We were delighted to come across this generous, super-comfy Shearwater Beach House after looking for years for an escape from the city.
Beautiful sea views were an absolute essential for us. Finding Walkerville was a real breakthrough - a part of Gippsland that is unspoilt, a haven from busier beach resorts along the Victorian coastline, and yet close to so many attractions.
The original owner/builder designed the house to be energy efficient and to tread lightly on the environment. Even on grey days it is satisfying to watch the production of power from the solar electricity and hot water systems. The delightfully clean and fresh drinking water is off the roof and explains why the Gippsland hills are so lush and green, and the worm farm system treats the sewage – no nasties down the drain here. The cleaners and gardeners protect the worms and the environment by using only green products in their care for the property.
The builder planned this to be his family-forever house, but in time the family required a more connected lifestyle and they moved into the local town. The builder’s partner, a keen surfer, named the house after her treasured surfboard, and we loved the name both for its sense of freedom evoking birds soaring high across the bay, and for its association with the myriads of short-tailed shearwaters, or mutton birds, which nest in the area. You will enjoy reading the fascinating story of these birds’ annual migration to Alaska, recorded by the Phillip Island Nature Park.
Shearwater appealed to us for all of the above, and for two more reasons. It is so well located, just 30 minutes from the gate into the fabulous Wilsons Prom, and close to a range of other wonderful outdoor activities - walks, bike trails, beaches, and interesting local towns, wineries, and galleries.
Our special walk is down to Walkerville North beach, taking the path a couple of minutes away through the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. It’s 20 minutes downhill and 25-30 minutes back up, or in the car, just a 3-minute drive. We check the tide clock and aim for low tide to give us a longer walk to Walkerville South beach. Occasionally we hear lyrebirds in the coastal tea-tree scrub on the bush track and when we arrive at the bottom it is not unusual to find there is not a soul on the beach - our own treasured and unique part of the world. A secret treat is to buy a bag of chips at the Walky Kiosk at the caravan park, open weekends and school holidays. The fish and chips and hamburgers are great and are a good enough reason to make a special trip to enjoy with a drink on the beach. We love it at the end of the day when we can sit and watch the sun set over the Prom.
But the other reason Shearwater has so much appeal is that it is perfect for an indulgent stay at home. When the weather comes in foul, we just love hunkering in by the fire, with a good book and a great sound system. We like good food and it’s so satisfying to cook up a storm in the large kitchen which is equipped with just about everything we need. Perfect too if we have guests during the week who want to work from home: they can be upstairs or downstairs, in the living rooms or bedrooms, with the state-of-the-art, fast internet satellite service. A couple of real enthusiasts amongst them decided to start the day with a refreshing early morning swim, making the most of the pristine waters and isolation.
Marg - July 2023