The 10 Most Unusual Airbnbs in Sydney, Australia

Courtesy of Lionel / Airbnb
Photo of Josh Taylor
Deputy Editorial Director31 July 2020

A converted bakery, an urban treehouse, a cave surrounded by miles of forest, a restored lighthouse attendant’s cottage, even your very own private luxury yacht. There’s nothing ordinary about this list of places to stay. For travellers looking for something a little different, Culture Trip rounds up the 10 most unusual Airbnb properties around Sydney.

The TreeHouse, Grays Point

Bed and Breakfast, Treehouse
Map View
Courtesy of Belinda / Airbnb
This elevated oasis is just the thing for those after a quieter and totally different experience of Sydney away from the crowds. Sleeping two, the Tree House is a beautiful, glass-clad home that sits among the treetops of Grays Point, providing unparalleled views over the Royal National Park. Not confined to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the living room, the views extend to the glass elevator leading down into the heart of the national park, where you can access unspoilt hiking and mountain biking trails, plus kayaking and fishing hotspots.

Luxury Private Yacht, Scotland Island

Hotel Barge
Map View
Courtesy of Steven/Airbnb

Sit back, relax and watch the world go by from your very own private yacht. You’ll want to spend most of your time on the upper deck with a glass of wine and a cheese platter for company – but there’s always a lounge with a dining table and leather sofas waiting inside, as well as a queen size bed and two bathrooms (one ensuite). If you’re ever in the mood for some activity, you can go paddle-boarding, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling or hiking on the island. Tailored sailing tours area also available for an additional charge.

The Enchanted Cave

Glamping
Map View
Courtesy of Lionel / Airbnb

Set in the Blue Mountains, in the settlement of Bilpin, this Airbnb looks like something JRR Tolkien might have dreamt up. The glamping-style cave wouldn’t look out of place next door to Bilbo Baggins’s house in Hobbiton, but it’s a very real property you can stay in – if you’re lucky enough to find availability. For your money, your rock-carved abode offers a luxury spa bath, a log burner for romantic nights, one cosy double bed and even a flatscreen TV if you get bored with the stunning mountain views – but we think that’s highly unlikely.

The Little Black Shack

Cottages
Map View
Courtesy of Ingrid & Jamie / Airbnb | Courtesy of Ingrid & Jamie / Airbnb

On the one hand, The Little Black Shack is a literal – and accurate – description of this two-bed fisherman’s cottage, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Though only a mile from the mainland and Palm Beach, it might as well be a million miles away. Getting there is part of the experience: take the old timber ferry from Palm Beach, then make your way up a short walking track at the end of the beach or over the rocks along the beach at low tide. You can swim and snorkel in the clear waters lapping the beach, or go fishing off the rocks below. Kayaking and sailing is also possible, while the surrounding National Park offers some incredible bush walks to more secluded beaches.

Salacia Boathouse, Clareville

Cabin
Map View
Courtesy of Jenny / Airbnb

Lining the shores of Pittwater in the small community of Clareville, this freestanding boathouse has direct access to the waterfront, with two single-person kayaks available to use at your leisure. In the evenings, relax on the sundeck and fire up the BBQ to dine al fresco. Inside, you’ll have all the facilities needed for a comfy stay – from the double bed and bathroom to the well-equipped kitchenette, dining table, lounge and TV.

Massive Warehouse Loft Apartment, Marrickville

Apartment
Map View
Courtesy of Scott / Airbnb

Located above a working art studio in the trendy inner-west neighbourhood of Marrickville, this Airbnb, which sleeps two, is an airy space on the first floor of an old warehouse that began life as a bakery in 1985. The massive space includes a turntable with a few hundred records from the 1970s and 80s, as well as a veggie garden, chickens and a hammock in the back yard. It’s a 15-minute train ride into the city, and the station is a few minutes away on foot – though you may well find the quiet, slow-paced lifestyle and multicultural vibes of Marrickville a little more to your liking.

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  • The Shed at Broger's End, Kangaroo Valley

    Eco-Lodge
    Map View
    Courtesy of Sarah/Airbnb

    The rusted corrugated iron exterior doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the Shed is not what it seems. Crafted out of recycled and reclaimed materials – right down to the door handles and bathroom fittings – this machinery shed-turned-luxurious eco-haven, which sleeps eight, includes a rustic fireplace surrounded by comfy sofas, a farmhouse-style dining table and a fully equipped kitchen complete with a wood-fire pizza oven and BBQ. You can pick your own herbs from the garden and collect free-range eggs from the chickens for breakfast. And you get direct access to the Kangaroo Valley, an idyllic picnic spot with waterfalls and wildlife.

    Keanu, Whale Beach

    Villa
    Map View
    Courtesy of Morgan/Airbnb

    There are luxury villas, and then there is Keanu. Located on the clifftops of Whale Beach, this open-plan beach house provides the ultimate seaside getaway in Sydney. You and up to 11 of your friends or family members will sleep comfortably here, thanks to all the spacious bedrooms – but the biggest draw is undoubtedly the solar heated outdoor pool, overlooked by balconies above. For privacy, escape to the studio below the pool deck, or leave it for the kids – there are two single beds, a bunk bed, a bathroom and a kitchenette.

    Sydney City and Harbour at the Door

    Apartment
    Map View
    Courtesy of Stuart / Airbnb

    Though it may only be a private room and not an entire place, this listing is very rarely available – so if you’re in luck for your preferred dates, don’t hang about. Hosts Vinh and Stuart were among the first Airbnbers in Sydney and they’ve established themselves as one of the best places to stay in the city (just read the reviews) – such is the volume of enquiries they receive, they’ve even hidden a code word in the description of their listing to filter out anyone who can’t be bothered to read. Breakfast is offered every morning, from seasonal fruits to bread, tea, espresso coffee and “all the Vegemite you can handle”. Now there’s an incentive if we ever heard one.

    Walkers Run

    Lodge
    Map View
    Courtesy of Ruth & Rob / Airbnb | Courtesy of Ruth & Rob / Airbnb

    Get cosy in this slice of the Wild West in Hunter Valley, the renowned wine-growing region two hours north of Sydney. Sleeping up to 10 guests, Walkers Run is decorated with knick-knacks that would look more at home in New Mexico than New South Wales. It’s situated on 30 acres (12ha) of private land, bristling with kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, goannas, birdlife and other native species. Keep your eyes peeled for Kenny the Koala, who occasionally visits during the mating season.

    This is an updated version of an article originally written by Tom Smith

    These recommendations were updated on July 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.