100 Great Australian Holiday Homes: From simple beach shacks to multi-million dollar mansions, welcome to AT’s pick of Australia’s most fascinating homes away from home.
There’s a lot to love about the Holiday Home. Being able to stretch out with your family and friends in a way that’s simply not possible in your average hotel can make for the best – and most memorable – of getaways. You can self-cater and self-monitor, you can bring your pets to many of them, and generally have the run of the place. But what makes for a truly Great Australian Holiday Home?
Whatever your preference, from six star opulence on down, we’ve tried to give you a good cross-section of some of the remarkable options out there.
For some people, a holiday home can’t be great unless it has won a swag of design awards, cost several million dollars to build and is crammed full of plasma TVs, top-end kitchen appliances and looks out over a horizon pool or two.
Others believe true Holiday Home greatness can be found in the simplicity of a cute beachside shack with a woodfire stove, a wrought-iron bed and the nearest neighbours three bays away.
Whatever your preference, from six star opulence on down, we’ve tried to give you a good cross-section of some of the remarkable options out there. Australia is blessed with a stunning number of beautiful, welcoming properties at every price point, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. It would have been easy, for example, to pluck 100 Great Homes from Queensland or NSW alone, or Tasmania for that matter, or even just the Mornington Peninsula or Palm Beach. But it’s a big country, so we’ve cast the net wide, and must say we’re very pleased with the result.
Neither, we should point out, are these properties ranked; we’ve arranged them for you alphabetically by state, then alphabetically by property name within what we consider to be popular holidaying areas. So, enjoy browsing through the links below for your dream home. And, as always, if you feel like there’s a special gem out there that we’ve overlooked – you’re probably better off keeping it to yourself. But in case you feel like sharing your good holiday fortune, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org . . . and happy house hunting!
The Australian Traveller Team
Despite wanting to keep it to ourselves, we simply couldn’t resist bringing you the incredible views from the deck of the luxe retreat Thalia Haven on Tasmania’s east coast. What better way to envelop yourself in all things winter than with a long, hot soak in the tub, wine glass in hand, as the waves of Great Oyster Bay crash below you. Bathe after sundown for a truly spectacular atmosphere – just you, the stars, the moon and the Milky Way. The rugged yet elegant house, which has been fully open since April, is completely wind- and solar-powered. Set on...
This is an absolute beachfront experience. Just 25 metres away from this stylish retreat is your own private beach, which is sometimes visited by residents of the nearby seal colony, situated 100 metres offshore at Baudin Rocks. The nearest shops are in Robe (a 10-minute drive away) so you can luxuriate in front of the large glass windows in the light-filled rooms, or on the sundeck without tourists or traffic interrupting the ocean views. If you have a 4WD, you can also drive straight from your house along Long Beach all the way into town – one of the last...
For a romantic beachside getaway, look no further: these seven secluded cottages, exclusively for adults, have front-row seats to one of the most picturesque beaches on the east coast of Australia. Originally built as fishermen cabins in the 1920s, today you’ll find charming pastel-coloured one-bedroom abodes, each with their own ensuite bathroom, electric log fire place and double French doors that open out onto a private verandah. Just across the way is Hyams Beach, famed for having some of the whitest sand in the world – ideal for snorkelling, kayaking or, let’s be honest, just lazing around. For a laid-back...
These 12 iconic beach huts are tucked away behind white picket fences, five minutes from renowned surf beach Middleton Beach. Each is decorated in colourful beach-side stripes and named after a well-known beach destination (Bondi, Sorrento, Mooloolaba), with their own coastal-inspired interior. Guests can also make use of the communal grassed area, tennis court and barbecue, but you’ll be pressed for time with all the nearby attractions. For a romantic day on a secluded beach, head to Bashams Beach between Middleton and Port Elliot. Usually without a soul in sight, this local gem is also great for whale watching in...
Nestled into a hillside overlooking Middleton Beach, this quaint little cottage is shabby chic at its finest – think crisp white walls, sparkling chandeliers, wingback chairs and patchwork quilts. But contrasting these old-world touches are some serious creature comforts, like the huge plasma TV and iPod docking station. There are two queen-sized bedrooms to choose from – one of which has a twin sleep out attached, and a cute children’s bedroom making it a perfect summer stay for young families. A 10-minute walk down the hill will land you at Middleton Beach, popular for surfing, fishing, snorkelling, even kite surfing....
White-washed walls, polished concrete floors, light-filled open-plan interior and a delicious daybed for post-swim snoozes on the verandah... this is what a beach retreat is all about. Two queen beds, a king-sized bedroom with ensuite, and an outdoor shower to rinse the sand off, set amongst a frangipani-filled tropical garden. And did we mention Broken Head Beach is just a two-minute stroll away? The house is also close to many of Byron Bay’s attractions, including hikes through the rainforest, local markets and the odd appearance by a passing pod of whales. From $350 per night (low season, three-night minimum); $500...
