Kallaroo, Stanwell Park review: A taste of the good life

Read our writer's views on this property below

Susan Bredow discovers a coastal escape with all the right ingredients.

Browsing through a coffee-table book on beach houses, I realise I'd rather be here than in any of the architectural masterpieces on the pages before me. From the moment we walk through the front door of Kallaroo we're dazzled by the fabulous view from almost every room out to the Tasman Sea and, more intimately, over Stanwell Park's beach below.

The holiday house is perched on top of a cliff so we feel suspended over the crashing waves below. It's not unlike the feeling the hang-gliders must have floating over the cliffs on the opposite side of the bay.

Kallaroo is an old cottage that had the perfect renovation: it has retained its down-to-earth (or sand) feel and is comfortable and homey.

The first urge is to start texting you-should-see-this-place messages. And I do but not for long. Knowing I will have to drag myself away in a couple of days, there is no time to waste.

It's been a difficult week at work and when the going gets crook, the cook gets going. I make meals and bake for people who are expected and for those who might drop in. The kitchen is up to it, with its oversize commercial cooker with gas hotplates the size of manhole covers and an oven door that opens with the impetus of a bank vault.

The rest of the kitchen has a semi-rustic, semi-commercial feel and is well appointed, with plenty of cookware and platters to serve on.

It has a small but good collection of CDs providing moody tunes, , a small library (dipping into the Henry Miller tomes brings back memories of youth) and an eclectic selection of DVDs. Tucked between the books are pages of yoga routines but the sea is generating enough uplifting energy to carry us through the weekend. The beach walks and swims help, too.

Outside there are two decks; the second smaller one off the main bedroom catches breezes directly off the water and is the coolest place when the days are warm. Sit here, too, to watch the moon rise, laying a path across the water.

Advertisement

Pebble-stone mats lead out the door to the main deck, where there's a well-worn but working barbecue and two long couches on which to sit or recline and watch the surfers below. We can hear the waves pounding the shore and over this sound on a busy weekend is the distant noise of children playing on the beach.

Inside the decor is white and wood; simple, clean and fresh with a beachy feel. There's a king-size bed in the main bedroom from which you can still see the ocean and a double bed in the second bedroom. There are two bathrooms, the main with a generously sized spa and the second with a double shower and separate toilet. There's a laundry, too.

We find a good butcher in nearby Helensburgh, gather supplies for a barbecue and drive back past the turn-off and over the Sea Cliff Bridge, just to have done it.

From Kallaroo's decks we watch the sun shift, the colours change and the tide come and go. Down on the beach we watch life at closer range, the fishermen with their long rods and lines stretched beyond the waves; families swimming, playing and lining up for photographs. Remember that weekend when we were all together? Yes, so will we.

Weekends Away are reviewed anonymously and paid for by Traveller.

VISITORS' BOOK

Kallaroo

Address 7 Kallaroo Avenue, Stanwell Park.

The verdict Wonderful views from a lovely beach house.

Price $700 for a two-night weekend for two; $900 for four people.

Bookings Phone South Coast Holidays on 4234 2065 or see southcoastholidays.com.au.

Getting there About 70 minutes' drive south of Sydney's CBD. Head for Wollongong and turn off at signs to Stanwell Park or take the scenic drive via the Royal National Park.

Perfect for Chilling out and recharging.

Wheelchair access No.

While you're there Visit the Symbio Wildlife Park or the Hindu temple at Helensburgh, take a Harley-Davidson joyride along Grand Pacific Drive and over the Sea Cliff Bridge.