A dilapidated old barn sits on the corner of the Princes Highway, which has become the visual landmark for the road to solitude. Driving through Murramarang National Park toward South Durras, you feel the stress melting away and the anticipation of what must come at the end of this breathtaking road. Solitude. Relaxation. Peace. Long stretches of thick, white sand encasing your ankles like cake batter. Crisp, salty water tingling at your toes. The fragrance of eucalyptus trees intoxicating your mind. Lorikeets conversing, as if you weren’t there.
South Durras is a remote beach. Surrounded by the Murramarang National Park and Bateman’s Marine Park, it provides the perfect element of seclusion. It is located about ten kilometers, or 20 minutes drive, north of Bateman’s Bay on Australia’s east coast, as a discreet turn off the highway. For city dwellers, a five hour drive south from Sydney on the Princes Highway, or two and a half hours from Canberra.
There are holiday houses here, two holiday parks, in addition to 330-fulltime dwellers. During winter it’s quiet, but even during the mild summer, the population grows only to about one thousand. Two small shops provide the basic supplies, but come prepared if you visit during low season. They too, are in low season and don’t stock for many customers. Conveniently, nearby Bateman’s Bay provides the necessities, should you require anything the shops cannot provide.
The Durras Tree House
With the number of accommodation options in the South Durras area, the Durras Tree House is a great one for a convenient, comfortable holiday house. It has all of the amenities at a reasonable price. The Tree House is a five-minute stroll to the beach and is a renovated two story, three-bedroom house that sleeps seven comfortably. As the name suggests, it’s nestled amongst eucalyptus trees.
With the main quarters upstairs; it has two spacious bedrooms, a comfortable living room, plus modern dining, bathroom and kitchen. The downstairs area, with separate entrance, boasts another bedroom, living and bathroom, complete with washer and dryer. There is a television and DVD player in both living rooms, so if you are staying as two families, it’s ideal. The house provides boogie boards for great surf action and an outdoor shower downstairs, which is encouraged to wash off the sand so not tracked inside. The house is peaceful, comfortable, and ideal for a family getaway.
Big 4 Holiday Park
For the budget minded, the Big 4 Holiday Park, a left turn off the main road, provides easy access to the beach, along with all of the basic amenities. You can camp or rent a villa at this Caravan Park and it doesn’t conjure any of the negative connotations of a Caravan Park that many do. This is actually more of an upscale park. It has washing facilities, as well as convenient BBQs around the park, an indoor kitchen available to anyone to use that also has a communal fridge relieving the need to constantly stock for ice in the esky. The owners are welcoming and accommodating to any need and should you desire a delicious ice cream, they are stocked with plenty.
Wallabies on the beach?
Walking a few minutes down the road to the beach past houses nestled into the Murramarang National Park, wallabies graze throughout the area, even on the beach. Be warned, they will try to join your picnic if you let them! Native birds converse, sounding like a lyrical song to the ear. And once reaching the beach, the promise of the crisp, white sand is as you envision – thick and warm as it embraces your feet to your ankles. Once you make it to the water, your toes are in for a shock of cold.
Here, every element is provided for a relaxing getaway. If it’s surfing, walking on the beach or catching up over a nice glass of wine, it’s all here. This was the holiday that all need to detoxify from the madness of life. After five days here, I feel more relaxed than a month of massages, and my soul more in touch with nature than it had ever been before.