Escape from the City

Looking for a weekend getaway that is not too far from Norton Street? Travel editor Winsor Dobbin canvasses a luxury option for special occasions.
Recently opened: What sounds like a perfect country retreat for jaded Sydneysiders.

Marramarra Lodge, set on the Hawkesbury River and fringed by national park, offers a barefoot luxury experience for couples, surrounded by nature. The newly-built lodge is set in bushland with boat access from Mooney Mooney and Brooklyn – just an hour’s drive from the inner west.

Marramarra Lodge has been designed to deliver an authentic, yet luxurious Australian nature experience. The lodge is located at Fisherman’s Point across from Bar Island. The property is framed by the Marramarra National Park. 

The property caters for a maximum of 28 guests with an all-inclusive experience including transfers to Marramarra via boat, daily meals incorporating a six-course degustation dinner with paired wines at the on-site restaurant Budyari (meaning “good’ and “well” in the Dharug language), daily sunset canapes and cocktail tour and a locally sourced mini-bar menu.

Overnight rates start from $1,250 including gourmet breakfasts and light lunches. The included wine list features impressive names like Lenton Brae, Ant Moore, Babich and Chalker’s Crossing,  with upgrades available for an extra payment.

There are two styles of accommodation, including the Peninsula Tent, a river-safari experience overlooking the water, and the Hawkesbury Bungalow, minimalist cabin lodgings with bush and river backdrops. 

Both accommodation options offer large river-stone bathrooms, locally sourced timber floors and luxurious furnishings. The rear glass veranda doors of each accommodation unit open to a private balcony made for lounging and enjoying moments of river life.

The property’s Day Spa, Iyora, offers a range of treatments for in-house guests, and each of the accommodation lodgings are named after Dharug words for flora and fauna native to the area. There is an outdoor swimming pool and lounging area, riverside boat shed with private jetty and games room.

For guests that want to fly or arrive in their own boat, Marramarra Lodge has its own helipad and private jetty, so is accessible by private helicopter charter, private boat or via Sydney Seaplanes.

Marramarra’s main lodge and buildings enjoy a long and rich history. Carter House, still on the property, was first built in the 1920s. 

There are a number of bush walks that run from the grounds and visitors may spot sea eagles, lyrebirds, wallabies, goannas, bandicoots, black and white cockatoos and kookaburras. There are also variety of add-on experiences guests can choose from, including a local pearl farm tour, helicopter ride to the Hunter Valley for lunch and private wine tasting, a gin distillery day trip, or bush foraging in the Marramarra National Park with a local Dharug Elder. 

Transfers can also be arranged to local water-access-only restaurants such as Berowra Waters Inn and Peats Bite.

Complimentary kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and fishing rods are available for guest use. 
For further information on packages see