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Surf, yoga and nosh: Western Australia's secret retreat

Thursday, October 7, 2010
Getaway has visited Western Australia's Margaret River region many times, and it just seems to get better and better.

It's an easy three-hour drive south of Perth, and this time we asked Kelly Landry to visit Dunsborough to check out a sanctuary for life, Samudra. It's a haven for healthy living and visits can vary from one day to a month.

A day at Samudra generally involves two yoga sessions and a couple of hours in the surf. Head chef Danny Angove and his team of culinary experts supply exotic vegetarian recipes. It's all about being healthy, recharging, realigning the mind and body and banishing any bad habits you may have gathered.

Yoga classes are run by Sheridan Hammond, founder of Samudra. After years of being plagued by leg and back pain he discovered the power of Astanga yoga. He spent years advancing his practice in Mysore, India. He returned to Australia and combined yoga with his love of surfing and organic vegan food and opened Samudra in 2004.

Six classes offer varying levels of difficulty from beginners to advanced. They are held twice a day for an hour. A heated floor in the studio helps to relax and loosen muscles.

Lisa Archer is a qualified surf coach and women's champion. She believes there is a synergy between yoga and surfing and loves to share her passions. Along with national surfer Brett Mason, lessons take place on Smiths, Yallingup or Indijup beaches. Surf breaks are close to the shore so it's safe for beginners. If there's a big swell, lessons are moved to Yallingup Lagoon.

Lessons begin with 30 minutes on the beach learning techniques and then it's onto a longboard for 90 minutes putting skills to practice.

All food served in the cafe is made onsite and most of the ingredients are grown in the fruit and vegetable garden. Only wholefoods, organic foods and biodynamic foods are used and Kelly said everything not only tastes superb but you can feel it doing you good.

Just to prove how serious they are, Samudra has a range of organic clothing. Environmentally friendly fabrics and dyes are used and if you've always wanted a recycled plastic bikini, this is the place to go!

Accommodation is at the beautifully luxurious Smiths Beach Resort. Samudra retreaters stay in Beach Shacks, but don't let the word "shack" put you off. They are just as stylish as the rest of the Resort and have an outdoor barbecue and dining area. Views of the Indian Ocean and sunsets are hard to beat.

You'll quite probably want to return and have a bit of a spoil. There are plenty of options — 10 beach houses, 20 villas and nine apartments.

Floor to ceiling windows bring views indoors. There's a restaurant and bar, wine and food deli, tennis court and two pools — one just for children.

It's a heartbeat away from all the flavours of the Margaret River wine region, and with all the vim and vigour you've gained at Samudra, you will want to tackle it all head on.

Related video: Margaret River surfing


Dunsborough, a three-hour drive south of Perth.


Samudra Retreat six-night yoga and surfing retreats start at $2245 per person twin-share. They include accommodation, food, activities and local transport. They have a number of retreats around Australia.

Virgin Blue has one-way flights to Perth from:

  • Adelaide $189
  • Sydney and Melbourne $245
  • Canberra $249
  • Darwin $259
  • Brisbane $279
  • Hobart $289

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at October 7, 2010, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at October 7, 2010.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

226 Naturalist Terrace
Dunsborough 6281
Ph: (08) 9779 9977

Smiths Beach Resort Hotel
Lot 2 Smiths Beach Road
Yallingup 6282
Ph: (08) 9750 1200

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