The Best Holiday Cottages to Rent in Australia

Cosy cottages can be found all along the coast of New South Wales
Cosy cottages can be found all along the coast of New South Wales | © Stephen Dwyer / Alamy Stock Photo
Nannette Holliday

A holiday, even just a few days away, is always a treasured time. It’s a chance to slow down, relax, turn off and recharge from the everyday hustle and bustle. But this doesn’t mean slumming it in a teeny beach shack or old motel room anymore. Today in Australia cottages can be beachside mansions, rural retreats with mountain vistas, winery escapes that dispel thoughts of work, and romantic hot tubs and firepits that truly spoil. Check out our list of top inspirational cottages in Australia to rent for your next escape. They’re all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Bannisters by the Sea Mollymook, for wildlife sightings


Terrace with pool at Bannisters by the Sea Mollymook with sea views
Courtesy of Bannisters by the Sea Mollymook / Expedia

A three-hour drive from Sydney or two from Canberra, this once nostalgic retro motel regally oversees crystal Pacific Ocean waters and white diamond encrusted beaches from its private clifftop. Test its indulgent transformation in a Spa Retreat room with deck or bathroom jet whirlpools. The on-site day spa destresses, and the infinity pool refreshes. Eagles soar above; dolphins play below while you savour mouthwatering seafood fresh off the Ulladulla boats and stirring cocktail sunsets at Rick Stein’s restaurant or the Pool Bar.

2. Massage moments at Lake Weyba Cottages Noosa


Massage moments at Lake Weyba Cottages Noosa with wooden beams, terrace, leather sofa and ambient decor
Courtesy of Massage moments at Lake Weyba Cottages Noosa / Expedia

These are among our most-loved Australia cottages. Peacefully placed on the shores of Lake Weyba, they’re attractive cedar properties with spa facilities, a 15-minute drive from Noosa on Queensland’s sunshine coast. You, the kids and the pets will soon chill out strolling the surrounding acres of natural parklands, lagoons, watching birds and grazing kangaroos. Try a pampering massage in your cottage. Hop on a mountain bike, grab a canoe to paddle the pristine lake waters or toss a rod for that fresh fish dinner, all complimentary. Order gourmet picnic packs to go.

3. Barossa Shiraz Estate, for wine time


Lounge with leather sofas and views across the vineyards at Barossa Shiraz Estate
Courtesy of Barossa Shiraz Estate / Expedia

An hour from Adelaide in the heart of South Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region, this former Royal Mail Coach horse stables has been a vineyard since 1998 and began offering holiday accommodation in 2017. The coach house and modern retreats exude romantic old-world charm, delivering vineyard and mountain views, toe-warming log fires and soul-massaging spa baths. Your stay also includes luscious local Lavender Farm toiletries, Barossa wine, Barossa Valley chocolates, plus daily farm-fresh breakfast provisions. Check out the Cobb & Co Changing Station, the original drop-off point for coach travellers and goods, now with a museum saluting the yesteryear, with a 14-seater Cobb & Co coach and a regional art gallery.

4. Stargazing pleasures at Candlelight Cottages Yarra Valley


Wicker chairs on the terrace at Candlelight Cottages Yarra Valley
Courtesy of Candlelight Cottages Yarra Valley/ Expedia

For a purely intoxicating experience, an hour’s drive from Melbourne, runaway to these 1880s hills cottages featuring verandahs, French doors and leadlight. Olinda and Mt Dandenong village shops are nearby, as are quality restaurants and walking trails. Star-gaze through the glass ceiling while soaking away your woes luxuriating in the deep spa bath. Wrapped in the plush bathrobe and slippers, sip your Yarra Valley wine by the log fire or around the tranquil courtyard firepit. Your small fur-babies are also welcome.

5. Whispering Pines Wentworth Falls, for mountain horizons


Want a peaceful escape, waterfalls and walking trails? Bordering the Blue Mountains National Park, these enchanting timber federation mountain-style holiday homes are the business: check-in for classic, timeless elegance an hour’s drive from Sydney, between Wentworth Falls and Leura’s boutique village shops, cafés and restaurants. Cosy up by the fireplace, laze away a few hours in your garden or drift off in the spa bath after a day among mountain horizons and plummeting waterfalls. The celebrated Three Sisters, Katoomba and Jenolan Caves are just 15 minutes away.

6. Birdsong and barbecues at Peppermint Brook Cottages Margaret River


Lawns of Peppermint Brook Cottages with trees and seating
Courtesy of Peppermint Brook Cottages/ Expedia

In Margaret River and the wine region, three hours south of Perth, you’ll find these distinctly Australian-feel cottages. Unforgettable escapes from everyday life, the eight brick-and-iron cottages pay homage to the raw surrounding natural beauty. You’ll hear local birdsong on your covered verandah and the cluck of the resident free-range chickens roaming the open lawn area (home to a central barbecue). It’s a leisurely stroll to the town’s shops, restaurants and bars. Heritage Trails through giant jarrah and karri forest away you two minutes away.

7. Crystal Creek Meadows Kangaroo Valley, for activities aplenty


Craving a rejuvenating spell in serene nature? Book one of these four luxury boutique eco-cottages set in the secluded Kangaroo Valley. The surroundings are verdant valleys – you’d never guess you’re just two hours from Sydney or Canberra. You’re also minutes from the village. The pleasure of the place is the peace, songs of birdlife and glimpses of wombats and kangaroos. My Green Butler, your personalised digital advisor, tailors your stay by suggesting suitable activities according to the weather and your preferences. For pure relaxation, soak in the freestanding bath and submit to day spa treatments in your cottage.

8. Driving and diving at Eastern Reef Cottages Port Campbell


A cottage amid lush gardens at Eastern Reef Cottages Port Campbell
Courtesy of Eastern Reef Cottages Port Campbell / Expedia

On Victoria’s Shipwreck Coast three hours from Melbourne you’ll find these five eco-friendly cottages, photogenic constructions built from reclaimed timbers and poured earth: a fusion of bold, quirky creativity. Earthy tones and textures cocoon you in warmth and comfort, and each is filled with natural light. Look out over fine rural views of farmland or Port Campbell National Park views. Best of all, these are affordable havens, perfect after a day exploring the nearby Otway Fly Treetop Walk, the Twelve Apostles and Great Ocean Road or diving to shipwrecks in the stunning marine park.

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