Back in the 90s, owners Michele and Nick (that’s us pictured above) were living with our three young children in a tiny two bedroom apartment above our office in Adelaide’s CBD. We were between houses at the time, 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 several 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, 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, and by being named Best Deluxe Accommodation in Australia for the second time!! After that, Michele focused on mentoring other tourism businesses and serving on the Board of Ecotourism Australia. We also constructed and launched Seafire Beach House, Yorke Peninsula’s only 5 star holiday accommodation, and launched our Secluded Stays umbrella brand.
SEAFIRE BEACH HOUSE
In early 2020, we were thrilled to announce the official launch of Seafire Beach House! Tailor-made for just four guests, this gorgeous modernist retreat is the ultimate luxe-in-nature holiday experience, and the only 5 star accommodation in the region. Nestled into the dunes on 300 private oceanfront acres with its own secluded sandy beach and breathtaking sea views to Kangaroo Island, Seafire really is the perfect place to dream the days away embraced by sky, sea and sand! Find out more here.
Conservation has always been our passion, so we thrilled when Trees for Life approached us in 2012 about re-vegetating our whole 300 acre site and were awarded a $341,000 Federal Govt Biodiversity Grant to make it happen. This major 6 year project has created new habitat for rare local wildlife including the malleefowl, heath goanna and western pygmy possum, and is complemented by our own ‘Blossoms for Possums’ project and Nest Box Sponsorship program. In addition, we have also hosted a key on-site climate change research project by the University of Adelaide. Find out more here.
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.