The eco stay at Pomona has some locals hopping along to welcome visitors.
The eco stay at Pomona has some locals hopping along to welcome visitors.

Adults only glamping bosses bring eco passion to life

A global pandemic could not dent the enthusiasm Danae and Nick Barnes share for their $1 million passion project that is bringing adults only eco glamping to Pomona.

The former Victorian couple for the past three years have been pouring their finances as well as their heart and soul into the Noosa Eco Retreat.

It is set to open at the end of the month.

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And the good news is that their opening weekend is already booked up in a sign that it could be a handy economic generator for Pomona.

Mr Barnes said they had set up six roundhouse eco yurts in the foothills about 500m from town.

Danae and Nick Barnes of Noosa Eco Retreat at Pomona.
Danae and Nick Barnes of Noosa Eco Retreat at Pomona.

“This was a last-minute leap of faith decision when we sold our house in Melbourne,” Mr Barnes said.

He and his wife used to run a corporate communications company.

“We said ‘let’s go do something different’, it was a big lifestyle change,” he said.

“It was just opportunistic in that we came up here saw this place, and just went ‘let’s take it’.”

They are now putting the final touches on the retreat before opening the doors and a website.

“We’re on a unique block bordering national park at the base of the mountain … we’re only five minutes literally from our property to the Mount Cooroora walking trail.”

He said their glamping yurts were like roundhouses which were popular in Europe and the United States.

“They mirror the shape of the mountain the way they fit on the land,” he said.

He hoped they had seen off the worst of the pandemic.

“We’ve just held our breath and hoped for the best, it was a nervous time, but so far so good,” he said.

A new venture along the Noosa trail in Pomona.
A new venture along the Noosa trail in Pomona.

“The interest is huge, Noosa is a unique area and tourism is always going to thrive here.

“From a tourism point of view it really seemed like an area that was waiting for something like this to happen, there really is no formal accommodation in Pomona.”

Their business stands to make the most of the Noosa Trail Network as a hinterland economic generator thanks to the efforts of Tourism Noosa, Noosa Council and Country Noosa.

“The trail network is potentially a huge benefit to not only us but all of Pomona,” he said.

The eco retreat will be offering a rural escape with onsite yoga.

“It’s very much in line with nature-based tourism, it’s demonstrating sustainability through the way the yurts have been constructed,” Mr Barnes said.

Glamping comes to Pomona along the Noosa trail.
Glamping comes to Pomona along the Noosa trail.

“We want to thrive as a business while respecting the values of the area, that’s what we’ve been focused on the whole time.

“We’ll looking to offer an authentic experience for people who want a holiday that supports the community.”

He and his wife took part in the Tourism Noosa and the Noosa Council Hinterland Roadshow which visited Noosa hinterland villages last week connecting with the community.

More than a 100 members of the Kin Kin, Pomona and Cooroy communities attended for an update on the such initiatives as the Noosa Trail Master Plan

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said it was a perfect opportunity for her organisation to share news on its new strategic plan as well as updates on the Noosa Country Drive initiative.

Noosa Council sustainable development director Kim Rawlings said the sessions were a great opportunity to connect and engage with hinterland residents.

“The hinterland has many stunning assets and these sessions are an opportunity for residents to provide input into how to enhance and further promote the area,” she said.