Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : August 2010 Contents 10 THE SENIOR TRAVELLER August, 2010
Retreat in luxury
When most of us were children, beach houses were the norm for
holidays -- either that or the caravan park. There was no such thing as
resorts. However, beach houses today are a very different species to the
ones we trucked sand through as children. Nevertheless SUE PRESTON
finds that the best of them still come equipped with a game of
pick-up sticks in the cupboard.
PERCHED on a headland on the east
coast of Tasmania, Avalon Coastal
Retreat has sweeping views across Great
Oyster Bay and beyond.
A telescope in the corner of the expan-
sive living area beckons with the promise
of a chance to see white-bellied sea eagles
and pods of dolphins.
In early afternoon the sun illuminates
the polished wooden floor. More for effect
rather than need, we light the fire already
set in the large open fireplace, then open
the complimentary champagne chilling in
The living room, like the rest of the
home, is simply but strikingly furnished,
offering just the right balance of style and
comfort and resisting the starkness of
many contemporary beach houses.
With its amazing views, the three-bed-
room retreat simply needs no more adorn-
Our biggest decision is how to arrange
ourselves in it: each room, each chair even,
affords a different view.
The Japanese-style huon pine bathtub,
for example, looks out over tussock grass
and kangaroo paw and, in the early
evening, young wallabies.
While nearby Swansea offers fine din-
ing, we passed up that opportunity in
favour of in-house chef-prepared meals
from the kitchen freezer.
Our hosts understand people's reluc-
tance to leave once they arrive, and reason-
ably-priced green Thai chicken curry, lamb
rogan josh, steak, beef lasagne, smoked
trout, fresh pasta and sauces were among
the meals ready to be popped in the oven.
There is also a stock of wine, beer and
spirits available for purchase.
So, with a warm fire, plenty of games
<\#150> including pick-up-sticks <\#150>
in the cupboard, and books and DVDs,
there was nothing more to want for.
Oh yes, the beach.
Next morning we took the path down to
the secluded private beach (take the wind-
ing path or the goat track); and while it was
too cold to swim, we were delighted
<\#150> a beach with sea shells, a rare
treat these days.
On the way you will pass the Boatshed
which has fishing rod and tackle, wetsuits,
boogie boards, yoga and meditation mats.
Many people come to Avalon to paint,
and the guest book is testament to their
skills. Others chose more conventional
ways to thank the host, except for one wit
who wrote: "We were extremely disappoint-
ed. Only six out of a pod of 60 dolphins did
the expected synchronised somersault, the
fish caught by the white-bellied eagle was a
mere foot in length, and the wallabies that
came up near the deck do not understand
Skippy talk. However we will give you a
chance to rectify these problems and keep
coming back until you get it right."
We too saw a white-bellied eagle over-
head just as our host arrived to bid us
farewell. Rushing out on the deck to watch
as it soared and swooped overhead, we
turned to see our host smiling. "Good thing
I let it out of the car," she joked.
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