Sydney’s a stunner, there’s no doubt. But when all that city buzz gets too much, a retreat to the South Coast is a necessary getaway.
From ocean-at-your-door beach shacks to soulful tiny homes in the forest, we’ve curated six NSW South Coast Slow Stays to add to your wishlist and help you escape the hectic frenzy of city life, all within two hours’ drive.
Cast off the shackles of always-on urban life and head to the slow and steady daze of a stay at Sailors Heart. Just two hours’ drive down the Princes Highway, you’ll find yourself browsing the tea library, listening to the symphony of crashing waves and crickets just out the door. This tiny wooden shack, nestled amongst banksias in the heart of Dharawal country, may be disconnected from the mod-cons of digital life but thrumming Thirroul is only a wander away, so the option to explore is never far. Kitted out with more than enough analogue entertainment to keep you mindfully occupied, this soulful cabin is proof that slow and steady always wins the race.
Perched high on the hills above the ocean in the unassuming pastoral hills of Jamberoo, Dales Run is a study in combining old world charm with the slick modernity of wellness retreats. The renovated house – complete with infrared sauna, outdoor bath and yoga mats – has been transformed into the relaxing escape of your dreams without losing its rustic country charm or affability. Marine wonders like blowholes, whales and cliffside caverns are just a three-minute drive down the hill; hit the Kiama Coastal Walk north or south to explore. If homebody in the hinterland is more your vibe, then roll out that mat and log in for a spot of virtual yoga, book a massage or relax by the fire-pit with a vino in hand.
OYSTER CATCHER HUSKISSON
Design buff or not, a Slow Stay at Oyster Catcher Huskisson will leave your mouth agape at how the simplest of features can have such an all-encompassing effect. These good looks are no accident, but they’re not just looks either. Architecturally designed to complement the native Australian bush within which it sits, the renovated building’s features straddle form and function to perfect sustainable effect. Sitting less than 500 metres from Jervis Bay’s stunning beaches, the ocean is the ultimate muse for everything from activities to decor. You’ll be hard pressed to leave but you can have both. Long sandy days are offset by slow evenings on the deck, punctuated by the sounds of post-sun contentment: BBQ sizzling, cocktails clinking and kids’ cheery squeals.
THE G AT GERROA
At the terminus of one of NSW’s most iconic road trip routes – the Grand Pacific Drive – The G at Gerroa is the laid-back coastal answer to your urban-jungle struggles. The house, renovated with a clear brief of ‘coastal chic but make it sustainable’, serves up an eco-conscious take on holidays at the beach. The sparkling waters of Seven Mile Beach beckon no matter the weather, so grab one of the included boards or beach gear and hit the surf. There’s two wheels for exploring this pocket of the Kiama region – from farmers markets to seaside eateries and boutiques. With enough spaces to suit any mood – hello, games room and reading nook – plus a fenced backyard for boisterous games this is one South Coast Slow Stay that’s made for good times, inside or out.
The soul yearns for what it needs and what it needs is right here in the form of a tiny cabin in the heart of towering gums and bushland in Termeil. A romantic adults-only escape from the city, Soul Wood is a bonafide NSW South Coast gem for longtime lovers or recent paramours alike. Whether you’re after contemplation under the stars – soaking in the outdoor bath as the record player spins soft tunes, with the scent of firepit wafting by – or long, hazy mornings in pillowy Pony Rider bedding, the cabin delivers. Shoalhaven’s attractions and the sleepy seaside town of Bawley Point are close but who needs to go anywhere when you’re with the one you love?
SILVERMERE COASTAL RETREAT
Culburra Beach, NSW
Pet-friendly Slow Stays usually zoom straight to the top of any dog or cat-loving human’s wishlist and Silvermere Coastal Retreat ticks both pet- and family-friendly boxes. Owners Beth and Rod have lonvingly transformed the three-bedroom house (it sleeps seven!) into a conscious haven for any beach-loving traveller looking for a Sydney getaway. With views to Culburra Beach and the constant sound of crashing waves, the ocean is the hero of this stay. So close to the beach you’ll barely work up a sweat on the two included bikes, life here looks like sun-drenched beach days followed by settling in for laughs around the festoon-lit backyard fire pit. Check out the dedicated zen room for meditation and yoga if you like to start the day with the odd sun salutation.