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Canberra Today 3°/7° | Monday, May 20, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Now’s a great time to answer the call of the coast

“CityNews” showcases some of the best coastal experiences on offer.

Winter is just around the corner and with the south coast only a two-hour drive away, it’s a great time to avoid the crowds and enjoy some milder autumn weather down by the sea.

Retreat mixes country and coast

Currajong Retreat offers an escape into nature without forgoing luxurious comfort, says creative manager Lara Forsdick.

Only two and a half hours drive from Canberra, and 45 minutes from the beaches of Merimbula and Pambula, Lara says Currajong Retreat is the perfect way to spend some time reconnecting with both the bush and the beach.

Lara says the accommodation itself is a spacious tent with a built-in ensuite bathroom, kitchenette, lounge, bed and a private verandah with an outdoor bath that overlooks the river running through the property. 

“We’ve got three tents, they’re situated along the river bed with really beautiful private views,” says Lara.

“We do an all-inclusive stay, so in your booking you also receive a breakfast hamper, as well as a cooked dinner according to your dietary requirements.”

Lara says Currajong Retreat is situated on a 40-hectare angora goat farm, and guests can interact with the goats if they choose to. 

“They really love the kidding season, where we have lots of baby goats and they get to interact with them,” says Lara. 

“Obviously, animals you can’t tell them what to do at what time, it’s all dependent on the season, but all our animals are super friendly.”

Access to the river is also available Lara says, with swimming and a range of other outdoor activities sure to keep guests entertained.

Currajong Retreat, 83 Big Jack Mountain Road, Burragate. Call 6496 7072 or visit

Country living, city services at Summerfield

Nearly all Summerfield villas are now sold, a testament to the fact that the over 55s Summerfield estate at Braidwood offers an outstanding lifestyle, and real value, says sales director Jane Mackenzie-Ross.

She says freehold villas (not lease or licence, but total ownership) and no exit or entry fees are a key attraction to residents buying at Summerfield.

“Be assured, the spacious three-bed, two-bath, two-car, light-filled designer villas with their sun drenched sunrooms, offer great value in price compared to Sydney and Canberra,” Jane says. 

“Most importantly, the community lifestyle of the estate with its excellent community facilities, coupled with the vibrant thriving town of Braidwood with so much to do, simply makes Summerfield a wonderful place to live life to the full.”

For those who have not visited historic Braidwood, Jane says it has so much to offer, including arts and crafts, cafes and restaurants, clubs, a first-class golf course and friendly people. 

Each Sunday during May there are Open Days to inspect the estate with Jane, or, for those who would like a midweek viewing or would like to come and stay overnight in the Hospitality Unit – Jane says just call so it can be booked in.

Summerfield Braidwood, 70 Little River Road, Braidwood. Call Jane on 0400 472577 or visit

A luxurious escape by the sea

Bannisters Mollymook has two properties within 800 metres of each other, says marketing manager Loren James, allowing guests to enjoy three dining options and a spa across two different locations. 

“This time of year the crowds are sort of gone, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy everything in the local area,” says Loren. 

“Even though it’s not great swimming weather, it’s still lovely to go for a walk on the beach, bushwalks, things like that around the area. 

“Milton is just a few minutes away with lots of boutique stores and cafes, so there’s plenty to do in the local area this time of year.”

Loren says Bannisters is running a special Taste of Mollymook package, which includes two-nights’ accommodation at Bannisters by the Sea or Bannisters Pavilion, a la carte breakfast daily, a two-course dinner at Rick Stein at Bannisters, including entree and main (excludes shellfish), a two-course dinner at The Rooftop Bar & Grill, including entree and main (excludes shellfish), and a welcome drink of house wine, sparkling or beer at Bannisters Pool Bar. 

The full terms and conditions can be found on the website. 

Bannisters Mollymook, 191 Mitchell Parade or 87 Tallwood Avenue, Mollymook, NSW. Call 4454 7400, or visit

Down to the beach for a warm winter welcome

The weather at the coast is always warmer than Canberra winters, says owner and manager of Lilli Pilli Sublime, Angela Noakes.

“You will especially enjoy it out on the north-facing deck with the birds and sounds of the bush and the sea. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have to strip down to a T-shirt,” she says.

