6 Holiday Cottages Mixing Old and New for Ultimate Relaxation

Australia is a nation of renovators and we’re skilled at keeping historical facades and reworking the rest.

But sometimes it’s wonderful to step back to a simpler time.

To let go of high performance living and snuggle into cosy spaces with humble furniture and lived-in surfaces. To spend time with family or friends that’s not overshadowed by wall-to-wall technology, pinging apps and too many remote controls. To rest your feet or coffee cup on timeworn pieces that wear dings and scratches with easy elegance.

Click on the booking link for any of these glorious Australian holiday stays to see lots more photos. All of these places share our love for honest, characterful, unpretentious artifacts that bring soul and warmth to empty rooms.

Simpson Cottage, Bundeena, NSW

This pretty 1860s cottage sits above the beach at Bundeena in southern Sydney. It’s built from convict cut sandstone, and has been updated for holiday comfort without sacrificing period charm. Shelves are recycled timber, furniture and accessories are low-fuss vintage finds, and fabrics are European linen. Ideal for families, friends and lazy days with additional games space in the converted garage. Up to 6 guests.
@simpsoncottage
BOOK SIMPSON COTTAGE


1880’s Church by the Colo River, Lower Portland, NSW

We’re always excited by adaptive reuse. This timber church, 1.5hrs north of Sydney, could have been demolished for something new. Instead, it makes a quirky, romantic place to stay. Old timbers, mixed secondhand furniture, and those beautifully arched doors and windows create a holiday space visitors will always remember. 5 guests, pet friendly.
@1880schurch
BOOK 1880’S CHURCH


NOTE: If you like church conversions also check out this lovely one in Central Victoria – Salvage Merchants: Creating Beautiful Airbnb Rentals by Upcycling and Repurposing


The Conversion, upcycled shearing shed holiday accommodation in Trentham, Victoria

The Conversion, Trentham, Victoria

The Conversion is a 2 bedroom, upcycled shearing shed in the Macedon Ranges just outside Melbourne. Everything in this delightful little building has been revived, recycled and reused including the corrugated iron ceiling, pressed metal splashback, secondhand doors and windows, dunny-door bedhead and rescued furniture and decorations. We just love it! A perfect spot to bushwalk, cycle and explore the countryside. 3 guests.
@the_conversion_project
BOOK THE CONVERSION



House of Figs, Yarrawonga, Victoria

This gracious, early 1900s weatherboard is a friendly mix of old and new. The original Victorian lacework, leadlight windows, fireplace and timber panelling are framed by black and charcoal paintwork, with a matching kitchen and bathroom. Then the home is softened by warm-toned hardwood floors and vintage furniture like church pews, old chests, baskets, a timber workbench and rustic sidetables. The namesake fig trees out the back frame an attractive outdoor area, making House of Figs a popular spot for bridal groups and wedding photography. Up to 6 guests.
@houseoffigsyarrawonga
BOOK HOUSE OF FIGS


Captains Rest, Lettes Bay Village, Tasmania

Captains Rest is an 80-year-old waterfront shack in the heritage holiday haven of Lettes Bay. Originally built for Queenstown mining families, this picturesque spot features a rambling jetty and water views from every prettily-chipped antique window. A collection of rustic furnishings, soft textiles, and an unforgettable location keep this Instagram favourite busy year round. 2 guests.
@captainsrest
BOOK CAPTAINS REST


Photos by Marnie Hawson

The Butcher’s House 1833, Bothwell, Tasmania

This central Tasmanian retreat has been gently restored with modern necessities tucked into country style vintage. Visitors can return to old world simplicity with timber furniture, wool blankets, slate floors, a claw foot bath and woodfired heating. This is a quiet sanctuary that provides everything you need for a soothing, technology-free break. 4 guests.
@thebutchershouse_
BOOK THE BUTCHER’S HOUSE

Period fixtures. Hunt for heritage salvage online
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