Lake Macquarie/Newcastle - 'The Boathouse' (Australia - New South Wales - BUTTABA, Lake Macquarie Near Newcastle)

Our Guest Book

  • The Boathouse Unique and Classic

    We really enjoyed this exchange, the boathouse is unique and classic. Very quiet and relaxing area, prime waterfront, swim and kayak off the jetty. This home has all you need and is a great launch pad for the area. We explored the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and beaches, Norah Head and trained it to Sydney for the night. Its close to Toronto for shopping and dining. John and Marg are lovely people and were great guests at our place. Communication was great and we met for coffee prior to the exchange. Would be happy the repeat in the future.

  • John and Margaret are great Exchangees.

    A very special Exchange which we will always remember.

  • Beautiful home in an amazing location.

    We had a great experience staying in John and Marg's beautiful home with everything we needed. The location on the water's edge was stunning and it was always good to return to the cooling breezes and watch the activity on the lake after a day exploring the coast, lake or the many walktrails in the area. We particularly enjoyed the Fernleigh track as it was shaded for most parts and provided a good example of the local environment. Thank you to John and Marg for a wonderful break. Jan and Jeff

  • We really enjoyed our stay at Lake Macquarie. A beautiful home right on the Lake. Somewhere to really relax and a perfect get away. Thank you Colin and Rosemary

  • Love your nice boathouse.

    We have had a very nice time, we like the boathouse very much. Also the couple is very nice and welkom us with a nice diner.The view was amazing and we love the birds, pelikan, kakatoo.parriets and much more. We loved every thing also the neighbourhood.

  • The “Boathouse “ provided a very picturesque location for a restful exchange. The house was delightful providing everything anyone would need. John and Marg provided great information in arranging this exchange and also I sincerely appreciated was their son be able to meet me at the train station and also provide me with a lift on my departure. This was such a lovely location to explore this part of Australia.

  • John & Mary's, home was amazing, everything you needed was available. Beautiful spotless and modern home, right on Lake Macquarie, loads of seabirds, boats, kayaking etc to watch from the balcony. They also arranged for their lovely young son to collect us and return us to the local station, to and from Sydney Central. We highly recommend this beautiful location to anyone wanting a nice relaxing holiday. Frank & Pat Robertson

  • Its very easy to relax here.

    We were looking forward to a place to relax and certainly found it here! The water, the bird life and the quiet and peaceful surroundings all added to the enjoyment of this comfortable very livable home.

  • Our exchange partners were a delightful coupl

  • Very comfortable home & delightful location.

  • Wonderful exchange experience in unique home.

    Our time at the Boatshed was exceptional. The house is amazing, and was developed from a real boatshed, with water and jetty right outside the front windows/doors. All facilities were on hand and the place was a joy to stay in. Car exchange also worked out well. Lake Macquarie is a fascinating place to be in with so much of interest in the surrounding areas. Thank you so much.

  • Fantastic view and relaxing home

    John & Margaret will make you feel very welcome when you arrive at their little piece of paradise in Secret bay. If you can tear yourself away from the views you can enjoy swimming right off their private jetty. The home is equipped with everything you need to sit back & relax.Plenty to see & explore in the area. A truely special part of Australia.

  • This was an excellent exchange. John & Margriet's house is right on the water with wonderful views of the lake and bird life. It is a peaceful & tranquil place that is very relaxing. John & Margriet left us a lovely meal and other food for when we arrived. Paul their son collected us from the Railway station and showed us around town and then took us to the house which was great. We did some of the trips that John recommended and we really enjoyed them. We had a great holiday. Many thanks Margriet & John Best wishes Jan & Paul

  • Simply great :-)

    For us the greatest charms of travel is that it offers an unique escape to be just ourself and experience, regardless of all and any daily trivial trifles. At the same time trying to be a conscientious traveler. We are very grateful to Marg and John - openminded and humorous people - with whom we agreed to exchange houses. They and likewise their son are very welcoming, nice and easy going. The location of their house is perfect; along the lagoon, jetty in the garden, easy access by car. Each morning a swim, canoeing and/or fishing it was all there for us. The design and interior of their house is nice and pleasant, lots of space and beautiful views of the lagoon. We felt very welcome in their house. They even made a room ready for our daughter and husband from Sydney. That was great and thoughtful of them. It was simply great for us to be in the boathouse in Buttaba. Thanks, Kane & Elma :-)

  • A wonderful boathouse right on the lake !

    John and Marge have a very beautiful boathouse right on the banks of lake Macquarie . We really enjoyed the view and the fantastic bird life . Around the lake there was many interesting towns and villages to visit . It was also easy to take the train to Sydney and Newcastle . People around the lake and neighbors were very friendly and helpful to us . John gave us good information all time . We had a very interesting exchange and have learned a lot about Australia ! We really will recommend an exchange with John and Marge !

  • Amazing, special place - right on the water.

