Opinion

Stone House Retreat: A place to reconnect and find a purpose

The Stone House Retreat owner Cameron Wyatt.
The Stone House Retreat owner Cameron Wyatt. DAVID NIELSEN

THE Stone House Retreat is a place to reconnect and find a purpose, and a place to enjoy the outdoors in peace and comfort.

When Cameron Wyatt bought the property, it was a way to reconnect with his roots and purchase a retreat where others could embrace the philosophy and ethos that has guided his own life.

Wyatt is the founding director of Synergy, a training and consulting business that builds sustainable high- performance culture in organisations, and the retreat has meaning beyond the obvious to him.

"A lot of the work we do with Synergy is around helping to build high-performance teams, resilient organisations and resilient individuals," he says.

"I suppose the house is a bit of my own therapy in that regard.

"It allows me to step back and ask, 'What is my purpose?'

"All the themes around building resilience are what this property is about, whether it helps you reconnect with nature or reconnect with your family.

"It provides the time and space to reconnect with what is important to you… and the view is astounding."

In purchasing the property there was an aspect of 'a return to roots' for Wyatt, who grew up in Esk.

"My mum and sister are still there," he says.

"So part of it is how the boy from the bush goes to the city because of education and work… but it will always be home.

"I've always said that I live in Brisbane but come from Esk."

Wyatt had known about The Stone House Retreat for a few years and couldn't get it out of his mind.

"A friend of mine said to me, 'Cam, you should see this place'.

"I thought it was interesting, but it just wasn't the right time or place.

"But it kept gnawing at me."

Wyatt took one look at the retreat and knew he had to acquire it.

He says The Stone House was built as a private retreat on a larger property by a doctor, Ken Brown, who later sold it.

The great thing for Ipswich and Brisbane people is that it is right on our doorstep, just 10 minutes from Esk.

The three-bedroom retreat is now a place where friends, couples and families can escape to enjoy bushwalking, mountain bike riding, water activities and the peace and tranquillity of the Australian bush.

"Every part of the building spoke to my values in a big way - the polished concrete, the fact that all the stone is off the site," Wyatt says.

"It is handmade and has got an eco orientation to it.

"It is totally off the grid, with solar and wind power.

"Someone started it with a vision and applied their own personal values to it.

"They have come up with something spectacular that is going to last a time.

"In terms of legacy, it is something spectacular.

"The timber work is milled off the site pretty much.

"The windows are out of the old Brisbane Royal Women's Hospital that was demolished.

"The huge cedar doors are from an old railway building.

"Everything has a story to it."

Wyatt says it suits a large family, three couples wanting to get away for a weekend or a couple wanting a romantic getaway.

"We've got three families coming up this weekend with the adults staying in the house and the kids camping on the decks," Wyatt says.

"We have used it for small functions. There was a 21st birthday party there not long ago, where we had 40 people catered to on the deck."

There is plenty to do, with bush walking in the Ravensbourne National Park or fishing and boating up the road at Cressbrook Dam.

A large waterhole for swimming and the pubs, cafes and antique stores in nearby Esk, Hampton, Cabarlah or Crows Nest are just a short drive away.

The fully-equipped kitchen, with European appliances, makes it a self-caterers' dream.

The views give those who stay a sweeping vista of the region.

"The whole 'sustainability and resilience' theme is how I see it fitting in my life...and the life of my customers," Wyatt says.

"Building this house required vision, a love of the natural environment, purposeful action, tenacity and lots of love.

"You can still feel this. It surrounds you, inspires you and grounds you."

The Stone House Retreat is located on the Esk Hampton Rd.

To find out more about the retreat, visit thestonehouseretreat.com.au.

Topics:  qt big read



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