OUR TRAVELS ~ REFLECTIONS CLARKES BEACH
There are so many beautiful and inspiring destinations to visit but everyone has their ‘happy place'; that one soul-enriching escape where you instantly feel the pressures of life diminish the moment you arrive.
For us, this is Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales. Yes, Byron has become a hot spot in recent years but this naturally beautiful beach village still holds a very special place in our hearts.
Our folks first started coming to what was then Clarkes Beach Holiday Park back in 1969 and opted to have their honeymoon in the only onsite caravan – splashing out and upgrading from a tent – some 40 years ago.
We’ve camped at Clarkes, now Reflections Holiday Parks Clarkes Beach, in tents, in back of vans and in the standard cabins over the years but needless to say, we jumped at the chance try out the new, bespoke architecturally designed villas.
As part of a $2.2 million accommodation upgrade, there are eight new premium villas designed by Myers Ellyett Architects, five that sleep up to five people and four that sleep up to two.
Boasting combined indoor/ outdoor living; these stylish abodes are luxurious but also environmentally sensitive, allowing the staggering natural beauty of the lush setting to shine.
As we are two families of four, we opted for two of the larger cabins which both had spacious outdoor entertaining areas – each with its own barbecue – plus a lounge room, fully equipped galley kitchen with a coffee machine – hello! – two bedrooms – one with bunks for the kids – and a spacious bathroom and internal laundry.
The Louvre windows in every room added to the appeal as you could see the native trees and it allowed plenty of natural light and sea breeze into the cabin. This was also heaven at night when we could fall asleep listening to the sound of the waves lapping the shore. Bliss.
The covered deck was the perfect spot to sit with a cheeky vino and watch the waves roll in after a long day on the beach, which you can access directly from the park, or for lively family dinners at night.
Don’t get us wrong, we adore camping but this was an exceptionally comfortable glamping experience and we highly recommend it for a laidback family getaway.
Don’t despair, though, almost 80 per cent of the park still remains free for camping and caravanning if your tribe prefers to get back to basics. However after a few nights in the villas, you might change your minds.
We stayed: In Premium Villa 5PAX numbers 20 and 24. We highly recommend both sites however Villa 20 has unobstructed views of Clarkes Beach and The Pass and has an absolute beachfront location.
We ate: We took advantage of our beautiful location – trust us when we say, it’s too good to move - and self-catered all of our meals except for a morning coffee at Beach Cafe.
Highlights: Our ultra-private villas were tucked into our favourite spot in the entire park and boast views over our favourite beach in the entire world. That outlook never gets old.
Getting there: Reflections Holiday Parks Clarkes Beach is a short drive or a 10-minute stroll from the lively town of Byron Bay on the New South Wales North Coast.