When a holiday feels like home

The Arthouse … literally metres from the area’s trademark red-lichen-covered seaside boulders.I’m one of the really lucky ones. Through writing I’ve had the opportunity to stay in some very fine hotels, both in and overseas.

Now, don’t think for a minute that I haven’t found those experiences rewarding and exciting, or that I’ve become the least bit blasé, but I’ve always found it especially exhilarating to stay in more personal accommodation — places into which individuals have poured hearts and souls, and inevitably shared something of their personalities.

Over recent months I’ve stayed in three such places — two on the stunningly beautiful east coast of Tasmania, the other at Lake Macquarie on the NSW coast between Sydney and Newcastle — and simply found the time spent there to be way too short to gain a full appreciation of the effort made for us.

Freycinet Peninsula has long been a favourite spot. Its mountainous seaside beauty is difficult to top, and in days when I was fitter the walk down to Wine Glass Bay was an essential part of the visit.

The starkness of the Hazards mountain range protecting Great Oyster Bay is breathtaking and there’s something charming about Coles Bay, one of the towns which pioneered the idea of a plastic-bag-free existence.

The starkness of The Hazards is breathtaking.

For most purposes, the Hazards Hideaway (www.hazardshideaway苏州夜网)sits near the end of a suburban street, but walk into the house and through to the backyard and you immediately sense that you’re in a special place.

There’s a separate, free-standing Boat House as well the main Waterfront villa but in the interests of privacy they’re only ever rented as a package to friends.

As in all three of these places, the appointments are simply stunning … and, yes, there is a fire set for you … and, yes, the wallabies do come up to the back yard … and, yes, apparently you can sometimes spot dolphins and whales from the deck or picnic table.

The largely untouched untouched scenery

A bit further up the Tasmanian coast, just north of St Helens at the gorgeous Bay of Fires is the Arthouse (www.arthousebayoffires苏州夜网.au).

That it’s owned by a family of artists is immediately obvious, not just from the quite magnificent artworks adorning it, but through the inspired selection of décor such as accordions and weathered craypots. The place just exudes creativity.

The Arthouse … that it’s owned by a family of artists is immediately obvious.

And it’s literally metres from the area’s trademark red-lichen-covered seaside boulders and a mostly uninhabited beach that seems to go on forever and leads to wonderful café-restaurant providing fabulous sustenance.

The bay’s name, incidentally, was coined by a French explorer, Captain Tobias Furneaux, who marvelled at the string of campfires lit the Aboriginals along the beach.

Bluebell Retreat (www.bluebellretreat苏州夜网.au) is part of a newish real-estate development of Murrays Beach, and securely nestled within Wallarah National Park at Lake Macquarie.

And the development has been done extremely sympathetically to the surrounds, with many tall, beautiful trees right next to the house and stretching down to the waterfront and around the nearby café.

Bluebell Retreat … many tall, beautiful trees right next to the house.

The house is set up with three bedrooms, one of which can also be used as a study. The bedding is high-quality, the kitchen equipped for a gourmet chef and the sound system sensational.

And there’s plenty to do in the immediate surrounds — kids’ playground, jetty and boat ramp, a lake pool, foreshore promenade and cycling trails.

Indeed, much more than we had time to pursue in our short visit there, but we did take the opportunity of having breakfast in the nearby Lakehouse Café, which featured wonderfully prepared dishes that were of a size probably best described as being ‘elegantly sufficient’ rather than requiring the seemingly standard Lake Macquarie capacity of two normal people.

Breakfast at the Lakehouse Café … wonderfully prepareddishes.

Yes, indeed. They do seem to be handy on the tooth in that part of the world.

John Rozentals was a guest of tourism bodies in Tasmania and at Lake Macquarie.

John Rozentalsis a freelance writer whose passions aretravel, food and wine. He lives at Molong in the Central West of NSW, from where he hostsOz Baby Boomers, a lifestyle-resource for mature ns, and Molong Online.

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