When Caroline Clements embarked on a mission to document Australia’s favourite swimming holes with her partner, photographer Dillon Seitchik-Reardon, she knew they were onto something. The resulting book, Places We Swim, came out last November and is already in its fourth printing.
“It’s been a real hit over summer,” says Clements, who is also the Australian editor for A Hotel Life and was the founding editor of Broadsheet. “Swimming is something people are so connected to in Australia, regardless of their ability or how regularly they swim. It’s really a part of Australian life.”
“I hope the book sheds light on locations that people know about but have never been to,” Clements says. “Places like the Kimberley and central Australia and even northern WA – they’re some of the most incredible places in the country. It’s really worth considering them when you travel.”
It’s this type of expert knowledge that inspired the launch of MyBroadsheet, our new feature that will add a layer of personalisation to your regular experience of the site. With it you can discover, document and save your favourite elements of the city through customisable lists and bookmarks. You’ll never be stuck for somewhere to eat, drink, shop or visit ever again.
Here, Clements highlights pubs in five different states where you can treat yourself to meal with a view after that restorative dip.
NSW – Pacific Hotel, Yamba
“Yamba’s quite close to our heart because we spend a lot of summers there. The Main Beach is a little bay, and the pub sits on the top of the hill. In the book [we call it] the pub with the best view in Australia. It’s not the most glamorous pub, but it does have one of the best locations. Yamba is off the Pacific Highway, a couple hours from Byron. It’s like an island – you cross over a big river to get there, and it does often flood. So it’s like a little island town.”
SA – Star of Greece, Willunga Beach
“Swimming and then having a nice drink go hand in hand, especially if you’re doing energetic swimming. You want a treat at the end. Star of Greece isn’t really a pub – it’s a cute little restaurant with ocean views. What’s great about this coastline is the incredible amount of beaches, just an hour or two out of Adelaide. The restaurant itself is a rustic single-storey building on almost a cliff, selling beautifully prepared, locally sourced seafood and nice wine. It’s a place you want to go for lunch, so you can enjoy the surroundings during the day. This one is worth going out of your way for.”
WA – Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Cottesloe
“It’s a big pub that’s had a facelift and become a bit more fancy. They’ve got this amazing outdoor decking area and indoor/outdoor bars with lots of greenery and beach umbrellas. Just a really fun vibe – the kind of place you want to go and have a beer in the sun. They have a bit of a scene there on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a popular local spot for a younger crowd, but you can also pitch up at a bar seat and just have a beer. It’s nice pub food, with a more upper-tier menu of seafood.”
VIC – Wye River Beach Hotel, Wye River
“This one’s on the Great Ocean Road, between Lorne and Apollo Bay. Wye River is very small – really just a general store and pub. If you’re driving down the coast on a Friday night, it’s a great place to stop for a counter meal. Again, not high-brow dining, but good parmas and burgers and beers. I think they play footy there on Friday nights. And there are heaps of great places to swim at the beach and also inland, up into the Otways.”
QLD – Noosa Heads SLC, Noosa
“It’s the local surf lifesaving club – no-frills, cheap beers and a community setting. Also a deck with views over the main beach. But the beach I recommend is Little Cove, around the corner. It’s a 10-minute walk from the pub. It’s smaller and more secluded, [with] more vegetation than the main beach. It’s tree-covered and quite a little adventure. But the pub is very casual – you could probably walk in there with no shoes on, straight off the beach.”
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