5rea­sons to love SAWTELL

This sun-soaked vil­lage by the beach is a real Aussie trea­sure

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - Travel -

There’s noth­ing I like more than stum­bling upon an undis­cov­ered gem across the ditch and this north­ern New South Wales beach is one of them.

1Where it is

About 10km south of Coffs Har­bour is the beach­side vil­lage where I landed af­ter trav­el­ling to Oz for the By­ron Bay Blues­fest. Sawtell is prac­ti­cally halfway be­tween Syd­ney and Bris­bane, so you can drive from ei­ther di­rec­tion if you have the will. But Coffs Har­bour also has a lovely lit­tle laid-back air­port, with plenty of flights to the big cities (although none di­rect to New Zealand), and you can rent cars here. We flew to Coolan­gatta in Queens­land for Blues­fest, drove down to Sawtell, then flew out of Coffs via Syd­ney for home. Too easy, as the Aussies say. I love this part of NSW. I’ve had three low-key hol­i­days here over the years and can never wait to come back.

2 What’s to love

Blink and you’ll miss it, for one. Sawtell is a one-horse her­itage vil­lage with end­less stretches of empty golden beaches at­tached. I mean, need I say more? The main street has an RSL, a pub, a hand­ful of cafés, a bou­tique butcher, a lovely fruit and vege shop, a cou­ple of mas­sage op­tions, a hair­dresser and a gor­geous cinema that was go­ing to be de­vel­oped into some­thing else un­til lo­cals in­vested in it, top­ping up with a spot of crowd-fund­ing for a new screen and seats.

3Where to stay

We stayed at Lob­ster Cot­tage, the south­ern­most ac­com­mo­da­tion in the town, with sweep­ing views of Bonville Creek and the ocean. Very much in the Kiwi bach style, this no-non­sense place was fully equipped, slept six (for $218 a night) and was per­fect for a re­lax­ing chill-out, with an out­look that would be hard to match any­where in the world. We loved float­ing down the creek, but you can also kayak up it. Bet­ter still, be­cause of the lay of the land, Lob­ster Cot­tage faces west – a real treat on the NSW coast – so sun­down­ers on the deck were us. There are plenty of other ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions as well – the Sawtell Beach Hol­i­day Park gets good re­views.

4What to eat

We had a great brunch at Treeo on the short main drag – good, fresh Aussie fare – but there are also the other cafés, two fish ’n’ chip shops, Asian op­tions, pizza and a fab­u­lous bak­ery. How­ever, it was pretty hard for us to drag our­selves away from our cot­tage with its stun­ning view, so the butcher and the vege shop were our reg­u­lar haunts, and the bar­be­cue on the deck our favoured op­tion. At the Bonville Head­land look­out just a few me­tres up the hill, there’s a barista cart with to-die-for views that makes fan­tas­tic cof­fee be­tween six and 11am. And if you want fresh seafood, there’s Coffs Har­bour Fish­er­men’s Co-op just up the road, although it gets mixed re­views.

5 What to do

Our visit was fleet­ing, so beach walks, swims and sun­down­ers were pretty much it. But that’s kind of Sawtell’s beauty. If you want a care­free hol­i­day in a real beach­side neigh­bour­hood in the warm sun, it’s a great op­tion that doesn’t need to cost a for­tune. We were there in April, and it was still 27 de­grees dur­ing the day and warm at night. But if you want to do more, there are surf­ing lessons avail­able all year round, a plethora of na­tional parks to ex­plore and kids love Dol­phin Ma­rine Magic at Coffs. But don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the pull of the deck, the bar­be­cue, the view and those sun­down­ers ...

When you want a change from bar­bie fare, branch out and tuck into brunch at Treeo! from You’re pretty safe – the the rain in Sawtell sun, not so much. This sleepy her­itage spot has ev­ery­thing you need for a blissed-out break.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.