Culburra Beach House review: Delight them on the beaches

Read our writer's views on this property below

A little plain on the outside, this oceanfront escape is a knockout in disguise, writes Rachel Browne.

As with all real estate, there are only three rules when it comes to beach houses: location, location and location. Culburra Beach House ticks all three boxes.

If it were any closer to the ocean, it would need a keel and anchor. Not that this is immediately obvious as we pull up behind the house after a 2-hour drive from Sydney.

The exterior is, to put it politely, a little plain. But beauty does indeed come from within and we are met with knockout views of the ocean as we walk through the door.

A deck leads to a neatly manicured lawn, from which a short track winds down to the sand and sea.

After drinking in the vista, we start exploring the house, which reveals Tardis-like proportions.

The modest exterior disguises a spacious five-bedroom property with enough room to sleep at least 14 people – and their pets.

There's also a dog's trampoline bed on the deck and a water bowl in the garden. The facilities for humans are, of course, somewhat more sophisticated: three bedrooms with double beds, one with an en suite bathroom. There are two more bedrooms with two double bunks each.

Thankfully there are also enough bathroom facilities to accommodate a full house.

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As well as the en suite, there's a large bathroom with a two-person spa bath and a double shower. There are also two separate toilets and an outdoor shower.

If you happen to be cooking for a crowd, the kitchen should meet your needs. There's plenty of crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils as well as a large oven, microwave, fridge and all-important dishwasher. The separate fridge in the laundry is ideal for wine and beer supplies.

An eight-seater dining table forms the centrepiece of the open-plan living area, with six bar stools at the island bench which separates the dining area from the kitchen. The deck caters for alfresco dining, with a barbecue and plenty of seating.

Guests are best off bringing their own food supplies as dining options in the seaside town are limited to a couple of cafes and takeaway outlets or Culburra Bowling Club.

A comfortable lounge area features two large sofas and a couple of easy chairs, perfect for reclining on after a meal.

Given that our stay was last month, when the temperature dropped into single figures at night, we stoked up the fire, which kept the large living area surprisingly warm.

While the beach is the main attraction here, there are facilities for those more inclined to the indoors or who are cursed by bad beach weather: TV/DVD and video, with a small selection of movies and a stereo that has an iPod dock.

The owners have done a terrific job creating a beach house that is relaxed and comfortable but features all the mod cons.

Having bought the property as an unrenovated 1970s shack eight years ago, the owners spent several months transforming it into the impressive place it is today.

Comments in the Culburra Beach House visitors' book are a testament to their hard work.

The house attracts all types, from families to overseas guests, to men on blokes' weekends and women on girls' getaways.

Just about everyone praises the stunning view, of course, but many are thankful for the smaller, thoughtful touches.

People travelling with young children will be grateful to find two portable cots and a high chair as well as a selection of games and toys tucked away in a cupboard.

Our two girls, aged 3 and 5, were content to take beach walks, fly kites and build sandcastles, stopping only to admire the frolicking dolphins and occasional surfer.

And with only a 50-metre trip to the front door, no one complained about the walk home from the beach.

TRIP NOTES

WHERE Culburra Beach House, 3 The Marina, Culburra Beach. Phone (02) 9918 4149 , see www.culburrabeachhouse.com.au.

HOW MUCH $275-$350 a night (September to May, for up to four adults); $200-$275 a night (June to August).

BEST THING The heated flooring and towel rails in the bathroom. They might seem like an oddity in the summer but if you stay here in winter you'll really appreciate them.

WORST THING The property is not fenced off from the beach, so parents of younger children will need to constantly remind adventurous non-swimmers not to make solo trips to the surf.

LOCAL SECRET There are plenty of secluded waterways nearby to explore. Kayaks and aluminium runabouts are available from Anglers Rest Boat and Kayak Hire at Greenwell Point.

See anglersrest.com.au.