Read our writer's views on this property below
Nina Karnikowski gets a whale of a welcome at a rustic beachside yurt.
'You can find more slick accommodation in Killcare," the Stayz site for the Killcare Yurt had warned us, "but the yurt has character and soul; just like you."
Character and soul is a euphemism for wear and tear, my pregnant sister and I decide as we survey the main room of the round, wooden cottage, noting the worn carpet and tired kitchenette. But there's a rustic beach-chic appeal - a combination of the vaulted ceiling with skylight, comfy wicker couch, wooden pelican artwork above the telly, shelves stuffed with books, board games and balls, and complimentary bottle of chardonnay in the fridge - that makes us feel we're crashing at a good friend's place for the weekend.
Not that we care too much about the interior when there's a deck almost as big as the yurt spreading from the back door out over the stunning Bouddi National Park and Killcare beach. "Look, a whale," my sister shouts and we rush to the deck's edge, bags still on shoulders, to watch our marine friend flap us a spectacular welcome.
It takes us half an hour to peel ourselves away and pick our bedrooms. There are three to choose from: a queen, a double and a single with writing desk and coastal views. They're simple, small affairs hugging the sides of the main room, and there's a teeny modular bathroom and curtained-off laundry to the right of the front door.
And then we ate We give ourselves a big high-five for deciding to bring sausages and salad; with views like these, you'd feel a fool heading out for every meal. We cook the snags on the basic stove (there's an ancient-looking barbie on the deck we instantly chuck into the too-hard basket), throw together a simple salad, and set ourselves up on one of two small outdoor tables.
We've brought a fancy tomato relish with us as the piece de resistance, but neither of us can make the lid budge. And so, giggling like kids, we head out onto the street in our PJs to knock on some doors. When we discover the neighbours aren't home, we swallow our pride, hail a passing car and ask the driver to open our jar, which he does with one deft manoeuvre and without judgment as his wife attempts to muffle her laughter in the passenger seat. We thank him profusely. "That's OK, just make sure you come to the Killcare Store tomorrow," he says as he drives away. Thank goodness for friendly - and enterprising - locals.
The deal maker Location, location, location. For a woman who is five months' pregnant and her stressed-out sister, the deck provides the ideal spot to relax in the sun reading, gossiping and staring into the great blue yonder. When a storm hits on Sunday morning, we're content to linger over a home-cooked brekky in the lounge as we watch the waves being whipped up into frothy madness below, and listen to the rain drumming a soulful tune on the corrugated iron roof.
Stepping out During our two-day stay we fit in a walk, swim and a bake on Killcare beach's yellow sand, where we're treated to a magnificent display of sailboat racing on the horizon; a delectable two-course lunch at Stefano Manfredi's restaurant at Bells at Killcare (the picturesque kitchen garden will have your mouth watering before you've even set foot inside); a stroll along the dramatic clifftops on the Bouddi Coastal Walk, which passes gorgeous remote beaches and sandstone formations; and a pie from the award-winning Fat Goose bakery, gobbled on the wharf at the mangrove-trimmed Hardys Bay.
The Killcare Yurt
Address 2 Manly View Road, Killcare.
The verdict Rustic cottage with charm and fabulous views.
Price From $460 a weekend, for a maximum of five people. Minimum two-night weekend stay; tariff excludes mandatory $70 cleaning fee. Linen pack $30 a person.
Getting there Killcare is about 90 minutes' drive on the F3 freeway from Sydney's central business district.
Perfect for Family chill time.
Wheelchair access No.
While you're there Follow an afternoon swim at Killcare beach with a frosty drink on the deck of the Killcare Surf Life Saving Club. Take one of 10 bush walks through Bouddi National Park, a heritage site for more than 100 local indigenous rock carvings and shell middens. Check out the shops and cafes at Hardys Bay — Bouddi Gallery, the only indigenous art gallery on the central coast, has some fabulous treasures, and Garden 2 Plate cafe offers organic produce grown at the nearby Green Gate Farm and in veggie boxes bordering the cafe.