Welcome to Out of Office — a new travel column from Lifestyle Editor Katie Skelly. Visiting unique and emerging holiday dwellings that are doing things differently around Australia, Skelly will be reviewing stays according to a more unconventional grading system (not just stars!). Next up, a South Coast beach house that we’re boldly calling NSW’s best.
It’s like something out of The Hamptons, and yet Beach House Gerroa is but a two-hour drive from Sydney — and a scenic one at that. As I wind through the rolling hills and past the beachside towns on NSW’s South Coast, I make regular stops at the local butcher, bottle shop and greengrocer, grabbing essentials for a mid-week workation at the beach. I know that once I arrive, I won’t want to leave.
Beach House Gerroa is positioned atop a grassy headland overlooking the pristine Seven Mile Beach. Not only does this mean beach views as far as the eye can see, but it also means your entire stay is backdropped by a relentless orchestra of crashing waves. It’s quite literally one of the most tranquil spots I’ve ever seen in Australia, and as I pulled up to the whitewashed weatherboard property, I felt instantly relieved of my fast-paced city lifestyle.
Walking through the front door is a feast for the eyes. On one wall it’s entirely windowed doors that open out to wrap-around balconies. A sandstone fireplace serves as the centrepiece for a cosy linen lounge suite, a gigantic and locally handcrafted wooden table grounds the dining zone, and at the rear of the space is a farmhouse style kitchen with Smeg appliances and a massive island bench. It’s not the only kitchen in the property. It’s not even the only sandstone fireplace.
The home is, how do I put this… huge. From this one room, two inconspicuous doors hide two stacked queen bedrooms, each with its own ensuite. A long hallway leads off into a main bathroom, a kids’ bedroom with two stacked nautical-themed bunks, and continues on to a second kitchen zone, second lounge area, and all the way through to a main bedroom suite with a walk-in wardrobe, ensuite and its own private balcony with a hot tub. Naturally, I chose this spot to rest my head.
Running the length of the home is a sun-stained balcony with a number of dining and lounging spots, plus an outdoor food prep area with a built-in barbecue. Sunsets are best enjoyed here, with a glass of wine in hand as someone in your party prepares the sausages and skewers you grabbed on the way from those local butcheries.
What makes it different
Beach House Gerroa is cool, casual, and evokes a sensation of instant relaxation, but it’s also lush, you guys. While your typical beach house feels inherently sandy and maybe a little sticky with salt, this property is luxuriously elevated and it shows in both the quality of the pieces within and the upkeep of the home.
Interior enthusiasts will be able to spot high-end appliances, designer fixtures, name brand bedding, even top range technologies. Not a single element of this home is an afterthought or completed in slapdash nature; it’s curated to a tee, and the lavish extras leave a lasting impression.
After spending a few nights at Beach House Gerroa, I emailed owners Bernadette and Greg and asked them where the quilt in the main bedroom was from. I went home and bought it, just so I could prolong that holiday feeling for as long as possible.
What makes it special
Greg and Bernadette were very considered in their approach to the interior design of the home. They opted for a neutral and white palette in all spaces so as to allow the backdrop of the ocean to serve as the main source of colour. And it works, every window practically doubles as moving artwork as the tides change and the sun moves across the sky.
“The design was all about clean lines and light colours to allow the ocean and the bush backdrop to provide the colour,” Bernadette tells The Latch.
“We really like Hamptons coastal feel that reflects Gerroa, so that was the base for the design, and from there it was about capturing the view and opening up the rooms to the ocean as much as possible, while still maintaining some privacy from the outside world. The decor is also coastal chic in keeping with that master design plan.”
When it came to furnishing, Bernadette says it was a family affair. Their daughter sourced as many pieces as possible from local craftspeople, shining a spotlight on the regional talents while ensuring the space was unique from other properties. The main dining table, for example, was handcrafted locally and was custom built for the dimensions of the space.
“We are really lucky to have such great homeware stores in Gerringong, Berry and the surrounding towns, so it was a very easy decision to use local sourcing for much of the interiors and decor,” she says.
“We believe that it’s important to be part of the community — and we want our guests to feel part of it too. We sourced many of our beautiful pieces and styling from Natascha from Amara Home as well as pieces from Cabana Joes, Few and Far, The Berry Tea Shop, and Milkwood Bakery.”
A reason to return
I visited Beach House Gerroa with my partner and our friend, but knowing what I know now about the sheer size of the property and its sleeping capacity, I will absolutely be returning with a larger party. The home sleeps 10 in total and there’s truly enough space for everyone to wander off into their own space for quiet solitude. Seriously, on occasions I lost my travel companions for hours at a time.
I experienced the home in early summer, but I can confidently say the house would be just as tranquil in the winter months, and next time, I’ll be sure to tear myself away from the property to visit nearby Berry, where the owners actually host guests at a second abode.