26 September 2019
We all yearn to escape – and we want to do it somewhere different and unique.
Tiny homes tick all of those boxes (albeit in a small way). These eco-friendly, off-the-grid cabins with a minimalist aesthetic are small in size but big on character.
Get off the grid at Arabella, a tiny eco-friendly retreat surrounded by bushland just outside the town of Kangaroo Valley, two hours’ drive south of Sydney. The custom-built cabin sleeps up to four, and has air-conditioning, a combustion heater and full kitchen. Sit around the outdoor fire pit and toast marshmallows, or soak in the freestanding bathtub enclosed in a glass cube.
Environmental warriors and twins Cam and Chris Grant are the brains trust behind Unyoked, a collection of minimalist, eco-friendly stays in the wilderness. Named after fellow travellers who’ve inspired the brothers, the Miguel, Coralie and Heike houses are all equally secluded, off the grid and within a two-hour drive of Sydney.
In2theWild curates pop-up stays in petite and portable homes in partnership with landowners – which is why you might find yourself staying on an aquaponic micro-farm in the Southern Highlands or a winery in the Shoalhaven district. The houses are named after the owners’ favourite books or book characters, feature bathrooms and well kitted-out kitchens, and sleep up to four.
Kangaroos, cows and native birds will be your only neighbours at Kindled, set on 100 hectares of gum tree-dotted land in the Oberon Shire, three hours’ drive west of Sydney. Sleeping up to four, this beautifully designed dwelling has modern comforts such as air-conditioning and lush linen. Wake up to views of the river and go to sleep watching the stars through the skylight in your loft bedroom.
A spacious deck adds another dimension to tiny-home living at Tallarook, perched on a stretch of the Clyde River on the NSW South Coast. It’s the ideal place to sit and read or practise your yoga, if you’re not out bushwalking or exploring the river on the kayaks provided. Secluded it might be, but you can still book a massage or beauty treatment if you want a side of indulgence with your simplicity.
Mountain, lake and ocean views are all part of the package at the adults-only Tilba Lake Camp, which offers two ‘eco-pods’ – known as Bonnie and Clyde – and two kinds of glamorous yurt-like tents. The stunning property in Central Tilba is about five hours’ drive south of Sydney. The pods may have a few more creature comforts but the tents are enchanting too, with luxury bedding and access to a fire pit.
The biggest tiny house on the list, Nook Divine shares its land with a 19th-century Presbyterian church (now a private home) in Berrima in the Southern Highlands, one of the best preserved Georgian colonial towns in the country. Walk into town to explore the shops, galleries and cafes, or just relax on Nook’s large deck or indoors on the comfy couch, enjoying the thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers and leaf tea.
Watching the sun set over the remote Cudgegong Valley is just one of the fringe benefits of staying at The Loft, a rustic eco home for two. Set on a property just outside the wine town of Mudgee (a four-hour drive from Sydney), The Loft has a well-equipped kitchen, mezzanine bedroom, Italian coffee supplies and a small library. A note: there are 60 steps up to the property, and it can only be fully accessed by 4WD and automatic AWD vehicles. Drivers of other vehicles will need to walk 180m to reach the steps.
It might resemble an oversized and very elegant horse float (complete with wheels), but there’s plenty to love about Big Tiny The Whispers, located on a working farm in Lithgow, just beyond the Blue Mountains. During the day, explore the property’s 1km loop trail – ideal for mountain biking, walking or running – or mingle with the resident sheep, chickens, ducks and peacock. At night, sit around the fire pit and stargaze to your heart’s content
With oodles of white and plenty of glass, 6Sixteen The Banks is a tiny home full of style, brimming with views of the rural splendour of Agnes Banks on the edge of Sydney. If you can bear to leave behind the vistas of horse studs and the Blue Mountains (or even rise from the ultra-comfy loft bed), the cafes of Windsor, Kurrajong Village and Glenbrook are close by.
For more information on planning your trip to New South Wales, head to VisitNSW.com.