“Riparide is a way to offset the daily grind and reconnect with nature,” says Marlon Law, the founder of travel startup Riparide.
Law grew up in the Victorian coastal town of Torquay, and living in Melbourne made him miss the ocean and forests. He decided to do something about it and launched Riparide in 2014 with six bookable back-to-nature accommodation options in his state. “It’s incredibly important that I pass [that idea] onto my two young boys. I hope it can pass on the gift of nature to others who are stuck in cities or [who] just need to escape reality for a bit.”
Riparide has now spread to NSW and places available on the company’s website include wilderness accommodation, tiny houses, cottages and kombi vans. It offers camping equipment, classes (such as surf lessons) and tours (rafting, horse-riding, heli-fishing).
For Law it’s important these getaways are easy to access; just an hour or two away from cities (although there are also destinations further afield). “We position our regional backyards as places to slow down, disconnect and find fulfilling moments,” he says. “We highlight the stunning natural wonders, exciting activities, scenic drives and unique adventures all within easy reach.”
Relax during a sound-healing session in a yurt right near the beach, kayak to a secluded family home at the tip of the river bend, explore Kosciuszko National Park on horseback as snow falls all around you, or lay back in an outdoor bath overlooking the mountains.
The Riparide website has a section dedicated to stories from other travellers – people who take photos, write about their adventures and share their experiences to provide travel inspiration. There are more than 300 of them from Victoria and NSW.
“People have been sharing stories for years, and we’re constantly turning to friends or Pinterest and Instagram for travel recommendations – it made a lot of sense.”