"Mum, that's where I want to stay for my birthday! " said my excited 10yo as she was looking through accommodation options. Not wanting to be short-changed on luxury, she searched hotels from Canberra to Batemans Bay, and everywhere in between. I encouraged her enthusiasm and was willing to travel up to 3 hours as long as she kept the budget under $250p/n.
Usually, we would have a small party and a few presents but this year she decided on a one on one weekend away. The idea of spending an uninterrupted weekend away for just the two of us was more than money could buy… it was precious time together.
The Seabird Hotel is located in Moruya on the far south coast of NSW. 300km south of Sydney, 175km from Canberra, or two hours north of Merimbula depending where you're travelling from.
We booked directly through The Seabird
website for the weekend of her birthday. As fate would have it, it was the same week of the devastating QLD/NSW floods. It was predicted that the Moruya river would flood and torrential rain was forecast for the entire weekend. Trying not to disappoint her, I held out on making the difficult call to postpone until three days before we were due to travel. Tim, the owner of The Seabird, was extremely understanding and allowed us to postpone our visit for a fortnight. This was in my mind very generous considering it fell on the same weekend as the 90th birthday of the Sydney harbour bridge festival - one of Moruya's biggest events on the calendar.
We envisioned our luxury accommodation on the banks of the Moruya River in the middle of town. We were excited that we would be within walking distance to the festival events, cafes, restaurants and shops…and perhaps even be able to see the fireworks display from our balcony.
What we didn't realise until I entered the address into Google maps, was that the accommodation was actually on the 'wrong' side of the river, and five kilometres out of town. No problems, until my daughter said "Why are we going to the airport?
" Turns out The Seabird is on the banks of the Moruya river, but it is also at the airport!
Okay, not a problem! It will be fine I told myself. It was my fault for assuming The Seabird was in the middle of town and for not doing my research. However, In the rearview mirror, I could see that my little girl was looking a little deflated. My heart momentarily sunk seeing her like that, especially knowing how much this night away meant to her. So, I assured her that The Seabird was absolutely fabulous and that she made the right choice.
Having arrived, we couldn't actually work out how to enter the building. Everything was locked and there was no one around. A cleaner ended up bumping into us and asked if we had a key card. Turned out we had been out of mobile reception and I didn't realise we had been sent an email with instructions.
"You're in room one, sorry it's just me today and your room isn't ready but you can chill in the common area if you like?" She said in a slightly panicked voice.
We were fairly tired and really just wanted our room to relax in after an early start. Not ideal for us, but thankfully it was only a 40min wait. To be fair, I must mention that there's a big staffing shortage in this region and the young lady was working as hard as she could to prepare the rooms for all the guests who were waiting. When our room was ready, it was presented to a high standard, so kudos to her!
In room tea/coffee provisions
If we thought the surprises were going to end there - we were wrong! Here comes the real surprise…The door directly opposite ours was open. Through the open door, we could see that it wasn't another hotel room. It was an entry to a hanger with seaplanes!
The novelty factor went up to a whole new level and my daughter couldn't have been more smug.
Tim (the owner of the hotel and hanger) had arrived back to the accommodation by this time and kindly offered to show us around the hanger. We got such a buzz out being up close to the seaplanes that my daughter was instantly trying to convince me that "WE - HAVE - TO - GO" for a scenic flight. Shame the budget was never going to stretch that far. It would've been the ultimate!
Tim owns South Coast Sea Planes
and combines his love of planes with his accommodation businesses.
Across the breezeway is the door to the hanger
Moruya Airport is one of very few places where you can fly in via water or land. If you're lucky enough to own a private plane, you could fly in, park it in the hanger, stay the night and explore the region. Sounds like a plan doesn't it!
As for the room, it was spacious, clean, well-appointed with modern furnishings, had tea/coffee making facilities, and all the usual things you'd expect. The bed was super comfy with crisp white sheets. Best of all there were no noisy ducted vents, so the room was blissfully silent. Sleeping was easy.
Overall how well did it rate?
The good: The Seabird is in a quiet location and only a 1km stroll from the Morya North Head Beach. There's a communal kitchen and lounge area with a coffee machine if you decide to eat in. There are only 6 rooms, so it's not crowded. There are accessibility friendly rooms. The river is directly across the road and at night there's no passing traffic or street noise. Good on-site parking with two electric vehicle charging points. You might be lucky enough to also have a tour of the hanger with Tim. The Seabird is only 15min from Mogo Zoo. There is lots to love about this accommodation.
Moruya North Head Beach only 1km from the accommodation
Feeding time at Mogo
The not so good: The location from town is both a drawcard and detraction. The communal kitchen could have done with a good clean thanks to lazy guests who didn't bother to clean up after themselves. The check-in process could be better.
Would any of the negative points stop us from returning? Definitely not! Turns out we loved our stay there.
At the time of travel, rooms were priced at $215 - $225 twin share per night.
Let me know your experience at The Seabird!