Summer is almost upon us and we’re ready to hit the beach. Whether you’re staying close to home or eager to cross borders, these seaside lodgings will have you soaking up maximum salt water and sunshine.
The Surf, NSW
The arrival on the northern NSW coast of 12-room boutique hotel The Surf reflects Yamba’s coming of age as a sophisticated holiday town. Inside each room, Scandi-style timber furniture frames upholstery in sea greens and soft sandy pinks. The bathroom features tiled curved walls and Italian terrazzo underfoot. Bemboka throws and robes, Leif organic products and a locally sourced in-room minibar join homely touches such as vases, artworks and pot plants on the balcony. There’s a rooftop terrace with a heated plunge pool and EV chargers downstairs. Walk a few steps to the sea pool for structured laps, float among the gentle waves at Main Beach, or head to nearby Angourie for a surf.
Wilson Island, Queensland
If you haven’t yet tired of spending time alone, decompress at this epic private island off the coast of Gladstone. The bright white sands, turquoise waters and colourful reefs surrounding Wilson Island are a sight for lockdown-weary eyes. The safari-style tents are minimally outfitted to highlight the glistening views just beyond your private deck. There’s snorkelling gear ready in-room, so you can head out to ogle the Great Barrier Reef whenever the mood strikes. Ask the on-site chef to pack you a picnic hamper (bottle of fizz included) to devour on the beach, before taking an afternoon snooze in a hammock.
Lorne Hotel, Victoria
Lorne Hotel might date back to 1876, but these days it sports tastefully spruced pub rooms and seaside outposts for Movida and Coda. A few steps from the beach, it’s the perfect spot for those keen on somewhere close and comfortable to catch some shut-eye between swims. Accommodation ranges from a double or triple room to a two-bed apartment with a lounge and kitchen. Pick up picnic-ready supplies of cheese, pickles and wine at Movida’s deli or head upstairs to Coda for seasonal seafood served with Thai and Cantonese flavours. If you’ve absorbed too much sun, it’s a short drive to Erskine Falls for a cool walk under the shade of a tall eucalyptus forest and lush fern gullies.
Beach Huts, South Australia
It’s just an hour’s drive from Adelaide to Beach Huts on the Fleurieu Peninsula, but life here moves at a decidedly slower seaside pace. Each of the 12 striped chalets features a unique medley of vintage and modern touches. Old wooden dining tables etched with memories join summery cane furniture and swish bathrooms (some with a spa). Kitchenettes come stocked with a bottle of local sparkling, and the on-site restaurant pours South Australian wines and beers too. Relax on the communal lawn between swims – it’s skirted by daisies and lavender and is known to lure a kangaroo or two. It’s a five-minute mosey to Middleton Beach where you can surf, fish or simply bob about in the waters of the Great Australian Bight.
Sal Salis, Western Australia
Disconnect from tech and reconnect with the sand and the sea an hour’s drive south of Exmouth. At Sal Salis, luxury safari tents are tucked among the pillowy coastal sand dunes of Cape Range National Park, just metres from the Indian Ocean. Spend each day snorkelling Ningaloo Reef, relaxing in your tent’s hammock or quietly watching the kangaroos and wallaroos emerge at dusk. In your tent, the handcrafted bed is made from jarrah and the composting ensuite comes equipped with ecologically sound shampoos and soaps tinted with native herbs. An on-site chef will prepare all your meals, shaped by local ingredients and served outdoors. Sip Western Australian wines amid majestic views, before rounding out the evening with a spot of stargazing.
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