Meet a SATIC Member – Flinders Bush Retreats

10 October 2018



Flinders Bush Retreats is a boutique farm stay offering two self-contained houses, eco tent glamping and bush camping in the Flinders Ranges. Located on the 11000-acre family farm, each accommodation offers guests a private and secluded 'bush retreat' to experience the unspoiled natural landscape that is the Flinders Ranges.

Owner Sharon McInnis says the property is perfect for weekend escapes and weeklong exploring.

“Guests have access to 4WD tracks and bush walking in our secluded gorge abundant with native wildlife, while children can enjoy feeding farm animals and collecting free range eggs,” says Sharon.

In 2013 the business diversified from a family farm into tourism, having researched and discovered a gap within the region for unique accommodation at affordable prices.

“Starting a new business in an established region was challenging, but we embraced the challenges to create a thriving agritourism business.”

In 2017 the business had to put an even greater focus on the tourism side of things due to drought conditions, which included incorporating a second self-contained house and increasing marketing and online distribution channels.

“As we result, we have grown our tourism revenue by 70% and increased our average occupancy to 84%.”

To celebrate 140 years and six generations on the property, Sharon says the business also developed a farm tour, which “takes guests on a journey from the early pioneering days, to the first European settlers, through to how the farm and tourism business is run today.”

As a tourism award entrant and bronze medallist, Sharon believes entering the Tourism Awards has encouraged the business to identify and focus on areas of the business requiring improvement.

“It is a great opportunity to revisit your business plan, implement new ideas and strive for excellence within our industry.”

As well as striving for excellence, Sharon says it is important for tourism businesses to deliver quality service, which includes being approachable and willing to share useful information about your region.

“We personally engage with our guests before, during and after their stay to ensure they have the best possible experience.

“Most importantly, we listen to our guests and value their feedback as without them we do not have a business,” Sharon says.

Top Three Tips for Business Success:

  • Sell your product and your region, partner with other local businesses to create great customer experiences.
  • Be consistent – success does not come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.
  • Take time to enjoy a break away from your business and experience something new from another region.

Moving forward, Sharon says the Eco Tent will undergo an exciting refurbishment in summer, while the business is getting set to launch self-guided walking tours and mountain bike trails, which will be available to guests in 2019. Stay tuned!

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