How it all started
Back in the mid 90s, we (Michele and Nick) were living with our three young children in a tiny two bedroom upstairs apartment in Adelaide’s CBD. We had just moved from the Adelaide Hills, and this temporary ‘attic’ accommodation gave us somewhere central to camp while we looked for a new house. But city living had become a thing by then, and we loved the convenience of having everything nearby, so we ended up living in our little city attic for seven cramped but fun years – along with a rottweiler, a turtle and three stick insects. We even achieved fleeting fame by becoming the council’s pin-up ‘city living’ family on video!
To get a regular nature fix, and to help us stay sane in a space no bigger than one of those teeny IKEA displays, we started looking for a coastal escape that we could get to easily after school on Fridays – somewhere secluded and beautiful that we could get to know intimately in the years ahead. And that’s how we found Yondah.
At first we camped there (with dog, turtle and stick insects), and spent our time exploring, planting trees and removing boxthorn. Then in 2000, we started building the beach house and developing the garden. Friends came to stay, and then friends of friends, so we eventually listed Yondah on a holiday website and things just grew from there.
What happened next
In 2014, we were thrilled to be named Best Deluxe Accommodation in Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards! Then in 2015, with assistance from a federal tourism grant, we fully refurbished the house to create a second master bedroom with its own deck, and three sparkling new designer bathrooms.
In 2016, Yondah was honoured by being inducted into the prestigious South Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame after winning the ‘Best Deluxe Accommodation’ category for 3 consecutive years in 2014, 2015 and 2016!
Fast forward to 2017… We were thrilled to be once again named Best Deluxe Accommodation in Australia at the 2016 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, and to win Best Deluxe Accommodation in South Australia for the 4th consecutive year at the 2017 South Australian Tourism Awards!!
It was always our long term plan to restore a ‘bush block’, so we were very excited when Trees for Life approached us about re-vegetating our whole 300 acre site and in 2012, were awarded a $341,000 Federal Govt Biodiversity Grant to make it happen. This 6 year project is now well underway and is creating new habitat for rare local wildlife including the Malleefowl, Heath Goanna and Western Pygmy Possum. Since 2013, we have also been hosting important on-site climate change research by the University of Adelaide at Yondah. We’ll be sharing more about our green initiatives soon.
Way over Yondah
Lots of people have asked whether Yondah is an Aboriginal word. Actually it’s not. It just came about because we used to say we’re going ‘over yonder’ when heading for Yorkes. We also liked the sentiment expressed in Carole King’s song Way Over Yonder… “and the sweet-tastin’ good life is so easily found, way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound”… so the ‘Yondah’ name stuck.
”This is by far the best getaway home we have ever stayed. Bringing our dogs has made our holiday that much more meaningful.”
LORRAINE & GEOFF (GLENELG, SA)
“We are so excited. We want to continue our annual holiday at your glorious beach house until we’re all 90!”
KRISTY, SVEN, LOUISE, JOSEPH, SOPHIA & JENSEN (BROMPTON, SA)
“This extraordinary hideaway is simply magic. Beautiful beaches and cosy little bays where we sat to watch the sun set. A piece of heaven on earth.”
LYN & ROSALIND (CALOUNDRA, QLD)
“Beautiful, peaceful, breathtaking. The accommodation was remarkable, well exceeding our expectations. The whole package was magical.”
ANDREA & FAMILY (HAPPY VALLEY, SA)
“Yondah is so private, not seeing or interacting with other people for 4 days is a very rare occurrence in the world today. We loved the seals!”
ALLAN, ANITA & LILLY (BRISBANE, QLD)
“Seventh visit and still as good as the first. Always wonderful to drive over the ridge and see Yondah silhouetted against the sea!”
BRUCE, ANNE & GAZELLE (BLACKWOOD, SA)
“It's bright and white, an ocean-facing bubble of light on 120 hectares.”
AUSTRALIAN GOURMET TRAVELLER (JANUARY 2017)
“Solitude, nature, the sea, wildlife and the comforts of home. We love it so much, Yondah has become an annual pilgrimage“
SIMON (MARION SA)