The thing about firsts. There can only ever one first time; I imagine how you’ll feel the first time you walk in the gate and let out that breath you were holding. It’s the best feeling in the world.

First things first, who are we and where did it all begin?

I’m Tara, a short, messy-haired romantic who grew up in northwest NSW, I’m married to Steve, a red-haired motor mechanic who has lived in Bondi all his life. We own STL Automotive for which I’m the secretary and we have two adult daughters.

In late 2009 Simpson Cottage was a holiday property we stayed with as a family for a weekend away. We dreamed of becoming the owners -it was just a fantasy (all good holiday houses do that).

Fast forward 6 months to mid-2010 and we discovered it was for sale -too late! An overseas investor had snapped it up. Thankfully they intended to keep it as a holiday rental, so we consoled ourselves and booked another weekend a year after the first one.

When we returned we were greeted by a for sale sign, so with hope in our hearts we rang the agent (the sale had fallen through as a result of the GFC) and we spent a magical weekend here with our family swimming, fishing, and dreaming and hoping our fantasy might come true.

This was when Steve told me about a dream he’d had years ago; he was an old man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, a wide-brimmed straw hat, carrying a bucket of freshly caught fish up a sandstone track with steppingstones -he swears it was the very track that leads to and from the beach below the cottage.

Finally in late 2011 some eighteen months after we fell head over heels in love with this old sandstone cottage we became the new owners. It’s been over ten years since our names were stamped on those deeds -we don’t consider ourselves the owners but the custodians, for this once forgotten derelict cottage will be here long after we’ve left this earth- and still we skip in the gate pinching ourselves, and I consider myself the luckiest person on earth with the best job in the world.

We love every bit of this place and it’s our job to ensure it will be here for generations to come, it’s your job to enjoy it and weave your own history into the walls.

We can’t wait to welcome you.