ANGELA SAURINE finds a coastal hideaway that surfing and beach-loving families will love after checking into Bluey’s Motel, a chic boutique hotel at Bluey’s Beach on the NSW Mid North Coast
Location of Bluey’s Motel
Bluey’s Motel is conveniently located in the heart of the village at Bluey’s Beach in the NSW Barrington Coast region, a three-hour drive north of Sydney and 20 minutes from the twin towns of Forster and Tuncurry. The motel is just a 200m walk from the beach, with a newsagency, mini supermarket and bottle shop directly across the road.
Why we stayed at Bluey’s Beach
I have fond memories of family holidays in Forster and waterskiing at nearby Smiths Lake as a teenager, and have been keen to return to the region after having a child of my own. When I was looking for accommodation for an event in the area, I came across Bluey’s. I’ve long been a fan of boutique hotels and fell in love with its cool, beachy vibe in photos.
Bluey’s Motel Accommodation
Bluey’s Motel has the feel of an old-school motel, with a stylish, modern design. There are 10 refurbished rooms, and you can choose which one you want when you book via the website.
We stayed in the Boomerang room, (Room 4), which has a king bed, plenty of room for a portacot, a kitchenette with a microwave and bar fridge, a huge flatscreen TV mounted to the wall and a patio overlooking the pool and spa. I love the timber headboards which were made from an old railroad bridge, the tree trunk bedside tables and rain shower in the bathroom.
I have two key requirements in a hotel room – hooks on the back of the bathroom door and power points beside the bed so you can charge your phone overnight. Bluey’s ticks both boxes.
The unbreakable, chip-and-scratch-resistant Corelle dinnerware made of tempered glass is a bonus when you have a toddler! There are also bright and colourful coastal paintings by local artist, Nicole Bramble, in every room.
There’s a BBQ in the courtyard at the rear, and old jetty pylons from Tuncurry dotted outside. The self-contained two-bedroom unit, Wallingat (Room 10), which has two single beds and a queen, is popular with families, and adjoining rooms are also available.
The motel is set to undergo further renovation, which will see awnings and balconies on each room.
Food and drink at Bluey’s Beach
There are some great options for food in the village including Huey’s at Bluey’s pizzeria and bar across the road, which opens at 5.30pm seven days a week. The casual eatery is decorated with surfboards hanging from the roof, paintings of kombi vans and vintage beer posters, with a framed Rip Curl rash vest worn and signed by Sunny Garcia on the wall.
There’s a fish and chip shop just down the road, while Drift Café has great food and coffee.
But the real surprise is Kembali Café, which serves Indonesian dishes including nasi goreng and a breakfast of coconut rice with peanut and herb salad served with fried eggs, bacon and chilli, plus excellent fruit smoothies. Surf movies play on a TV in the corner and there are signs for Bintang beer and a wooden carving of gecko, making you feel like you could be in Bali or Lombok.
Activities at Bluey’s Beach
The area’s biggest drawcard is its beaches, and it’s the ideal location for parents who surf. It’s just a 200m walk to the uncrowded Bluey’s Beach, with Elizabeth and Boomerang beaches to the north and Sandbar, Cellito and Seal Rocks to the south. Mums can also do a yoga or pilates class or get a facial at Bluey’s Beach Natural Health Centre.
Explore Bluey’s Beach
Bluey’s Beach and Barrington Coast area is known for its beautiful lakes, and you can go kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, boating and fishing at both Wallis and Smiths Lakes.
Hike along the Booti Hill Lakeside Walking Track or the Cabbage Palm Loop Walking Track in Wallingat National Park, keeping an eye out for birds including wonga pigeons, king parrots and glossy black cockatoos, as well as wallabies, kangaroos, goannas and echidnas.
It’s worth taking a drive to Seal Rocks to check out the view from Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. Forster and Tuncurry have plenty of shops to peruse and a cinema.
Kids will love rolling down the sand dune at One Mile Beach, swimming at the natural rock formation – The Tanks – and enjoying an ice-cream in town.
The writer was a guest of Bluey’s Motel.