Anglesea Overboard cottage, review: A cottage near the sea

Read our writer's views on this property below

Paul Kalina puts his feet up at a quiet beachside locale on the Great Ocean Road.

Finding Anglesea Overboard is a cinch. From Melbourne, simply drive all the way through Anglesea and turn right at the last street before the town turns into bush. The unassuming cottage is opposite Angahook-Lorne State Park.

It's surprisingly quiet, given the Great Ocean Road is only a hundred or so metres away. The surrounding houses appear to be mostly family holiday homes that spring to life during the summer break.

From here it's only a five-minute walk down a small hill, then down a beautifully weathered timber staircase, to the more remote - and unpatrolled - stretches of Point Roadknight Beach, a sweeping expanse of wind-blown scrub, sand and wild surf deserted but for a handful of surfers and dog walkers.

From the house there are great views through the glass doors of the living room and front verandah of the vast sweep of coast all the way to Aireys Inlet, where its signature lighthouse can be seen.

Inside is a modern, open-plan kitchen and living area. There's a large TV, DVD player and CD, a handful of DVDs for whiling away a rainy day and a combustion oven loaded with kindling.

There's airconditioning in the main room and a portable cooling unit in the bedroom. Judging from the way the house heats up when the temperature approaches 30 during a warm November blast, the equipment probably gets a lot of use at the height of summer.

A timber balcony wraps around the front and sides of the living room, while at the back is the cottage's one bedroom. It has functional built-in wardrobes, sideboards and a rough-hewn timber table and is large enough to accommodate a portacot, which is available at extra cost. A sliding door off the bedroom opens to the clean and practical bathroom, which includes the toilet and laundry. There's a corner spa, separate shower, washing machine and dryer.

The decor is spare and I probably would have taken to the house with a lot more enthusiasm had I not stayed previously at the owner's sister property at Aireys Inlet.

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The Anglesea house is a step down from Aireys Overboard with its attractive maritime decor, fastidious detailing and above-the-call-of-duty luxuries.

But other than a broken dishwasher and an unkempt garden, there's little to gripe about. The bed is comfortable and warm, there's enough bathroom linen for a football team and the kitchen is well equipped with pots and pans. A complimentary bottle of wine, some chocolates and a couple of kitchen basics, such as olive oil and vinegar, are thrown into the deal. The property is also dog-friendly by arrangement.

Unlike other ports of call on the Great Ocean Road, Anglesea isn't a transposed version of Acland Street.

The main shopping strip, tucked away behind the main street, has a supermarket, bakeries, grocery shops and a newsagent.

A couple of kilometres down the road from the house, a brisk 30-minute walk, the Red Till Cafe does a busy daytime trade in good coffee and contemporary meals, while the golf club serves unpretentious pub grub at lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

Anglesea is a place many might call daggy and old-school, which is exactly its understated charm. It's hard not to feel just a touch nostalgic as we return to Melbourne a few days later.

FAST FACTS

Address 39c O'Donohue Road, Anglesea.

Bookings overboardcottages.com.au.

Getting there About a 1½-hour drive from Melbourne via Geelong.

How much From $195 (midweek) to $225 a night (weekends), off peak; $255 a night for Christmas school holidays, long weekends and Easter.

Summary Comfortable, self-catering accommodation for two on the quiet edge of Anglesea.

Verdict 15

The score: 19-20 excellent; 17-18 great; 15-16 good; 13-14 comfortable.

All weekends away are conducted anonymously and paid for by Traveller.