is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

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When I arrive at weekend retreats, I get straight down to business: bag down, red poured, bath running. So it was that, despite The Lighthouse being idyllically perched on a beachfront hill with balconies facing both east and west, I planned to spend my first Culburra Beach twilight in the tub. Call me crazy, but marble tiles, double showerheads and a bath surrounded by slatted windows and lush vegetation beat a pink sky any day.

Twenty minutes later, however – my bath still but a shallow puddle and our guests’ arrival imminent – I sent my boyfriend off to the local fish shop, only to have him return 30 minutes later (my bath still only half full) with a bag of rather pitiful-looking frozen barramundi from the butcher. As it turns out, there is no fish shop in Culburra.

Smart alecs and seaside-town regulars may be snarling, “Der, you’re in a sleepy seaside town. You have to catch your own!” Yeah, well, when I go on holiday, I like to move as little as possible. Even cooking is a real effort, so I won’t be picking up my lures and tackle any time soon.

After my boyfriend pointed out that perhaps I should turn off the bath tap to check whether the plug was leaking – which I did, and it was – both befuddling situations became irrelevant with the arrival of our guests.

And after bagsing the better-looking downstairs bedroom (we initially thought the A-frame loft, with its panoramic ocean views, would be the winner, but then we attempted to scale its precipitous ladder, a difficult task even before the vino started flowing), the weekend continued on, all sunbursts and a sky so blue it was hard to tell where it finished and the water began.

We even watched a whale for half an hour from the balcony.

At least we thought it was a whale, but it turned out to be a boat full of eager anglers, presumably out catching their very own seafood feast.





The Lighthouse
47 The Marina, Culburra Beach, 2540
Phone: (02) 4448 6433 or 0412 292 917

Cost: from $790 to $850 for a weekend (price varies according to season; minimum two-night stay).
Distance: about 180km south of Sydney.
Accommodation: self-contained three-bedroom house (two queen, one single bunk), with a loft.
Features: direct beach access, combustion heater, large dining and lounge area, fully equipped kitchen and laundry, barbecue on deck, linen and towels provided on request ($25 a person).
Nearby: beaches, lake, fishing, walks, restaurants, national parks, Culburra Beach village (closest fish shop in Greenwell Point), short drive south to Huskisson and Jervis Bay National Park.
Children: yes.
Wheelchair access: no.
Pets: by prior arrangement.

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