Coronavirus Update 16th August 2022

BEST PRICE GUARANTEE – book direct and Save.

Wanderers Retreat provides a Best Price Guarantee for guests who make their holiday reservation directly with us.

Our guests, by simply booking direct, can save between 10% and 15% on the cost of their reservation.  We encourage all guests intending to stay with us to do so.

How is this possible?  If you make your reservation through any Online Travel Agency, called OTA’s, you pay them a large commission that they include in the price they give you.  This commission on average starts at a minimum of 15%. 

Wanderers Retreats direct prices to guests is discounted by the OTA commissions.  You save by coming direct.

Making a direct reservation is easy.  Either do so online via this website or simply give us a phone call.  

There are other benefits as well by booking direct.

Somtimes you might need further assistance after making your reservation.  Having booked direct, just call or email us. 

Unfortunately if you booked through an OTA your online enquiry gets computer generated generic answers.  Alternately you find yourself on the phone for an extended period hoping to speak to someone who has no experience or direct knowledge of your accommodation.  

All Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are overseas owned, based and operated.  These OTAs do not pay GST or company taxes on your reservation to the Australian Government.  Wanderers Retreat as a result, is required to pay the GST on the OTAs commission for your stay.  The OTAs also only employ a token workforce in Australia to represent their brand.  They simply do not contribute to our economy. 

In summary.  If you make your reservation through an OTA, on average 15% of the cost of your stay that you are paying, instead of remaining in your pocket, is going overseas.  Keep this money in your pocket by booking direct.  

we are excited

The Bush Spa Studio Cottage is now open for bookings.  This couples only cottage definetly has the wow factor.

The current Bush Spa Cottage with seperate bedroom is so popular that it is often booked out months ahead.  To avoid dissapointing our valued guests we have responded.

The new Bush Spa Studio cottage has all the same great features of its sister cottage.  Designed for the romantic and relaxing couples gettaway.  Couples can indulge by stepping straight into the outdoor hot-tub located off their deck.  Kicking back and relaxing while koala, possum and bird spotting.  For privacy an internal double spa bath is there to further indulge and enjoy.  When it gets cold, its snuggling up time infront of the fireplace after a day of watching whales.

we accept parents nsw and stay nsw vouchers

Wanderers Retreat is registered to accept the Services NSW accommodation vouchers; Parents NSW and Stay NSW.

From the 7th of February 2022, NSW residents aged 18 and over can apply to Servuces NSW for 1 x $50 Stay NSW voucher to use towards the cost of accommodation at Wanderers Retreat.

Resident parents and gardians of NSW school enrolled children can apply to Services NSW for 5 x $50 accommodation vouchers to discount their stay at Wanderers Retreat.  The vouchers are valid for use until the 9th of October 2022.

To redeem the vouchers as a discount off the price of your accommodation simply contact Wanderers Retreat.  Provide us an electronic copy of the QR Code or voucher code for each voucher.  Wanderers Retreat will redeem and credit the value against your reservation.   

Services NSW conditions apply.  Vouchers once redeemed are not refundable. 


Sunset & Vine at Wonganella Estate.

Do yourselves a favour.  Great food, tastes, wines and atmosphere.  Sunset & Vine is at the top of our list for the best food and dining experience in Port Stephens.  We highly recommend and rate the restuarant 5 Stars plus. 

Eddie and Marina and their staff are wonderful hosts and guarantee the best service and dining experience. We love the mediterranean and middle eastern tastes and textures.  Mezze/Tapas style.  Plate portions are ideal for sharing and experiencing a range of foods.  Wine tasting is also on offer from their own Woonganella Estate selection. Prices are very reasonable and offer really good value. 

A great place to kick back with some friends and enjoy the afternoon.   

Secluded on the hill directly behind and above Murray’s Brewery with extensive views of the valley and bay.  Located only a short 13km drive to 3438 Nelson Bay Rd, Bobs Farm.  The entrance is a farm driveway straight off the highway up through the centre of Murrays to the restaurant perched on the hill.

Open Fridays and weekends.  Phone in advance for reservations.

0435 720 588 or 0401 008 264. 


We are Open to all guests who are not under a NSW Government Public Health Order to self isolate.

The NSW State Government, under their COVID-19 Roadmap, mandated that from the 15th of December 2021 a vaccination passport is no longer required to travel.  QR Code registration is also no longer a requirement for check-in. 

If a guest, pre-checking in, is identified by NSW Health as being COVID positive or a Close Contact they have a lawful obligation to advise us of same.  The guest and their party cannot check-in until such time as they obtain a covid health clearance. 

Wanderers Retreat at all times strictly follows the NSW Public Health Orders to ensure the safety of our guests, staff and community. 

Wanderers has and operates to a Services NSW Covid-19 Safety Plan.  All of our staff are fully vacinated.  

Should further NSW Government area lockdowns occur, and it impacts directly on your reservation we are offering credits in most circumstances.  Please refer to our booking conditions for details.  Note Interstate COVID travel restrictions are entirely at the guests risk.     

We recommend that guests prior to travel update themselves on the latestest restictions by refering to the NSW Health website for details.   

Valued Guests, as we are all aware right now, coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a significant and unprecedented impact across Australia and the world.  As a family owned and operated business, the health and well-being of our guests and staff is Wanderers Retreat’s highest priority.

We want to reassure you that we have a proactive and practical approach to addressing concerns about this issue.  COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus.  In response to the current pandemic, we will continue to follow the latest advice and directions from the Federal and NSW State Government.  

Below we answer some commonly asked questions for those of you who have planned or are planning a break at Wanderers Retreat, Port Stephens. 

What is the current situation at Wanderers Retreat?

