Calabash Bay Lodge is an exclusive boat- or seaplane-access-only holiday home with four double bedrooms, three bathrooms, glossy magazine style and rock-star views from every room. Stretching out from the house, hugged tight by dense bushland and ancient sandstone cliffs, is the river – a mesmerising mirror smashed from time to time by leaping fish or landing seaplanes.”
Calabash Bay Lodge gets it spectacularly right. This light, bright, crisply furnished four-bedroom, three- bathroom home sits on the water’s edge, packed with all you’ll need for a cruisy stay, from kayaks to a downy day bed with sweeping views of the river. Guest relations manager Manuel Affarian picks you up in a runabout that’s yours for the stay and, with a quick switch of hats, becomes a gifted cook you can hire to whip up dinner while you sip Champagne on the deck.”
No roads lead to this waterfront lodge on a quiet tributary of the Hawkesbury; only waterways. Whether you glide to a stop in front of its pontoon in a seaplane (splurge option!) or pull up in a dinghy (if you’ve left your car at Berowra Waters, an hour’s drive from the Sydney CBD), you’ll feel the worries of your everyday life wash away. Go bushwalking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, fish off the pontoon or explore the majestic sandstone cliffs of the Hawkesbury River from a kayak. And when it’s time for dinner, settle for nothing less than a meal at the nearby Berowra Waters Inn restaurant.”
This one’s so secret you’ll need to hop in a boat to reach your luxury digs for the night! Grab your besties and escape to luxury at the cool, calm Berowra Waters, just 40 minutes north of Sydney. By day, laze on the sunny decks or jump from the private pontoon for a spot of swimming; by night, enjoy a private dinner prepared by a Michelin-trained chef.”
Disembarking at the private pontoon, the kids race off to explore, squealing with excitement while hubby and I are silenced by a breathtaking view. We gaze about taking in the dense bushland rising up on either side of us, and stretching straight ahead the stunning, uninterrupted view up the Hawkesbury River.
Calabash Bay Lodge is a three-storey, luxury hideaway with four tastefully decorated bedrooms that can be configured to accommodate up to eight people.
The master bedroom, complete with king bed and ensuite, has a private deck with a gigantic, revolving sunlounge — perfectly designed for lazy snoozing and easy swivelling to chase the rays as the sun tracks west.
The house is designed to showcase the magnificent views — full-length glass windows, three comfortable timber decks and even a double hammock on the front lawn. The kitchen is not overly large but well equipped (the complimentary chilled Prosecco a welcoming touch), while the designer lounge and dining spaces are elegant without being precious.”
To mark Qantas’s 95th birthday, we considered bringing you 95 iconic Australian destinations. But you already know about those, right? So, courtesy of our network of clued-up correspondents, here are 95 exciting, fun, romantic, delicious and family-friendly Australian experiences you probably haven’t heard about. Add these to your hit-list…
No. 4: No roads lead to Calabash Bay Lodge, Berowra Waters￼; only waterways will get you to this waterfront lodge on a quiet tributary of the Hawkesbury.”
I Quit Sugar founder and writer Sarah Wilson stayed at Calabash Bay Lodge and shared with her readers how to organise the perfect Sydney weekend away. ”
Who knew that feeling so far away was possible so close to home? Calabash Bay Lodge at Berowra Waters is a little over 45 minutes from the Sydney CBD, and it’s my kind of water world.
With four double bedrooms to choose from, three bathrooms (two of which are ensuite), a comfortable, open living space and an upper and lower deck, Calabash Bay Lodge is a glorified holiday home with an unrivalled view over the Hawkesbury River and a long list of thoughtful extras. When I say thoughtful extras, I mean everything you’ve forgotten has been remembered, which is important when the lodge is accessible only by water.
Between exploring the National Park, kayaking through the mangroves and mooching on the deck with coffee and a book, we didn’t head back to the mainland once. First, we didn’t want to leave our tranquil setting. Second, what fun is land when you’ve got your own boat?”
