Like most people – especially those who have long loved exploring new places – one of the hardest things about living through the global pandemic was not being able to travel. And while returning to the UK was the first place I visited as soon as I was able to, one of my main goals for 2022 was to see more of Australia, and to add more Airbnbs and cosy homes to my growing list of dream hideaways.
And so it was that as soon as I had settled back into life in Sydney after a six-week sojourn to the UK, that I began searching in earnest for bookish getaways within easy reach of Sydney. As always happens when trawling the internet, I found myself in something of a rabbit hole, trawling through listing after listing of stylish stays and boutique spaces that offer a much-needed respite from Bondi’s close-knit bubble.
One that instantly stood out during my search was Dales Run: a beautiful Airbnb on Sydney’s south coast that boasted plush sofas, reading-nooks a-plenty, unrivalled views of the surrounding countryside and an indoor sauna to boot – I swiftly booked in for a mid-week stay and a few days later found myself driving through the sun-dappled windy road that led to this restful retreat.
Dales Run review
As soon as we pulled into the drive of Dales Run, the worries and stresses of everyday life seemed to evaporate immediately. Both peaceful and perfectly positioned to enjoy unrivalled views of some of New South Wales most scenic landscapes, Dales Run is the absolute epitome of a home away from home.
The perfect fusion of style and function, the interior was a beautiful blend of country chic and lovingly-sourced vintage finds that gave it a truly homely, yet lived-in feel – unlike some Airbnbs whose sterile sense of style lack somewhat in the comfort stakes.
After choosing our bedrooms – I opted for the middle one; whose bed was so beautifully bedecked with French linen and throw cushions that I almost couldn’t bear to sleep in it – we spent the evening with a bottle (or two) or prosecco watching the sun set over the horizon, and basking in the near-silence of the countryside.
The next morning – my body clock being that it is used to waking pre-5am – we brewed a pot of coffee and padded outside into the country lane to watch the sun rise over the field of friendly cows, before venturing into nearby Kiama to get a second caffeine-fix from bookstore-café Bouquinste, where I picked up a copy of I Am Pilgrim.
We spent the rest of our trip, lazing on the outdoor deck, zenning out in the indoor sauna, and relaxing in the outdoor bath as thunder loomed in the distance and the February rain beat down around us – book in hand at all times, naturally.
The perfect place for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of city-dwelling, and the type of house I could happily live out the rest of my days in, Dales Run has it all – charm and character in spades, an idyllic rural locale and the sort of creature comforts which make staying there an absolute dream.
Dales Run literary links
As bookish getaways go, it doesn’t get much better than Dales Run. From the antique writing desk – which makes for the perfect spot to indulge in some old-fashioned pen-to-paper writing – to the day bed that boasts sweeping views of the rolling south coast hills, to the carefully curated selection of coffee table books; to the perfectly positioned, sun-drenched outdoor deck, there are cosy spots and book nooks a-plenty for your endless reading pleasure.
What to read at Dales Run
Personally, I love reading books by local authors when staying somewhere new, so if you want to follow suit, try 100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze by Clayton Zane. A tale filled with heart and with hope, it brims with soul and spirit, and is both a gorgeous literary offering and a perfect reminder of why we should all be looking beyond the bounds of our usual reading constraints for our next best read.
With its stunning south-coast locale, guests of Dale’s Run in need of some reading material are in luck: just a short drive away you’ll find my second favourite bookshop in all of Australia (after my beloved Gertrude & Alice), the beautiful Bouquiniste. A small, independent, and carefully curated bookstore, cafe and wine bar, serving a selection of coffee, tea, cake and light lunches, owners Clay and Hannah are two of the nicest people in the bookish business, and have excellent taste in both books and coffee. From new releases to much-loved classics, pop in to find your next best read and your early morning caffeine fix.
Useful information about Dales Run
Enjoy expansive views to the east and rural views to the west at this beautiful country retreat just 3 minutes from the coastal town of Kiama. A sense of wellness is key at this property with modern features installed such as an infrared sauna, yoga matts & virtual classes, a daybed and outdoor bath & shower. Massages can also be arranged on-site. The option to retreat and rejuvenate is encouraged, however if you are more adventurous in nature, the location is perfect for days at the beach, walks through the countryside and socialising by the out-door fire-pit.
Address: Jamberoo, New South Wales
Website: Book direct on Dales Run website.
Price: Dales Run costs from $400 a night.
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