About Us
The Shack Story

On the sands of Lady Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

Welcome to Cowrie Retreat

We are so pleased you chose to stay at our special place.

The origins of Cowrie emanate from our family shack. You will find the story of our beautiful shack and its history in every nook of the house. From the Cowrie shells and seagrass to the photographs in the bedrooms- all explaining “early shack life.”

Look behind the photographs for a snippet of that part of our lives.

We hope you enjoy Cowrie and leave with the same contented feeling with life that we always do.

Sue, Peter, and family

Sure and Peter Cowrie Retreat Luxury Beachfront Accommodation Fleurieu Peninsula

The Shack Story

70 years ago, my father discovered this very special location, where he built the simple shack on the sands of Lady Bay. A painting of the original shack is hanging in the main room—a beautiful reminder of where it all started. It was so small! During a king tide, water would lap up under the floorboards, and during wild storms, the shack would be completely surrounded by the sea—the most exciting thing to be part of!

We had no running water, electricity, or even a running toilet—our only luxury was a kerosene refrigerator! We enjoyed an idyllic, carefree childhood. We had the freedom to roam and play on the beach and the dunes. Holidays were spent discovering the wonders of the rock reef out of the front, searching for crabs, and collecting periwinkles (which our mother would cook up for us to eat). We learned to swim, sail, and fish from the old, heavy wooden dinghy that lived upsidedown on the beach.

A full day’s adventure was to hike south towards Rapid Bay beyond the aptly named Shelley Beach to the caves, searching all along for the prized Cowries we so loved. To be dubbed the Cowrie winner was always, and still is, one of the biggest highlights.

Or, we would head in the opposite direction to the Normie jetty, spending time at the creek on the way. Each afternoon, at milking time, we trudged through the dunes, billy- can in hand, to collect fresh milk from M Putland’s dairy. We also climbed Mt Neverest across the highway. The view was so breathtaking, it was always worthwhile.

These were such carefree days.

We ate whatever we caught on the day, delicious King George whiting or snapper for dinner, sitting on the veranda watching the sun go down. We now catch squid by trolling a line behind a kayak – but in those days, squid was merely “bait” for deepwater fishing.

At dusk we would light the kerosene tilly lamp, play games, listen to scary ghost stories, and make our own fun under the lamplight. Cowrie is full of so many happy memories. A place to relax, reset, rest, and unwind. A place to reconnect with each other and to have fun with our family and friends.

We lived the simple life – early to rise and early to bed.

So many things in life have changed, yet so much of the simple shack style life has stayed the same. The building may have changed – just a little – but life lived at the shack hasn’t. We hope you take the opportunity to create your own happy memories here at our beloved Cowrie Retreat.

Sure and Peter Cowrie Retreat Luxury Beachfront Accommodation Fleurieu Peninsula
Sure and Peter Cowrie Retreat Luxury Beachfront Accommodation Fleurieu Peninsula