Kallaroo, Stanwell Park review: Loving life on the edge

Read our writer's views on this property below

A panoramic perch provides Andrew Taylor with priceless views and a surprise visitor at lunch.

Stanwell Park hardly counts as one of the world's most dangerous places.

Yet the owners of Kallaroo beach house, which is perched on the top of a cliff with stunning views north over Stanwell Park beach, the Pacific Ocean and Bald Hill, clearly think otherwise.

Sitting on a coffee table in the living room, next to a small bowl of chocolates, is a bossy legal document titled Renter's Release and Indemnity from Liability, which declares: "There are risks associated with the location of the Holiday House and its close proximity to the cliff."

It's not exactly a warm welcome and a needless distraction from the property's many fine points, which begin with its extraordinary location on the edge of a cliff at the southern end of Stanwell Park beach.

A small lawn separates the house from the unfenced cliff where, far below, waves crash into the rocks, fuelling the owners' fear of falling guests, which has led to a ban on children and pets.

It seems a pity to deny them the beautiful views - a panoramic sweep of the ocean and coast across the beach to the town and Illawarra Escarpment.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors allow the view to be admired horizontally from the main bedroom, sitting on the lounge in the living room, or at the dining table or standing in the kitchen.

Happily, I've travelled with three aspiring MasterChef contestants, who waste little time firing up the oven for the night's dinner, while herding me outside clutching a glass of wine.


Sheltered from the stiff southerly blowing off the ocean, the rear covered deck is another place to gaze at fishermen on the beach and hang-gliders taking off from Bald Hill.

Throughout the afternoon, cockatoos and lorikeets drop by, ruffling feathers and squawking welcome to a house of Sydney refugees. Inside, my personal chefs have given the thumbs up to the commercial cooker, despite its igniter and one hotplate not working, and produced plates of steaks, roast vegetables, salads and cake.

They are also impressed by the drawers stocked with utensils, provision of essentials such as salt, pepper, cooking oil and balsamic vinegar, three trays of ice in the fridge, as well as the light that illuminates the crockery cupboard when the door is opened.

Despite the expanse of glass at the back of the house, we're soon peeling off jumpers and opening windows thanks to the gas heater in the living room.

It's also equipped with a flat-screen telly attached to the wall, DVD and CD player and iPod speaker dock all hooked up to speakers in the ceiling and outside on the deck.

The house has two double bedrooms to accommodate four guests, which seems at odds with a dining table that seats eight and a kitchen that could feed many more.

The main bedroom has its own deck suspended over the cliff, a comfortable bed and a walk-in wardrobe and en suite with a large spa bath.

Despite facing east with all that expanse of glass, the blinds do a good job of shielding late risers from the sunrise.

A morning constitutional down the steep path to the beach and around town to collect the newspapers is the perfect way to build up an appetite for breakfast.

But the promise of pancakes is derailed when we discover the hotplates cannot be lit. A call to caretaker Kylie leads to a quick diagnosis - someone forgot to fill the gas cylinders - but a slower solution as she searches for the tools to change them.

Nevertheless, it hardly detracts from the setting - we're even rewarded with a whale kicking up its tail out to sea as we sit down to a lunch of salads and lamb and prawns cooked outside on the gas barbecue.

The writer was a guest of Destination NSW.

Trip notes

Where Kallaroo, 7 Kallaroo Avenue, Stanwell Park. (02) 4234 2065, southcoastholidays.com.au.

Getting there Take the Southern Freeway to Wollongong, turning off at Lawrence Hargrave Drive, or follow the more scenic route through the Royal National Park. At Stanwell Park, turn onto Lower Coast Road and then left onto Kallaroo Avenue. It's about 70 minutes from the Sydney CBD.

How much Prices range from $325 to $500 a night.

Style statement Rustic beach chic with million-dollar views.

Perfect for Two couples (it sleeps up to four and has two bathrooms).

Take the kids Sadly, no: neither children nor pets are permitted.

Don't forget To bring all food and drink. Kitchen essentials are provided, and there is a small supermarket in Stanwell Park that sells bread, milk and some other basics. For other groceries, it's about 20 minutes' drive to Helensburgh.

A shame about The taps over the spa bath in the en suite produced nasty-coloured water.

Kudos Did I mention the views?