Captains Rest

Rhiannon Taylor, April 2019


Our bumpy flight from Melbourne to Burnie has been in the air barely 20 minutes before we start our descent. We spot lush, green rolling hills covered in a blanket of mist that is unmistakably Tasmania and our twin propeller plane lands with a thud that feels a little bit like you’ve pulled in to a car spot. 

We collect our rental car and head off on a jaw-dropping 2-hour drive through deep tree-lined, winding roads and sleepy villages to Strahan, a harbour side fishing town and home to our weekend escape Captain’s Rest. 

We check ourselves in using the lockbox and are welcomed with a board of artisan bread, eggs, wine and a note from the captain herself, Sarah Andrews. When stylist and storyteller Sarah Andrews stumbled across an ad for a run down cottage on the Tasmanian coast she didn’t hesitate and bought the shack, site unseen and embarked on the first chapter of an exciting journey which now sees Captain’s Rest as one of the most coveted AirBnB properties in Australia and Sarah regularly hosting AirBnb masterclasses. 

First things first, we light the fire and crack open a bottle of Tassie wine, perching ourselves on the love seat that overlooks Lettes Bay. Captains Rest boasts absolute water frontage and we quite happily spend the afternoon watching life on the bay. Fisherman come and go with their catch, lovers pass by on their boats and the local ducks (affectionately named “The Girls”) paddle about in hope of a feed. We rummage through the kitchen’s cupboard, find a jar lovingly labelled “duck feed” and stroll down to the jetty to take the cottage’s “Little White Boat” out for a row. As the sun goes down, the sky turns candy floss pink and the landscape around us is bathed in pastel colours. It's spectacular and we have it all to ourselves.

After picking up some local produce we bunker in for a quiet night, cooking up a simple pasta and flick through the cottage’s DVD collection. We settle on The Darjeeling Limited and snuggle up, listening to the wind whistle and roar outside. 

Come morning we wake to absolute stillness and serenity. The water reflects the pristine mountain range and we’re so relaxed we struggle to roll out of the sumptuous fine-linen clad bed. Shuffling around, we manage to lather some toast with locally made butter and spreads, light the fresh custom Le Labo candle and take in Captain’s Rest in the morning sun. Adorned with objects and furnishings collected from around the world, there’s vintage art on the walls, antiques on the writing desk and plush cushions and throws on the sofa. In terms of practicalities, there’s a full kitchen, satellite wifi, TV, picnic amenities, wood heater, electric blanket, wall heater, basic provisions and firewood. There is also plenty of room for parking, including those towing a boat or caravan. 

Following a long walk down to the beach we return back to the cottage and the claw footed bath begs for a deep soak. It starts to drizzle outside and it’s hard to choose between that and curling up to read a book. The bath wins and the soul immediately feels warm and nourished. Captain, we take our hat off to you.

Getting there: Regional Express flies from Melbourne to Burnie airport daily. Strahan is a 2 hour drive from Burnie. Alternatively it is a 4.5 hour drive from Hobart.

Worth getting out of bed for:  West Coast Wilderness Railway offers both half and full day steam train tours which take you through the mountainside, old mining towns and over historic bridges.

Ocean Beach - walk for miles and miles in either direction and never see a soul.

We stayed as guests of Captains Rest.