Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Rockridge, set high above the southern end of the ultra-glam Palm Beach peninsular, was first built as a gentleman’s residence in the 1940s. With a huge fireplace, original fittings and cabinetry and whitewashed walls and floors, this stone and timber five-bedroom beach house is wonderfully evocative of the summers of a bygone era.

Modern comforts haven’t been sacrificed to nostalgia, though; the house features a fully equipped marble gourmet kitchen, a child-protected swimming pool and spa and an in-built gas BBQ for al fresco dining in the vast private gardens. With numerous patios and verandas facing northeast and west, the sun wraps around the lofty property from first light until dusk, and the unobstructed, 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean are arguably the best in the whole of the swanky, upmarket Palm Beach area.

Details // Whale Beach Rd, Palm Beach, NSW. From $900 per night. www.contemporaryhotels.com.au, (02) 9331 2881.

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