Baffle Retreat B&B just north of Bundaberg at Winfield is the place to take the ‘significant other’ for totally relaxing and indulgent accommodation while enjoying a top class fishing spot.
It’s refreshing to step back from the rat race and visit an accommodation with serenity and sheer luxury. There are a number of enjoyable things to complement some of the best fishing Southern Queensland.
For the record, while I did my share of fishing during an all too short stay at Baffle Retreat B&B, I also stepped back a little to explore the area
Winfield, on the southern side of the mangrove jack haven of Baffle Creek, is an interesting area that is virtually devoted to macadamia nut farming. The Baffle Retreat in located in the Colonial Cove housing area at 43 Island View Road, nestling tastefully into tall stands of eucalypts and casuarina trees along the estuary’s southern bank.
From Bundaberg, take the road to Rosedale and 1770 while being prepared to turn to the right into the Winfield Road 47km from Bundaberg. You will see the ‘B&B’ sign at that turn off. Proceed on Rocky Point road for 3km and at Rocky Point boat ramp turn right into Baffle Estate Road with Island View Drive coming into view at 200m distance.
Number 43 will see you right outside Baffle Retreat B&B with your name on the welcome sign.
If coming from the north either via Miriam Vale and Lowmead look for the Winfield sign 11.3km past the Rosedale turnoff, on the left.
The ultra modern, state of the art, two storey Baffle Retreat B&B has been designed by Gary and Elaine Kirk to offer the utmost in luxury and ample personal space for those enjoying a stay. It’s RACQ AAA four and a half star rated, and certainly deserving of the accolades. Guests enjoy upper story living that, besides taking in a fabulous panoramic view of the Baffle waterway, sees two beautifully appointed self-contained bedrooms separated by a large kitchenette/common room with great lounge facilities.
The large, reverse-cycle air conditioned bedrooms are designed to make things as comfortable and relaxed as possible and are equipped with excellent audio visual systems and even internet access. The outlook is nothing but pure eye candy; the easterly aspect providing a picture postcard view of the adjacent river in a setting of stately trees.
The Retreat’s upper lounge can easily allow four guests to spend quality time between activities, whether simply relaxing with a convivial drink, using the kitchenette facilities or putting the Weber BBQ on the deck outside to some use.
Downstairs there’s the formal dining area with adjacent lounge, an outer deck on which to enjoy breakfast or lunch plus another outside BBQ setting. Glass-topped barrels make easy centrepieces for aperitifs (drinks to stimulate the appetite) and quiet drinks pre-lunch or dinner. Down by the water things were pretty cosy too; host Gary set up the fire each night in a large brazier so Denise and I could relax and enjoy pre-dinner nibbles and drinks while regaling us with his interesting tales of fishing captures, both large and lost.
My Baffle Retreat experience started at daylight just as the eastern sky started to blush a fine shade of pink. After a great sleep I’d taken my hot cuppa from the kitchenette onto the outer deck to enjoy the chorus of bird song, which made a welcome contrast to the usual sirens/dogs barking at my home on Brisbane’s south side.
As I surveyed the wide expanse of water lapping the spacious front yard of the Retreat, a sudden explosion of baitfish heralding the scything attack of some unseen predator caught my eye.
With a start to the day like that I figured things could hardly be much better but a scrumptious breakfast prepared by Elaine and husband Gary rounded things off.
While we’d enjoyed Elaine’s home cooked herb bread and fresh garden salad for our lunch on arrival the previous day Elaine’s muesli, Gary’s espresso coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice was almost too good to be true. I relish a home style cooked meal.
After breakfast Gary briefed us on the fishing. He showed us tantalising photos of threadfin salmon, giant mangrove jack, flaming big flatties and other tempting inhabitants of Baffle Creek, including some absolutely mind blowing whiting and decent grunter.
Those lovely fish aside, he gave me a strong hint that flathead were best targeted at our time of visit, in mid July, the big hitters taking leave of the area until the weather warms – same as the mud crabs and prawns. I immediately make a note to come back in September!
The ramp at Rocky Point is about three minutes away, and we soon launched the TABS Bullshark. It took us no time to catch a procession of small flathead and a quite decent grunter, which I managed to let slip over the side. Well done, Wayne! Luckily Denise saved the session with a small mangrove jack.
I really enjoyed exploring the magnificent waterway with its shallow sand banks, weed beds and surprisingly deep rock fringed holes. It amazed me to be travelling along in 2-3m of water to suddenly see the sounder register 10m. With those rock bars and outcrops renowned for mangrove jack, grunter, and even barra it was a pity that winter’s chill had shut these blokes down so thoroughly. Next time I go I’ll be taking the yabby pump – there are extensive yabby flats in the system and those big whiting are sweet eating.
Returning for lunch after some exploration we simply tied the TABS up at the front yard and went up to the outside deck. Too easy.
In truth, I suspect a lot of visitors won’t see fishing as the main objective of a stay at Baffle Retreat B&B. There’s no question that relaxation is the main aim and there are ample books, CDs, DVDs and other items on hand. For those more energetically minded there’s also a dinghy with a small outboard plus a canoe on hand.
Activities for those not inclined to wet a line, there are some really pleasant walks along the water front, shaded by trees and on well kept lawns, or perhaps a drive into Bundaberg to visit the Rum Distillery, the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, or the Sugar Museum at Fairymead House.
A drive north on the coastal strip can allow some exploration of the area between Winfield and 1770 via the Deepwater National Park and Agnes Waters with a run to Rules Beach and a walk on the sand prior to coming back for dinner prepared by the Kirks.
For more information visit www.baffleretreat.com.au or phone (07) 4156 6299.
The author getting some exercise on the Baffle Creek yabby flats.Reads: 1951