By Nicole West
November 9, 2020 | 4 minute read
Hazelwood Beach House
A beachside getaway on the NSW South Coast, Jervis Bay ticks all the boxes for a dreamy trip to the coast. Better yet, it’s easy to sink into the stunning natural surroundings with a focus on sustainability and rejuvenation.
We recently caught up with Vesna from White Sand Jervis Bay. The award-winning, luxury accommodation was built from scratch with the environment firmly in mind, in the scenic town of Callala.
What inspired you to design and build a sustainable property?
Like a blank canvas for a painter, it all started with the design intent and the story we wanted the house to tell. It was important for us to respect and work with the natural environment. We built our new home around the beautiful scribbly gum tree in the middle of the property.
The entire process is a wonderful story of meeting like-minded people with similar passions for architecture, passive design, quality, the environment and sustainable outcomes. Sustainability to us means a way of life, living with purpose and with regard to nature, the local community and the planet.
It means supporting and consuming consciously, appreciating a minimalist and low waste approach, sourcing quality products and designing for longevity.
What are the top benefits of sustainable properties?
The benefits include healthy, adaptable homes with low maintenance, upkeep and running costs. They’re energy-efficient, durable and unique. From the local carpenters who built the timber frames from scratch to the painter who used low VOC paints on the interior walls, our accommodation was built with affordable, quality and healthy products by people who shared our vision.
For example, Hazelwood Beach House at Callala Beach is a living example of an evolving modern timber home that's connected to the great outdoors. Every room offers views to the scribbly gum tree.
Double glazed sliding doors open up to allow cross-breeze ventilation that cools the house in summer, while the exterior western red cedar keeps it warm in winter. The use of rainwater for washing and flushing toilets keeps running costs low and the passive design is a showcase of sustainable living.
Our new property, Booderee Villas at Callala Bay, was born from a similar intent to create a modern, sustainable building that stands the test of time. With a modest budget, we created two adaptable villas that can offer permanent residences, family holiday accommodation or seniors living.
For the exterior, we used Australian Colorbond steel for its longevity and easy maintenance. Furnishings are made from sustainable products like renewable timbers and jute fibre rugs, along with non-chlorine bleached cotton bedlinen and seagrass baskets.
In terms of benefits to the local community, we engage and promote local suppliers, source Australian made products as much as possible and lead by example with regard to the possibilities for design and sustainability.
What do you find unique about Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven?
It’s a diverse natural paradise with a deep history of people who cherish the Australian bush and beach lifestyle and culture. It’s unspoilt, authentic, soulful, respectful and carefree. In our 20 years of visiting the region, nearly everyone we’ve met has come from someplace other than Shoalhaven. It’s a beautiful place that’s slowly evolving.
Activities like beach walks, swimming, snorkelling, yoga, meditation and bush walks invite calmness and mindfulness that don’t cost a cent. As we look up at our blue skies and out at the vastness of Jervis Bay, we think about the meaning of Dhurga Aboriginal word, Booderee, which means, ‘Bay of Plenty’.
We appreciate the abundance and inspiration of nature all around us, yet, at the same time, we’re mindful of being conscious consumers in what’s become a wasteful world.
How can visitors help to support sustainable travel?
It’s important to support more Australians and keep the money in our own backyard, rather than paying extra fees to large overseas corporations. This also helps the local community to rebuild after the bushfires, floods and Covid-19.
One way to do this is to book accommodation directly. Guests can speak with us in private regarding their enquiry, with no middle man standing in the way, to achieve better pricing and a more tailored stay to suit their needs.
In turn, we’d like to think we’re making a small and positive difference to our guests’ lives, by welcoming them to relax and recharge in thoughtfully designed spaces in a pristine environment.
We think you should know
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