With over 25 years clocked up on the show so far, the Beach House stands as one of Summer Bay’s most iconic locations.
It’s debut on the show came in Episode 516 in 1990, when Adam Cameron and Matt Wilson rented the house from owner Ernie Jacobs. Ernie later sold the house to Marilyn Chambers, who in turn sold it to Bobby & Greg Marshall a year later. When Bobby died in 1993, the house went on the market again and was snapped up by Irene Roberts, who has remained there ever since.
Whilst there have been a couple of locations used for the Beach House over the years, this one is the original and certainly the most recognisable – being throughout the 90’s and seen frequently in stock shots during that time. Exterior scenes here were not extensive in later years, but Selina Roberts being kidnapped on the way to her wedding by Saul Bennett remains one of the most memorable. Towards the end of the 90’s, exterior scenes became non-existent and the stock shots of the property stopped being used in 1999.
The real life house stands on the delightful Clareville beach overlooking Pittwater. Often referred to as one of the peninsula’s finest examples of classic beach house architecture, the residence was sympathetically renovated and extended by renowned architect Alex Popov in the 1980’s to make full use of the prime location. Since it’s last appearance on screen around 1999, the surrounding foliage has hidden the house away somewhat, making it very easy to miss. The house is adjacent to the beach’s car park on Delecta Avenue, but is only visible from the beach itself.
When scenes in 1994 called for Irene’s back garden and driveway (the latter of which this location lacks), the show instead decided to use a nearby property in Avalon Beach.
As can be seen in our photos*, the layout of the on-screen Beach House interior is loosely based on the real life interior. However unlike the on-screen version, the real house only has one room on the first floor – the master bedroom which lies above the boatshed. The 2nd bedroom is located next to the dining area, whilst the 3rd bedroom lies at the rear of the property beyond the bathroom.
Since our photos were taken, the house has been sold and given a significant redecoration—having been modernised and painted a Navy blue colour, a hint of which can be seen in the Streetview which faces the rear of the property.
Although the Beach House has still occasionally been seen on screen via stock shots—which were filmed at a very different property in Narrabeen in 2001—an exterior scene has never been filmed there, meaning we haven’t seen Irene outside her house in over 15 years.
*Additional photos used with kind permission of Jodie Curdie of Nuance Photography.