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Australia's Wild West: Eco Beach
Gallery: Eco Beach
Eco Beach is a 90 minute drive from Broome and seemingly a world away. The last 10km of the trip are on an unsealed road that requires you to stop several times to open gates that keep livestock belonging to nearby cattle farms from wandering off. Even as you pull into Eco Beach, the area looks more like farmland that beachfront property. To preserve the coastal habitat, guests must park their cars several hundred meters from the resort. The staff will gladly pick you up from the car park, or you can do what I did and enjoy the view as it slowly reveals itself during your walk to the reception desk.
Eco Beach offers two types of accommodations: villas and tents. Both are solar powered (providing both electricity and hot water) with screened windows that are positioned to optimize ocean breezes. I stayed in a tent, but the name belies the level of sophistication that was found inside. I had a king-sized bed, shelves, a bathroom with working toilet, sink and shower and multiple outlets to charge my gear. The ocean breeze kept the tent cool throughout the day despite a cloudless sky and temperatures in the mid-80s.
The villas are larger, permanent structures and are ideal for families or couples looking for a little more space and privacy. They provide a living room area and spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.
In fact, virtually the entire property provides either an elevated view of the ocean or an opportunity to hear the gentle rustling of the water embracing the shore. There is little to know surf at Eco Beach, which allows for safe swimming (when the jellyfish are not in season). The cliff-lined coast provides a wonderful setting for early morning and twilight walks along the beach.
Perhaps the best walk at Eco Beach is the along the nature trail. An interpretive walk, Eco Beach worked with local indigenous peoples and their cattle station neighbors to create a path that takes you through the bush and gives you a sense of how diverse the flora and fauna of the area truly are. The apex of the path offers an exceptional panoramic view of the ocean to one side and to the other, the resort nestled in the bush.
Eco Beach employs a yoga instructor who offers sessions almost everyday, as well as spa facilities. For travelers looking to take advantage of the Indian Ocean's bevy of wildlife, fishing and whale watching cruises are easily booked at the resort's front desk. And because of Eco Beach's remote location, guests take most of their meals at Jack's Bar, the resort's poolside restaurant. From traditional English breakfasts to some of the best prawns I've ever tasted, the food quality at the resort was commensurate with the expectations that its accommodations create.
By the end of my stay, I'd come to the conclusion that Eco Beach was not just your typical green resort. Yes, the facilities are solar powered and the food is sourced locally. But beyond that, the resort has become an extension of the land on which it sits. The villas and tents mesh seamlessly into the coastline. The proprietors' respect for the local wildlife is evident in their participation in tracking of turtle migrations in the area. Overall, Eco Beach creates the impression that it is as much a part of the natural landscape of the area as the cliffs and dunes that it neighbors.
For more information on Eco Beach, visit their website.
Mike Barish rode horses, flew in tiny planes and hiked across Western Australia on a trip sponsored by Tourism Western Australia. There were no restrictions on what he could cover or how many hamburgers he could eat. You can read other entries in his Australia's Wild West series HERE.