You’re more likely to spot an emu on the road in front of the Nook on the Hill than a car. And twice as likely a kangaroo. Better yet, you can watch both animals head home at sunset from the comfort of an outdoor clawfoot bathtub.

The Nook on the Hill is a tiny home with ample character that’s – as the name suggests – perched on a small rise in the foothills of the Gariwerd/Grampians mountain ranges. It’s set down a gravel lane in Pomonal, just a 10-minute drive to Halls Gap and only five minutes’ drive from wineries Pomonal Estate and Fallen Giants.

Across two levels, there are only 33 square metres of floor space but any more room would feel like surplus. The west-facing facade is edge-to-edge double-glazed windows overlooking the mountains, welcoming Grampians views into the whole home. On the ground floor there’s a petite yet functional kitchen with electric stove, oven and equipment; a bathroom with rain shower; and a small living space with a smart TV and board games. Upstairs, draw the olive-green curtains to enclose the mezzanine and create a separate sleep space. There’s an attention to detail here that makes each corner feel like its own distinct nook within the Nook. All the linen is monogrammed – from the bedroom to the bathroom and kitchen – and just about every surface has storage underneath.

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It’s the result of thousands of hours of handiwork from owner-builder Benj Bailey-Webb, who wore as many hats as he could on-site. “When I didn’t know how to do something I found an expert and set out to learn from them,” he says. He’s employed a strong focus on up-cycling reclaimed materials such as timber flooring from a high school basketball court and the roof of an old Melbourne warehouse. And he’s built the house to be narrow and tall to leave as little a mark on the land as possible.

“I wanted to create a sanctuary deserving of this magical plot of land, somewhere where visitors can be immersed in the natural surrounds, relax and watch the wildlife right outside the door,” says Bailey-Webb. And that’s what he’s achieved. From the clawfoot tub on a patio, soak in country air as eucalyptus leaves rustle and fairywrens flit onto garden stakes in the surrounding natives-filled garden. “It’s worth every aching muscle,” he assures us.

It’s a three-and-a-half-hour drive to reach the Nook from Melbourne, but there’s plenty to explore once you’ve settled in. Guests can start the day trekking the Wonderland Loop Walk to Lake Wartook (carpark space fills up early), pop by Grampians Wine Cellar in the afternoon where owner Simon Freeman will connect you with some local drops, then grab dinner at Parker Street Project (one of the Grampians’ best). On long weekends, the primary school throws a market that attracts a big crowd. There’s just one condition when you stay at the Nook: don’t forget to snap a polaroid for the guest book (and print one out for yourself, too).

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