Sandy Cove Apartments, The Entrance review: On parade with the pelicans

Read our writer's views on this property below

Guests at the family-friendly Sandy Cove Apartments are sure of a welcome from the area's famous residents, writes Rachel Browne.

THE last time I stayed at The Entrance was close to three decades ago. Back then, holiday accommodation consisted of basic but comfortable fibro cottages with linoleum floors and well-loved furniture. Things have changed over the past 30 years.

Most of the fibro homes have vanished, replaced by shiny multistorey apartment blocks with landscaped gardens and upmarket amenities. Our lodgings is one such complex.

Sandy Cove Apartments is a modern, eight-storey building tucked away on a quiet street, just behind the main beach and foreshore area.

Billing itself as "affordable luxury", the complex has a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available for holiday rental. Our accommodation is a spacious three-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor with expansive views across the Pacific Ocean and Tuggerah Lake.

While the views and wide balcony are the obvious selling points, the apartment itself does not disappoint. The three bedrooms are all decent in size, there are two bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a large combined living and dining area and even an internal laundry should the urge to do a load of washing overtake you.

The master bedroom and second bedroom both have wardrobes, while the open-plan third bedroom has two single beds and is ideal for youngsters.

Tasteful canvases decorate the walls but there is not much else by way of personal touches.

The bathrooms, one of which is an en suite off the master bedroom, are contemporary in style and have Beaumont bath products. The main bathroom comes with a spa.

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Anyone who has had a less-than-satisfactory culinary experience while staying in holiday accommodation will appreciate the kitchen. The owners have thought of just about everything. There is a large fridge, microwave, electric wall oven, gas stove and dishwasher.

It's the perfect area for cooking up a storm and serving it on the dining table, which seats six on comfy white leather chairs, overlooking the lake on one side and the ocean on the other.

The living area is minimalist in style, with a leather lounge, coffee table and flat-screen television and DVD player.

There are none of the usual dog-eared books and board games you might find at traditional beachside holiday homes. That said, the site manager has DVDs and board games available for days when the weather is not in your favour.

The complex has all the amenities you would expect, including a pool and spa set in landscaped gardens. There is also a sauna, gym and underground parking.

If you feel like exploring further afield, the owners have a folder of useful information about The Entrance with maps, details on the attractions and restaurant menus.

Sandy Cove Apartments is within easy walking distance of most of the local points of interest.

The Entrance Beach, a modest little strip of sand that is patrolled and safe for children, is about a five-minute walk away. The historic ocean baths, which have a kiosk and pool suitable for kids, are at the southern end of the beach.

At the northern end is the entrance to Tuggerah Lake itself, which inspired the area's name.

There is a huge park with a climbing gym, water play area and merry-go-round.

The Entrance's claim to fame is that it is the pelican capital of Australia and it lives up to its reputation. At 3.30pm on cue, the birds come up to the foreshore for their daily feeding.

Water sports are the main form of recreation and there are a number of places offering boats, kayaks, canoes and fishing gear for hire. But if you don't catch your own dinner, The Entrance has a variety of restaurants catering to all tastes.

There is everything from the upmarket restaurant at the historic Entrance Hotel to more family-friendly options, such as the Red Centre Steakhouse.

Takeaway offerings include Thai, Italian, Indian and, of course, fish and chips, best eaten on the balcony at Sandy Cove Apartments at sunset.

The writer was a guest of Sandy Cove Apartments and Tourism NSW.

Trip notes

Where Sandy Cove Apartments, 2-8 Ozone Street, The Entrance. (02) 4332 7692.

Getting there Travel from Sydney up the F3 (Sydney-Newcastle Freeway) and exit towards The Entrance onto Wyong Road. Take the exit onto The Entrance Road. Turn right at Dening Street, then left at Ozone Street.

How much From $264 to $440 a night (three-bedroom apartment).

Style statement Chic, modern and minimalist.

Perfect for Families or groups of adults who want luxurious accommodation with easy access to the beach, restaurants and cafes.

Don't forget To go to the foreshore for the daily pelican feeding at 3.30pm.

Shame about The lack of ground coffee. At least there was a coffee plunger.

Kudos The well-equipped and stylish kitchen.

Take the kids Definitely. The Entrance is about as child-friendly as it gets.