. We should have stayed longer. We live in Adelaide. The house was surprisingly spacious, is very well set up and very clean. The kids were totally absorbed with the wildlife, especially having kangaroos, possums and goannas as residents and red-tailed black cockatoos as evening visitors. The nights were magic for a city folk - completely quiet with a huge star-filled sky. Our kids saw stars properly for the first time. With access to Kangaroo beach we enjoyed a full day as private beach 'owners' on a perfect, secluded white-sand beach. Not bad as an inclusion in the house rental! We will be back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 45 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2012

DeMole River retreat is not just a lovely and peaceful accomodation, it's a destination in its own right. Once upon a time, a kangaroo was shot dead and a very kind man by the name of Graham saved the joey from the same fate. Through this simple act of kindness, there are now a dozen offspring of "Bella" who roam around the cottage. To be around them is pure magic. Many thanks to Graham for his warm generosity to us, as well as his world. A five star rating is short by a couple of stars.

Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Nancy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2012

We stayed here for four nights over Christmas 2011 and it was one of the most special places we have ever been. The house is very remote, but then you have this wonderful company! We had nine kangaroos one night, including two joeys. Graham, the owner, who is most helpful with everything you want to know, provides you with some “roo food” and you can feed them and watch them eat. Then most of them usually stay around for a while.
To get there a 4WD is recommended and you have to bring all your food. On Christmas day Graham brought us a special Xmas treat: some crayfish he had caught, and it was already cooked and ready to eat – yumm! Thanks Graham for an unforgetable stay!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank greendog25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

We stayed here for 6 nights at the end of our 2 week Kangaroo Island holiday and we absolutely loved it. It's a beautiful house: spacious, well designed, nicely furnished, has everything you need, lots of places to sit and enjoy the view, watch the wildlife or read. The best thing for us was the isolation - it's quiet. The only sounds we heard were from the animals, birds and the creek. There's a gorgeous beach a short drive away, one of the nicest beaches on the island in fact, and every time we were there we were the only people on it. Oh and the other best thing was the kangaroos that hang out at the house! We had hours of fun watching their antics, feeding them and patting them ... we really miss them!! At times we had 11 for dinner, and we saw 13 different ones over the 6 days. When we booked we thought it might be a bit too far off the beaten track but we did short trips to the north coast beaches one day, to Cape Borda another and Flinders Chase NP yet another. And of course there's the two private beaches you can drive to as well. Graham was very hospitable and generous and made sure our stay was a good one. And finally, you can see the starry sky from your bed. We loved it and hope we can return one day.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Travellingpantaloni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2011

Gaia is nestled under the trees, looking out across the river to a forest of eucalypts and huge grass trees. The split-level house is clean and spacious, with views all around through its huge windows. Since Gaia is located about half an hour's drive from the last of the bitumen, you need to bring all of your food and beverages with you - there's no popping down to the shops - but this was exactly why we loved it. Goannas, echidnas, possums, wallabies and more birds than you can count constantly move through the landscape, and don't forget the lady of the house, Bella. Hand raised by Graham since she was orphaned as a joey, this cheeky kangaroo and her family provided us with hours of entertaiment. We stayed for three weeks, a mix of travelling around the island and enjoying the quiet of Gaia. This is a good location for exploring the natural wonders of KI, with Kelly Hill Caves, Seal Bay and Flinders Chase national park all within an hour's drive. Graham is a wonderful host, and we were very fortunate to time our stay during strawberry season!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank D-LM B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2011

Travelled around K.I. over the years now and have found De Mole river retreat the most exciting package. Beautiful natural Australiana at its best. If you love animals, nature and clean air then this is for you. The accommodation is comfortable, clean and fits wonderfully with its surroundings.
Graham was a most helpful host, made us feel very welcome.
Thanks Graham.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Paula C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2011

my wife and I stayed here for 2 nights in October 2011.

We loved it. This place had everything we needed/wanted and was very comfortable but it is away from everything so you need to bring food and bottled water.

The cabin has two large rooms and a very large sunken open living area with kitchen on one side and lounge on the other fronted by a large wrap around deck/balcony. Don't expect 5 star hotel accommodation - the cabin is not decked out in designer furniture and cutlery etc but it is clean and more than comfortable. The living room is very nice with very large windows looking out onto a gumtree filled small gully. It has some comfy lounges next to a fireplace well stocked with wood from the property.

We enjoyed listening to the sounds of nature which includes the nearby creek, where the cabin gets its tannin-stained water for showers etc. Wild kangaroos come right up to the back door on the balcony hoping for food and you can feed them by hand. Graham, the very nice owner, lives on the block but about 300m away so you will have complete privacy.

My recommendation: Stay at Gaia, take some wine, a good book, your ipod with your own connection cable and pick up some fresh fish in Kingscote and enjoy an evening away from everything. It is difficult to understand why some people would stay in a concrete box, in between two other concrete boxes, when you could stay here for about the same price.

If you would like to experience the Australian bush and wildlife in comfort, especially if you are a visitor to Australia, I highly recommend this place.

PS - If you have a car with low ground clearance like ours (a prius) remember to drive slow with one of your wheels in the raised centre of the track to minimise chassis scrapping.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sturtdessertpea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Demole River Retreat, Gaia

Address: near Cape Borda, Kangaroo Island, South Australia 5223, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Kangaroo Island
Price Range: $138 - $199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your very own wildlife sanctuary in the middle of Kangaroo Island's bushland on the northwest coast. Close to private beaches, stunning bush and cliff top walks, plus fishing and swimming. A home from home. Great for nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and animal lovers. The essence of tranquility. No TV, no mobile reception, just you and nature in a comfy self contained hand built house - most of our guests don't want to leave! ... more   less 

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