Our Environment

Wanderers Retreat Eco Resort – your environmentally sustainable accommodation in Port Stephens

Wanderers Retreat is a pioneer in providing eco accommodation in Port Stephens and we are proud to have won multiple New South Wales Tourism Awards.

Wanderers Retreat’s sustainability objective is to provide a high quality accommodation experience with minimalist human impact on our natural environment, while inspiring our guests to embrace being eco friendly in their daily lives.

Our guests experience the peace and tranquillity of Wanderers Eco Retreat. With only 12 individual red cedar cottages, sited for privacy, immersed within 1.2-hectares of melaleuca rainforest, providing cool shade during the summer months.

During the properties development the 100+ years old growth melaleuca trees that predominantly shade the property were identified and preserved. 

Extensive planting, has since occurred, of over 1000 additional native and exotic trees and shrubs now mingled within the native flora. These trees and beautiful exotic plants were specifically selected to enhance the rainforest experience, provide a food source and habitat for the native fauna and  to further reduce the carbon footprint of Wanderers Retreat.

Eco Retreat

The cottages were developed within the melaleuca rainforest setting around several naturally formed roads and paths, using minimal man made materials.

Renewable quick growth timbers were used in their construction for insulation. Most cottages face north easterly in aspect to maximize the benefit of sea breezes.

Wanderers purchases and only uses electricity that is 100% carbon neutral.  Onsite lighting is provided using energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting fixtures. 

In the evenings the pool, rainforest pathways and boardwalks are lit using low voltage LED’s. The lights create a beautiful night time ambiance with the resulting under lighting of the gardens and tree canopy.

The cottages are individually fitted with instantaneous gas hot water and water efficient plumbing to minimise emissions and water consumption and heat only the water used.

The cottages also feature a modern dry composting toilet waste management system. Fully sealed, hygienic and an odourless alternative to further minimizes the eco footprint of Wanderers Retreat 

All waste on the site is separated into recycling, waste and compost. A worm farm is used to assist in providing additional nutrients to the gardens.

Wanderers is electric car friendly.  On a fee for service basis access can be arranged to use our 20amp recharging point.

Fauna and Flora

The melaleuca (quinquenervia) rainforest canopy, that makes Wanderers Retreat a unique facility. offers a diverse addition to the local ecology. It is a haven for local wildlife and makes the retreat carbon offset positive. 

The leaves of the melaleuca, commonly known as the broad-leaved paperbark, is the primary food source for the local koala population that frequent the area.

Wanderer’s rainforest includes other species of koala food; the Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta), the Parramatta Red Gum (Eucalyptus parramattensis), the Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) and the fine leaf Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus Nickoli).  Two Nickoli trees grow near the front entrance. Popular with koalas, they are known as the koala’s chocolate.

Under the canopy you will find a rich ever changing display of native and exotic shrubs, ferns, orchids and flowers to enjoy. 

Wanderers Retreats wildlife includes Koala’s, possums, the occasional kangaroo or echidna and prolific birdlife.

Koalas are regular guests at Wanderers Retreat. You may be very lucky and catch sight of one asleep in the trees or view one from your veranda when they come to the ground to move to another tree. Always keep an eye out on the short walk to the beach.

Port Stephens is home to one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia and Wanderers Retreat is located in the middle of their habitat, adjacent Tomaree National Park.  

Koalas sleep 20 hours a day and are predominantly active in the late afternoon and at night when they spend most of there waking hours feeding.

During the night you may hear a baby koala squeak for its mum or the pig like loud “grunt” of a male breaking the nightly silence as he looks for a mate. 

Possum Magic. You will most likely hear them in the middle of the night outside your cottage, either on the roof or visiting on your veranda, and see the results of their curiosity in the morning.

Yes our resident tree-dwelling marsupial possums routinely come calling after dusk. Our possums hole up during the day to sleep in hollow logs and in the possum boxes found around the Retreat.  

The most familiar and abundant possum species at Wanderers Retreat are the Brushtail possum and the Common Ringtail possum.

Possums are mainly herbivores (plant eaters), favouring eucalyptus and other leaves, ferns, buds, flowers and fruits.  They also eat insects, moths, grubs snails.  Brushtail Possums are known to be tolerant of many plant toxins.

The birdlife is extensive with Kookaburra’s that sing the dawn chorus; water based birds, Magpies and Corella’s, Lorikeets, Galahs, various Cockatoos (including Black Cockatoos) and Eastern Rosellas.

There is a good chance Cookie one of our resident Kookaburras will come for a personal visit.  Cookie, a wild creature, likes human company and the occasional pat or scratch.  If he trusts you, he may give you a treat by perching himself on your arm?


The trickiest part about travelling is working out what weather to expect and in turn, what to pack. Port Stephens weather is mild and very comfortable.

During Summer (December – February) the average temperature in Port Stephens is a pleasant 18-28°C. It is the perfect time to find one of the 26 perfect beaches and perfect for outdoor water activities.

In Autumn (March – May), sunny days are followed by cooler nights – making it ideal for outdoor activities such as fishing, sailing and dune adventures. Autumn temperatures fall between 12-24°C.

Winter (June – August) is generally sunny with comfortable but cooler temperatures of 9-18°C. From late May through August, Port Stephens is an excellent place to watch the thousands of migrating whales pass by or visit the wineries.

Spring (September – November) offers sunny days followed by mild warmer evenings. September is the perfect time to enjoy cycling, walking and the National Parks. The temperatures fall between 13-25°C.