Unyoked, the travel start-up that’s all about unplugging and unwinding in the wilderness, has added six new cabins to its portfolio of remote getaways.

Its tiny architecturally designed cabins are on private land in the countryside or wilderness and are made to get you out of the city and into nature. Unyoked currently has six cabins – three in New South Wales and three in Victoria – but the new digs will double that number.

Twin brothers Cameron and Chris Grant launched Unyoked in 2016 as a way to escape their fast-paced city jobs.

“We realised our lifestyle and the amount we were working ... [weren’t] congruent with a healthy lifestyle and how our bodies should be treated,” Cameron tells Broadsheet. “We wanted a way to access a more natural environment more often, and that's how it all started.”

A yoke is a wooden bar that connects domesticated animals to carts or farming equipment, effectively harnessing them to work. To be “unyoked” means to be free of that harness, but for the brothers it’s so much more.

“[It’s] all about leaving the worries of the nine-to-five life behind, slowing down and forgetting about being busy, using your hands and really connecting with the moment – being part of something bigger out there, and that’s what nature really does to you,” Chris says.

Unyoked began with cabins in NSW’s Southern Highlands and Victoria followed with others just over an hour and a half away from Melbourne.

The three new NSW cabins will be an hour and a half north and north-west of the Sydney CBD – expect one in the Central Coast hinterland and others in private valleys and forest glades. In Victoria, the tiny houses will be in Gippsland, the Pyrenees Mountain Ranges, and a pine forest bordering a national park.

“They're deliberately only two hours away, because while it would be great to have these experiences off the grid and miles away, that’s tough to do in modern life,” Chris says. “The whole idea is tapping out to eventually tap back in.”

Changes have also been made to the standard cabin design by Sydney-based design and architecture firm Fresh Prince (Marta, Dead Ringer). Based on feedback from hundreds of guests, these new cabins have a renewed focus on sustainability, longevity and functionality.

The solar-powered system has been upgraded, and rainwater tanks have a bigger capacity so they can stay off the grid longer. The kitchens have been spruced up with help from Three Blue Ducks – there’s more equipment to use with the gas stove, plus there are more amenities for cooking in the outdoor Dutch oven or over a campfire.

They’ve also added more desks and workspaces, which seemed counterintuitive at first, but the brothers found there was a demand for it.

“A lot of people use the cabin to tackle their creative problems or blocks. We normally advocate disconnecting, but we’re also all for helping people be more creative, so this just lets them work more comfortably,” Chris says.

More than 5000 people are currently on the company’s waitlist for both states, and they’ll be the first to stay at the new cabins. Bookings opened earlier this week for waitlist members, and they’ll be available to the rest of the public next week.

The NSW cabins will be ready for guests to stay in later in December, while the Victorian spots will open to guests in January.

There are also plans to expand across the country, so expect to see cabins sprout up in Queensland, eastern Tasmania and the ACT in the first half of 2020.

Bookings for Unyoked’s six new cabins are now open.


This article first appeared on Broadsheet on October 15, 2019. Some details may have changed since publication.