has found a totally secluded and romantic weekender, tucked away in native bushland. It's around 20 minutes from the centre of Sydney and close to beaches, restaurants and bars. There is also a well-stocked kiosk close by.
The charming one-bedroom weatherboard Steele Point Cottage was built in around 1880 as a gunners' barracks. Perched on the edge of a sandstone cliff in Neilsen Park, it was part of the elaborate system of harbour defences. The crew operated the Steele Point Battery and a gun is still there just 50 metres from the cottage.
A tunnel ran from the cottage to Steele Point, and the sandstone entrance remains.
In 1911, Steele Point Cottage was acquired by the state and used as accommodation for staff responsible for the maintenance of the area.
In the 1980s when Neilsen Park became a national park, the cottage was used by the rangers.
The cottage is nestled among six hectares of the only pre-settlement vegetation to be found on the southern side of the harbour. It has wonderful harbour views and has been completely renovated and refurbished.
It is fully self-contained and all linen and towels are provided. Its conservation plan allows it to be rented for short stays only no more than two nights a week. It is for adult couples only. Children are not permitted.
A walk along the Hermitage Foreshore rewards you with 1.2km of magnificent harbour frontage lined with the mansions of Vaucluse and Rose Bay, past Milk, Hermit and Queen Beaches. A five-minute walk down the stairs will take you to Shark Beach.
Neilsen Park in Sydney's east.
Steele Point Cottage is $660 for two nights between February and November. Other rates apply at peak times. A minimum and maximum of two nights applies.
Prices correct at May 22, 2008.
For further information
Steel Point Cottage
National Parks and Wildlife Services
Gap Bluff Centre
Box 597, Post Office
Ph: (02) 9337 2333
Fax: (02) 9337 3383
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