Lounging on the deck while taking in the sun-speckled waters that surround the Lodge, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were aboard a particularly swish houseboat. This self-contained luxury retreat sleeps eight in four sumptuous bedrooms, all with balconies and kitted out with organic cotton bedlinen and Missoni bath towels. The sleek, atrium-style living room is furnished with all the mod cons, including a LCD flat screen and a MiniMac loaded with movies and music for those content to just bliss out on the couch”
From day one, when a “guest relations manager” meets us at Berowra wharf and leads us to the water-access only lodge… we feel as through we’ve moored at our spiritual home”
..it would be hard to go past the degustation cooked by your own private chef, why miss out on prawns in coconut coriander bisque and dukkah-crusted lamb with pomegranate”
There’s something special about gazing out at the misty Hawkesbury River and its stunning backdrop of eucalyptus-clad cliffs. And Calabash Bay Lodge, a three-level, wateraccess only escape set in bushland bordering Berowra Waters, is the perfect vantage point from which to take it all in.”
We’ve found the perfect weekend escape – an idyllic lodge set on the Hawkesbury with a runabout boat for sole use of guests, kayaks for those more energetic days and a barbecue deck overlooking this mesmerising river”
Thank you so much, we had an amazing girls' weekend. Beautiful home, decor, beds, and linens - everything was supplied and the attention to detail was appreciated. Manuel was so attentive, couldn't do enough for us. His food and catering was beautiful. Will definitely recommend to all.
What a magical place to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! Beautiful views. Wonderful food. Lazy paddling. Leisurely boating. Serene nature walks. Manny does a tremendous job in making you feel pampered but not smothered. We have enjoyed every minute!
We would highly recommend Calabash Bay Lodge, what a wonderful peaceful place to spend the weekend! A special thank you to Manny from Secret Dining, his food was amazing from breakfast to lunch to an awesome private chef 3 course dinner.
A wonderful weekend with family to celebrate my 60th birthday. Everyone just loved the location and serenity. Thank you Manny for our delicious Secret Dining experience, it was so relaxing. Berowra Waters, we hope to be back.
Three days were not enough. Just getting used to relaxing and it was over! Will need to come back soon - next time we will bring some friends to enjoy the tranquillity of the house and the scenery. Amazing time, thank you.
This was the best place to celebrate any 60th birthday! Fun times, fabulous food, fine wines and family. A special surprise of an engagement of my son and his long term partner just topped it all off! We'll be back.
Calabash Bay Lodge is idyllic! We took full advantage of the kayaks, views, hammocks, eating areas... and did we mention the VIEWS?? We'd 100% recommend this place to others and look forward to our next visit.
Thanks for sharing your piece of paradise with us. We loved it all, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, relaxing, bushwalking, readying, eating and generally having a good time. Best House Ever!
What an amazing spot! We had 8 ladies for a girl's trip away. We had fun taking out the boat, swimming, kayaking, & relaxing. The house is beautiful, we couldn't have asked for a better getaway.
What can we say... Did we dance? Did we eat? Did we fish? Did we have fun? YES, YES, YES! Amazing location and a beautifully equipped house to enjoy everything. A very relaxing weekend.
What a beautiful place to celebrate our wedding at the Inn and a 60th birthday with family and friends. We laughed, swam, & caught fish from the pontoon. All in all magnificent.
You've done it! The impossible. Made a family who don't stop working - stop! Had a lovely time fishing, kayaking, eating, reading and watching movies. Spectacular setting. Thank you!
What a wonderful house and location to enjoy and celebrate my 60th birthday with family. Thank you Manny for a spectacular dinner party! We all look forward to returning in summer.
We had a wonderful three nights in this most beautiful of settings with our friends for my 65th birthday. Your lodge gave us everything we needed for maximum enjoyment.
Thanks so much we all had a fabulous time. The house and views are amazing and all the locals very friendly. Will definitely be recommending this place, and hope to come again.
A great venue to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary with the entire family. We ate, drank, swam, fished, caught crabs, kayaked, and relaxed. Great memories made... Thank you.
Thanks for letting us stay in such an amazing place to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Everything was amazing - especially when Jesse proposed (and of course I said yes!)
