It’s often overshadowed by flashier and more famous stops along the NSW South Coast, but that just makes this place even better.
Culburra Beach, a small coastal town in the Shoalhaven region about three hours south of Sydney, is about as quiet and laid-back as a holiday spot can be.
Sure, it may not be as well-known as Hyams Beach or Mollymook. It definitely doesn’t attract crowds of influencers and dominate Instagram feeds like the towns around Jervis Bay. It has nothing of the hustle and bustle of Bateman’s Bay – but it does have plenty of everything that makes for the perfect beachside holiday.
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The caravan park is a traditionally popular place to stay for holiday-makers but Culburra Beach also has some truly impressive holiday rental homes available to book on sites like Booking.com.
The Art House is as spectacular as they come. The two-storey home, just 200m from the main beach, isn’t just ideally located but is a genuine delight in itself, with each of its rooms lavishly decorated with the owner’s own paintings, sculptures and other dazzling works of art.
I stayed in the Art House on a recent weekend of rest and relaxation.
If I wasn’t strolling along the crowd-free beach, spotting whales from the northern headland, or popping up the road for a freshly baked pie, I was happily ensconced in my super cool home away from home.
This artsy house is a treat from the moment you roll into the driveway. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
The entire house is adorned with the owner’s own artwork. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
The advantage of a holiday house over a hotel is that it offers all the comforts of home – all of them. Other than clothes and essentials, you barely need to pack.
The Art House came with everything I needed and anything I could possibly want – the pantry was filled with staples, the kitchen was virtually a Harvey Norman showroom of appliances and gadgets (including a pasta maker, should the craving arise), and there were board games, things to read and a massive DVD library in the home cinema room.
In a thoughtful touch that’s always appreciated, the owners left a hefty folder of information about the house, operating manuals for appliances, menus for local eateries and a long list of recommendations of things to see and do around Culburra and further afield.
The eclectic interiors are a joy. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
The downstairs home theatre and the massive yard out the back. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
After having spent the worst part of a year confined to my small city flat, I was thrilled to find multiple rooms to lounge in, a big backyard ideal for kids and pets (the property is pet-friendly), a spacious balcony and my personal highlight, a bathtub overlooking the tranquil side garden – an ideal way to enhance that sense of R&R.
Just a quick stroll out the front door and over a sand dune was the beach, a seemingly endless stretch of golden-sandy coast that seemed disproportionately large compared to the number of locals and tourists around here.
But the beach isn’t the only thing Culburra has going for it.
Pack your best bubble bath – you’re going to use it. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
The house is just 200m to the beach. Picture: Booking.comSource:Supplied
Perched on a peninsula, the town is in the unique geographical position of being surrounded by a lake, river and national park as well as the ocean, which means you can well and truly choose your own adventure.
If you’re keen to stay local, I found most of the top attractions were within a leisurely, half-hour walk from The Art House.
There’s the bushwalking track leading to the Crookhaven Heads Lighthouse, the fishing and boating hub of Orient Point, and the pretty picnic spot of Tilbury Cove.
The town is also within cooee of many of the region’s other gems – Callala Beach, on the famous shore of Jervis Bay, is a mere 15 minutes away; Gerringong is within an hour’s drive, and the charming town of Berry is more than worth the 45-minute trip.
But if you spend the whole time in Culburra, you really can’t go wrong.
Not a soul in sight.Source:News Corp Australia
It’s close to other highlights of the Shoalhaven region, like Berry. Picture: Shoalhaven TourismSource:Supplied
WHILE YOU’RE IN CULBURRA BEACH
EAT: There’s nothing more essential to an Australian beach holiday than a hearty serving of fish and chips. Culburra has a few options on offer, and a sure-fire bet is Culburra Fish and Chips on the main drag, where the battered fish pieces are large and juicy and the chips are plump and seasoned to perfection.
For a more contemporary take on beachside fare, Freaks of Nature is a plant-based, wholefood street kitchen in the hub of town that dishes up delicious and wholesome smoothies, toasties and Indian-inspired bowls.
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SHOP: The Shop at Culburra Beach has an eclectic range of treasures from clothing and bags to crystals and replica armour.
A short drive away is Jim Wild’s Oyster Service at Greenwell Point, where the fresh, local oysters are shucked while you wait. And right outside Culburra Beach – just off the highway that leads you in – is the historic Jindyandy Mill, one of Australia’s oldest convict-built brick buildings that’s now home to antiques and bric-a-brac stores, an old fashioned lolly shop and an impressive cafe serving organically, locally sourced fare.
The writer stayed at The Art House as a guest of Booking.com.
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