Under the shade of a picturesque Flame Tree, this lovingly restored beach house ticks all the boxes of an idyllic beachside stay. With a deck overlooking the pristine waters of Geographe Bay, the house has an expansive lawn extending to a sandy white beach, perfect for cooling off in. Inside, you’ll find the requisite beach shack combo of white walls and timber floors, complemented by artworks and an eclectic mix of rustic and contemporary furnishings. Our favourite feature, though, is its beautiful light-filled atrium – creating a relaxing summery vibe all-year round. Adding to the holiday feel is the property’s...
As one of the original beach shacks built along 1770’s esplanade, this family-friendly villa offers old-school beach charm in spades. Inside its bright blue walls are two self-contained, open-plan apartments, each sleeping four guests. With prime positioning overlooking Bustard Bay, secluded from other properties and surrounded by bushland, you can expect a native visitor or two here – a pretty faced wallaby perhaps, or a black cockatoo. And you’ll definitely see a view – Round Hill Creek is just 150 metres away, where a sandy beach (excellent for swimming, snorkelling and fishing) is the perfect spot to leave your boat,...
On a secluded property overlooking Maitland Beach, abutting Cape Liptrap Coastal Park, are four private cottages – two for couples and two for small families. Each is completely self-contained, with a gas log fire, peaked ceilings, white-washed walls and a large undercover deck offering magnificent views out to Wilsons Promontory. And it wouldn’t be a proper summer stay without a hammock and barbecue at your disposal. But the best thing about Bear Gully is its own little beach, which takes just three minutes to reach from the cottages, down a private timber track. It’s an idyllic place to swim, fish, snorkel, dive...
It may be tucked away in a quiet coastal cul-de-sac, but Gidget’s – so named after everyone’s favourite surfer from the 1960’s TV series – is far from discreet with its hot pink exterior. This refurbished 1950s fibro house still maintains its beach-shack charm with a retro-nautical theme, which continues inside with vintage posters, model sailing ships and rustic touches. There’s a large living area to make your own, as well as a self-contained kitchen, a twin-single and two queen-sized bedrooms (one of which is an adjoining studio garden cottage) – all with their own deck, plus surrounding gardens. And...
A classic coastal getaway for large groups, Millers Rest thoughtfully combines family-friendly elements with chic touches of modernity. After a recent revamp, the house includes an open-plan kitchen (decked out in Smeg appliances), large living area, an outdoor entertainment area and all the necessary mod cons: plasma TV, a large DVD collection and even space for your holidaying pets. Several beaches (Montforts Beach, Bridgewater Bay and Fowlers Beach) are a short stroll away, while Blairgowrie village can be reached in 15 minutes on foot. No summer holiday would be complete without fish and chips on the beach, either – and...
There’s no shortage of places to cool off at this seaside stay – a private bush track leads down to Wongaling Beach a mere 30 metres away, and if that’s too much to ask, you can roll off your sunlounge into the swimming pool. The house itself – one of six bungalows scattered throughout tropical beachfront gardens – is fully self-contained, complete with an outdoor shower, entertaining area and creature comforts like LCD televisions and Playstation II. While you’re in the area, be sure to spend at least one day exploring nearby Dunk Island for a taste of the Great...
With its rustic stone walls, this romantic little hideaway isn’t your typical beach shack – but being just 400 metres from the pristine shores of Adventure Bay Beach, it’d be remiss of us not to tell you about it. Nestled into 33 acres of open bushland and surrounded by mapped walking trails and swimming hotspots, this couple’s cottage has everything necessary for a two-person treat. Inside is a king-sized bed (adorned with luxe linen), a two-person spa bath (with bushland views), a fully self-contained kitchen, in-floor heating and a wood heater, for a cosy stay no matter the time of...
A century-old homestead nestled under shady trees, this isn’t just a beachside break – it’s an island paradise. Three Hummock Island has no shops and no traffic; in fact the local environment is so pure here, Three Hummock Island is said to have the cleanest air in the world. The house itself has been newly renovated, but maintains a rustic charm. Using solar and wind power, it has its own organic vegetable garden and comfortably sleeps up to 14 guests in five bedrooms. But our favourite feature is the large sundeck – where you can barbecue the day’s best catch,...
This is one luxe take on the classic beach house: Le Soleil sits among native bushland, boasting four bedrooms, brand new furnishings and a neutral but sleek décor. And the best place to soak up unparalleled views of Island Beach: the large deck, where you can cook a lazy barbeque dinner while watching wallabies and kangaroos in their native surrounds. Alternatively, wander down the 150-metre path to the pristine beach below, famed for having King George whiting. But if you feel like trying out some of the island’s other great swimming holes, be sure to visit Penington Bay (a short...
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