Bicheno Ocean View Retreat. Have the owners of this east coast bed and breakfast establishment coined an apt business name? Or have they embellished, just a little? Some operators stretch the truth in the interest of increased bookings, so we decided to pay them a first-hand visit, just to be sure.
Bicheno Ocean View Retreat. Or is it?
Let’s dissect the main claims…
- Bicheno? B&B accommodation just 4kms north-west of town
on the Tasman Highway, towards St Helen and the Bay of Fires.
- Ocean View? Absolutely spectacular in that department.
Couldn’t be better in fact; but seeing is believing.
- Retreat? Tranquil & relaxing, birds chirping, wildlife, alpacas…
you might want to leave the mobile phone at home!
So yes. Bicheno Ocean View Retreat ticks all the advertising boxes! In fact, they even exceed expectations, which is a refreshing change.
Debbie & Jock Gardam
To borrow a phrase from my mum, Debbie & Jock Gardam (the owners at Bicheno Ocean View Retreat), are just lovely people. They’re helpful and friendly, and have a particularly generous spirit. Debbie clearly has a passion for promoting the local area, and is brimming with good ideas for travellers. Their eagerness to please is balanced with a respect for guest privacy, and together they make the perfect hosts.
After 11 years at the property, Debbie & Jock have built their small business into an impressive collection of luxury accommodation. We stayed in a self-contained unit, which was as big as a whole house! Not only did it have a massive living area with a big screen TV, comfy couches and a dining table, there was also a full kitchen, huge bathroom (with a bath) and a laundry as well.
Inspirational: Diamond Island Views
The two bedrooms both had queen-sized beds and lots of room for luggage. While many accommodation places only allow for the standard two children, Bicheno Ocean View Retreat caters for the larger family. In fact, they have been known to host small business conferences and family reunions at their property. With inspirational views over Diamond Island, there couldn’t be a better place to combine business with pleasure!
For group bookings or individual holiday-makers, there’s a four-star unit to suit everyone here: studio apartment; self-contained spacious living; and even a romantic spa suite. Weather permitting, Debbie serves breakfast to b&b rooms on the balcony.
A Room with a View… & Goodies!
As an optional extra for the self-catering rooms, you can order a goodies basket at Bicheno Ocean View Retreat. Regular readers will know from my review of Alice’s Cottages bed and breakfast in Launceston, I like my goodies to promote Tasmanian produce. And that’s exactly what you can expect here too.
Diamond Island wine, smoked quail from the local butcher, House of Anvers chocolates, Ashgrove Farm Cheese… I won’t go on, other than to say the selection was delicious and if your budget can stretch that far, I would be inclined to recommend the indulgence. Those fresh strawberries, with Westhaven Dairy Berry Temptation yoghurt, combined perfectly with the views from the balcony. Could there be a better way to start the day?
You might think we stayed in our unit the whole time! Tempting as that was, we were blessed with gorgeous weather, and we did manage to explore the region a little. There’s so many things to do in Bicheno, it’s difficult to cover everything in a single weekend. With the advice of our expert hosts, we…
- discovered abundant Tasmanian wildlife at East Coast Natureworld
- chatted with the friendly Bicheno locals while we did some shopping
- hiked to the waterhole at Douglas Apsley National Park
- dined at some of the great local restaurants and cafes
- watched divers filming underwater in Waubs Bay
- braved the ocean’s elements to look into the Bicheno Blowhole
- walked near the beach, home to the area’s penguin colonies
- dangled a line off the jetty… and watched on as the cheeky
fish sucked the bait from our hooks in the crystal clear water!
The east coast scenery is absolute paradise for photographers and Bicheno itself is not a bad place to spend some time! If our experience is anything to go by, the weather can be amazing, even in winter. But just to be really sure, we’ll have to return and explore the things we missed another time!
Iconic Tasmanian beaches, Freycinet Peninsula and Wineglass Bay, Bicheno wineries, surf beaches, whale watching, golf courses, snorkelling in Governor Island Marine Reserve, the motorcycle museum, glass bottom boat tour, a history walk, scenic flights, fishing charters…
Think Tasmania were guests of Bicheno Ocean View Retreat. Visit the website for bookings, or call Debbie and Jock Gardam (03) 6375 1481
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