Come and stay with us.  Wanderers Retreat is a unique holiday destination in that we offer wide open spaces, plenty of room between cottages to relax and enjoy your stay in safety. We have socially distanced check-ins.  Given the wide-open space, you are able to manage your own social distancing in style and well in excess of the government’s requirements.

We have cancellation policies in place that are consistent with the ACCC’s advice.  Please refer for details below or to our Terms & Conditions listed at the bottom of our “Book Now” page on our website.

Please Note: We are unable to provide Emergency Accommodation. If you, or someone you know requires housing due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please contact the NSW Department for Communities and Justice.


Wanderers operates to an approved Services NSW Covid-19 Safety Plan.  All of our staff are fully covid-19 vacinnated.  

All of our cottages are self-contained, with their own private deck and BBQ.  Ideal for escaping from the city crowds and having a self-isolation stay in nature.

Wanderers Retreat with its cottage layout already maintains exceedingly high social distancing measures.  We encourage our guests in their interactions to do the same.

You can be sure that all accommodation and facilities are being meticulously cleaned and disinfected to the highest standards.

Our linen and towels are laundered off the premises by Aruma who provide laundry services to the highest standards.  They conduct a microbial test on every wash to ensure that there is no potential for contamination.

We are doing self check-ins to minimise the need for guests to interact with us. 

Wanderers has great WiFi that is free use to guests.  With the commissioning of the new Telstra tower in March we now have good Telstra mobile reception.  All allowing our guests to stay in touch with their families, work and the world.  

Rest assured that your safety is our highest priority. 


For all of us our plans sometimes get disrupted due to unforeseen personal circumstances.  When personal life events impact on a guests planned stay what are the options?

The first question asked of us is can I cancel and get a refund or reschedule? 

How does our policy work?

If the guest cancels outside 30 days, they are refunded or given a credit.  The risk of rebooking is with us.  The dates they had blocked from others in our calendar are now available again for others to book.  We can mitigate the potential loss as the chance of us rebooking is likely. 

If the guest cancels inside 30 days, they are not entitled to a refund unless the stay is rebooked. This is the guest’s payment risk. The likelihood of rebooking significantly reduces and declines further with each day.

When a stay is cancelled by the guest, we immediately place the vacancy back on the market, and if rebooked we refund to the value earned, automatically.   

Why 30 days? This is the average lead time for our forward reservations. Inside which, as we draw closer to the date of stay the likelihood of rebooking declines. We are always fully booked on weekends but for the very occasional last-minute cancellation. Accepting the payment liability for a last-minute cancellation would leave us with an unpaid for vacancy that otherwise would have been occupied but for that guest’s decision.

We do not accept rescheduling inside 30 days at our risk as this has the same impact on our business as a cancellation in that it leaves an unpaid for vacancy.

Guests are refunded or offered credits inside 30 days if we are forced to close and cannot provide the accommodation service. 

This policy along with all our Terms and Conditions are consistent with and compliant to Fair Trading’s industry guidelines.

They are also fair.

The background rational to the policy

With any last-minute cancellation either the guest pays, or the small business owner pays for the resultant vacancy. Who of these should pay is a question of the responsibility for these changed circumstances, and can we mitigate the risk?  

Our cancellation policy is a simple and fair allocation of this responsibility of the cancellation risk between the guest and we the small business owner.

What are the types of risks are the guest responsible for? 

Guests are responsible for any and all changes in their personal life circumstances.  These changes may be in or out of their direct control or influence. They may include changes in circumstances related to their health, work, home and family, or extreme weather events.  They include travel disruptions including breakdowns, weather events, traffic, accidents, cancelled flights etc?

Wanderers also does not and cannot guarantee the weather a guest will experience during their stay.  This risk is always at the guest’s behest.

We recommend travel insurance if there are any personal circumstances that may be of the guest’s concern.

What are the types of risk that the business is responsible for?  Wanderers Retreat is responsible when we cannot provide the accommodation service per the reservation made.  In the worst-case example, it would result in a temporary closure of the business due to either localised fires, localised flooding, or a long-term power outage, covid directed business closures, loss of a building/s due to storm damage etc

These business risks have been prevalent in the last 2 years where we have had to close due to covid directed lockdowns, the 2020 regional fires, and the 2021 localised flooding. In total 6 months of forced and unfunded closures incurred during these 2 years.   


We have just taken delivery and planted of 90 tree ferns in the grounds here at Wanderers Retreat.

The tree ferns were germinated at Bundamba in Qld before being raised to pot size at Ferns & Fonds in the Glasshouse Mnts on the Qld Sunshine Coast.  After an overnight courier trip to Port Stephens they are now safely planted out and just in time for the spring rains.

Two species of ferns have been planted.  Cyathea Brownii (Norfolf Island Fern) and the Cyathea Cooperi (Coin Spot Tree Fern).   They will further thicken the undercanopy of our rainforest.  This will help form more habitate for our abundfant bird life as well as more privacy screening for our guests.


What is the best way to keep up to date with the latest developments for Wanderers Retreat?

It is easy – via and our social media channels.   If you have specific questions about your stay, please feel free to reach out directly.

We know the last 18 months has been a challenging year for many, and we’ve been overwhelmed by all the support that has been shown to us by our loyal guests. Your kindness has meant the world to us.

On a personal note, we would like to encourage kindness and care; especially in looking out for the more vulnerable members of our community. This is an unprecedented situation and now, more than ever the Australia’s family owned business sector is relying on the community to keep it afloat, and we thank you for choosing and continuing to support Wanderers Retreat Eco Resort.

Stay safe, and we hope to see you at a Wanderers Retreat soon.

Regards Vivienne and Barry