Inside Tasmania’s cosiest beach shack: How former scientist fixed up a cottage called Captain’s Rest

A traditional Tasmanian ‘coastal shack’ has been transformed into a luxury waterfront heritage cabin by a former scientist with a love of interior design.

Sarah Andrews was sailing alone off the coast of Mexico in 2008, when a storm rolled in and took her boat home with her, leaving her stranded until she stumbled upon a run-down cottage in Strahan, four hours drive from Launceston, and fell in love with it.

Since she bought it in 2016, Sarah has turned Captain’s Rest into a picture of elegant luxury, with its white interiors, large windows and stylish wood-burning stove.

Sarah has shared her little slice of paradise with the world for the past few years, offering up Captain’s Rest as a unique accommodation option on Airbnb for $373 per night.

A traditional Tasmanian 'coastal shack' has been transformed into a luxury waterfront heritage cabin by a former scientist with a love of interior design (Captain's Rest pictured in all its glory)

A traditional Tasmanian ‘coastal shack’ has been transformed into a luxury waterfront heritage cabin by a former scientist with a love of interior design (Captain’s Rest pictured in all its glory)

Sarah Andrews stumbled upon the rundown cottage (pictured) in 2008 when her stranded boat ended up there, and she later bought it in 2016 and turned it into a stunning luxury waterfront heritage cabin

Sarah Andrews stumbled upon the rundown cottage (pictured) in 2008 when her stranded boat ended up there, and she later bought it in 2016 and turned it into a stunning luxury waterfront heritage cabin

Captain's Rest has now become the picture of elegant luxury, with its white interiors, large windows and stylish wood-burning stove, alongside its own private jetty (travel blogger Elise Cook pictured staying there)

Captain’s Rest has now become the picture of elegant luxury, with its white interiors, large windows and stylish wood-burning stove, alongside its own private jetty (travel blogger Elise Cook pictured staying there)

The one-bedroom, one bathroom cottage is much more than the sum of its parts, thanks to Sarah's attention to detail and the use of traditional Tasmanian features throughout (interior pictured)

The one-bedroom, one bathroom cottage is much more than the sum of its parts, thanks to Sarah’s attention to detail and the use of traditional Tasmanian features throughout (interior pictured)

Sarah had to sand and polish the Tasmanian oak floors, do countless repairs and reinstate multiple windows before the 1892 was even vaguely habitable, before she filled it with beautiful interiors (interiors pictured)

Sarah had to sand and polish the Tasmanian oak floors, do countless repairs and reinstate multiple windows before the 1892 was even vaguely habitable, before she filled it with beautiful interiors (interiors pictured)

Sarah had to sand and polish the Tasmanian oak floors, do countless repairs and reinstate multiple windows before the 1892 was even vaguely habitable, before she filled it with beautiful interiors (interiors pictured)

The one-bedroom, one bathroom cottage is much more than the sum of its parts, thanks to Sarah’s attention to detail.

The bathroom basin, for instance, is made of an antique desk, while there is also an old-fashioned clawfoot bath and private jetty.

 It was just me in my little car, driving all over Tasmania for bibs and bobs

But it didn’t always look like this. When Sarah came across the cottage, it had no water or lights.

She had to sand and polish the Tasmanian oak floors, do countless repairs and reinstate multiple windows before the 1892 was even vaguely habitable.

One of the hardest things Sarah found with the renovation was that Captain’s Rest is so isolated.

‘It was just me in my little car, driving all over Tasmania for bibs and bobs,’ she previously told Domain. ‘It took time, and patience, but perhaps this is how anything worthwhile starts; you need to earn it.’

One of the hardest things Sarah found with the renovation was that Captain's Rest is so isolated. She said it was just her driving all over Tasmania for pieces in her 'little car' (the bathroom pictured)

One of the hardest things Sarah found with the renovation was that Captain's Rest is so isolated. She said it was just her driving all over Tasmania for pieces in her 'little car' (the jetty pictured)

One of the hardest things Sarah found with the renovation was that Captain’s Rest is so isolated. She said it was just her driving all over Tasmania for pieces in her ‘little car’ (the bathroom and jetty pictured)

Sarah said she spent six months transforming the home to make it her dream space (interior pictured)

Sarah said she spent six months transforming the home to make it her dream space (interior pictured)

Once this was done, the talented interior designer set about putting her own stamp on the unique property and adding fine details.

‘I spent six months restoring it and falling in love with the tranquility of Tasmania’s west coast,’ the 36-year-old previously told Homes to Love. 

‘When it’s cold or wet outside, I sit in front of the large windows watching the water and hills with a fire lit in the wood burner.’ 

Some of the highlights of the property include a beautiful daybed beside the window where you can sit and watch the water (pictured)

Some of the highlights of the property include a beautiful daybed beside the window where you can sit and watch the water (pictured) 

Those who have been lucky enough to stay at the cottage have given it a staggering 4.95 rating on Airbnb, and describe it as a 'magical' place

Those who have been lucky enough to stay at the cottage have given it a staggering 4.95 rating on Airbnb, and describe it as a ‘magical’ place

Some of the highlights of the property include a beautiful daybed beside the window where you can sit and watch the water.

Captain’s Rest also boasts a series of antique oil paintings on the walls which were inspired by Sarah’s mother, as well as a palette of white deep greens, blues, and greys.

Those who have been lucky enough to stay at the cottage have given it a staggering 4.95 rating on Airbnb.

‘We had very high expectations given the beautiful photos we had seen and reviews we had read and our expectations were well and truly surpassed,’ one recent reviewer wrote.

‘Thank you for sharing this stunningly beautiful space.’

Another posted: ‘Captains’ Rest is a magical place that I cannot recommend highly enough. The thoughtful touches and attention to detail in this beautifully curated space made for the most relaxing and soul-restoring stay.’

For more information about Captain’s Rest, please click here

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