Read our writer's views on this property below
A chic beach stay on a clifftop at North Avoca is worth celebrating, writes Anna Anderson.
When the invitation to a 50th-birthday party on the beachfront at North Avoca arrives, it calls for some planning. Knowing it will be a swanky affair, we decide to enter into the spirit of things and track down luxe central coast accommodation for the weekend.
A quick search yields Headland (formerly Horizon), on the headland at North Avoca.
A long, steep driveway leads to the cliff-top site which is surrounded by bushland reserve.
Ten points for privacy. The house is a modern, architecturally imposing residence of two levels, finished in tones of grey.
We arrive in the late afternoon when the westerly sun is filtering into the house and the ocean is a deep blue. The silence, but for some lorikeets and the sound of waves washing over the rocks below, is blissful.
Inside, smooth terrazzo floors herald beach-house practicality mixed with designer chic. Four bedrooms and three bathrooms are at entry level, each nicely separated from the other - another plus on the privacy tally.
Spoilt for choice, given that all rooms open to an east-facing terrace and lawn, and two bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, we settle on one with a northerly bush aspect.
Cowhide rugs, crisp linen, queen-size beds, rain showers inside and out, plenty of storage and well-designed reading lights all hit the comfort spot.
Upstairs, Headland is a statement in wow factor. First, there's the ocean view that prompted the home's name. You can stand and gaze at the coastline and bushland, but anyone interested in architecture or home design will be just as content taking in the interior. One large room divided into kitchen, dining and living zones and flanked by east and west-facing terraces has the proportions and ambience that only comes from careful planning.
The kitchen, with its long stainless-steel benches, has a view to the ocean as well as easy surveillance of the indoor-outdoor living area, broken only by a gas fireplace and media unit that divides the dining area from the sitting space.
With the dining table seating 10, a gourmet cook's kitchen and oodles of space inside and out, it's the perfect party space but the house rules note, in bold, that Headland is a strictly no parties premises.
The site listing also mentions the water feature on the terrace and the unfenced garden with a 50-metre drop to the rocks below. For those reasons, Headland is not suitable for children. When another friend, nearing her 50th birthday, says her dream celebration is to hire a gorgeous house on the coast for a week and have small groups of friends come to stay on different nights and cook her a week of birthday dinners, Headland seems just the spot. But where does a dinner party stop and a party start? That's one for the booking agent to negotiate.
After a quick snooze on the sun-lounges, we dress for the party. It is close enough to walk to, but we drive instead, thinking ahead of the steep driveway on our return.
The party is a hoot. Rivers of French champagne, delectable food and lots of laughter. The beach house is a knockout and had we not been returning to our own swish digs, we might have asked to crash in one of its gorgeous bedrooms.
Blackout blinds at Headland work a treat, allowing us a blissful sleep-in next morning. Lorikeets entertain us while we sip tea sitting in leather wing-back chairs watching the sun climb over the ocean. After a morning dip in the surf, we head to Terrigal in search of the kind of breakfast one needs after too much wine and song.
We find the antidote in Driftwood Cafe on the Esplanade. Sitting outdoors, we order restorative fresh juices, toasted muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt and poached eggs with salmon.
The coffee, like the rest our feast, is perfect.
Headland is a grown-ups' getaway that would work wonderfully for two, three or four couples or if you're greedy, just yourselves.
The writer was a guest of Destination NSW.
Headland, Coast Road, North Avoca, is about an hour and 15 minutes' drive north of Sydney CBD.
Week nights, $399 a night; weekends, $800 a night with a minimum of two nights (three night on long weekends). All bookings incur a $405 cleaning/booking fee.
A grown-ups' getaway for up to four couples.
The lack of a pool; specifically, a horizon-edge pool.
It's a treat to spend time in such a superbly designed house.
TAKE THE KIDS?
Only adult offspring.