Little Sea Sea apartment review: Absolute waterfront at Swansea Heads, NSW

Our rating

4 out of 5

THE PLACE

Little Sea Sea is a stylish two-bedroom apartment in a prime waterfront position overlooking the Swansea Channel in what is one of NSW's most underrated destinations - Lake Macquarie. Housed beneath the owners' contemporary seaside home, Little Sea Sea was named after a place they stayed at in Barbados. Once parked at the top of the property, guests access the lower level apartment through a side gate. Jaw dropping water vistas grab your attention. Before you've even set foot inside, you've mentally parked yourself on the deck for sundowners.

THE LOCATION

Little Sea Sea is set on a waterfront block where lawn rolls down to Reids Reserve and the Swansea Channel – the entrance to Lake Macquarie, the southern hemisphere's largest coastal saltwater lake. The headland by the entrance is known as Reid's Mistake after Captain William Reid who, in 1800, became the first European to make his way into the lake - mistakenly collecting coal from the river estuary rather than the Hunter River. The lake was known as Reid's Mistake until It was renamed in honour of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1826. Long sweeps of pristine beach, languid inlets and coastal walks await.

THE SPACE

Mirroring its coastal surrounds, Little Sea Sea's interior features a calming blue and white aesthetic, eco-botanical fabric prints by a local artist and organic soy candles and diffusers. A covered deck with frameless glass balustrade allows uninterrupted views over the bay – the perfect vantage spot for sunsets. Aside from those spectacular 180 degree water views, Little Sea Sea offers a thoughtfully designed kitchen with a large vertical window opening directly onto a barbecue area, cute laundry, bathroom with large walk in shower and two luxe bedrooms (sleeping five). The open plan living area has bifold doors framing water views, comfortable lounge and Smart TV with Netflix. Deck blinds pull down to filter the westerly sun or retract to allow sunlight to stream in.

THE ROOMS

Go to sleep to the sound of waves crashing on Blacksmiths Beach and wake to sparkling water views from the master bedroom. The queen sized bedroom opens on to the deck through sliding doors and a hanging rattan seat. Enjoy a coffee (there's a Nespresso machine) as you watch stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers and even the occasional dolphin cruising by. The second bedroom features a queen size bed and single bed, perfect for kids or a small family. Although windowless, this room is airy and light.

STEPPING OUT

Turn right for Reid's Reserve where Little Beach offers a protected spot for a swim or throw in a line and catch dinner directly in front of Little Sea Sea (a popular fishing spot). Little Sea Sea has two kayaks available for a paddle in the bay. Nearby, explore the sea caves at low tide at Caves Beach or stretch your legs along the Caves Beach Coastal Walk which travels through the cool climate bush of Wallarah National Park. Pack your swimmers for a dip in Pinny Beach, dubbed "Little Fiji" by locals. Boffee (Boffee) Cafe at Caves Beach offers arguably the best coffee in the Swansea area.

THE FOOD

Hosts Genina and Paul provide a welcome pack in the fridge of wine, beer, chocolates and milk however you'll need to bring your supplies (a supermarket is located at Swansea a five minute drive away). If you don't feel like cooking, good options nearby include Caves Coastal Bar and Swansea Fresh Seafood while Boffee Coffee and Mawson at Caves Beach both do good breakfasts and light lunches. A 10 minute drive will have you at the Captain and Crew at Marks Point for leisurely Moroccan inspired food or book dinner at Salina Restaurant, named after the Aeolian island of the same name and a bit of a local secret.

THE VERDICT

A chic coastal escape with prized waterfront position where you can watch the ebb and flow of the tide and savour blazing sunsets.

ESSENTIALS

From $325 a night, minimum two night stay. 10 Lambton Parade, Swansea Heads. Phone 0427 616 602. See airbnb.com.au/rooms/plus/29138646  visitlakemac.com.au

HIGHLIGHT

Sundowners on the deck while paddleboarders sailed by on the incoming tide.

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LOWLIGHT

Once I land on that deck I'm loathe to go anywhere.

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Little Sea Sea and Visit Lake Macquarie.