Hop on the train to Cronulla and the ferry to Bundeena for a close escape from Sydney.
Although Bundeena is just a short ferry ride from the beachside suburb of Cronulla, it feels downright bucolic. It’s an accessible getaway that will make you feel like you’re worlds away from Sydney. Regardless of the season, the spindle of a suburb bustles with activity, especially on the first Sunday of the month when the resident artists open their studios for the Bundeena Maianbar Art Trail. That’s when sails are hoisted and yachts drop anchor off Jibbon Beach, weekenders spill from the train in Cronulla to the ferry and Sydneysiders make a day trip of it by travelling to Bundeena via the Royal National Park. This most bohemian suburb in the Sutherland Shire also has some great places to stay. Here’s our low-down on the best beach shacks to stay at in Bundeena.
Views out to Gunyah Beach in Bundeena.
1. Bundeena Beachshack
Kayaking up Cabbage Tree Basin is one of the best things to do in Bundeena and the fibreglass pleasure crafts are complimentary when you stay at the Bundeena Beachshack. The secluded shack is located on Gunyah Beach, which was built in 1926 near to the Royal National Park, the second oldest gazetted national park in the world. The rustic, self-contained cottage, the last remaining fisherman’s cottage still standing, has been faithfully restored to offer the ultimate barefoot luxury: there’s a private sun-bathing platform above the beach, a dine-in veranda and pergola-covered courtyard area strung with fairy lights. Bring a page-turner and curl up near the window or don a mask and flippers and go for a snorkel near the jetty.
The secluded Bundeena Beachshack is located on Gunyah Beach.
Best bit: Dozing off to the sound of waves lapping the shore.
Address: Near Gunyah Beach, beachshack.bundeena.com
2. Bundeena Beach Shack With a View
Cronulla locals call Bundeena residents Bundanesians. And from the water, the beachside suburb could easily be mistaken for a slice of South-East Asian paradise. For Sydneysiders who haven’t been to Bali for a while, Bundeena is the next big thing. This fibro shack is clean and comfortable and has a history as a holiday home that stretches back to the 1950s. There’s no better way to unwind in Bundeena than by kicking back with the birds singing outside the windows. It’s a nostalgia-inducing experience. If you’re industrious, you could hire a kayak and paddleboard over to Cronulla. Otherwise, stay put and enjoy a spot of beachcombing near Bonnie Vale or a sundowner on the new deck.
Unwind on the deck at Bundeena Beach Shack With a View.
Best bit: The outdoor bath.
Address: Near Simpson’s Bay, Airbnb.com.au
The fibro shack offers a nostalgia-inducing experience.
3. Ethel & Ode’s
You will get a feel for the flip-flop life in Bundo, as it’s affectionately known in the Sutherland Shire, when you book a stay at Ethel & Ode’s. Want to catch up with the extended family but enjoy the privacy of your own space? Ethel & Ode’s has a few different spaces to suit. Inspired by the memories of the owners’ grandparents, this contemporary offering includes the big house, which accommodates eight people, the bunkie a self-contained studio for two located just steps away from Jibbon Beach, and fogo an adults-only retreat with absolute waterfront views. Order a breakfast box from Audley Dance Hall, learn to meditate at the Bundeena School Hall or join the local Harold Holt Swim Club for an ocean dip every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from the Bundeena Wharf.
The picturesque views from inside one of the bedrooms at Ethel & Ode’s.
Best bit: The proximity to the beach and to the Jibbon rock art engravings.
Address: Near Jibbon Beach, ethelandodesbeachhouse.com
Ethel & Ode’s has a few different spaces to suit numerous sized groups.
4. Bundeena Beach House
Sitting smack-bang over the sand on Little Gunyah Beach is where you will find Bundeena Beach House, which is one of the original fishing huts in the village. The property includes the original beach shack alongside the original cottage, which have both had a facelift and, together, sleep up to four guests in comfort. The Bundeena Beach House is just the place you want to relax in after all that beachside living as you can wander, barefoot, from the beach to one of the local cafes and back again without having to get in the car.
Find Bundeena Beach House sitting smack-bang over the sand on Little Gunyah Beach.
Best bit: The north-facing deck which juts out over the beach.
Address: Near Little Gunyah Beach, bundeenabeachhouse.com.au
5. The Periscope House
Most of the beach shacks in Bundeena are pretty low-key cottages and bungalows. But if you want to go all out, and stay in a luxury home in Bundeena, you can perch yourself at Periscope House, one of the most luxe and lofty hangouts on offer in Bundeena, located on the cliffs overlooking Port Hacking. You won’t need to use your car at all during your time at Periscope House as you will find everything you need in the four-bedroom house (including a gourmet welcome hamper). A vast horizon and rolling waves await holiday-makers who like to take to the water or flop on the powder-soft sand here. But it’s the location of Periscope House that is most alluring: it’s the perfect place to feel new again and enjoy a soothing escape in Sydney.
The Periscope House offers a more luxurious stay in Bundeena.
Best bit: You won’t need a periscope to appreciate the perspective, as the massive windows frame the views.
Address: Near Cabbage Tree Point, Luxico.com.au
Take the stairs down to the private beach during your stay at The Periscope House.