Brendon is bringing the outdoors in when he stays at a country shack by the beach.
Snuggled between Yamba and Coffs Harbour in remote, rolling coastal plains on the New South Wales northern coast is the private estate called Toumbaal Plains. Surrounded by the state's largest coastal national park, the 80ha property has ocean and bush outlooks.
The property has been in owner Alex Waugh's family since 1888. Guest accommodation was built in 2002. Its design time was long but immensely rewarding for the owner and visitors, and continues the family tradition of "camping by the beach".
Designer Fergus Scott went beyond making just a house and his design won the prestigious 2003 Wilkinson Award for Excellence in Residential Architecture.
It is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing except getting involved with the landscape, and being with kangaroos, emus, dingoes and dancing brolgas. It also offers a good variety of activities for those who want something more lively.
Toumbaal Plains House has three bedrooms one with king bed and ensuite, one with king bed opening onto an internal courtyard, and a third with king singles, also opening onto the internal courtyard.
A large bathroom has a sliding wall which, when open, gives beautiful views across the plains to the mountains. It has a double shower and bath.
The large living room is open-plan with comfortable couches and chairs. The dining table takes full advantage of the views and there are two fire places one inside, one outside. Sliding windows have hardwood shutters.
The kitchen is equipped with gas and electricity and quality glassware, cutlery and china are provided. Linen is also of the best quality.
Visitors can drive to Toumbaal. From Brisbane it takes around three hours, and from Sydney around eight. As a special treat you can be flown right to the door. Toumbaal has its own airfield and you can book an exclusive fly-in package from Coffs Harbour, Brisbane or the Gold Coast, arriving in a Cessna 340A or a King Air.
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres are served as the sun sets over the plains, and dinner is a showcase of regional cuisine. It is prepared by the property's chef and served by their maitre'd.
Adventurous visitors can kayak along the Sandon River, go deep sea fishing, tandem parachute from 3000 metres or even take flying lessons at Toumbaal. There are numerous walks in the park system, including a 10km coastal walk to a surf break. You can also go on a fly-away safari which includes a night in a historic colonial mansion.