As you go through the eastern beaches, bays and harbour suburbs of Sydney, real estate becomes very grand, with prices to match. Only a lucky few get to enjoy the magnificent views every day, but Getaway has found a couple of little gems everyone can enjoy, even if for just a while.
National Parks and Wildlife owns two historic cottages, metres away from Camp Cove beach, considered to be one of Sydney's most beautiful. They can be rented for a weekend or up to eight weeks.
The weatherboard Green Point Cottage was built in 1903 as officers' quarters and has monopolised the prime location ever since. It has 300° harbour views with the Sydney CBD skyline in the background. It has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and lounge room. While not extravagant, it has everything you need, including television, stereo, video, washer, dryer and barbecue.
On the other side of Camp Cove Beach is Constables Cottage. In the early 1800s it was the site of a water police station, used by officers who used row boats to pursue escaping convicts. The cottage replaced the police station in 1903 and was used to house married defence personnel. It has all the same necessities as Green Point Cottage but has a third bedroom.
The cottages are at the starting point of the South Head Heritage Trail, a 1 ½ kilometre walk of medium difficulty, leading to Lady Jane, which is a nudist beach and favourite viewing spot for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race each Boxing Day.
At the end of the walk is also the historic and rather grandly painted Hornby lighthouse. Public opinion demanded a lighthouse be erected after the sailing ships Dunbar and Catherine Adamson misjudged the entrance to Jacksons Bay and were wrecked. The Dunbar was smashed to pieces in 1857 and of the 122 people on board, just one survived. Just nine weeks later the Catherine Adamson met her demise and 20 lives were lost. The lighthouse was opened in 1858, and the red and white building still welcomes those arriving through Sydney Heads.
It is also a Watsons Bay tradition to have lunch at the famous Doyle's seafood restaurant or the family's neighbouring Palace Hotel. Sunny Sydney weekends see the grassy beer garden crammed with people enjoying lunch and a cold drink or two, while enjoying one of the best views Sydney has to offer.
The recently renovated hotel has 32 suites, each with balcony, air-conditioning, beautifully appointed bathrooms and breakfast is included in the rate.
Green Point Cottage starts at $550 a weekend and $990 a week during winter, spring and autumn. Summer rates start at $1320 a week. The cottage sleeps six.
Constables Cottage starts at $660 a weekend and $1320 a week during winter, spring and autumn. Summer rates start at $1650 a week. It sleeps eight.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
National Parks & Wildlife Services
Gap Bluff Centre
Box 597 Post Office
Ph: (02) 9337 2333
Fax: (02) 9337 3383
Doyle's Palace Hotel
Watsons Bay 2030
Ph: (02) 9337 5444
Fax: (02) 9337 5644