    The Boat House was a truly amazing place. It made a wonderful first impression positioned right on the water. Like something out of a magazine. The house was very well appointed, the bed comfortable, and we settled in instantly, feeling jealous that this is how our hosts live most of the time. Our first days in Australia (height of summer - January) had some of it's highest temperatures (44 degrees Celsius in Buttaba - 47 degrees in some parts of Sydney further south, the hottest temperatures ever!) and we were very thankful for the air conditioning. The bird life was amazing (even if it woke us up every morning! The 'dawn chorus' in New Zealand is gentler) and the morning and evening swims off the jetty out front were addictive. We had the use of our hosts' car and were able to explore the Lake Macquarie area across the two weeks we were there. A very lovely part of Australia. All most enjoyable. Thank you Marg and John for your hospitality - and for leaving our place so immaculate to come home to! All much appreciated.

  • We loved our stay at the Boathouse and being right on the water. John and Margaret picked us up and dropped us off at the station which was a huge help, and welcomed us warmly with lunch. They have a lovely sunny, light and comfortable home, very easy to live in, with wonderful views. We are bird watchers and just from the deck we were able to see a huge variety. When we managed to tear ourselves away there was lots to explore in the area, great beaches and coast, and the green and lush hinterland and plenty of walking tracks everywhere. It's a lovely spot!

  • John & Marg made us very welcome and the exchange went extremely smoothly until the local birdlife decided to re-enact a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds". Fortunately, the neighbours came to our rescue. In fact, the birdlife is fantastic at Buttaba and The Boathouse is beautifully located.

  • This was such an amazing exchange. We loved the boathouse. It is beautifully restored and the views are so lovely. Their son Paul picked us up at the station and made sure we were comfortable. It was fabulous location. Thank you for your hospitality. We especially enjoyed the cockatoos nesting right in front of the house!

  • An amazing exchange

    We all know that location is a great draw card but this exchange has it all - right on the shoreline, own private jetty with fabulous views across Lake Macquarie. The house is very modern with great attention to detail. We greatly appreciated the level of communication with our exchangees prior to the exchange and their adaptability - even offering to look after our elderly dog at the last minute. We had a total relax and the house was a great base to explore the local region. One of our best exchanges ever.

  • A wonderful vacation spot right on the water!

    The location of John & Marg's home is perfect, right on the water. And we had so much fun watching a couple of galah birds build a nest in the bird house on the palm tree right next to the porch. We just loved all the birds in the area.The location was also perfect for us, since we had many friends to visit in the area. We enjoyed going out on the water, bicycling, driving around Lake Macquarie, and visiting the Reptile Park in Gosford. I loved the hairdresser you recommended -- best cut & color ever!

  • Paradise found!

    We have stayed in beautiful places all over the world, but John & Margriet's 'boathouse' took our breath away. The house itself is beautifully appointed and so comfortable, with every amenity you could wish for. The highlight for us was opening the bifold doors and watching life on the lake, especially the majestic pelicans. A daily sundowner on the deck was a special way to finish the day, for some reason without the annoyance of flies or mosquitos. Maybe it was the gentle breeze that kept us cool as well. We love to kayak and felt like we were in kayaking heaven, we just had to lower the kayaks down the ramp into the water and we were off. We adjusted to the lifestyle in a heartbeat! The only problem we had was that our stay was too short. It was an amazing week, and we would love to return one day. And thank you John & Marg for looking after our home so well, we would certainly recommend you to other 'exchangers'.

  • Water at your door, peaceful quirky relaxed home.L

    Right from our first email we felt like we had made new friends with John & Margriet & their wonderful home reflected their warmth & relaxed nature. The Boat house is just a stone's throw from the lake where there is always something to watch- the graceful pelicans, crazy Corellas, people paddling their kayaks, boats swinging at anchor or the stunning sunrises. From here we explored the many beaches and parks around the lake. We especially loved Awaba House & sculpture park & gallery, the Lakeside restaurant at Murrays Beach, the Bowls club's $10 meals at Valentine's Bowls club with views straight onto the lake. We easily explored the wineries, restaurants & galleries in the Hunter Valley coming home through the historic town of Wollumbin one day. The home is very well appointed and so comfortable that some days we just lazed around watching the water. We would rate the Boat House exchange 11 out of 10! Wonderful hosts too!

  • Loved our week on the water

    We enjoyed our stay at The Boathouse very much. The house is compact, but has all that one needs for comfortable living. It's all fresh, contemporary with plenty of light and gentle sea breezes. The best part is the location. The house is absolute waterfront on a beautiful bay so there was always something interesting to watch - the yachts, the kayakers, the sunrise, the abundant birdlife. Dinner on the deck was a great way to end the day. John & Margriet were perfect hosts. They'd given a lot of thought to their guests and provided excellent information about the local area. They kept in touch well through the planning stages, and they left our house in tip top order. Thank you John & Margriet.


Leader in home exchange since 1953

Over 65 years of home exchange experience


A worldwide network of home swappers with local support

Local home swap representatives around the world to assist you


Home Swapping in 5 Easy Steps

Travel, save and feel at home around the world!

please wait...