Life partners Anna Hoffmann and Tom Dicker grew up holidaying (separately) in Binalong Bay. So when the time came to combine their shared passions of nature, food, design and travel by opening a glamping retreat, the little town was an obvious choice. Hoffmann, who has a background in environmental design, and Dicker, a chef of local renown, worked together to create a considered space that celebrates and connects with the natural environment.
The retreat offers 10 luxury bell tents, a king room, and group-ready bunk house, all served by shared architecturally designed facilities. Guests spend their days on the on-site bush- walking track, strolling the nearby white sand beaches or along the winter creek. There are also mountain bike tracks and neighbouring Mount Pearson Reserve. With its distinctive orange lichen-encrusted boulders, the nearby coast invites beach-hopping and wave-seek- ing for those looking to embrace the winter surf swells of Tasmania. If you’re planning a visit, don’t let the cooler weather scare you off
– according to Hoffmann, now is the ideal time.
“The Off Season delivers crystal-clear, blue-sky days and crisp air, perfect for setting off on one of the stunning coastal walking trails,” she says.
But Dicker’s cooking, and the connections it brings about, is what sets this experience apart. His hearty dinners – presented on tableware made by Anna’s dad, ceramicist Neil Hoffmann – are a highlight of every stay. Guests from all walks of life huddle around the communal fire pits at dinner, sharing glasses of Tasmanian wine, finding unexpected common ground and sometimes, starting lasting friendships. Resident wallabies and the recently discovered masked owls come past occasionally. The Milky Way turns out more reliably for the retreat’s star-gazing experiences.
“The stars are amazing,” Hoffmann says. “Our lighting is soft and allows the stars to shine their brightest.”
While the couple welcomes all guests equally, Hoffmann admits that she loves to see the gradual change in some of the more apprehensive visitors. Enticed by hot breakfast platters, king- size beds and other such perks of glamping, those who typically go for five star-luxury fast become converts of sleeping under a billion stars.
The retreat is the realisation of a life-long dream for Hoffmann and Dicker. While it does take a lot to drag them away from their dream spot, the pair says the Off Season does bring an annual temptation.
“We’re mad about Dark Mofo and always try and plan a Hobart trip for at least five days to experience all the wonderful things it has to offer,” Hoffmann says.
There, they fill their days by visiting galleries and spend evenings at top restaurants Fico and Dier Makr – although they also enjoy visiting any new restaurants on the recommendations of friends. This year, they’ll venture further south to the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival with their young daughter. At the end of the day, though, there’s no place like home.
“We’re beach-goers and can honestly say we struggle to find a destination that matches the beauty we have here at the Bay of Fires,” Hoffmann says.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Tourism Tasmania. Explore more wild, weird and wonderful experiences during Tasmania’s Off Season.. Complimentary breakfast for the first morning of your stay during 1 May - 22 July. Enter code OFF SEASON when booking direct.