Every now and then, I feel like I need to escape to the bush to find some peace and quiet, unwind and reconnect with nature. Forest Rise in the Margaret River region was the perfect place to do it, and we were surprised to get a little more nature than we bargained for! Here’s my review:
Western Australia’s south west can get fairly hectic at the height of the Christmas holidays, so escaping to Forest Rise for 3 nights provided the peace and tranquility we were looking for. The chalets are situated on a stunning bushland property in Yelverton, which is about 15 minutes south of Dunsborough.
As you drive in, you pass The Lodge, which is a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom house designed to accommodate a large group. Next, the road winds past a pretty lake with a beautiful timber gazebo overlooking the water.
There are 10 chalets dotted around the property at Forest Rise, but if it wasn’t for the sign pointing them out, you’d never know it. Each chalet feels totally secluded, and you can’t hear or see any of your neighbours (just as well for ours, since we had our 7 month old baby with us!). This place makes you feels like it’s just you and nature, with the chalets completely surrounded by bushland, the only sounds the wind in the treetops and the chirping of crickets. As soon as we sat on the porch, I felt like it was the first time I had taken a deep breath in days.
The rammed earth and timber chalets look modest from the outside, but the little luxuries reveal themselves as you look around.
Ours had a large bedroom at one end, with timber furniture and a very comfortable king sized bed with a good selection of pillows. At the other end were the lounge room with comfy couches, a TV and a fire, which would make it extra cozy in winter. There was also a full kitchen, which even had its own views of the bush.
But the highlight of the chalet would have to be the spa bath with its incredible glass ceiling, revealing majestic tall trees covered in sky.
The glass ceiling made us feel like we were part of the bush, revealing a bright blue sky during the day and the twinkling stars at night. Laying in the spa with a glass of wine, watching the sky change and the wind blowing through the trees was a truly magical experience (and made it very hard to get out!).
Another magical, if a somewhat more rustic, experience was the outdoor shower. There’s something quite special about standing in the bush in your birthday suit, and once I got past my concerns about being bitten by a snake or having a spider drop down from the trees, it was actually quite relaxing (although I did jump a little more than necessary when a leaf fell on my head!).
We often comment that it’s the little touches that really make an accommodation experience special, and Forest Rise absolutely nailed it. The fridge was stocked full of local products, including all the essentials (like cheese, chocolate and sparkling wine), as well as other stuff you might need (like milk and bread!). There was also everything you’d need for a comfortable stay, like dish washing detergent, laundry powder, candles and matches – basically they had everything covered (it’s surprising how many chalets we’ve stayed at are missing these kinds of essentials).
The part we loved most about staying at Forest Rise was being immersed in nature, although my partner got a little more than he bargained for when he looked down to discover a blue tongued lizard nibbling on his toe!
During our visit, we also saw kangaroos, a fox, kookaburras, a snake and blue wrens. Thankfully, what we didn’t see were mozzies and flies, which made sitting out on the verandah pleasant at all times of day.
Apart from relaxing in the chalet, we also took to some of the walking trails, as well as going for a pleasant stroll around the lake...
There were also a couple of bikes at the chalet to get around on, or for a less energetic way to pass the time, there were board games in the cupboard and a DVD player.
The chalets are also in the heart of wine and food country, so there were heaps of options just a few minutes drive away. One of my absolute favourites is Aravina Estate, where we went for a wine tasting and a sensational lunch before walking around the stunning gardens.
On another day, we checked out the Grove Experience, a quirky distillery/café where you can do liqueur tastings or stop for a coffee.
Overall, we absolutely loved Forest Rise, and we would absolutely recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to escape the crowds down south.
Forest Rise is about a 3 hour drive south of Perth.
If you need insurance for your trip to WA's south west, you can get a quote from Fastcover here.
Please note: This review is completely impartial, and I was not compensated in any way.