A SUM­MER RITUAL

Hir­ing a HOL­I­DAY HOME is the quin­tes­sen­tial sum­mer ex­pe­ri­ence and whether it is a BEACH SHACK or a pri­vate IS­LAND VILLA, comes with qual­ity linen or HAS ROOM for the dog, the PER­FECT PLACE for you IS OUT THERE. Here’s how to find it.

Australian Traveller - - Contents -

How to find the per­fect hol­i­day home.

FROM VIC­TO­RIAN BATHING BOXES to de­pres­sion-era beach shacks and post-war fi­bro houses, the hol­i­day home has long loomed large in the Aus­tralian psy­che and sym­bol­ised the na­tional spirit at its var­i­ous stages of evo­lu­tion. For many of us it means child­hood and nos­tal­gia and the chance to cap­ture an elu­sive feel­ing of con­tent­ment and free­dom. But to­day there is no one ar­chi­tec­tural ver­nac­u­lar to draw on and in­stead a sum­mer bolt­hole can take many forms: re­fur­bished retro gems, mod­ernist mas­ter­pieces, con­tem­po­rary vil­las, eco re­treats, you name it. What ex­actly con­sti­tutes the per­fect hol­i­day home will dif­fer from per­son to per­son, but you can guar­an­tee that the core essence will re­main the same who­ever you ask (and that it will al­most al­ways be close to the beach). “A func­tional home in a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion that ex­udes a sense of lux­ury with a re­laxed at­mos­phere is the first pre­req­ui­site,” says Matthew Flem­ing, CEO of Aus­tralian bou­tique ren­tal agency Con­tem­po­rary Ho­tels. “The per­fect home has great ar­chi­tec­ture and gor­geous in­te­ri­ors and easy ac­cess to de­sired ac­tiv­i­ties, such as a surf­ing beach, golf or ex­cel­lent din­ing choices.” For Ja­son Grant, in­te­rior stylist, au­thor and cre­ative di­rec­tor of home­wares col­lec­tion MJG, “a re­laxed, com­fort­able space, close to the beach with good light and in­door/out­door liv­ing,” is what makes an ideal hol­i­day home; sim­i­larly Kheired­dine Ka­mal, One­fines­tay’s head of ex­pan­sion in the APAC re­gion, rates “a large lux­u­ri­ous home near the beach, full of char­ac­ter and with a beau­ti­ful out­door space in­clud­ing a pool.” And when it comes time for Airbnb’s Aus­tralia and New Zealand coun­try man­ager Sam McDon­agh to choose a sum­mer bolt­hole, one of the most im­por­tant fac­tors is com­fort for the whole fam­ily: which in his case means be­ing able to bring the dog. “The per­fect hol­i­day home is ex­actly that – it’s a des­ti­na­tion that per­fectly bal­ances the free­dom of a hol­i­day and the warmth of a home,” says travel pho­tog­ra­pher Kara Rosen­lund, whose book Shel­ter – How Aus­tralians Live is the cul­mi­na­tion of a year spent trav­el­ling the coun­try to doc­u­ment Aus­tralian homes, from beach shacks and ship­ping con­tain­ers to home­steads and sheep sta­tions. “This is a place that al­lows you to es­cape from re­al­ity, an op­por­tu­nity to seek an ad­ven­ture or cre­ate life­long me­mories with those you cher­ish most,” she says. Based out of Bris­bane where she lives in a tim­ber and tin weath­er­board cot­tage, she and her hus­band re­cently pur­chased their own hol­i­day home on Queens­land’s North Strad­broke Is­land. “It took us six years to find the per­fect spot that ap­pealed to us and to also save the money,” she says. “We fi­nally found this lit­tle shack that we both in­stantly fell in love with.” For Rosen­lund, the spot con­jures the feel­ing we all chase: “We chose Strad­broke Is­land be­cause from the mo­ment we hump on the barge at Cleve­land, it re­ally does feel as though the week­end has started,” she says. “The at­mos­phere changes im­me­di­ately and we feel a surge of pos­i­tive en­ergy, which only in­ten­si­fies when we reach the is­land.” When on the hunt for the per­fect hol­i­day home, we might first fil­ter our search through the prac­ti­cal­i­ties: ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search con­ducted by Airbnb, func­tion­al­ity of ameni­ties – such as hav­ing ac­cess to a cof­fee maker or a full set of wine glasses – is high on the list of pri­or­i­ties for hol­i­day­mak­ers. Yet it’s the sen­sory feel­ings and ephemeral mo­ments – light hit­ting the ve­ran­dah in the morn­ing, salt­wa­ter and sun on skin, laugh­ter ring­ing through the evening air, the scent of cit­ronella and a gen­eral sense of well­be­ing and re­lax­ation – that have us plan­ning the next trip be­fore this one’s even over. Turn the page for all the ins and outs and in­spi­ra­tion you’ll need to help find that spe­cial place.

CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Eclectic coastal de­sign in Satel­lite Is­land’s Sum­mer House; The 1940s Palm Beach villa Rock­ridge is yours to hire via Con­tem­po­rary Ho­tels; Like­wise nearby five-star prop­erty Gaelforce. PRE­VI­OUS PAGE (from left): Have Tasmania’s Satel­lite Is­land all to your­self; Pho­tog­ra­pher Kara Rosen­lund cap­tures the spirit of travel in her own home.

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