Kimo Estate, Gundagai, New South Wales © Matt Beaver Photography
Tiny Houses: recharge and reconnect with nature
Good things come in small packages when it comes to Australia’s eco-friendly tiny houses.
By Freya Herring and Amy Fraser
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. There’s an undeniable appeal to staying in a tiny house immersed in the wilds of nature. And with so many of Australia’s tiny stays designed with sustainability and eco-principles in mind, you can be sure you’re not leaving too much of your footprint behind.
Spot kangaroos in the Southern Highlands
Where: Tallong, two hours south of Sydney
Deep in the Southern Highlands you’ll find Wildernest, a working farm home to three off-grid tiny homes that inspire slow living and connection. The properties run purely on solar and offer modern comforts amid the countryside. With zero Wi-Fi, you’ll have plenty of time to soak in the outdoor bathtub, toast marshmallows by the fire pit and, come morning, watch kangaroos with a freshly brewed coffee in bed. If you’re feeling energetic, explore the nearby hikes, wineries and kayaking adventures.
Escape to a farm on the Mid-North Coast
Where: Bellbrook on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast
There are few tiny stays as chic as Nulla Nulla Blacksmith’s Forest Creek wood cabin, nestled on a farm in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. When it comes to detoxing, this tiny house offers the whole package: organic produce hampers, yoga, massage, meditation and forest bathing are available to book. Otherwise, take a dip in the clear creek before lazing around in the river-side hammock.
Go off-grid in Victoria’s Yarra Valley
If you really want to disconnect from the world, then The Simple Life Cabin might be just what you need. This former potter’s studio sits on 1.6 hectares (four acres) of lush, cool-climate forest and is completely off-grid. Here, it’s all about reconnecting with nature and yourself. In place of a TV, there’s a record player. A wood-burning stove keeps you cosy and an esky (or cooler box) keeps your food chilled. Think simple and rustic, apart from the claw-foot bath, which is pure luxury.
Hide away and recharge near Brisbane
Small. Sustainable. Solar-powered. Stylish. That, along with reigniting a love of nature, is the philosophy behind the Unyoked Experience. The Unyoked Brisbane cabin, Cybele, is an architectural feat: black outside, exposed ply within and all alone in a large wooded valley. There’s a fire pit for late-night moments and a little kitchen for cosy dinners indoors. The exact location, however, is top secret until you book; embrace that sense of adventure!
Feel the romance in Margaret River
Romance is on the agenda at the charming Tree Chalets, where modern luxuries – think Netflix, coffee machines and even a Tesla car charger – meet the tranquil eucalypt forest. Sustainability is front of mind here; everything is powered by the sun and fed by rainwater. Sip wine in your private outdoor bathtub, indulge in your fresh breakfast hamper and connect with one another and the Earth along the forest’s walking trails.
Soak up the South Australian countryside
Located in the Kuitpo Forest among rolling vineyards, Matilda – part of the CABN group – is perfectly positioned in reach of Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, while still offering the relaxation of its remote forest surroundings. The cabin itself was constructed from as many local materials as possible and is seriously sustainable. Inside, the cabin’s minimalistic interiors invite guests to switch off from everyday life.
Hide out in the Northern Territory
The Hideaway Litchfield consists of two, one-bedroom cabins built from shipping containers. They’re set far enough apart to ensure privacy, or close enough to accommodate two sets of friends or a family group. Black corrugated-metal exteriors give way to bright air-conditioned interiors, with practical kitchens and mid-century-style furnishings. Water comes from an underground natural spring, and the power is partially solar-generated. Explore Litchfield’s many attractions, most notably the beautiful swimming spot of Florence Falls, a 30-minute drive away.
Enjoy a little glamour in Gundagai
You’ll find the Eco Huts at Kimo Estate on a 2,800-hectare (7,000-acre) working sheep and cattle farm in the New South Wales countryside. The three huts combine sustainability principles with luxury, so expect wood-fired stoves, high-quality linen, floor-to-ceiling windows and breakfast made from regional produce. The huts are set several kilometres apart to ensure privacy; perfect as you soak in your own hot tub warmed by woodfire.
Disconnect on Tasmania’s north coast
Tiny it might be, but Compass Hut is big on style: the bedroom with black walls, pendant lighting and gold linen, the kitchen in white with black accents. Outside, you’ll find an organic farm on your doorstep with a vegetable garden you can help yourself to. While it’s easy to disconnect on the property, in just one hour you could be in Tassie’s second-largest city, Launceston (don’t miss Cataract Gorge). Alternatively, drive one hour in the other direction to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.