If you are looking for a seaside family getaway just a few hours south of Sydney, you can't go past Bannisters Coastal Hideaway, writes Shonagh Walker.
With poolside fun, awesome beaches and so much to do that the kids won’t be bored for a second, Bannisters Coastal Hideaway in Mollymook Beach on the south coast of New South Wales is the ultimate family getaway.
An easy (and scenic) three-hour drive from Sydney - not too long for little ones to bear - Bannisters is a place that could easily become your go-to home away from home.
You’ll feel your stress melt away the second you pull into the driveway. Smiling faces greet you against a backdrop of white-washed, smooth-edged walls and a breathtaking view of ocean, blue sky and an endless horizon… even the car park is relaxing!
Checking in is a breeze and before you know it you’ll be settling in to your suite, which includes a private balcony with ocean view, plasma TV with DVD player (with a huge DVD library at the front desk), cable TV, Wi-Fi, mini bar and coffee and tea facilities. Your room rate also includes a full buffet breakfast.
Set atop the cliff’s edge, there is a sprawling lawn perfect for little bare feet to run across, play ball games on or even fly a kite upon! They’ll most likely want to spend hours swimming by the pool though, in which case you can fill them up at lunchtime with a famous gourmet pizzas served at the Pool Bar. Adults can supervise while lounging on one of the many deck chairs and enjoying a signature Bannisters’ cocktail.
If you can tear your littlies away from the pool, there is so much to do in the local area that is sure to tire young ones out (and ensure they sleep through the night). Firstly, there’s the local Milton Markets, which run on the first Saturday of each month and help you take in street stalls, music and local craft and produce. If you’re there on the 5th Sunday of certain months, you can enjoy the massive Mollymook Beach Markets, and there's also the Wharf markets which take place on the second Sunday of each month at Ulladulla wharf.
You can walk to the beautiful local beaches directly from your door at Bannisters. Simply stroll to the end of the garden for a pathway to Jones Beach, or saunter to the street and turn right to uncover the track leading to Narrawallee Beach. If you’re craving the salt water but not up for the waves, check out the sea pool at Ulladulla Wharf, where kids and adults can have a blast in the water and play/relax on surrounding grass lawns. Finish your frolic with a hearty serving of fish and chips from the Fish Co-Op at the wharf.
On your bike
Another great thing about Bannisters is that they have complimentary bikes for guests to use, and there is plenty to discover on the peninsula. Helmet up and enjoy a family day out!
Rick Stein at Bannisters truly offers some of the best flavours you could imagine. Its inspirational seafood menu changes daily, according to the fresh catch and seasonal produce available. There’s also a carefully selected wine list that will please the most discerning of palettes.
Expect to find plenty of freshly shucked local Ewan McAsh oysters teamed with a glass of French bubbles, Madras Fish Curry of Blue Eye Trevalia paired with a gorgeous Chardonnay and a mind-blowing Hot Chocolate Fondant, which goes down beautifully with a gorgeous dessert wine.
If you can take time out from the toddlers, book into the spa for a signature spa treatment using the Australian-made spa range, Pinnacle. You’ll be lulled into a state of bliss, with a body scrub and massage that is hard to rival. The spa also offers facials, massage, couples treatment, Tibetan healing, pregnancy treatments and so much more.
Surfer or not, you can ride the waves at some of the South Coast’s most famous beaches. Book yourself and the family in for a lesson with World Champion surfer Pam Burridge who runs a local surf school, with group lessons held throughout summer, and private lessons year round. (www.pamburridge.com)
Sip in Style
Bannisters is situated close to some great Aussie cellar doors, including Cupitt’s winery at Ulladulla, Bawley Estate and Fern Gully Wineries at Termeil, and Kladis Estate at Wandandian. Visit a few during your stay and pick up a few tasty offerings to enjoy long after the holiday is over.
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