It takes a fair bit to get people off the couch on this holiday, but a whale will do it.
"Get outside!" someone yells, and bodies unfold themselves from deep cushions, everyone tramping through the living room and out to the wooden deck that overlooks the beach and the ocean.
Fingers point to the far horizon, and there, before you know it, is a plume of sea spray, the quick breach of a massive torso and fin. We all gasp, and smile. Brilliant. And then, way out there at sea, the entirety of a whale, this huge creature that shoots out of the water and twists in the air, and then the ocean explodes as it crashes back down to its home.
What a sight. The sea breeze rustles the trees, the surfers go on sitting on their boards, unaware, and we all filter back inside to the lounge room to read books and sip drinks and contemplate the afternoon.
The beach beyond that back deck is Boomerang Beach, so named, you assume, for its perfect arc. Boomerang falls within Pacific Palms, a deeply uninspiring name for a deeply beautiful place, an area of NSW's Mid-North Coast that takes in Blueys Beach, Elizabeth Beach, Smiths Lake, Charlotte Bay, and of course Boomerang.
To the north is Forster-Tuncurry, half an hour or so away. Down south you've got Seal Rocks. And right here, in this town of 600-odd people, you've got absolutely everything you could ever need.
Seriously, this is the dream. The water here is crystal clear: from our beachhouse up above the dunes you can see dolphins riding the waves, track bommies and fringing reef hugging the southern headland. The sand at Boomerang is as perfect as you could want it. Just up the road there's the little village of Blueys Beach, with its one cafe, its one supermarket, its one wine shop, its one pizzeria, its one fish-and-chippy.
They're going to kill me for saying this in Blueys, but this is it, this is the spot. Why is everyone going to Byron Bay if they want beach-bound peace and quiet? Why are they going to Lennox and Brunswick for coastal splendour? It's all right here, minus the Hemsworths, minus the traffic jams.
We've chosen to spend this long weekend at Boomerang in a beach house, one of a string of holiday homes perched up above the dunes. From here you can take in that golden arc of sand, you can eat long lunches in the shade on the deck, you can check to see if there's a decent wave, keep an eye out for those migrating whales.
There's a smattering of other accommodation options here too, most notably Blueys Motel, a classic, friendly four-star property an easy surfboard's-carry from the beach.
That's where most people spend their time, after all, and where our attention is usually drawn. Most days are the same here: hang out at the house, go down to the beach, grab fish and chips, crack open a drink, rinse and repeat.
There are options for entertainment if the languid pace ever begins to wear. There's a nice walk up to the lighthouse at Seal Rocks; walking tracks to hidden coves up in Booti Booti National Park; hikes through the forest at Wallingat.
You could visit the oyster farms up in Forster, or go fishing off a beach or in the lakes and hope to catch your dinner.
You could. Or you could curl up on the couch with a book and listen to the crashing of waves and the rustle of leaves and wait for someone to spot something, a pod of dolphins, a flock of seabirds, maybe even a whale.
Ben Groundwater travelled at his own expense
Boomerang Beach is 282 kilometres, or about a three-hour drive, north of Sydney. Exit the highway just after Bulahdelah.
For beach houses available to rent, see Airbnb.com.au. Blueys Motel is also a great option – see blueysmotel.com.au