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Slow Stays

Sleeping in this houseboat on the Noosa River ticks all the weekend boxes

If you fancy yourself a water baby, and love being rocked to sleep by the lapping sound of waves, get acquainted with this refurbished houseboat – moored on the Noosa River on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Waternests is the creative outlet of Christina and Gabriel Cerasani, avid travellers and experienced business owners who wanted to create a unique accommodation experience after migrating to Australia from Europe. With so many beautiful waterways in Queensland, they sought to create a similar vibe of a floating house that so many Europeans enjoy.

Doing it for the love not the money, the couple set up two small and sweet abodes, both aptly positioned right next to the water.

Walking down the silvered timber dock to Waternest #1 in Noosaville, your mind instantly switches to holiday mode. A private gate makes you feel like a VIP as you step through to your exclusive pier.

While you feel as if the world is your oyster, with no neighbours to speak of as you face the water, the houseboat is nestled on Gympie Terrace – the main restaurant strip of Noosaville. It’s docked on what was an old abandoned jetty that sat for years without anyone seeing its potential. Gabriel saw the wharf as a wonderful waterfront piece of real estate… “if you put something on it, it would become a home”.

Set up intimately for two, the houseboat didn’t always look as though it was ripped straight from the pages of your favourite interior design magazine. The dilapidated vessel was transported from the Northern Rivers, NSW to Noosa then Christina set to work – stripping and re-designing with impeccable taste. Awash with tones of whites and timber, soft linens drape over resort-style bedding and simple decorations of rope, jute and driftwood transform the interior into a luxurious beach-style berth.

Around the same size as a family caravan, the little boat certainly cuts no corners. It has a stylish bathroom, full functioning kitchen, rooftop deck and even a flat screen tucked tidily away behind a carefully placed piece of art. The benefit of being docked permanently, greenery and mirrors fill corners and walls to give a homely feel.

Looking out from inside the houseboat, you can appreciate a pure breath of nature. The Noosa River runs out to the sea in one direction while sunsets light the sky on fire over the hinterland. The sweet sound of birdsong fills the trees that hover above the bank.

Drink it all in from the end of the discrete dock, with a glass of wine and savor in your private perch above the running tide. Turn your head seaward and you could be a million miles from civilisation, whisked away in your own little Robinson Crusoe fairytale.

If spending the night on water is not your glass of rosé, the couple’s Waternest #2 is a retro 1965 silver bullet Airstream caravan imported from Los Angeles and parked at Sunshine Beach, just south of Noosa. Pitched high on a grassy knoll, overlooking the ocean in the couple’s backyard, the caravan is set up as a permanent B&B.

Once you arrive at the Airstream, you can switch off, park yourself in the hammock on the lawn and just feel free to do zilch. If you get peckish, walk barefoot straight down shore to the cute little cafes that line the township of Sunshine Beach.

With it’s simple interior and retro vibe you can embrace your inner gypsy, if only just for a day. And after waking to the sound of the ocean, watching the sun rise over the sea, stepping straight onto the sand and dipping your toes into the surf you can’t help but question why you can’t find moments like this in your usual ‘everyday’.

Both of the Waternests allow you to  remember what nature feels like, with a little luxury thrown in to amplify the experience.

As Gabriel says, “Isn’t life about the journey? Not the destination? That’s what we like to think.”

Unfortunately this Slow Stay is no longer taking bookings. Find other Slow Stays like this in our directory.

Katie Gannon

Life Unhurried co-founder, Katie Gannon, has long sung from a sustainable song sheet having created and run her own successful indie fashion label, Mother Maria, before transitioning to graphic and web design. She now puts her stamp on tourism content and sustainability campaigns for clients such as City of Sydney (when she's not walking her two dachshunds, Ruby and Rafa).

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