This is Summer, Spent Well
Located a mere three-hour drive south of Sydney, Mollymook is the beachside paradise to which many a quintessential Australian roadtrip has led. It’s the kind of place that evokes sunscreen-scented memories of bare feet on hot sand and the freshest seafood you’ve ever had.
The summer of 2019/20, however, has so far been devastatingly different. When south coastal communities such as Mollymook would usually be welcoming an influx of holidaymakers, locals were instead evacuating their homes, fleeing wildfire. Though the worst of the Corrowan Fire is deemed to be over, there’s a long road to recovery ahead for all the families, businesses, and communities affected.
“For so many people down here, the summer is pretty much their bread and butter,” says Andrea Tucker, Principal of McGrath Mollymook, “I know of at least one business that has closed already.” Though the local community has been hit hard – economically as well as emotionally – positive vibes and a sense of solidarity are what prevails. Initiatives such as that of Australia’s real estate industry’s, Beyond The Bricks, have cropped up to help however they can – whether it be helping to connect families in need with local homeowners who can provide accommodation, or raising funds directly for charities operating on the ground in fire-ravaged areas.
The south coastal communities of New South Wales are now waiting to welcome visitors with wide-open arms. The invite that goes out to one and all is to come and spend a slice of summer well, with a show of support for the local economy upon which so many rely. For the sake of easy planning, we’ve canvassed the region and sought out the intel of those who know it best (including McGrath’s very own Mollymook local, Andrea, and the one-and-only international restaurateur, Rick Stein) to bring you this round-up of exceptional places to eat, play, and stay.
Tucked behind the hills of Milton, Cupitt’s Estate is a boutique winery, brewery, fromagerie and restaurant, complete with cottage accommodation. Between the $60 three-course meal on offer every Thursday for Locals Night; the live music of weekly Sunday Sessions; and the artisan produce to peruse at the Grower’s Market on the last Saturday of each month, there is no shortage of reasons to visit Cupitt’s.
Pilgrims vegetarian cafe in Milton is undoubtedly one of the best cafes in the local area and is well-regarded as a MUST for the health conscious. Special mentions go to their Blissburger, wholesome salads and to-die-for Mexican menu, available on Friday and Saturday nights.
Paddock to Plate
From Tallwood’s prime position along Mollymook Beach, owner and executive chef Matt Upson engages year-round with local suppliers to serve up a seasonally changing menu of dishes intent on keeping minimal distance from paddock to plate.
Great local beaches and expert tuition makes learning to surf heaps of fun. World champion surfer Pam Burridge runs a local surf school with group lessons held throughout summer and private lessons and available throughout the year.
Two superb local golf courses are within arms-reach of Mollymook. If you’re just putting for leisure, look no further than Mollymook Beachside Golf Club – the 9-hole course is perfect for you. For more seasoned players, the 18-hole Hilltop course is of no less than champion standard.
Located in the seaside paradise of Mollymook, Bannisters’ hotel destinations make the perfect base for exploring all the south coast has to offer.
Indulge in the luxury accommodation of Bannisters by the Sea; lay back and relax at the beachside Bannisters Pavilion; or book your own private Bannisters Beach House. With amenities including Rick Stein’s iconic seafood restaurant, Bannisters Pool Bar, a clifftop Day Spa, and a Rooftop Bar & Grill all a part of the package, this is luxury escapism at its finest.