Just an hour north of Sydney's bustling CBD is Pittwater, an area known for its natural bush, flora and fauna, rolling ocean, the protected calm waters of Pittwater and very expensive real estate.
A short but beautiful boat ride and a 15-minute bushwalk takes you to the budget-priced Pittwater YHA, an absolute piece of paradise. The fact that it can be reached only by boat adds to the adventure and romance of the place.
Built in the 1930s, it was the home of Mr Hall, hence the jetty being named Halls Wharf. It was purchased in a derelict state by Ebena Isles who was a founding member of the YHA Association of NSW. With the help of friends and colleagues she restored it and called it 'Bensuta', Indonesian for 'full of good things'.
Activities include kayaking on Pittwater in one of the property's six craft, twilight sailing, bushwalks to many lookouts and waterfalls, seeing Aboriginal engravings or just swinging in a hammock taking in the beauty of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. There's plenty of wildlife wallabies, goannas and loads of birds.
There are 32 beds in multi-share and double/twin accommodation, a self-catering kitchen, communal lounge and dining area. There are four four-bed dorms, two six-bed and two twins. Bathrooms are all share.
You need to take all supplies with you there is a corner store in Church Point so stock up there, hop on the ferry and away you go. The managers do arrange barbecues and they are very popular. Because there are no distractions such as pubs, Pittwater YHA attracts those genuinely keen on being at one with the environment.
The hostel is part of the Rent-a-YHA scheme, which gives groups the chance to rent the entire set-up for a break.
Sydney's northern peninsula
Pittwater YHA multi-share starts at $17 per person and doubles are $62 a night. Renting the entire hostel starts at $690 a night.
Church Point Ferry Services cost $9.50 for adults and $5.70 for children, return.
Pink Water Taxis from Church Point Wharf start at $16 for one to six people, one way.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Box 197 Post Office
Church Point 2105
Ph: (02) 9999 5748
Fax: (02) 9999 5749
Church Point Ferry Services
Church Point 2105
Ph: (02) 9999 3492
Mobile: 0408 296 997
Pink Water Taxis
Ph: 0428 238 190, (02) 9634 4791