• Gunyah is a timber pole house, designed and built in the early 1980s by a group of friends as a fun weekend project and holiday house. This group still own, manage and maintain the property; and their friends and families continue to enjoy holidays at Gunyah.
  • The term 'Gunyah' means resting place or place of shelter in the Gathang language of the Worimi people in the North Arm Cove area, and the term also features in a number of other Indigenous languages in NSW. Gunyah artists-in-residence program acknowledges and pays respect to the Worimi people - the traditional custodians of this land - to their elders past, present and emerging, it is on their ancestral lands that the Gunyah artist-in-residence program is located.
Gunyah artists-in-residence (AIR) program overview:
  • Gunyah AIR program has been running since 2011, it provides low cost accommodation for short term self-directed residencies for solo, collaborative, family and group projects and is open to applications from visual artists, writers, curators, composers, musicians, performers, designers, arts administrators, new media artists and other creators. 
  • Gunyah AIR program is volunteer based, not for profit venture, aiming to share the unique and beautiful region of Port Stephens. 
  • The Gunyah AIR program is run by Kath Fries. She was a toddler when Gunyah was first built by her parents and their friends and she continues to visit Gunyah for holidays and retreats. Kath is a Sydney based artist, who has participated in a number of artist residency programs in Australia and overseas.  
  • Applications are paused for 2022 due to rescheduling of 2021 residencies impacted by COVID lockdowns.
  • Applications for 2023 residencies will open in November 2022.
  • Email contact gunyahresidency[a]yahoo.com

  • Gunyah jetty

Residency fees:
  • Currently Gunyah artists' residencies are partially subsidised by the Gunyah owners, so the cost to artists is $360 for ten days or part thereof (this residency fee covers the use of the whole property, it does not apply per person). There is also a $70 cleaning and key deposit required.
  • Artists are welcome to bring their families and friends

Gunyah sundeck

The house:
  • Gunyah is a unique three bedroom house in the village of North Arm Cove, in the NSW Great Lakes region. Overlooking the waterways of Port Stephens, Gunyah offers an idyllic retreat to produce artwork or pursue creative research.
  • Gunyah's pole-house design, timber paneling and casual furnishings creates a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. The sundeck at treetop level catches the sea breeze and overlooks the water. During cooler evenings you can settle into cosy lounges around the log fire place. 
  • Gunyah has three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a newly renovated fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining and living areas, gas barbeque, log fire place, ceiling fans, a mezzanine loft and a downstairs tiled room that can be used as a studio space. A path leads from the side of the house, down through the bushland garden, to the property's waterfront and jetty.

Gunyah deck and loft windows

The studio:
  • The downstairs studio features a wall of floor to ceiling slatted windows providing plenty of natural light. 
  • The studio has a tiled floor – artists working with paint and glue etc are requested to use drop sheets. 
  • Adjacent to the studio is the second bathroom, equipped with a laundry tub, which can be used for cleaning water-based paints.

Gunyah studio

Gunyah bedroom two

Other considerations:
  • Gunyah is a 3 hour drive north of Sydney, 1 hour north of Newcastle.
  • There is car parking at the front door for three vehicles.
  • Please be aware that the property runs on tank water.
  • Artists must supply their own bed linen, food and art supplies. 
  • Artists may invite additional people to visit them at Gunyah, but please limit this to a maximum of 6 adults overnight.
  • Artists are responsible for insuring their property (work, materials, tools and vehicles etc) whilst on the premises.
  • Artists are required to clean the house and studio at the end of their residency, leaving it as they would like to find it (cleaning equipment provided).

Gunyah lounge and fireplace

Please note there is:
  • No public transport - it is essential that artists have their own vehicle.
  • No washing machine (nearest Laundromat is in Tea Gardens).
  • No linen provided - artists must bring their own bed sheets and bath towels.     

Gunyah studio windows

Results of your Residency:
  • There is no exhibition or presentation outcome requirement, however an introduction post edited from the application statements and images will included on the Gunyah artist-in-residence blog www.gunyah.blogspot.com
  • Artists are encouraged to post photos during their residency on the Gunyah instagram account @gunyahartists and tag #gunyahartists
  • After the conclusion of each residency artists are required to submit a residency report and images, which will be posted on Gunyah artist-in-residence blog www.gunyah.blogspot.com