Key points

  • The Resort is a 2 minute walk to the popular Terrigal surf beach and a 5 minute walk to Terrigal's wide range of quality shops, restaurants and cafes which suit all tastes and budgets.
  • Terrigal is approximately 90 minutes drive north of Sydney.
  • The closest railway station is Gosford Train Station, about 20 minutes away by car.
  • A regular bus network operates between Terrigal and Gosford station.
  • The closest major shopping centre is a 10 minute drive (Erina Fair), which also has a Hoyts cinema, ice skating rink and a Fitness First gym.
  • Erina Fair is also accessible by regular bus service.
  • The climate on the Central Coast is mild throughout the year.

Local map

The History of Bulwarra and the purpose behind the development

Bulwarra Co-op Ltd (Bulwarra) was registered as a cooperative on 28 February 1969. The cooperative was created to manage three cottages and land purchased in Terrigal during the preceding couple of years using soldiers’ funds held by the 3rd Training Battalion (3TB), which was then located at Singleton, Liverpool Area Headquarters, Ingleburn and Eastern Command Personnel Depot, Marrickville.

The cottages provided holiday or short-term rest facilities for the staff at each of those military locations. The first manager of the collective asset was a warrant officer from 3TB, who coordinated the bookings and would occasionally reside at one of the garages to oversee the use of the three cottages.

In 1968 the block of land on which the Bulwarra apartments now stand became available for purchase. Prior to that date there had been a guest house situated on the sloping block where the children’s playground is now located. It burnt down thereby making the land available for redevelopment.

A group of farsighted officers from Headquarters Eastern Command, Victoria Barracks, Singleton and Liverpool Area Headquarters successfully applied for a loan from the Army Amenities Fund, administered by Army Headquarters in Canberra, to purchase the land and build a facility which would provide free accommodation for servicemen returning to Sydney from South Vietnam for their R & R (rest and recuperation) break. Five of these officers became the first members of the Board of Directors of Bulwarra

Construction commenced on the main building in 1970. At the time it was the largest construction project undertaken in Terrigal, other than the Florida Hotel which had been built in the mid-1960s. The design was done by the Chief Engineers’ staff on Headquarter Eastern Command and oversight of the construction was provided by that group. The building work was finished in early 1971 and the facility was opened on 4 March 1971. The 25 metre pool was very generously donated by the RSL.

The object of the cooperative was (and remains) to provide low-cost holiday accommodation for serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force and Commonwealth Public Servants employed by the Department of Defence, and their families. There is particular emphasis placed on those members who have recently returned from overseas duty or are scheduled to deploy and their families.

The reason that the apartments face north and not east over the ocean, which would provide better views, was that there were plans to build a conference centre/canteen on that portion of land running from the present bar-b-que entertainment area down towards the Manager’s office. This plan was never developed due to a change of philosophy on the part of the Board as well as a reduced need for such a facility. Also, the plans to construct a tennis court and squash court on the land west of the apartment block did not eventuate due to changes in the demography of service personnel in the Sydney area.

The land to the west of the apartment block was subdivided and sold on three occasions; the last was in 1989 after the Board decided by that the land was no longer required. By that time some of the major units in the Holsworthy area were either moving or were earmarked to move to either Darwin or Townsville and there was a general reduction of the number of service people within Bulwarra’s catchment area. The average annual occupancy rate of the existing apartments did not warrant any further expansion in the form of accommodation. Whiting Cottage sat on the land that was part of the last subdivision and it was sold in 1989. The Manager used to live in Whiting Cottage until the early 1980s when he occupied Trebetha.

Bulwarra, unlike the majority of Defence holiday facilities, is not associated with the Army Amenities Fund and, being independent, needs to be financially self sufficient. The tariff is reviewed by the Board of Directors every twelve months however increases are kept to a minimum. Bulwarra is basically a ‘not for profit’ enterprise however the costs associated with running and managing the facilities must be covered. The object of providing low cost holiday accommodation to eligible guests remains paramount.

The Board of Directors provides direction to and oversight of the Manager. The Managment team is responsible to ensure that the facilities are maintained and presented at a standard acceptable to the guests.


a. operates a low cost, not-for-profit resort for the Defence community, offering basic but comfortable self-contained, family accommodation;

b. places a particular emphasis on those members who have recently returned from overseas duty or are scheduled to deploy and their families;
c. is not open to the public;
d. is governed by an unpaid Board of Directors; and
e. is managed by an on-site management team.


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You Said

We’ve been coming to Bulwarra with friends for nearly 12 years now. The kids love the facilities and the freedom to go fishing or swimming at the beach and lagoon. My husband I and look forward to relaxing and enjoying and affordable, stress-free holiday. Plus the shops and cafes are 5 minutes walk so there’s always something to do.”

Baulkham Hills

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