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Naiko Retreat



Located on the coastline of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula (2hrs drive south of Adelaide), Naiko Retreat is a refuge from the everyday. Pronounced "Nay-co" and meaning 'mother' in Ramindjeri, a dialect of the local indigenous Australian people, the property is a sacred part of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. With its incredibly remote setting, impressive design, and private beach, time at Naiko will allow you to disconnect from the world.

The views from Naiko are outrageously beautiful - over rolling green hills and out to the Southern Ocean over to Kangaroo Island - as far as the eye can see. It's extraordinary.

Naiko was designed by Australian architect Max Pritchard to complement the surrounding environment, working in harmony with the natural elements of the land. Featuring solar panels, recycled infrastructure, worm farms, water conservation methods and 60,000 litre rainwater tank systems in place - the aim is for guests to tread lightly on this land. This eco-luxe design features all the modern comforts you could possibly need for a getaway. With 3 king-size bedrooms, each with its own ensuite, huge kitchen (complete with breakfast provisions) and living area, and your very own secluded beach. The Retreat is part of a 2000-acre working sheep farm known as "Rarkang" situated between two conservation parks (and as such, pets are strictly prohibited). A 2-night minimum stay applies.

The area is steeped in indigenous history and the Retreat was established after consultation with a Ramindjeri Elder in respect to the building and naming of the development and its relevance to Dreamtime. Naiko follows the name of the inlet on which it stands and is the Ramindjeri word for “Mother”.


Why I love it

To stay at Naiko Retreat is a truly luxurious and special experience. For me the luxury comes by way of the sheer remoteness and private nature of the setting and land. The pure quiet of the surrounds, the vastness of the views, the ruggedness of the cliffs and the turquoise sea. At Naiko you are surrounded by nature - giant native Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) (some that are 1500 years old!), wildflowers, bird life and native animals (kangaroos and echidnas). It's incredibly beautiful here.


I love Nako for its design. I love the ensuite bathrooms with their spectacular ocean views from the bathtub. I love sitting out on the deck in the sun with a glass of wine in hand. And I really love the Futuro (spaceship) home by Finnish designer Matti Suuronen (designed to be a ’portable ski chalet’ in the 1960’s) that has now been converted into a wellness centre - offering guests relaxing massage treatments. 


About the owners

Tony and Christine Johnson are the owners of Naiko Retreat and the farm on which it is situated. They are proud to have called South Australia home for most of their lives. Tony has been farming for over 40 years on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Both keen hikers, they fell in love with the area after walking the Heysen Trail which passes through Rarkang. Christine, particularly, felt a strong connection to the area as it reminded her so much of her childhood in the highlands of her beloved native Scotland. After acquiring the property in 1998 their mission was to protect and preserve the land and its heritage, but soon after thought it was just too special not to share with others. Their vision was to provide the ultimate luxury eco-retreat where guests could experience total tranquility, digitally disconnect and reconnect with family, friends and nature whilst respecting the environment in an ecologically sustainable manner. 

Construction of Naiko Retreat commenced in 2018 and they welcomed their first guests in June 2019. When the Johnsons commenced bringing their vision to life, the first priority was how to build with the least environmental impact, not only to the land but on natural resources as well. They retained Max Pritchard, an architect with a reputation for creating eco-sustainable structures. The retreat had to be off-grid, rely on solar power and rainwater and had to be built in harmony with the environment. 


Naiko is all about providing guests with the opportunity to live in harmony with the environment, connect with the land and nature whilst preserving natural resources.

What to do nearby


Lunch at Leonards Mill (20mins away)


Hike on the trails nearby (incl sections of the famous Heysen Trail).


Long lunch at Star of Greece (1hr+ drive away, but worth it)

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What to bring







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