9 of Australia's best beach shack hideaways

Posted by Stephanie Mikkelsen on Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The beach shack: it's as Australian as Vegemite, Uluru and the Hills Hoist. It's also all about sea, sand and (generally) sun, so it's little surprise that it makes such a long-loved holiday destination. These beachfront beauties are where days are spent topping up your tan, sipping your way through a stockpile of icy drinks, burying your nose in your favourite book and, of course, taking in those ocean views. Sound tempting? We thought so.

Sheoak Shack, SA

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself mentally planning your return trip to Sheoak Shack the moment you put your luggage down. Oh yes, it is just that good. Sheaok Shack has everything you could want from a family beach holiday: a spacious entertaining deck, a waterfront perch and bedrooms that make the most of those beach views. Despite its name, this is a beach shack in the most comfortable of ways. There is an open-plan lounge and terrific kitchen, a sprawling lawn, nearby golf courses and excellent fishing right off the beach.

Beachside Retreat West Inlet, TAS

What happens when you combine a stellar location with contemporary eco-architecture and accommodations that sit smack-bang on the sand dunes? Beachside Retreat West Inlet. There are four cabins here (tip: snag the one that has its own outdoor hot tub) and each has a spectacular outlook over the white-sand beach below. The cabins have been designed with couples in mind, so if you’re looking for some serious time spent à deux, this is your place. Your days can be spent combing the beach, paddling in the ocean or heated saltwater pool, or even gathering wild oysters from the rocks.

Wildnerness Island, WA

Putting the ‘shack’ in beach shack is Wilderness Island. One of Australia’s most unique and remote experiences, the island has five permanent safari cabins – each with beach shower – and a main camp site, where you’ll find the lounge, kitchen, sun deck and camp fire. A jaunt to this island means you can do as much – or as little – as you like. Spend the day wildlife spotting (expect bird life, dolphins, whales and turtles) or reach for the nearest fishing pole and head out to sea. You can even bring your own boat. Those who prefer to be shown the sights by a local can arrange for an expedition guided by the owner and his team.

Blue Moon Cottages, VIC

In our book, when a property welcomes both pets and children, is close to the beach and doesn’t sacrifice its good looks, you’re onto a winner. And that’s exactly what Blue Moon Cottages in Rye is. Here, there are three cottages – choose from a four-bedroom, three-bedroom or two-bedroom – but don’t go thinking they sit on top of one another. The cottages are secluded enough to offer couples privacy, but aren’t so far away that groups will feel isolated. The property owners can even arrange a concierge service to make booking restaurants and day trips a cinch.

Shellies on the Beach, NSW

With its artistic credentials and absolute beachfront setting, Shellies on the Beach in Sawtell (near Coffs Harbour) isn't your regular beach shack. Firstly, the owners are art lovers from way back and their creative inclinations can be seen in the bold splashes of red, the scattering of antiques and the walls dressed with artworks. The property has two accommodations: the Big House and the Little House. Both houses have two bedrooms, a lounge with daybed and access to the tropical gardens, with barbecue and the Bali Hut. A path from the garden leads directly to the beach.

Awesome Beach House Bicheno, TAS

Just like its name suggests, Awesome Beach House Bicheno is, well, awesome. Why? Well, there are the uninterrupted sea views that can be enjoyed from every room in the house. Then there’s the fact that the property is only a short walk to Redbill Beach. Oh, did we mention that there are also three (yes, that’s right, three) separate decks where you can while away lazy afternoons. When it’s time to get your feet wet, this three-bedroom beach shack is just 40 metres from the come-hither Tasman Sea. The best part? This house makes just as good a stay during winter, with its comfy lounge, supply of games and wood-burning fireplace.

DD's Retreat, VIC

A stay at DD’s Retreat at Rhyll means you won’t have to leave anyone off the invite list – this dual-level property is suitable for both families and groups of friends. The retreat is simple and unassuming, and is close to beautiful beaches and the local shops. Rev-heads will also appreciate the property’s proximity to the Grand Prix track – it’s only 10 minutes away. The lower level has it’s own dining suite and living area (say hello to a kids’ hangout area), and upstairs boasts a great balcony, the perfect place to sip sundowners and enjoy the views of Swan Bay. Outside, DD’s Retreat even has room for a boat.

Sejala Beach Huts, QLD

Trust us when we say you’ve never quite seen a beach hut like the ones at Sejala Beach Huts at Mission Beach. Exhibit A: the huts boast a lush, tropical garden setting; they also have relaxed, coastal-cool interiors complete with ceiling fans and shutters. Each hut also opens onto a verandah that offers a barbecue, outdoor dining setting, deck chairs and a hammock. Oh, then there’s the private solar-heated pool. Still not convinced? How about the fact that all of this is just a few steps away from a spectacular sandy stretch? See, we told you it was pretty special.

Windalwr, WA

An unfussy, laid-back family holiday home, Windalwr is a must-visit beach shack perfect for those looking to embrace a slower-paced stay. Fit for children and adults alike (you are in Margaret River, after all), this property is just a 10-minute stroll from Gnarabup beach. Inside, you’ll find a main double bedroom, complete with ensuite and Japanese bathtub, plus two more bedrooms. The open-plan lounge is decked out with games and toys; there’s even a wood-fire for visitors who stay during the chillier months. Have an active brood on your hands? There are plenty of activities close by – learning to surf, canoeing, fishing and wildlife parks – that are sure to burn off excess energy.