Is it just us, or do many of those pricey city boltholes on popular booking sites seem awfully homogoneous and really rather forgettable after a while?
Here’s the acid test: when was the last time you showed off pics of that luxury apartment or beach-front house you sacrificed a large chunk of the children’s inheritence for?
Thought as much. Memories and experiences, that’s what it’s all about nowadays when it comes to travel for us.
And in 2019, some of the hottest holiday stays to be had are in tiny homes, cabins with a minimalist aesthetic that are small in size, but big on character.
Here are a handful of these charmers that our friends at Destination NSW suggest putting on your holiday calendar this year.
Go off the grid in the Kangaroo Valley with Arabella, a tiny eco-friendly retreat hidden in rugged bushland. The custom-built cabin sleeps up to five, with air conditioning and full kitchen. There’s an outdoor fire pit to toast marshmallows and a freestanding bathtub enclosed in its very own glass cube to let the outside in.
Environmental warriors and twin brothers, Cam and Chris Grant, have set up six eco-friendly cabins in NSW and Victoria where nature-loving visitors can experience minimalist stays in the wilderness. NSW has three Unyoked cabins, named Miguel, Coralie and Heike, hidden in secluded locations from lush valleys to wine country.
Into The Wild curate pop-up stays in tiny homes in out-of-the-way locations about two hours from Sydney. The petite, portable houses are named after the owners’ favourite book characters, and kitted out with hot shower and toilet, bedding for four people and a fire pit with outdoor seating. On booking you’ll receive the exact location, which could take you anywhere from the Shoalhaven to the Hunter.
This thoughtfully designed tiny house sleeps up to four and sits in the Oberon Shire around three hours out of Sydney. Set on 250 acres beside pristine gum tree conservation and the river, it’s likely you’ll spot kangaroos, wombats and plenty of birdlife. The well-equipped dwelling has modern comforts such as a Koala mattress, air conditioning, soft linens and rain shower.
Tallarook Tiny Home
Live big in this architecturally designed tiny home for three guests, nestled in native bushland on the Clyde River on the South Coast of NSW. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the 50 acre property with bushwalking, kayaking and wildlife spotting, or just take it easy in your cabin with stylish fit out, breakfast bar and comfy loft bed for afternoon siestas.
Tilba Lake Camp
One of the original tiny holiday homes in NSW, Tilba Lake Camp has a variety of accommodation including bell tents and two eco pods, Bonnie and Clyde, nestled in coastal paddocks with views of the lake, ocean and mountains. The cute pods are ideal for couples and have queen beds layered with soft linens, kitchen with fridge, microwave oven and stove top, outdoor private fire pit and access to a saltwater pool.
Tucked in the historic town of Berrima in the Southern Highlands, Nook Divine is a quaint cottage with large deck, just a short walk to restaurants, museums, shopping, historic Berrima court house and more. Rich in history, Nook Divine shares a pretty landscaped property with the former Finlayson Memorial Presbyterian church circa 1867, now a private residence. Inside you’ll feel instantly at home with queen-sized bed, full kitchen, and plenty of thoughtful essentials like fresh flowers, milk, leaf tea and luxury hand soap.
Perched on the edge of the Cudgegong Valley fringed by native bushland, The Loft is a rustic eco home for two with a chic Nordic-style interior. On a rural property just 12 minutes from Mudgee, guests can enjoy a delicious local wine on the deck while watching the sun set, whip up breakfast in the well-equipped kitchen or have a nap on the mezzanine bed. The property owners supply Italian-brewed coffee, a range of teas and a small library of books too.
A perfect base to explore The Blue Mountains region, city dwellers will love the contemporary styling, rural setting as well as the laptop-friendly working nook in this tiny house near Lithgow. Guests can get active on the 1km loop trail at the back of the property, ideal for mountain biking or running, and the friendly hosts are happy help set up the fire pit at night or introduce you to the resident sheep, chickens, ducks and peacock during the day.
Big Tiny 6Sixteen The Banks
A tiny home with a big personality – the styling is spot on and there’s lots of windows to let the rural views in [see property’s deck in main story photo]. Located on a farm in Agnes Banks in Greater Western Sydney, 6sixteen is not far from the beautiful cafes of Windsor, Kurrajong village and Glenbrook. With a plush loft bedroom and comfy pull-out sofa bed there’s enough room for a family of four and lovely open spaces to soak up the views of horse studs, lagoon and turf farms, with a backdrop of the Blue Mountains.
The Saddle Camp
This tiny home was named by The Business Insider as one of the nine coolest tiny homes around the world. Ideal for animal lovers, it’s located in Braidwood on a horse riding farm where guests can saddle up for a trail ride or simply explore the open meadows and watch the playful ponies. The house is stylishly decked out in a grey and white with lots of natural wood, plus a compact but well-equipped kitchen and comfortable loft bed. As an added bonus there’s an onsite café with espresso and treats.
Big Tiny Jindera Park
On a sprawling 500-acre property 10 minutes from Albury in the Riverina Murray region, this tiny home has a fresh, modern interior and an efficient set up with microwave, bar fridge, loft bed and sleek bathroom. For animal lovers there’s a menagerie of animals to observe outside on the property with horses, cows and kangaroos, as well as goannas and parrots too.
Surf Shack, Suffolk Park
Just 10 minutes’ drive from the heart of Byron Bay and a short stroll the Suffolk Park beach, this surf shack has everything you need for a cool, coastal getaway. The tiny home adjoins the back of the owner’s house, but there’s a private gate entry down the side and quiet garden to enjoy. Inside, the styling is chic with a full kitchen and loft bed, and the owner is happy to help with advice on beaches, restaurants, and more.