Mali Retreat

A Million Star Retreat

Image source: Contributed

The love put into every inch of Mali Retreat hits you in the heart. Carlie Wacker takes us to this million-star retreat in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Mali is a breathtaking 64-acre property nestled amongst nature’s finest work. There is a real sense of calm and clarity the moment you enter the grounds. A rustic handcrafted sign indicates you are entering Mali – a winding road takes you over a beautiful pond full of geese living their best life. It is delightfully quiet apart from the grounding sounds of bird life and that gentle movement of wind through the trees.

Oh, the serenity! This is precisely the vision owners Mark Tabone and Lisa Curry began with when creating Mali (the name is the blending of both their names and the name of their gorgeous Kelpie). 

This serene space perfectly blends nature with nurture and all things quirky. It has been purposefully designed by the adoring couple with a goal of connecting and relaxing. 

“In our early conversations when we first met, we shared our goals and dreams, and they were remarkably similar. Automatically there was a connection,” Mark said. 

As an entertainer Mark had been on the road as much as Lisa in her busy life as a sportstar, media personality and business owner. 

“Our lives have been so busy traveling and living out of suitcases, we know how it feels to be constantly on the merry-go-round and feeling like we can’t get off so we wanted to create a space where not only we can relax, but to invite others into our space and help them also realise the importance of self-reflection,” Mark said. 

“Somewhere to re-evaluate, reinvent, reset and most importantly relax.” 

Mission accomplished as that is the first feeling you experience at Mali, closely followed by amazement at the extraordinary spaces this couple have created with love. 

There is a ‘wow’ moment at every turn. 

A rustic barn is the centrepiece of this venue and is ideal for weddings, events, workshops, retreats and more. 

The barn has been converted into a function space for indoor and outdoor entertaining. Each corner has been eccentrically decorated with the beautiful antiques and collectors pieces the couple have sourced from all over the country, and world. Every item has a story to tell and I feel a real sense of nostalgia in the gentle and thoughtful curation of fabulous furniture, knick-knacks and art. It is a special space where wonderful memories will be made by guests of Mali. 

As you meander through the grounds of the sentimental and charming property you take in the best of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland landscape – rolling hills, trees and a sky that goes forever. 

There is a glamping area, campfire and outdoor amphitheatre for a movie under a million stars.

Mark and Lisa have put their heart and soul into building and designing the most unique spaces at Mali such as the outside bar made from an EK Holden Ute. 

In line with Lisa’s gold-medal winning background and commitment to a lifetime of fitness, there is also a dedicated gym for fitness, yoga retreats and boot camps. 

“We will be offering workshops covering many topics, different types of exercise routines, suitable for all fitness levels and combined with fun nights of entertainment,” adds Lisa. 

This dynamic duo created the space for their own wedding three years ago. Originally a horse farm, they converted the infrastructure from stables to the rustic barn function space; machinery shed into a gym; horse arena into a glamping campfire space and a 10-car garage into Mark’s vintage man cave.

And what a man cave it is! Guests can visit what I can only describe as a museum of pop culture history of the world. It is full of cars such as a 1960 Cadillac, 1966 Mustang, Austin Powers-style mini and other treasures that Mark is restoring or is the custodian of. There are a ton of records, all things retro like Coca Cola, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, original Barbie dolls, vintage cameras and clothing as well as Lisa’s medals and memorabilia that is a whole other story in itself. 

“I love it all,” Mark says. “But I really love my 1959 Wurlitzer jukebox that plays old 45 records and the 1966 Vespa.”

The love put into every inch of this place hits you in the heart and we were so privileged to not only have Lisa and Mark as our models for this edition’s fashion pages but to shoot the scenes on the property (see page 50).

Mali is a place of true beauty. Its allure is not only in the natural environment but the sentiment and powerful sense of peace that fills your soul the moment you set foot on the property. 

“There is so much beauty in Mali – the nature walks, the barn, the creeks and pond areas, but must of all our favourite part is sitting around the campfire with a glass of wine staring at a million stars,” said Lisa.

Mali resort is Ideal For…

• Weddings 

• Yoga and wellness retreats 

• Workshops 

• Corporate and Special events 

• Overnight glamping 


Check out our Everyone has a Story: Conversations from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa podcast for upcoming interviews with both Lisa and Mark. 

Available on all podcast platforms


About the Author /

[email protected]

Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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