South Coast, NSW
5 Coledale Avenue, Coledale
Phone: (02) 4267 3444
The Location Coledale is a small seaside hamlet just north of Wollongong. Wedged in between the glorious Pacific to the east, and the towering cliffs of the Illawarra escarpment to the west, the village has little room to grow. Which is what makes it so cute.
The place On a quiet street a block east of the main road through Coledale, Serenity is a modern, two-storey house enjoying uninterrupted 180-degree views of the ocean. Upstairs is a bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and a huge, open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area that is perfect for group entertaining. Downstairs is another bedroom, plus a room with four bunks, as well as a rumpus room and two more bathrooms. The contemporary-design yin of the house is complemented by the retro yang of the furniture: one bedroom channels the 1980s with a futon; scattered elsewhere are beds and cupboards of grandparent vintage and lounge suites bringing back hazy memories of student-flat days. The balconies offer great vistas through a 1970s-era metal railing.
The Experience How's the serenity at Serenity? Considerable. There's nary a sound, bar the rhythmic soft lapping of waves on the adjacent shore. Clever design means the upper floor is flooded with sunlight from dawn to late afternoon, while wide glass windows and sliding doors allow those in the upstairs living area to enjoy the ocean panorama morning, noon and night. For those keen on the outdoors, it's a 30-second walk across a grassy lawn to take a dip in the sea (snorkellers will appreciate the sheltered cove and easy entry) or in nearby Coledale Rock Pool, built into an expansive igneous rock platform populated by sea birds.
Don't Miss The beaches of Coledale and nearby Thirroul and Austinmer are pretty and family-friendly. From Thirroul there's an excellent cycleway that skirts the coastline south to Wollongong; keen cyclists can continue as far as Kiama (lbug.org.au/html/furtherafield/thirroultokiama.html). North of Coledale, Sea Cliff Bridge (seacliffbridge.com) hugs the coast below the escarpment, and its wide pedestrian and cycle path provides spectacular views. jim hope