Since starting my literary travel series, I’ve been inundated with emails and requests for the best places for bookworms to stay in the land down under. And while Australia doesn’t have the literary links to the likes of scholared heavyweights Shakespeare and Wilde, nor the cities synonymous with Joyce or Lewis or Tolkien, what it does offer instead is a stunning selection of bookish boutiques perfect for idyllic reading retreats.
From a waterfront abode just north of Sydney with an unrivalled selection of tomes, to a collection of luxury cottages in the heart of the Southern Highlands with a book barn on site, read on for Australia’s best boutique stays for book lovers.
An original fisherman’s cottage on the water’s edge of Pittwater’s stunning Mackerel Beach, The Little Black Shack is only accessible by an old timber ferry called Myra, thus providing the ultimate secluded getaway for budding bookworms. With a wood fired oven and a variety of beautiful vantage points across the water, this cabinet of curiosities comes complete with bountiful bookshelves heaving with holiday reads. With no roads, no shops and no cars near by, you’ll be surrounded by the bush, the sea, and the sky – and what better place to escape to with a bag full of books?
An 1850’s original miners cottage set in the heart of Daylesford & surrounded by beautiful Spa Country, The White House has been lovingly designed & styled by renowned interior decorator – Lynda Gardener. With a private library with vintage 1930’s leather club chairs, a clawfoot bathtub and stunning decor throughout, this stylish spot is a dream destination for anyone wanting to fuse their love of books with a side serving of vintage glamour.
A suite of luxurious cottages set amongst Australia’s stunning Southern Highlands, Bendooley Estate is rich in heritage. The estate was bought by fifth-generation antiquarian-book-dealer, Leo Berkelouw almost forty years ago, and so saw the birth of the onsite iconic Berkelouw Book Barn, which sells new, second-hand and antiquarian tomes. Steeped in history, the gardens are a wonderful example of early 19th-century geometric style and the property’s marvellous pine and oak trees are among the oldest in the country. A paradise for book lovers and an admired rural retreat with exquisite cottage accommodation, add Bendooley Estate to your bookish bucket list.
A gorgeous 1930s cottage in the pretty Blue Mountains town of Blackheath, The Artist’s Cottage has two cosy bedrooms, a fireplace, a beautiful balcony, a sprawling garden that backs on to the national park and over two hundred books for guests to peruse, as well as ample reading nooks. With colour-blocked books in one of the two bedrooms, and an ambience of solitude and serenity throughout this cozy home away from home, it’s the perfect place for a reading retreat, away from the smog of the city.
The aptly named Library House sits in the heart of Hobart and is an idyllic stay for bookworms wanting to be inspired by literature as well as the beauty of Tasmania. As the name would suggest, guests will have a room full of books to choose from, as well as a selection of sun-soaked nooks to read in. Curated by Tasmanian author Heather Rose, whether you’re a writer in search of stimulation or a fiend for great storytelling, you’ll be enamoured by this luxury find.
A stylish lodge located on a mountain in Australia’s Victorian Ski Alps, Astra Falls Creek offers the perfect escape for anyone wanting to cosy up while it’s cold outside with a great stack of books. Perfectly embodying rustic charm with ski chic, this alpine lodge has been beautifully styled with carefully chosen Australian furnishings, and boasts a well-stocked library overlooking the snow. What better place to curl up with a thick tome and a piping hot drink?
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Get $55 off any of the above stays using this AirBnB link.
Images: The Little Black Shack, Lean Timms, Bendooley Estate, Library House, Astra Falls Creek