Spooky Beach is one of a string of great surfing locations on the north coast of New South Wales, near the busy port of Yamba and surrounded by Yuraygir National Park. Blue Pools, just a couple of minutes’ walk away, is possibly the most upmarket ‘surf-shack’ you could imagine: a low-rise, three-bedroom beach house on a quiet, residential roadside close to other apartments and houses. Redolent of classic laid-back Australian living, it has a salty, seaside ambience, with walls painted soft greens and blues, polished timber floors, an open-plan kitchen and living area, wide decked terraces, distressed-wood furniture, ceiling fans and whitewashed panelling. Traipse in with sandy feet and a dripping boogie-board, grab a stubbie from the fridge and relax under a canvas awning that shades the terrace. Temperatures can be uncomfortably hot and humid from mid December to the end of February – the best time to go is April to June and from September to mid December. Sleeps Six
Cost £560-£930 per week
Contact Australian Beach House Company (00 61 2 6651 1 344; www.australianbeachhouse.com thirty-one degrees I VV OAK BEACH, PORT DOUGLAS, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA Combine a short stay at this ocean-front beach house with a longer Australian holiday. While this makes a wonderful retreat (though other residential houses are close by), a week is enough to savour the palm-backed stretch of yellow-white sand – one of the many superb beaches that lie to the east of the Cook Highway.
The beach house is a one-storey, rectangular building, with the living space divided between two, long pitched-roof halves. A hallway runs the length of the house, with two queen-size bedrooms (one with a sea view) and bathroom on one side, and the kitchen and a large sitting room on the other. Internal dividing walls are made of louvred glass slats that open to circulate cooling air around the house. This, coupled with large ceiling fans and white walls (as well as white sofas, beds and cushions), makes it wonderfully fresh. The small, shady pool is disappointing, although useful between November and early April when this stretch of coast is at risk from ‘stingers’ (jellyfish). The best time to visit is from mid-April through to October – particularly during June and July.
Cost £1,030-£l ,160 per week Contact Contemporary Hotels (00 61 2 9332 2011;
ANGOURIE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA Photo Gallery
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