Stuart’s Point, NSW

I absolutely enjoy five-star luxury holidays and escapes however, equally, there is something very special about a no-frills holiday in a place so trapped in a time warp it is reminiscent of summer holidays from long, long ago.

A retro welcome to Stuart's Point

A retro welcome to Stuart’s Point

A generation ago a lot of people grew up with the annual three-week family holiday commencing on Boxing Day with a very early start (got to get ahead of the traffic), and the car would be all packed up and probably towing either a caravan or a trailer.  And after a day’s drive north, you’d end up in a one-horse town where you’d spend your days swimming at the beach, sunbathing, licking icy-poles and only returning to the fibro holiday home when you could smell your dinner cooking on the barbecue.  And if you’re in any way nostalgic about that kind of a holiday, you can rekindle those memories at Stuart’s Point.

A typical street in Stuart's Point

A typical street in Stuart’s Point

After our week’s holiday over Christmas in the holiday house on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, we were faced with a 13-hour drive home.  And having been so busy over that past week we felt like we’d barely had time to breath, let alone relax.  We felt it would be therapeutic to break up the journey home with a couple of stops.

Walk across the bridge to the beach

Walk across the bridge to the beach


We first went to Brisbane where we stayed with close friends for three nights.  Everyone relaxed except for poor Rosie who was very intimidated by our friends’ three very robust dogs.

The house we stayed in five years ago

The house we stayed in five years ago

Brisbane is still 12-hours from Sydney so we thought it would be good to stop somewhere halfway between the two cities.  Five years ago we had a one-week holiday in Stuart’s Point.  We booked a holiday house through the local real estate agent and when we arrived, discovered it was owned by a very good friend of ours, Jen.  I’ve mentioned Jen to you before because she’s a very capable cook and excellent entertainer who last year invited us to a Good Friday brunch.

Peak-hour!

Peak-hour!

After that one-week holiday Jen said if we ever wanted another holiday in Stuart’s Point to give her a call.  And I remembered that.  We phoned Jen and she said we could stay in a one-bedroom cottage she owned where there was a sofa bed in the lounge room for Alfie.  Excellent.  We once more packed up the car and began driving south.  With holiday traffic it took nearly seven hours to drive to Stuart’s Point.

Petrol bowsers on the footpath

Petrol bowsers on the footpath

Stuart’s Point consists of a handful of level streets with no kerb and guttering, tiny weatherboard or fibro cottages, a corner store, a pharmacy, a butcher, a primary school, a couple of tennis courts, the bowling club and a camp site.  And that’s it.  And if you’re with Vodafone there’s barely even mobile reception.

Public tennis courts

Public tennis courts

We arrived in the evening and Jen was there to greet us and typically, told us she had dinner all ready for us, (I was thinking we’d have to go up to the Bowling Club for a bowl of chips or wedges but we’d been spared).

A retro caravan food truck

A retro caravan food truck

There’s a lot to love about Stuart’s Point.  It’s one of the few remaining holiday destinations where you can have a simple, no-frills holiday with nothing to do but have a morning swim at the beach, get yourself some breakfast from the food truck opposite the corner store, read a book, swim in the river, or go fishing.

A typical holiday house in Stuart's Point

A typical holiday house in Stuart’s Point

There’s nothing luxurious about Stuart’s Point but when you’re there it reminds you of what little you really need to be happy.  Alfie, who’s been very happy staying in resorts, was equally as happy at Stuart’s Point.  He particularly loved the freedom and independence of being able to wander around with bare feet in a very safe and friendly setting, and before heading back home, stopping in at the corner store and buying himself an ice cream and a bag of lollies.

Petrol bowsers on the footpath

Petrol bowsers on the footpath

The corner store is definitely the fixture of Stuart’s Point that cements the town being a place where time has stood still.  Where else today do you find a shop with petrol bowsers out on the pavement, a corner set aside for a bottle shop, a section for bait and tackle, a lolly counter, a freezer with bags of ice, a row of fruit and vegetables, odds and ends like mosquito coils, thongs and sunscreen, and about two short aisles of essentials.

