The idea of holing up in a tiny, self-sufficient wooden cabin in a secret bush location is very appealing right now.
And while for most people it’s not a practical long-term lifestyle change, in the short-term, there’s Cabn – a company that rents out architect-designed off-grid accommodation in Victoria, South Australia and soon Queensland.
Inspired by the tiny-house movement, each cabin is different, but they all run off solar power, capture their own water and are self-contained (with dual stovetops, bathrooms, bar fridges and power ports). They’re also deliberately wi-fi free.
“It was [about] finding that happy medium of creating beautiful accommodation but really putting it in nature,” says Cabn marketing coordinator Shane Laidlaw. “You go away with your partner – or your family, or your dog – and you disconnect.”
There’s only one Cabn in Victoria at the moment – it’s called Allira and is hidden in the Yarra Valley, an easy hour’s drive north-east of Melbourne. The region is known for its wineries and restaurants, and is home to the impressive Tarrawarra Museum of Art and native-wildlife zoo Healesville Sanctuary.
Allira’s dark-timber exterior helps it blend into the surrounding bush, and its remote location means it’s quiet, except for the native birds.
Inside, the rectangular space sleeps three, cleverly (and comfortably) designed to fit a king-sized loft bed, and a single daybed next to a large window on one side.
There’s a small kitchen, a shower with biodegradable skincare and haircare products.
In winter, a combustion heater keeps the space warm, and in summer you can flick on the ceiling fan overhead, or swing open the double glass-doors to create an indoor-outdoor living space.
There’s also an outdoor firepit and a gas barbeque outside.
The cabin is cleaned between guests, but once your stay kicks off, you’ll be left to unwind alone – the only people you’ll see are the ones you bring with you. A set of instructions (including the exact location) is emailed five days before your booking.
“There are no neighbours,” says Laidlaw. “It's just you and the company and the nature that surrounds you.”
Cabn was founded by Michael Lamprell after a trip to Boston in 2016, where he discovered tiny houses and developed an interest in minimalism after reading Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, a book about shedding excess stuff.
Allira is located in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Rates start at $209 per night, with a minimum stay of two nights.
Due to Covid-19, travel restrictions are currently in place in Victoria. Residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are not currently permitted to travel for leisure. Find the latest information, updates and health advice on the Department of Health and Human Services website.