Did you know it's possible to book a getaway to Ulladulla in school holidays… and depart the next day? Well, it is!
Great rooms at great prices go early, especially in school holidays, however cheaper, motel-style accommodation can still be found if you're willing to compromise.
A couple can have a great holiday despite a basic motel room, with not much more than a couple of mountain bikes and a picnic set.
Aside from offending my aesthetic sensibilities, our room at Harbour Foreshore Motel had it all. And by all, I mean a bed, a tv, a mini fridge and a bathroom; but, it was the perfect base for our last-minute, two-day dash to this popular part of New South Wales's South Coast.
Aptly named, the motel sits directly in front of Ulladulla's Harbour Foreshore (Kendall Cottage Rotary Park), which is ideal for a picnic or a kip under a tree. Enjoy views of the harbour and a wander down to the boat ramp to see if the fish have been biting.
Park outside your unit (although the parking arrangement sounds complicated when explained by the manager), then forget about driving for a while.
Have a gourmet brekkie at the boho Treehouse Café and then pick up a map from the Information Centre. Now you can check out the beaches south of Ulladulla town centre – by bike. If you don't mind getting your wheels dirty, you can take the off-road tracks and go from beach to beach until you find one all to yourself.
After a day riding and swimming, stop in at the Oyster Bar in town – a casual setup serving freshly shucked oysters and icy Coronas. It will leave you wanting more, so best to book the courtesy bus to get you to and from the Mollymook Golf Club that night. Get there early to enjoy 180-degree views of the ocean, great seafood and a band if you're in luck.
You're well and truly in the holiday groove now, enjoying Ulladulla's finest and barely spending a moment in your room. But, leave something in reserve for Day 2.
You will want to check out Burril Lake, possibly with a book in hand as you stretch out on the bank somewhere. It's so idyllic here it feels like a snapshot from a family holiday in the fifties. But don't let the kids have all the fun: jump in the lagoon and let the water pull you along like rapids. The lagoon's current has a wee bit of tug to it, so you'll soon float down to the beach.
That night hit The Corner for dinner for a quality meal in a relaxed atmosphere. It's worth a mini splurge on an entree, main, dessert and wine (no B.Y.O) – because the food is great. And, it's a stone's throw from the cinema if you want to end your evening with a movie. It's cheap Tuesday every night, so why not?
Ulladulla is an easy 3-hour drive from Sydney on the Princes Highway, although the scenic route is a great option if you have time. We stopped in Mittagong and Fitzroy Falls on the way down, and Berry on the way back.