Turn lawn into beach
Ahouse that looks out onto lawn leading straight to an unspoiled beach; everyone has their vision of perfection and this is mine. I didn’t dare dream of including whales breaching in the ocean at breakfast time, but this idyllic setting throws that in for good measure. There are also kookaburras sitting on the fence and a yacht ghosting by on Moreton Bay.
But it’s that lawn to beach scenario that bewitches our family during a weekend stay at the tiny Moreton Island settlement of Cowan Cowan. The kids scamper from lawn to beach (this section of which is banned to 4WDs), adults sprawl about on the lawn and a seabreeze blows. Bliss.
We had planned to be more active. Bait had been bought, fishing rods packed and there was talk of collecting pipis. But apart from a drive along the surf beach and around the northern tip to Yellow Patch – always non-negotiable on a trip to this stunning sand island – our clan was resolute: we’re not budging from the lawn-beach.
The two-storey, modern-designed home is pretty special, too. Up a few steps from the grass is a sprawling deck furnished with an impressive dining table, barbecue and wraparound lounge. Glass French doors open onto it from the adjoining open-plan living area and kitchen, which has a gas stove and is filled with every utensil needed to whip up a gourmet feast. Bring provisions from the mainland but, if you’ve forgotten some basics, the Bulwer shop is only a five-minute drive away.
There are three bedrooms, all with glass doors that open to views of the beach and with their own shower and toilet. The one downstairs has two single beds and another one upstairs has a queen. And then there’s the master bedroom ( below). It’s huge, with a private deck to escape the happy mayhem below and a spa bath in the middle of the room. You can see the sea from there, too.
As the day winds down, the clan rallies to go for a walk along the beach where more energetic types are playing cricket. The children are fascinated by the old forts slowly crumbling into the dunes, remnants of Brisbane’s defences in World War II. To distract them from thoughts of clambering over them, a kindling hunt begins. With a few handfuls of twigs, we return to the house. Right on the edge of the lawn is a timber platform bedecked with a table and chairs. Next to that is a fire pit, supplied with logs. The fire is lit, wine retrieved from the fridge and the adults watch the sun set over the ocean as the kids play on the lawn.