HALYCON, adjective. denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.
It’s been a long time between drinks for my two girlfriends Sophie and I, with four kids & a busy travel work schedule between us, not to mention one living interstate, it’s not often that we’re ever in the same place at the same time… this was how we came to agree that we needed some face time, and that said face time should be in a fab beach location. There has been no escaping Halcyon House since its launch, it is easily the most featured Australian travel destination in the press, and on social media this year! It was decided that we would meet there.
Cabarita beach is a geographically blessed spot on the far north NSW coast, an easy 20 min drive down the M1 from Coolangatta airport. Halcyon House is right at the end of the turn off from the highway, and it’s as beautiful in real life as it is in all the pictures we’ve seen. Everything is white, with blue accents. Everything feels very bespoke, and very special, not uniform like most hotels. Attention to detail is clearly paramount, and apparently no two rooms are alike!
There is much to do here; go for long walks along the beach, or up to Norries headland (where we spot a lone whale!), or you can take one of the hotels bikes and go for a cruise… Of course, while there’s no shortage of activities, it’s very easy to do nothing at all here! Once we’ve done our walks, and explored a bit by bike, we are more than happy to set up camp on the blue & white striped day bed for the afternoon. A prawn sambo, an Aperol Spritz, and a magazine and we are three very happy campers. There is talk about maybe jumping in the car and heading 40 minutes south to Byron, but we can’t bear to leave, even for an hour or two.
Paper Daisy is the hotels in-house restaurant, the food is a combination of modern Australian and reworked classics, and with the exception of one meal out at Fleet (in nearby Brunswick Heads, make sure you order the smoked mullet dip; it appears in front of us like a hedgehog, potato crisps and crispy fish skin sticking out like spines. It is rich & luxe and quickly disappears!), we are super happy to eat all our meals here. I LOVE breakfasts, big fancy ones with the works, and breakfast here does not disappoint. Fresh juice (changed daily) with very innovative, indulgent yet healthy options, and great coffee! I really love the ‘Soft eggs with grains, ham, cheese & mushroom’ almost a breakfast risotto… We love the prawn sandwich (served on sweet, soft brioche slices, accompanied by teeny tiny kipfler potato crisps) so much that we eat it three times! And the smoked oysters at dinner…! I only wish I’d had them again!
There is a wonderful feeling of being immersed in nature here; we watch bush turkeys ambling past, and huge black cockatoos fly over head screeching, as well as the roar of ever crashing waves…We are struck by how super green it is, how everything here thrives, from the sugar cane plantations that line the highway, to the Pandanus that are endemic to this coastline. A friend of mine would call it ‘nature froth’ and I’d have to agree. It’s great to be out of a big city.
For the most part, the beaches are pretty choppy, the waves are pretty big, maybe more suited to surfing. For families with smaller kids, and folks who are scared of waves (like me!!), there is a smaller more sheltered beach at the base of Norries headland. Cabarita Beach itself is patrolled by surf life savers, monitoring swimmers and ensuring they stay between the red flags.
And so Halcyon House is the perfect name for such a special place, where indeed we had an idyllic, happy and peaceful weekend!
21 Cypress Crescent,
Cabarita Beach NSW 2488
2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, NSW
(02) 6685 1363