My partner and I had a beautiful relaxing weekend away kayaking, boating and relaxing all weekend in the sun! Great place for families, friends and couples! Highly recommend it!
Just back from a top weekend at this first class property. Great location and a 5 star service from Manny. Very very relaxing. A perfect spot for those who also love bush walking.
What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year! Great weather, great friends, great house, amazing location! This was a special time for all of us. Thank you.
Calabash Bay Lodge has a beautiful view of the river and this Lodge is one of the finest I've stayed in. Everything is provided that a river holiday needs!
Wow!! What a wonderful weekend. Love this place. We have had such a great time sharing good food, good wine and great company in this beautiful setting.
Such an incredibly relaxing and peaceful place. The moment we stepped off the boat we felt the river take over and work its magic on us city slickers.
What a great way to unwind and spend time with the family. Lovely house and location - we never realised this existed so close to Sydney.
We spent 3 lovely nights at your beautiful property. The place was perfect, catering to our every need. I only wish we could have stayed longer.
The Lodge's wonderful pontoon and the bay has allowed me to catch an array of fish - whiting, bream, flathead, eel, flounder and crab.
We spent a wonderful 3 days at this idyllic house. The property is stunning and the views are to die for. This place is relaxation at it's best.
Congratulations on providing a beautiful property that caters to every whim - exceptional! We are taking wonderful memories with us.
Everything is provided that a river holiday needs. Even the extremes of weather are no bother, with airconditioning and Netflix!
It has been an absolutely beautiful stay and we would definitely do it again. It’s wonderful that it’s so local yet so isolated.
We spent 3 lovely nights at your beautiful property. The place was perfect, catering to our every need. I wish we could have stayed longer.
A highlight of any stay is sitting on the barbecue deck, glass of fizz in hand, gazing over the water and eucalyptus-clad cliffs beyond.
We spent our time exploring the waters on the courtesy boat, fishing, walking, cooking and gazing at the amazing views. Hope to return soon.
My name is Harriet and I am 10 years old. I love this place so much. The sleep was perfect and I hope we come back too.
There’s something special about gazing out at the misty Hawkesbury River and its stunning backdrop of eucalyptus-clad cliffs.
Throw a line from the pontoon and there’s a good chance you’ll catch something for dinner - does it get any better than this?
Calabash Bay truly is a beautiful spot... Many thanks for your efficient and friendly service, the whole experience was a pleasure.
The Wow Factor! The house, the views. Had a fantastic stay, didn't want to leave this little piece of heaven!
A beautiful place to celebrate joining the over 60's club. Thank you Manny and Calabash Bay Lodge!
Thank you for sharing this magnificent house with us. It was the most wonderful surprise 50th I could have asked for!
Three days were not enough. Just getting used to relaxing and it was over! Amazing time. Thank you.
Kayaking to the nearby beach was splendid, and as relaxing as the boat trip around the Hawkesbury was exciting.
What a fantastic house and beautiful spot, the only sad thing was that we couldn't stay forever!
Had a great time, didn’t want to come home! We will all have great memories of our time away together.
It’s summertime (well, almost) and the living is easy for the highglam, low-fuss weekend traveller
Thank you! Had a fab time! Very comfy couch and Peat's Bite was heaps of fun. xoxo
It was such an experience getting picked up by a boat and taken to this wonderful holiday home
We’ve found the perfect weekend escape – an idyllic lodge set on the Hawkesbury
It was a really lovely two whole nights away which seems like a wonderful dream now!
Earlybird Winter Special - Book and Pay in Full by 1st May for 20% off all stays 1st May to 30th July 2015.
..it would be hard to go past the degustation cooked by your own private chef
A tranquil corner of paradise - tonic for the soul. Thank you!
Another perfect stay in a tranquil paradise!
From day one… we feel as through we’ve moored at our spiritual home
One of Sydney's hidden treasures and my favourite holiday destination.
Who knew that feeling so far away was possible so close to home?
What a place. Had an amazing honeymoon! Felt like royalty.
The most relaxing holiday destination
1 word - amazing!