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A hidden gem on the Mid North Coast

Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Saltwater Apartments offer a boutique experience in the beautiful coastal town of Lake Cathie, NSW. With its stunning, unique, and ever-changing beach-front and lakeside location, the property has been providing quality accommodation since it was first built in the 1960's. 

Family-owned and operated

Throughout our 30 year marriage, we‘d been searching for an opportunity together. At first sight we knew we’d found it; we fell in love with its location, and dreamt of the romantic space it could be. Saltwater has been our passion project ever since. We hoped to provide a getaway for respite from busy life, so we set about creating a space to make our guests feel at home - like family, but without the drama! It’s been a labour of love. 

With a little help from our kids, we’re proud to say we've redesigned, gutted, and rebuilt every room ourselves; although we still have many ideas to come. Watch this space! We look forward to sharing our little piece of paradise with you, and we promise to provide an unforgettable getaway experience. From our family to yours, with love.

Portrait of owners Ellen and Matthew

We (Ellen & Matt) are here to help.

Portrait of family dog and site supervisor Honey

Honey (site supervisor).

Image of the apartments circa 1970

Holiday-letting since the 1960's

We've been lucky enough to acquire some photos from the archive alongside some family history from Gregory Lawrence, the grandson of the early owners of the property, the Hoopers. His grandfather Albert, a retired aircraft engineer (left, above) and his wife Emma built the original units in the 1960’s.

​The original holiday house was a one-bedroom, combined lounge/dining/kitchen area. From Gregory's understanding, the units were essentially designed as a smaller mirror image of the main house.

Original building

The Ocean Beach Holiday Flats

Once built, Albert aptly named the property, “Ocean Beach Holiday Flats” and it became one of the first holiday properties to be built in Lake Cathie. At the time, caravan parks were the dominate accommodation in the area, many of which have since closed. 

The sign pictured below was placed where our community shops now sit. It was a donkey paddock back then, with a BP service station east side (now townhouses).

Image of the apartments circa 1960
Image of the landscape and lake circa 1960
"Best time of our family’s life was being there every school holidays (1968-1980), to maintain the flats and take care of the guests."

Once Gregory's family sold the property, new owners from Bonnyrigg built the second story house extension. Soon after they sold, it was renamed the Oceania and held that name until we purchased it in 2013.

Next came the Oceania

Image of the apartments circa 1990
Image of the private pool area circa 1990

We acquired the property 10 years ago and it has been our passion project ever since. To say that it has been a labour of love to bring it to where it is today would be an understatement — I'm proud to say we've redesigned, gutted, and rebuilt every room ourselves.

We feel blessed to hear that it was created with the same passion and love, respectful of the unique and stunning location it's situated in, and we hope you've enjoyed reading about its history. We've loved transforming it and maintaining the place as a wonderful opportunity to share such a stunning location with others. 

Now it's the season of Saltwater

Image of facade of building and foreground trees from early 2000's
Black and white portrait of current owners Ellen and Matthew
"Just like Albert & Emma, we've become custodians, incumbent to share its relaxing vista with those needing respite and rejuvenation, if only for a day or two."
Albert Lawrence and his aircraft
Sign post for ocean beach holiday flats with overnight stays

— Gregory, relative of former owner Albert Hooper



We’re proud of our history and fortunate to have gleaned some of its yesteryear story from previous owners. We feel blessed to know it was also originally created with passion and love, respectful of the unique and stunning location it's situated in, Lake Cathie. We’ve learnt its previous hosts also felt fortunate to share such a stunning location with others.

© 2024 Saltwater Apartments

We acknowledge the Birpai people, the traditional custodians of the land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.


1 Illaroo Rd, Lake Cathie

NSW 2445


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