• Testimonials

    Don't just take our word for it!

    Here are some reviews from our wonderful guests.

    Below are interviews of students who have been in Chan Dissanayake’s workshops in Oct 2021

    Andrew Elston - Student, 2020

    The Platypus Burra Team and The Painting team

    Wow what a memorable experience.

    Thank you for the great escape, outstanding food (under statement) and such beautiful warm hospitality,

    to all my fellow artist for the tips shared and camaraderie, and thank you so much John for sharing your knowledge and experience,

    I had several great breathless moments when the penny dropped.

    I look forward to catching up again v soon.

    Best regards

    Cass Hodge - July 2020

    Wellness guest & photographer

    Cass stayed a weekend at Bathurst Art Retreat, taking in the scenery with her camera.

    Max Coleman - 2019

    My first en plein air workshop

    Hi Robbie and Steve


    Thank you very much for your organisation and superb hospitality during John Wilson’s workshop. John is a great artist and great teacher as well as being a thoroughly nice bloke. It was the first en plein air workshop I had attended and the venue was ideal. I hope, health permitting, I can return in the future.


    Kind regards

    Ruth Lucas - April 2019

    Comments from the Bathurst Art Retreat, John Wilson Workshop

    As our Hostess said, “ This is not a resort, it is a retreat”. Completely off the beaten track, kangaroos, goats, birdlife and so, so QUIET !

    The accommodation was comfortable, the food was fabulous- lovingly prepared and presented by our Hosts; the ambience is inclusive, warm and relaxing,

    And, as if the stunning Australian landscape seen from every window in the Retreat isn’t enough, you can have a delicious massage by the lovely Felicity !


    After a very short time, I felt totally at home.

    Thank you Robbie & Steve for your amazing hospitality.

    Beverley Melick

    You have a beautiful spot and I loved being there with you both.

    Dear Robbie and Steve,


    I'm lost for words to convey the wonderful time spent with you both. Your hospitality blew me away. You didn't leave a stone unturned. Attention to detail was very thoughtful and I came away very spoilt and well informed. I thank you.I had the most wonderful time and even though I didn't paint much, but I learnt alot. As for the company of other artists, I couldn't have asked for more.
    You have a beautiful setting and very comfortable accommodation. Now as for the cook! Say no more! we had great meals and to add to that, help to the paintings sites and morning and afternoon teas. You have a beautiful spot and I loved being there with your both. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou. You're a very beautiful couple. Keep enjoying life, making others happy and sharing your lovely home.
  • Steve and Michelle Thomson - May 2017

    Just the place to re-energise.

    Dear Robbie and Steve,


    WOW what a gem. Our retreat weekend was picturesque, peaceful and perfect. The hospitality was wonderful, accommodation great and food hearty and filling. Kangaroos, deer, wild goats and warming open fire. Whether doing an activity, reading a book or taking in the scenery, your property is a great get away. Just the place to re-energise. Looking forward to coming back. PLEASE!

    Jim and Trish Halloran - May 2017

    Magic art weekend

    Hi Robbie and Steve,


    Thanks also for a magic art weekend for Trish and I. The food was excellent and the company was great. It was worth driving the 4,500 km from Perth to join in. You have a wonderful location and we'll certainly come back when the opportunity presents itself.

    Dixie Ford - May 2017

    A Truly Memorable Experience

    Dear Robbie and Steve,


    How fortunate to have enjoyed a truly wonderful experience of my 3 day art adventure at Platypus Burra. Australian wildlife alone, within the remote and picturesque surrounds of the Macquarie River, enough to stimulate research into the second verse of the National Anthem!

    Your resident artist choice, Kasey Sealy, a leading Australian artist was of course a truly memorable experience for students and guests alike. Should all of us ever forget his 3 demonstrations?

    Robbie and Steve, at no time myself or your guests wanted for any further consideration.

    Christine - November 2016

    I am hooked and will attend as often as I can.

    Another fantastic experience was the wildlife and the river. To be amongst the wildlife and experience the most wonderful discoveries of unusual birds was a delight. I will certainly be taking my camera next time. As a person who normally runs full time on adrenaline, I found I instantly slowed down once I arrived. Not an easy task for me.
    To be in such a relaxing atmosphere, peaceful, with the river bubbling by whilst you paint is not only enjoyable, it is a healing of mind and soul.
    I would love to spend a writers weekend there one day. The atmosphere for developing stories is perfect. I could write for hours just sitting by the river in the shade.
    Thank you Robbie and Steve for allowing me to experience your retreats, I am hooked and will attend as often as I can.
    Love to you both, Christine

    It was just brilliant!!!! Seriously amazingly brilliant!

    I just returned from a fabulous weekend as one of the first artist guests of "Platypus Burra" aka Bathurst Art Retreat.


    I feel I have to say something to all of you out there who want an amazing experience with a wonderful group of people in an isolated beautiful, place just outside of Bathurst. It was just brilliant!!!! Seriously amazingly brilliant.


    Christine and I arrived Saturday morning and were met at the junction of two-wheel and four-wheel tracks by our hosts in their 4WD car. These wonderful people, Robbie and Steve Fayle, then took us through the landscape to the retreat house overlooking the Macquarie Rivier. On the way there we were greeted by a mob of kangaroos who were mildly amused by the carload of creatives ambling by.


    As the road swept round to the house we could see a number of individuals down on the beach, standing in front of their easels, looking in various directions up, down and across the river. It was a beautiful moment for me to realise that I was shortly going to be down there myself.


    We arrived and put our things in our room and then took our gear down to the river, aided if we needed assistance, by caretakers Merv and Trish Burley. At the water's edge we met fellow art students and our amazing tutor David Lake (you can find him on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010938373069).


    We had two demos from David each day, and following the demo (which took him no more than 29.5 minutes each time) we all worked on our own chosen vistas 'en plein air' with David moving continually between us all (sometimes across a distance of more than a km) providing feedback and suggestions or merely positive noises of agreement (which made me smile to hear). Between plen air sessions, we were fed by the amazing Fayles and Burleys, and let me tell you that the food was very very very very good. The catering was abundant and way beyond what I expected.


    If there are some people you get on with well or if you are on your own... just take a chance and book into a retreat... where you can paint, sketch, lie down and listen to the birdsong, go for a walk along the river or up to the top of the mountain or just eat, drink and be merry. The Fayles and Burleys are wonderful company and all of our conversations lively and interesting. I feel like I have known them all for a very long time after only having met them two short days ago.


    It was utterly fabulous. I can't recommend this place highly enough.

    Gail - 29 October 2016

    A dream come true !!

    Dear Robbie, Steve, Trish and Merv,


    I was at this very moment writing to say THANK YOU to you all for a lovely weekend when your email arrived!


    Thank you for the photos, Robbie.


    How special to be one of your first guests and to take part in a dream come true !!


    Your hospitality, the food, and location were all fabulous. I felt very pampered by you all.


    A huge thank you to you, Steve, for changing the car tyre. Whom without we would have been in big trouble, no doubt about that! I called the local Toyota people today and they informed me that the jack was under the passenger seat ...go figure !!


    The rain was very heavy until we reached Lithgow and we still made it home by 7pm, so a good run indeed !


    Thank you again for a lovely weekend and I will happily spread the word about your little slice of paradise.


    Best wishes



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