When Tim Jones ditched the hectic pace of Sydney with his wife Rebecca in 2015, they settled on an 11-acre farm along the Far South Coast. Nestled between the ocean, generous lake and mountain views and rolling swaths of green hills and valleys, the couple started up Tilba Lake Camp (TLC) as a way to share the scenery with others.
“You’ve got the best of both worlds,” says Tim. “You’re quite close to the village [of Tilba], but far enough away to have peace and quiet.”
First offering luxe camping and then expanding to eco-pods two years later, the Joneses also want to connect visitors with the region’s bounty of hyperlocal produce. The closest major town, Narooma, is “on the world stage” when it comes to oysters, Tim says, while Tilba Real Dairy’s award-winning cheese and fresh milk are fixtures at the camp. TLC even offers curated local hampers that showcase cold-climate drops from Bermagui winery Rusty Fig and sourdough bread from Bermagui Bakery, for example. The area is gradually becoming home to newer venues offering beers and cocktails, including Tilba Valley Winery, which hosts live music as well.
“We really use the local artisans to ramp up the experience – and also customise it,” Tim says. “It gives you a taste of the surrounding area.”
That’s where the eco-pods come in (you can book a getaway via RedBalloon.) The self-contained units are built and run with sustainability as a top priority. They use filtered rainwater and the window’s double glazing means that the warm of the sun makes the on-site heater more of a backup option, while the fireplace in certain eco-pods add an extra level of warmth.
Of the camp’s four eco-pods, two offer direct ocean views and the other two have a panoramic sweep of the farm. Dubbed ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Clyde’ in a cheeky nod to the camp’s guiding themes of escape, the latter eco-pods include not just the requisite produce hamper but a s’mores kit for the outdoor fire pit under the stars. Since part of the appeal is a detox from technology, there are no TVs in the rooms, but there is wi-fi, plus books and board games to enjoy on the pod’s sun-drenched deck. Guests also have access to a shared solar-heated swimming pool.
“It’s a very unique spot,” says Tim, who’s all too happy to keep on sharing it.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with RedBalloon