You can trust Mark & Sue Berry at The Bower at Broulee because they’ve spent almost 30 years steadily building this business since buying the land in 1992.
“After gaining approvals and finance, we began building our first 3 ‘Bowers’ in 1998, ready to open for guests in 1999.
Since then, we’ve worked very hard to build and consolidate The Bower as a strong brand with a loyal following of guests”.
It is often assumed that in order to achieve optimum preservation and conservation of ecological systems and environments that development, and therefore human presence, should be restricted. However, it is now widely recognised that in order for our ecological systems to function, grow and evolve they must be researched, understood, experienced, respected and maintained.
Selective and responsible development and occupation of sensitive and valued areas is one way to ensure long term preservation of our natural habitat.
Our approach reflects a strong desire to explore and promote innovative mechanisms that celebrate and respect our valued ecological communities.
Roberts Day Planning was engaged to prepare a Master Plan for the site which provides for a broader range of accommodation types as well as additional eco- recreation opportunities in a manner that is respectful of the natural environment and aligned with the principles of ecotourism as set out by Ecotourism Australia.
“Tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an (custodian) operator that uses resources wisely contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities.”
Source: Ecotourism Australia
Cancellation & Postponement Policy:
The Bower is a small boutique operator with only 5 “Bowers” available to guests. Therefore, each vacancy for a particular night has a marked impact on our occupancy rate, revenues, and profitability.
In the current environment of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have adjusted the terms of our policy for direct bookings guests to require just 2 days notice for a change in dates as opposed to the 14 days [or more for 3rd party bookings] notice previously required.
Our full policy is set out in our Terms & Conditions for direct Bower Guests.
An alternate set of Terms & Conditions applies to guests who book thru 3rd party agencies.
The current landholders commissioned the original site analysis and design of the tourist facility in 1993 with the intention of an education-based facility comprising 12 family cabins, an office, managers residence, caretakers residence, and recreation facilities.
At this time, when the term ‘sustainable development’ was not common in policy or business, the landholders stressed the need to integrate the development into the National Parks and Wildlife Service objectives for the neighbouring Illawong Nature Reserve and wetlands. In this regard, the landholders strived to not only promote conservation but also enhance the opportunity for the study and appreciation of the natural environment. The original vision included the ability for visitors to traverse on foot through a variety of habitat types and explore a variety of wetlands by canoe and proposed new walking trails to the landlocked Illawong Nature Reserve.
Since its establishment, The Bower has committed to a variety of benefits to the broader community.
- dedicating 8ha of Candlagan Creek frontage as a public reserve;
- developing complementary management plans with adjoining landowners, including NPWS
- establishing shared walking trails providing access to The Bower; and,
- establishing self-guided interpretive walk literature based on ecological heritage studies to date.
The original development approved in the early 1990’s for the Bower involved the selective clearing of some areas of significant vegetation. [at that time, the regulating authorities viewed the inclusion of recreational facilities as necessary in order to establish a ‘bona fides’ tourism resort] More recent development on the site has been able to occur with only limited clearing and in total 33ha of natural bushland, has been retained, of the 40ha property. The site contains a number of high-value ecological communities, including :
- The Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) of Bangalay Sand Forest;
- Threatened owls
- Threatened micro-bats; and
- Threatened yellow-bellied gliders.
Visitors and invited guests to the Bower also have access to the adjoining Illawong Nature Reserve which also contains communities such as a broad range of native waterfowl. The operators of the Bower recognise their role as tourism providers, to market, promote and work with the local community to enable the local economy to grow and expand sustainably. The Bower advertises and promotes a number of local business, attractions, and tourism activities and aims to foster close working relationships with the following local groups:
- Mogo Wildlife Park
- Batemans Bay & Narooma Bushwalking clubs
- Eurobodalla Natural History Society
- Nature Coast Marine Group (NCMG)
- Moruya TAFE, Tourism & Hospitality [Debbie Pakis] to train staff in all areas of tourism, catering & events management
- Challenge Fitness & Calm Mogo for day spa services & yoga classes
- Carroll College for senior student environmental study projects
The operators of The Bower are also planning to establish a relationship with Moruya TAFE Horticulture Dept. In addition, there is a long-term agreement with St Peters Anglican College to provide the Bower as a safe refuge as part of their tsunami evacuation plan and The Bower is an active participant in the RFS strategic fire mitigation and evacuation plan for Broulee village.
The Bower also contributes to the slow-food movement through their support, where possible, of local produce and restaurants that share the same philosophy. The commitment to local and sustainable food production will continue with the proposed expansion of the resort through the establishment of an on-site restaurant that will source much of its produce from the permaculture garden and local farmers.
We look forward to introducing you to The Bower, and in the many cases of our loyal returning guests – to welcoming you back.
Sue & Mark Berry