There's getting away. And then there's disappearing to your own private, tiny house in the wilderness — miles from any sign of human interference.
Meet Unyoked, a new, Australian independent accommodation option that lets you do just that. Importantly, this is not a hotel. Founded and run by twins Cam and Chris Grant, the off-the-grid experience brings you the convenience and comforts of four solid walls, alongside the adventure, spontaneity and closeness-to-nature of camping.
Here's how. With the help of designer/builder Alice Nivison and builder/eco-consultant Richie Northcott from Sydney design studio Fresh Prince, the brothers have designed and built two tiny houses — both sustainable and solar-powered. They've been placed in secret patches of wilderness on private properties, in the middle of nowhere. Anytime you want to flee the city, disconnect and recharge, all you have to do is book one and jump in your car. Both houses are no more than two hours' drive from Sydney.
"We grew up camping and hiking," the Grants say. "But once we started to work full-time, we noticed we weren't doing that as much. We were spending too much time in the grind. Unyoked came about because we wanted to get back to nature."
The idea is that, rather than having to wait for your annual vacation, you can add a nature escape to your regular routine. "We wanted to give people more of a balance ... to give them the chance to get off the grid, but without necessarily having to go to Nepal," the Grants say.
The houses aim to "make you feel like you're part of the environment". Think timber, oversized windows, solar power, composting toilets and a blissful lack of wi-fi. At the same time, though, simple comforts are taken care of, so you get a cosy bed, kitchen appliances, firewood, coffee, milk, herbs and the like.
Plus, the locations have been carefully selected. "We went through a detailed process of finding the right properties," the Grants say. "There's a set criteria. Each property must be secluded, away from the sight or sound of any human-made elements and have wildlife." For example, the first-built tiny house, which is named Miguel, sits on a 300-acre property, surrounded by 400-year-old rainforest, waterfalls, walking trails and kangaroos.
Unyoked aims to make sure your stay is a bit of an adventure, by keeping the exact address of your chosen house secret until two days before you're due to set off. You'll be given a vague idea of the location, but nothing more. "We want people to feel like they were walking in the wilderness and suddenly came across a cabin."
More Unyoked tiny houses are on their way — