Sea breezes, a soundtrack of crashing waves, salt water, sandy feet; there’s no argument that staying by the beach is a slow-paced tonic for busy souls.
With a bounty of oceanside homes—some renovated, others in their retro glory—dotted across country, we’ve pulled together the ultimate list of the best beach shacks in Australia you can actually book. It’s time to make those summer dreams a reality!
THE SHACK AT SHEEPWASH BAY
Sheepwash Bay, TAS
For those who love to beachcomb, head straight for this tiny beach shack on Bruny Island in Tasmania. Built of reclaimed timbers and aging gracefully with a beautiful patina, The Shack at Sheepwash Bay is located on a 37-acre waterfront property where you’ll have one kilometre of private shoreline to discover. After a day spent kayaking, snorkelling with seahorses or foraging in the forest, retreat to the intimate cabin and draw yourself a(n outdoor) bath. Inside you’ll find a cosy space warmed by a woodfire heater, layered with high-quality linens and finished with French doors to take in the captivating views across the channel to the ranges.
ST JOANS COTTAGE
Drummond Cove, WA
Sitting on a hill looking out to the Indian Ocean, there’s something special about St Joans Cottage. A true reflection of an Australian beach shack from the 70s, this beachfront property is just a short drive from Geraldton CBD and will stay with you long after you’ve left its weathered walls behind. While the interior is filled with vintage finds and family treasures, it’s the rambling garden you’ll likely gravitate towards with plenty of sitting spots, WA natives, a firepit and tranquil ocean vistas.
A shoo-in when it comes to the best beach shacks in Australia you can actually stay at, this old fisherman’s hideout in Tasmania is well-known amongst slow travellers. Not only is Whale Song an oceanfront abode, but its sea-infused interior will pull you in with its brick fireplace, second-hand furniture and cosy, sun-filled nooks. Spot migrating whales from the couch, unwind to old-school vinyls or head down for a hot soak in the outdoor tub. If you’ve ever considered making the move to Tassie in search of a simpler way of life, this Slow Stay could tip you over the edge.
Magnetic Island, QLD
If you’ve been dreaming of a tropical island getaway, where the sunsets are fluorescent orange, the waters are teeming with fish and palms are the closest thing you’ll come to a high-rise, then a stay at the welcoming Maggie A-frame is the Aussie beach shack for you. A short ferry ride from Townsville, it’ll be impossible not to be rocked into a state of chill before even stepping foot on the serene Magnetic Island. Use this cute self-contained a-frame as your base and spend your time lazing in the hammock, snorkelling, or hiking through bushland and spotting koalas or rock wallabies along the way.
MILES AWAY BEACH SHACK
Ocean Grove, VIC
Park the car and put the keys on the kitchen bench—you won’t need them at Miles Away Beach Shack. Tucked among tea trees and awash with fresh salty air, time at this cute 1950s home will be divided between the sunny decks, Ocean Grove Beach, river and the cafés down the road. Be swept up in a wave of nostalgia for summers long past, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself perusing the local real estate listings for your own slice of coastal paradise before leaving.
Eaglehawk Neck, TAS
Wake with the sun and fall asleep to a soothing lullaby of waves; such is the beauty of life when you book a holiday to The Wayfarer. A short drive from Hobart and Port Arthur, this classic Tasmanian beach shack is everything you’d hope for in a charming 70s home. Come with friends or family, and don’t forget to pick up a bottle of local wine on the way. With oversized armchairs, a wraparound verandah overlooking Pirates Bay below and piles of books to thumb through, once you’ve settled in, there’s really no reason to go anywhere at all.
Eaglehawk Neck, TAS
Dramatic expansive views across D’Entrecasteaux Channel towards Hartz Mountain are just one of the ways you’ll be swept up in the magic that lies within Bruny Boathouse. Situated on the western side of Bruny Island, this renovated shack has been lovingly fitted out with aged timbers and luxury linens that lend themselves to the “boat house” theme. Take advantage of the simple pantry items left for guests, like muesli and fragrant ground coffee, then make tracks uncovering jaw-dropping beaches and bays, and bush walking through national parks. When you’ve built up an appetite, there’s a plethora of local bounty to hunt down—from fresh oysters and artisan cheeses to smooth, body-warming whiskies.
You may not have met Mr Frederick’s yet, but we can assure you he’s an authority on the beach shack life. The spectacular coastline surrounding Stieglitz on Tasmania’s east coast sets the aquatic scene for outdoor adventure perfectly. From enjoying surf beaches, diving in kelp forests and rock caves, and hiking through forests and dunes, to mountain biking at Saint Helens, there’s no shortage of ways to tackle the sun-light hours. At the end of the day, Mr Frederick’s snug embrace is waiting for dinner in the cosy kitchen and chats in front of the fire to recount the day’s efforts.
Verona Sands, TAS
Mid-century modern aficionados will adore the retro vibes pulsating from this next beach shack. Exposed beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, plenty of timber and the original 70s kitchen combine to make Chambls Shack, in the Tasmanian seaside village of Verona Sands, the kind of memorable stay that can only come from a well-loved space. Hit the sandy beach below, gather round the firepit or dive into the deep sofas—word has it, they are so comfortable you’ll want to take them home.
SHACK IN THE DUNES
With a name like Shack In The Dunes, it was inevitable this little home would find its way into this bucket list of the best beach shacks in Australia you can book. That, along with having your very own sand dune as your backyard, make this renovated cottage like no other Slow Stay you would have seen. Playing out your sandy summer dreams in the small coastal village of Weymouth is a cinch, with a pristine river perfect for SUPing or fishing, a beach for long walks and cute shacks like this one for a good night’s rest. Did we mention there’s also not one but two firepits for toasting marshmallows?
SEA JOY STUDIO
Jan Juc, VIC
Perfect for avid surfers who want to take time out to explore Victoria’s Surf Coast, including the well-known Bells Beach, this Jan Juc studio offers everything you could want for sore eyes and tired bodies. Engulfed by native gardens and filled with yoga mats, games and some seriously enviable vintage furniture, Sea Joy is a modern beach shack where restorative stays are a given.
DRIFT BEACH SHACK
Packed with personality, Drift Beach Shack is where coastal meets boho meets mid-century… and it works! After you’ve finishing ogling at the record collection, refurbished sofas, heavenly woollen throws and those ocean glimpses, get outside and explore Weymouth’s peaceful river and beach. Or, head a little further afield where mountain bike trails and wine-tasting await in Tassie’s stunning Tamar Valley.