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Published November 16th 2020
Serenity is disturbed only by birdsong and chirping crickets
I have felt seriously daunted during 2020 by travel restrictions. As the year draws to a close, however, I have to admit that 'holidaying at home' has presented some unexpected pleasures. One cause for enjoyment was a recent stay at Pike River Eco Villas.
The villas are built on the edge of the small town of Lyrup. The town was established in 1894 when the South Australian government encouraged unemployed inhabitants of Adelaide to re-settle in a series of small villages in the Riverland. Lyrup now has a population of around 500 people.
I had never heard of Lyrup nor Pike River before but my research painted a promising picture.
Nestled between the major Riverland towns of Loxton, Berri and Renmark means there is easy access to shops, leisure activities and dining options yet the villas are quite remote. I imagined relaxed hours reading and eating in between short trips to discover nearby towns.
The seclusion was obvious as we first approached Pike River and the serenity was disturbed only by birdsong and chirping crickets.
The original Pike River development was established in 2006 with the conversion of an old woolshed into accommodation. Its popularity with guests prompted hosts, Andrew and Bronny Caire, to expand the development and now there are three luxury villas for couples and two, 2-bedroom apartments in addition to the newly refurbished Woolshed.
We had booked the 'Water' apartment and invited some good friends along to share the adventure.
Andrew and Bronny have established another project in addition to the Eco Villas. Their Riverland Wine Centre showcases over twenty Riverland wineries with interactive storyboards illustrating the story of each one.
The term 'eco', incorporated into its name, indicates the sustainability aspect of the whole development. A privately owned 'sunfarm', a waste treatment system and a water catchment system are key features and the Caire's are proud of the fact that they use none of their river water allocation.
If day trips are not your thing, you'd be forgiven if you settled into a Pike River Villa and simply lingered. The views offer a liberating sense of space, the serenity is calming and the ambience is rejuvenating.