Winter At Simpson Cottage

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. ~John Boswell


Simpson Cottage and the local area make an ideal winter escape; you can relax and restore, do absolutely nothing or get the blood pumping and hit the walking trails to discover the Royal National Park.

I love winter; for me, it’s about hibernating and wrapping up in cosy layers, curling up with a good book and afternoon naps and fire pits. The scent of the woodfires and dewy earth that hang in the morning mist and crisp winter air take me back to my childhood – I grew up on a farm, wood fires were the only heating we had. I love how the dew drops on the leaves sparkle like jewels in the morning sun, as it warms your cheeks while you sip your steaming hot cuppa.


You can lose yourself in a book or a steaming hot cuppa as you watch the world go by. We provide you with a selection of hand-blended teas from Dales Run Wellness Co, including our exclusive Simpson Cottage Blend. Dales Run Teas are lovingly blended nearby by Jess, a tea Sommelier. I asked her to create a tea just for us and she devised a recipe to reflect a sandstone cottage by the sea. Together we sipped and tested flavours and eventually landed on our bespoke blend you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

And the coffee? We proudly choose to serve Emme Mac Black. It is Melbourne based and you can select from compostable pods or ground coffee to use in a plunger or an Italian stove-top coffee pot that fills the cottage with the beautiful coffee aroma that so many of us never get the chance to enjoy because of the morning rush.



Simpson Cottage is like a sundial. As the sun moves across the sky and a shadow creeps closer,  it’s time to refill your cup and move to the next sunny spot…Or you could make the most of fresh winter days with their blue-bird clear skies and opt for long lunches and piping hot soups, enjoyed with loved ones around the fire pit, toasting marshmallows on long sticks. There is something so enchanting about watching the flames dance and flicker, transporting you to a different world.



As the sun disappears and the temperature drops, the gazebo beckons. The French doors, once flung open in summer, now trap the warmth and frame the view, and as the light fades and the light begins their dance as they sparkle and shimmer on the water of Simpson Bay. You’ll sink even deeper into the slow life-a million miles away from anywhere.

Inside the cottage, the under-floor heating and oil heaters are switched on. Firewood is stocked up and the old original fireplace is ready and waiting to transport you to another time and place.

And “out there” on the other side of the fence down the garden path is an entirely different world to discover. The Royal National Park is our backyard, if you can tear yourself away from the cottage, there are dozens of walks and things to discover. Down the garden path, you’ll find Bonnie Vale which was once part of the Simpson estate and there’s a cluster of shacks that remain from the once thriving community that popped after WWII.  One of our favourite walks is the Jibbon Loop Track, an easy and convenient option. It leads you along Jibbon Beach, past ancient Aboriginal rock carvings, and around the headland, where you can take your time to spot the migrating whales. We’ve got an entire blog about it here

The Coast Track is also an ideal winter walk; it winds along the coastline, so you can spot whales as you go, and it leads all the way to Ottford. However, you can just do a section and return to where you started. Going the total distance would require someone to pick you up at the other end and will take a whole day. If you’re an early riser, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. Time your return to enjoy a meal from one of our local cafes. Check out the list for recommendations.

You can take your walk up a notch and order “a packed lunch” or picnic from Cafe Manna or Earththingz. They’ll create a gourmet feast to order that will fit in your backpack, all you need to do is pack a picnic rug and find a secluded spot and feel like you have the entire park to yourself. 

If you wish to make your stay extra special and avoid cooking, why not get catering? We recommend Bundeena Picnics. Donna will create a feast almost too beautiful to eat from a grazing plate to feasts with hot food and suitable for cosy dinner parties in the gazebo. She’ll set it all up and deliver it piping hot at the perfect time. Contact Donna for more details. HERE

A little further afield; is Audley. The cafe is great for lunch and they accept our tokens; just give them the token and they’ll take $10 off your bill. The boat shed is also a treat. Hire a pretty little boat and paddle around the area and enjoy the view from the water.

Recently some platypus were returned to the nearby creek and if you wander quietly up Kangaroo Creek you might be lucky to spot one. They were released back into the creek after not being seen for 50 years, we hope their environment is back to its once pristine condition and they thrive. 

Why not jump on the ferry to Cronulla? The ferry is the oldest commuter ferry in Australia, and local dolphins often escort you, playfully riding the wake. Click here for the timetables and more info.

If you’re up for a bit of exploring and a little road trip, head to the pretty village of Thirroul, 45 minutes away. Follow Lady Wakehusrt drive onto Lawrence Hargrave Drive and stop enroute at the Ottford lookout or Scarborough hotel. They both have the most spectacular views over the ocean. The trip takes you through rain forest areas of the park, along the coast and over the iconic Seacliff bridge; A canter lever bridge that juts out high over the ocean with the dramatic escarpment on one side and the endless ocean on the other. the shopping in Thirroul is made up of small shops and is full of vintage and antiques.


Simpson Cottage is a comforting constant with a cosy spot waiting for you to escape to and forget about life for a while.

Head to the booking page to check availability and book your own escape HERE



Words by Tara Larnach. Images thanks to Abbie Melle, Good Thanks Media, Mel Goody and Tarynn Walker


links and references