Angela says there are many beaches nearby, with the closest only a 300-metre walk away, as well as national park walks, botanical gardens, kayaking, the Clyde River boat cruise, golf, bike rides and the Batemans Bay Pavilions.

Angela says Lilli Pilli Sublime provides linen and towels, and beds are made up ready for guests to arrive, so all guests need to do is get there and unpack. 

“We also provide baby items, cot, baby change table and baby bath, high chair, baby walker, stroller and toys,” she says.

“We are family friendly and dog friendly, so book now and take a well deserved break and chill out at Sublime.”

Angela says bookings can be made for three nights for just $999, a reduction from the normal price of $2137.

Or a one-week stay can be booked for $2500 plus a free night, instead of the normal price of $4800 for eight nights. A two-week stay for $5000 with an extra two free nights is also available, which would normally cost $9128. 

Lilli Pilli Sublime, Batemans Bay. Email or call 0412 800857.


‘Gorgeous’ restaurant for any occasion

Wheelers Seafood Restaurant owner Jacqui Foley.

Wheelers Seafood Restaurant is not only a restaurant, but also a bar and takeaway shop, best known for its oysters, says owner Jacqui Foley.

“The Wheelers family themselves have been farming oysters for more than 40 years, and the oyster shed is onsite,” she says.

“We source as much local fresh seafood as we can possibly get a hold of, and our chefs create really exquisite meals that are simple, but fresh, and really good quality.

“The restaurant itself seats about 120, so it’s quite big and suitable for weddings or functions. By day it’s gorgeous with the sun pouring in, and by night it’s cosy and intimate.”

Jacqui says the building has old railway-bridge timber, which adds substance and character, and it’s got some handmade dry stone walls that help the building to be “quite a standout”.

“We host wine dinners, fundraising breakfasts and live music. Our website is the best place to see what special events are coming up,” she says.

“I just love the people, looking after them and being part of special celebrations, no matter what the occasion is. I love creating beautiful experiences for people, and I’ve really connected with a lot of locals and tourists alike over the years.”

Wheelers Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar, 162 Arthur Kaine Drive, Pambula, NSW. Call 6495 8420, or visit

Conference facility with a view

Oaks Ranch is a luxury, 14-room boutique hotel, restaurant, bar, event and conference facility and golf course, says general manager Josh Tyler.

“We are situated on the south coast, five minutes from Broulee Beach on 300 acres, flanked by the Tomago River and Candlagan Creek,” he says.

“The Oaks Ranch first opened in 1970. The current owners closed the hotel in June 2021 to renovate and elevate the property’s offering, before we reopened in February 2022.

“Our conference and event facilities offer everything from boardroom-style to cabaret conferencing, weddings and events with a large alfresco breakout area, stunning views west across the property to the Deua mountain ranges. 

“The venue has high-speed, reliable wifi, a drop-down data projector with audio surround, flipcharts and a whiteboard.”

Josh says the restaurant and bar, Arlo, is a refined casual eating experience, influenced by Australian, Asian and European cuisines.

“For conferencing we offer full or half-day delegate packages, a selection of house-made sweets and savoury snacks for our morning and afternoon teas,” he says.

“Our conference lunches range from gourmet sandwiches on local artisan breads to dining in Arlo. We also offer barista-made coffee, specialty teas, and in-house breakfast for overnight guests.

“Oaks Ranch is a Spanish mission-style property, a rural oasis with a sense of tranquillity – and the sunsets are truly amazing.”

Oaks Ranch, 340 Old Mossy Point Road, Mossy Point, NSW. Call 4471 7403, or visit

There’s a maze and lots more

Owner John Grant reopened Granties Maze in 2015 after 30 years of closure.

He says the maze, in Foxground, is only about two hours by car from Canberra. It features rides and attractions for people of all ages.

“Over the years, I intend to keep adding new attractions,” he says.

The main attraction is a maze consisting of 2000 trees that have been planted to create a network of paths and hedges.

“It’s designed as a puzzle through which one navigates with the objective of solving the puzzle and winning a prize – an ice cream,” says John.

There’s also mini-golf, pony rides, electric kids’ cars, archery and playground equipment.

All rides are activated by coupons purchased at the office. All unused coupons can be reused on the next visit.

Granties Maze is open every day except Wednesdays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Open 9am-4pm on weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends.

Granties Maze, 25 Donovan Road, Foxground. Call 0407 284888 or visit

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