Need a couple of nights away from the big smoke? There are plenty of places to pitch a tent in New South Wales, and heaps of tiny houses dotted about. But when you need a little more room to spread out, there are comfortably spacious cabins with ample outdoor space for bathing under the stars, then snuggling inside when the weather turns.
Crafters Cabin, Thredbo
Five minutes’ drive from Jindabyne, on over five hectares of alpine bushland, you’ll find an off-grid cabin built by Snowy Mountains locals Dan and Mitch, who put their carpentry and building skills to use with ash timber, stone, marble and brass to create a luxurious cabin that’s almost as sexy as the views. You can watch the light dance on the mountainside from your bed, soak under the stars in the outdoor tub, or warm your toes around the indoor fireplace after a summer hike. The one-bed cabin has a double shower, an outdoor fire pit and breakfast bar overlooking the hills. From $490 per night. Minimum three-night booking.
Hilltop Cottage, Royal National Park
Ever wanted to camp in the national park, but don’t like the idea of hauling all your water and gear on a coastal hike? There is another option. Stay in one of the properties managed by NSW National Parks instead, which are located right on the edge of walking tracks, rugged beaches and waterfalls – but with hot showers, proper beds and electricity. Hilltop Cottage, for example, overlooks Port Hacking near Warumbul picnic area. It sleeps up to six in roomy bedrooms with heritage details. Audley Dance Hall Cafe is only a short drive away for brekkie and there’s a spacious deck for post-hike barbeques. Rates start at $345 per night. There’s a minimum two-night stay.
Eco Huts at Kimo Estate, Gundagai
High on the hilltops, about 10 minutes’ drive from Gundagai, are three eco lodges with views of the Murrumbidgee River Flats and a sheep and cattle farm. Each one has a wood-fired hot tub and landscaped seats formed around an outdoor fire pit. Kimo Estate’s huts are exceptionally popular, so the owners release a month of upcoming available dates on the first day of each month. Each eco hut sleeps two, but there’s accommodation for bigger groups on the same property for up to 12. Indoors, there’s a log heater and solar-powered fridge, but you’ll want to cook your meals outside as often as possible. Bookmark this one for your next drive between Sydney and Melbourne. From $600 per night.
Kumbogie Cabin, Tamworth
About 10 minutes from Tamworth, Airbnb hosts Peter and Jenny have built an eco-friendly cabin for two, set at the base of rolling hills and at least a kilometre away from the nearest neighbours. The only guests you should expect are the occasional echidna or wallaby. The 160-acre property doubles as a sheep farm and a private retreat, and the cosy cabin has an indoor wood burner, sofa, TV and fully equipped kitchen. When all you crave is campfire smoke and stillness, there’s the fire pit and a whole sky of constellations to watch as well. From $151 per night.
Nashdale Lane Glamping, Orange
Want to sleep among the vines? This glamping cabin is located on the award-winning vineyard Nashdale Lane in Orange. The vineyard produces drops of every type in a small, sustainable way. Its cellar door is a rustic shed overlooking the lush green vines and sunburnt hills, where you can take a seat by the indoor fireplace, or around a barrel, any day of the week. There are two glamping cabins nearby – Rustig, meaning “quiet” in Dutch, and Kalmte, meaning “calm”. Both have hardwood floors, rainfall-style showers, queen-size beds and an indoor wood burner for when the temperature drops. If you get bored of the 24-hectare vineyard, there’s plenty to explore in Orange town centre, about 10 minutes away by car. $325 per night (plus cleaning and Airbnb fees). Minimum two-night stay.
The Dairy, Little Forest
Soak in the outdoor tub and wave hello to the cows at the same time. The Dairy is a two-bedroom cottage near Milton and Mollymook that balances “romantic couple getaway” with the realities of having young kids in tow. It’s minutes away from cafes and restaurants in town, but being on more than 40 hectares of a working cattle farm and horse breeding station makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside. On the deck, there’s a fire pit, barbeque, picnic table and views of Pigeon House Mountain in the distance. Indoors there’s enough room to spread out the board games and fire up the wi-fi for a night in with the fam. From $330 per night. Minimum two-night stay.
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