If you, like us, can’t wait to get out and explore all that NSW has to offer come June, and you’re also in need of a little post-iso R&R—some seaside air even—Bangalay Villas at Shoalhaven Heads should be top of your list.
This beachside retreat is made up of a collection of 16 villas and an onsite restaurant and cafe—all a stone's throw from the gentle roar of Seven Mile Beach. Its name comes from the Bangalay Sand Forest that surrounds it—a unique coastal environment made up of Bangalay, Blackbutts, Lilly Pilly and Coast Banksia trees.
The look and feel of each villa channels the muted tones and the tranquil, sandy aesthetic of Shoalhaven Heads. Here, it's all about getting back to nature.
Designed by owner and general manager Michelle Bishop, who kicked off her career as an interior designer, Bangalay Villas is one of those rare finds that seems to be completely devoid of any hustle, bustle and stress. It's a truly peaceful spot, one where you could totally forget the current state of the world if you wanted to.
There are fourteen one-bedroom villas, and two larger, two-bedroom villas, and each is super spacious with everything you need at your fingertips—a full kitchen, lounge and dining areas, laundry, enormous rain shower, your own private deck, fireplace and (of course) Netflix, Stan and more for cosy nights indoors.
If you're bringing the whole fam or a bigger party down, there's also a full four-bedroom, pet-friendly holiday house with its own backyard firepit and wheelchair access.
As for the onsite restaurant, Bangalay Dining—it's a destination in its own right, led by head chef Brent Strong. He's spent time in the kitchen with Jock Zonfrillo at Orana and his focus is on locally found, sustainable and native ingredients. He also trained at Michelin-starred Restaurant Relae in Copenhagen (the world’s first fully organic Michelin starred restaurant), so yes—he knows his stuff.
Bangalay Dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner—and there is an in-room dining service too if staying indoors by the fire is more enticing.
As for what's surrounding you and what to do during your stay—we recommend starting your day with a stroll along Seven Mile Beach. It's a big, glorious bend of pristine sand that backs onto a national park, meaning it'll be a pretty quiet stroll. Then, pick up a coffee and pastry at Bangalay Dining, and relax by the turquoise-coloured pool.
Further south towards Nowra you'll find Jim Wild's Oysters, a must-visit if fresh-as-anything Sydney Rock Oysters are your jam. Perch on wooden tables and watch oyster farmers sail in with their catch from the Crookhaven River, or grab some to takeaway—you will not be disappointed.
Golf is also an option (the Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club green is right next door) and Berry and Kangaroo Valley are also very close. The Bangalay team can also create personalised itineraries for you, depending on your length of stay (horse riding on the beach, anyone?).
Need To Know
Drive time from Sydney: Approximately two hours
Price: From $410/night including breakfast
Pros: Villas are as spacious and peaceful as the beach—which is a quick stroll from your room. Brent Strong's native fare at Bangalay Dining is also a big plus.
Cons: We would love a bath to soak in, but the double-size rain shower is plenty relaxing just the same.
Book your stay: Here
For more ideas, try this directory of quirky cabins and unique tiny homes.
Image credit: Bangalay Villas