Drew and Rosie buying their morning coffee

Drew and Rosie buying their morning coffee

For a holiday in Stuart’s Point, all you need to do is think about what you would have packed if it was still 1975.  And that would be a swim suit, a beach umbrella and sunscreen.  And a good book because at Stuart’s Point you have that rare thing that’s hard to come by in the rat-race and that’s uninterrupted time.

Growing grapes along a dividing fence

Growing grapes along a dividing fence

Unfortunately, this time around we were only there for two nights however we’re hoping for another holiday at Stuart’s Point very soon.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a wonderful time Charlie, love quaint little towns.

  2. This place sounds wonderful, there’s something very special about time warp places. It’s great to know they still exist.

  3. Wow, what a place! xx

  4. Tonette Joyce says:

    I don’t often ‘get away from it all’ any more, but I have had fun when I did.It’s less appealing wen you live in a small town, which I do, after having been raised near Washington, DC and living in another large city,(Denver), before coming here.
    The scenery there is lovely, and I am glad for Alfie.As I mentioned earlier today, I can’t believe how much he has grown.

  5. How reassuring that places like this still exist. You know that bowser is a word no one out of Australia has ever heard of before? When I first arrived in Melbourne and went to fill the car up with petrol I couldn’t work out where the nozzle was and was told the bowser was on the ground. I stood there looking at the guy bewildered – he was speaking English but I didn’t understand a single word he said. He had to come out and show me – I had to pull the nozzle up out of the floor next to the petrol pump. And that’s when I found out what a bowser was 🙂

  6. Such a rare gem!! Love quiet coastal towns like these. Fair dinkum

  7. isn’t bowser a great word? feels great in your mouth:) i had no idea it was only an aussie word. i love the look of this holiday place charlie. i love a good bit of retro. but i think it would only do for a very short time. i do love my modern comforts!

  8. Sounds like a perfect break. There’s not much relaxing or peace and quiet these days in over-crowded seaside holiday towns. And here in South Aus, you’re just as likely to bump into everyone you’ve ever know who is trying to get a break at the same place!

  9. Except in 1975 you probably wouldn’t have packed sunscreen :o))

  10. Hooray for little getaways! I agree, the frills are nice, but there’s nothing like a low-key vacation with people you love!

  11. I would love Stuart’s Point.

  12. This brings back memories! I am glad there are still authentic towns like this tucked away. You’re right – sometimes it is good to go back to basics and have holidays of the old fashioned sort.

  13. I really love simple beach holidays and uncrowded beaches. This place looks perfect.

  14. I agree with BetsyB Stuarts Point looks perfect, the perfect place to get away from it all, glad you had a bit of time to recoup from the hectic holiday gathering before arriving home.

  15. OK – south of Kempsey and north of Bellingen – just HAD to find out since I have been up and down the Pacific Highway as many times as some truck drivers 🙂 !! Definitely the blood pressure lowering kind of spot . . . quite necessary at times . . . and it does not hurt the young fry or the four-legged either 😀 !!

  16. I’m with you—sometimes those no frills stops are the best of all. It forces you to enjoy each other’s company (or at least try!). Looks like a fun return home. xo

  17. Idyllic – sometimes all you need to do is “stop” and relax.

  18. What a gorgeous spot. These are the types of places we used to stay when I was a kids. I loved it!

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  19. It reminds me of the town I grew up in, except for the coffee, pretty sure a tin of blend 43 was high class, so that caravan would be positively glamorous. I wonder if I would think it quaint now? Either way, tops you had a lovely little break away.

  20. I’d like nothing more! I’d love to roll back to the 1970’s! I’m sure at the time I thought that was pretty fast paced, but we sure didn’t know how it was going to accelerate. I could really find peace and solace in a little town like this. What a great idea to take the time to extend a little holiday!

  21. I love those kind of holidays and agree they are equally as good as posh vacations. The ability to slow down, take stock and maybe even read a book is to be treasured. Not to mention freedom for the kids is a huge bonus. I remember loving trips like that as a kid, and I know mine do today as well. 🙂

  22. It looks like a cool holiday! 🙂

  23. How absolutely lovely – took me right back to my childhood.
    Have a beautiful weekend Charlie.
    🙂 xo

  24. It sounds like you made the most of your holidays Charlie! Are you still on break or are you back?

  25. genevieve lovell says:

    Thanks for coming Charlie – we loved having you with us.

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