Parson’s Bay Retreat

Finally, time to showcase where I lived and worked for 3 months in Tasmania! I found myself at Parson’s Bay Retreat and Tasman Ecovillage, in the tiny town of Nubeena. We were about 100km/1.5 hours out of Hobart and near the historic site of Port Arthur. But being fall/winter, it was a very quiet place to be. The Retreat consisted of a motel, cafe and Ecovillage. I spent a lot of my downtime here, in reception and the Cafe:

Around the Ecovillage a variety of work was available. Gardening, landscaping, animal maintenance and construction were just some of the jobs. I worked 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for free room and board, and most importantly, getting my 88 days of work for my visa extension.

This was the main area of the cafe, it was cute and warm.

And behind the bar. On quiet days the cafe would be near empty, being in a small quiet corner of Tasmania. During the summer though, this place gets packed.

The view from the deck of the cafe of tranquil Parson’s Bay.

Because there was a motel onsite there were some nice facilities we could make use of! First off was an indoor, heated swimming pool! I splashed around in here on occasion.

And I often made good use of the hot tub/spa. There also was a nice and hot dry sauna, good on a cold winter’s day in Tasmania.

Then there was the Ecovillage side of things. Still in the planning and development stages, there were a few people now living onsite, as well as some lovely animals. Not to mention, quite a few gardens scattered around with fresh greens, herbs, and vegetables. Lots of work to do on the grounds!

Finally, where I also spent lots of my free time with the other helpers. This was our big community kitchen. Stocked to the gills with tons of dry and fresh ingredients, you were welcome to cook whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. We also often would have community meals, where many people would cook some great meals. And yes, I did bake from time to time. 😛

On the scale of places to get one’s 88 day rural work visa, Parson’s Bay definitely has to be one of the most comfortable. We had proper rooms (only shared with 1-2 other people), lots of food and the work was reasonable. There was a good community of other international backpackers (8-12 of us usually) to fill our free time with, and it definitely helped pass the 3 months away from Sydney!

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