Accommodation review: Coast@Culburra, Culburra Beach, NSW

Our rating

4 out of 5


Culburra Beach sits south of the picturesque opening of the Crookhaven River on the south coast. The intersecting arches of the street plan were designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Family-friendly beaches, boating and fishing, and exploring in national parks are the most popular pursuits for locals and visitors who come for the relaxed vibe.


Coast@Culburra is built into one of the dunes that face the main town beach. It is a burst of modernism among the older brick and fibro homes that populate much of the rest of the town. The home was built by local builder Martin Leedham from a design by architect Steve Bayer, from Edmiston Jones Architects on the south coast. It has won a Shoalhaven Council construction award and received a commendation from the Royal Institute of Architects. Steel frames and corrugated iron exteriors across three levels blend with several decks and large windows on the ocean side of the main living area, which is the highest point of the property with ocean views. A wing of the house has a bathroom and two large bedrooms with king beds, while a separate wing has the main bedroom and a spacious en suite, with double shower and groovy one-way windows. There is a downstairs room with bunks for children, a separate TV room with multiple lounges and a multi-zone sound system. Outside, a spa and barbecue area are located on separate decks. Some pets are welcome by arrangement. The yard has plenty of shade, though an outdoor spiral staircase offers an escape route for adventurous pooches. We blocked it off. Otherwise, a sheltered alcove under the house is a good space for pets to hunker down with kennels, away from the sun or strong ocean breezes. Be vigilant for ticks from the adjoining scrub.


A multi-zone, motion-sensitive computerised lighting system that serves the living spaces of the home is a delight for technology geeks and a feature that sets the mood for the rest of the house. There are Bose sound systems, a high-end coffee machine, large induction cooktop, double fridge with drink and ice dispenser, and a big flatscreen TV linked to pay TV and DVD player. There is a double garage that joins a laundry with industrial washer and dryer to cope with family-sized loads quickly. The main living area has floor to ceiling glass and two long lounges that are perfect for peaceful afternoon naps. There is a wood fire for chilly nights.


A walk-in pantry (with motion sensitive lighting) is well stocked. There are ample supplies in the kitchen for creating large dinners for families. The outdoor area has adjustable lighting for cool summer nights while the heated spa has views of the beach and ocean.


Dining options in Culburra Beach are unpretentious. Ten Thousand Tastebuds offers a hearty range of options, with take-home meals also available. We enjoyed the generous options for vegetarians.


Everyone knows that Berry, a 15-minute drive on the road back to Sydney, offers plenty of options for shoppers and brunches. If you have more time, drive 140 kilometres south to Mogo, which has art and food retailers to be explored. A shorter drive from Culburra Beach to Currarong offers a more sheltered swimming options including the famous natural rockpool. It adjoins Abrahams Bosom Reserve, with bushwalking and spectacular ocean views.


Coast@Culburra offers a touch of luxury at the sand's edge. It is not a bargain basement seaside escape. Instead, space, privacy and modern technology create a sense of something special. The only exclusion we noticed was access to Wi-Fi – but then maybe that is as it should be.


Culburra Beach is a two-  hour drive south of Sydney, and 15 minutes south of from Nowra. 


Rates start at $400 per night for up to four adults, minimum stays apply. Up to eight people can be accommodated, for extra cost. A  deal for couples offers four nights for $1500. See


The writer travelled at his own expense.