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Four Off-Grid Southern Highlands Stays to Book Depending On Who You're Holidaying With

Plan your next escape from the big city at one of these lush locations.
By Grace MacKenzie
June 20, 2022
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By Grace MacKenzie
June 20, 2022
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Holidaying looks different to every single one of us. Rancho relaxo is the destination of choice for many, some want to shop their way through a city, while others feel sunrise hikes and fully booked itineraries are the only way to go. If you're seeking a destination that will suit every type of travel companion, we've found it: the Southern Highlands.

The region has plenty to offer, from boutique wineries and produce-driven cafes to lush bushy surrounds with an abundance of ways to relax or adventure. And, to seal the deal, Joadja Tiny Homes has four luxuriously appointed, off-grid tiny homes that are pretty unbeatable in terms of places to stay. 

To make life easy, together with Joadja Tiny Homes, we've curated some of the must-have experiences in the region no matter who you're holidaying with.

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HOLIDAYING WITH A WILDLIFE LOVER

Booking a few nights in Elevation delivers proximity to creatures large and small — think eastern grey kangaroos, red necked wallabies and swathes of birds — making it a wildlife lover's dream getaway. The home for two is set in a small clearing and has large windows framing towering gums and native scrub. Here, a game of creature spotto from your plush queen bed is all in an arvo's work; and you're just a skip from the Wingecarribee River, a known spot for platypus nests.

A short drive will see you arrive in charming Berrima. Meander through the eucalypts along the Berrima River Walk, keeping your eyes peeled for the ever-elusive resident platypuses. Hot tip: set out for your day in the early morning light for a better chance of spying on the shy little guys.

Drive half an hour down Nowra Road and you'll be at Fitzroy Falls, a lush site teeming with birdlife. Spot cockatoos (glossy blacks and gang-gangs), honeyeaters and golden whistlers — and try to catch the incredible mimicry of a lyrebird. Then, mix some flora with the fauna along the Wildflower Walking Track.

On your way back to your teeny abode, pass through Wildes Meadow and grab a classic country feed at a classic country pub, Burrawang Village Hotel. Never enough critter sightings for you? Book a Southern Highlands Wildlife Day Tour and discover the best spots to spy koalas, wombats and sugar gliders.

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HOLIDAYING WITH A COUNTRY-TOWN ENTHUSIAST

Small bakeries with long lines, stores selling covetable homewares and quiet brick-lined streets — it's easy to be seduced by the charm of a country town. If you're travelling with someone who's forever looking to slow things down (without ditching city comforts), a Southern Highlands town-crawl is the trip for you — and Wilson's Rest offers the ideal home base.

Start your meandering in Mittagong, the town heralding your arrival to the Southern Highlands from Sydney. Pop into the antique shop on Main Street for a treasure to take home, then head to The Boston Ivy for brekkie. Nab a few treats from Ms Peacock (maybe a Birthday Cake Bar or Buttercrunch Toffee) before continuing on to Bowral.

Feeling regal? Head to Dirty Janes to sip tea from fine bone china within the high-ceilinged space full of vintage curios, or go all-in with a high tea. In Berrima, there's a cute country post office worth a little look, and Mrs Oldbuck's Pantry for your local jam and honey needs.

Your tiny home awaits for when you need to rest those legs. Spend the night fireside, gazing up at the expanse of stars, before crawling into your lofted queen bed.

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HOLIDAYING WITH A LOVER

If you're loved-up and looking for picturesque surroundings that mirror the way you feel, The Rapids has you sorted. It's based right on the riverfront and has a cute kitchenette, fireplace and a stunning view from the bed — so no one will blame you should you choose not to venture far.

But, if you're up for some exploring, cute and couply activities are nearby. After getting caffeinated via the in-house roasted beans at Rush Roasting Co, sip your way from cellar door to cellar door, sampling cool-climate drops from boutique producers. The vast Southern Highlands Winery estate will welcome you with a glass of homegrown pinot, and the cellar door at Cherry Tree Hill has more than one award-winning tipple on offer. Head to Joadja Estate around lunchtime to taste vino from the oldest vineyard in the Highlands before soaking up the booze with rice paper rolls or vermicelli salad from on-site Vietnamese food truck Ms Pho Canteen.

The task of the evening? Deciding between a night in under the stars at The Rapids and a booking at Eschalot, the seasonally driven fine diner in Berrima.

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HOLIDAYING WITH YOUR WHOLE GANG

Travelling with more than one other person? Lock in a weekend with your pals at The River Cottage, a cosy property on the banks of Wingecarribee River that sleeps up to eight. With both an indoor fireplace and an outdoor fire pit, plus a porch that overlooks the river, this charming cottage is a great spot to recharge those friendship batteries with long evenings of beers, board games and buzzing conversation.

Your chances of seeing wildlife on the property are pretty high (you'll be only 20 metres from the riverfront, after all). But if you want a guarantee of an up-close encounter, pay a visit to Australian Wildlife Sanctuary. Afterward, swing by the ever-popular Bendooley Estate to browse the shelves at The Berkelouw Book Shop and perhaps enjoy a vino by the stone fireplace. Or, to soak up more nature, time your visit to the region with the Tulip Festival in Bowral.

If spending an extended period of time with your best mates (a rare occurrence these days) has you feeling like a little kid again, plan a quick stop at The Big Potato in Robertson, then stock up on sweet treats at Lolly Swagman or Gumnut Patisserie. Or, for a more substantial feed, pay a visit to Bowral cafe Veggie Nook.

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For more information on Tiny Homes Joadja and to book your escape, visit the website

Published on June 20, 2022 by Grace MacKenzie
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