Palana Retreat is the place to go if you want to get away from it all when you’re on Flinders Island. It is situated in the north western corner of the island about 50km from Whitemark and the nearest shop.
Palana Retreat: Flinders Island
Although we wash with Blue Rocks Soap and eat Brymworth Farm organic garlic, we aren’t rich and staying at Palana Retreat was a real treat for us. Our stay was just four nights and we were happy to pay $165 per night for what turned out to be top quality and excellent value accommodation.
Owner, Daryl Butler, is quite a prominent person on the island and strikes me as being everyone’s friend and helper. He met us in Whitemark at the prearranged time and took us on the 35 minute journey to Palana Retreat next door to his own home.
From the moment we stepped through the door, we were impressed by the timber lined cathedral ceiling, staircase and quality fit-out including the furnishings. Jeanette’s eyes gazed in awe at the gourmet kitchen and I quickly made note of the reasonably priced wines on offer from the in-house cellar.
Outside, for our use, stood a vehicle. The rugged (but fun) Daihatsu Feroza 4wd was ideally suited to the occasional use for short day trips and charged at approx. $0.70/km with nothing else to pay. Distances are short on Flinders Island and we saw everything we intended within range of Palana Retreat for a total of 230km.
Palana Retreat is perched on a hill and offers glimpses of the sea from the balconies. It is a double storey building with the main bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The ground floor has a lounge/family room and kitchen area with a second bedroom, spa, toilet and laundry off the main area. Importantly, the well-stocked wine cellar is discreetly situated under the staircase.
Palana Beach is a leisurely seven minute walk away. It is almost certain that you will be alone on the long stretch of sand and it will give your mind time to reflect on the hell-hole cities of the mainland where making money and pollution seem to be the main aims.
Food, Wine and Other Essentials
If you intend cooking your own meals at Palana Retreat, it’s essential to buy the groceries before leaving Whitemark. Alternatively, Daryl can feed you with whatever you want or get provisions in on request. He bakes a mean loaf and offers the option of a three course evening meal. On the occasion we were there, Daryl delivered and served a cheese platter, smoked salmon starter and a fresh caught crayfish main all for $40/head! I told you he was everyone’s friend.
Palana Retreat is ideal for two couples travelling together or a couple like us. I guess it would be unusual for interstate visitors to take their young children to Flinders Island or the resort for a holiday. Teenagers keen on outdoor activities such as fishing or kayaking would be fine but those expecting an amusement parlour would find it rather boring. Kayaks are available for use on the adjacent Pratt’s River.
WiFi internet and the use of a computer as well as satellite TV is available without charge but you will find yourselves far too busy relaxing or reflecting on a great day to bother with that.
Palana Retreat is a credit to the owner and he is an exceptional host where nothing is too much trouble. In a future article you will get to know Daryl Butler, the Sea Changer, and why he is so good for the community of Flinders Island.
Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the experience for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.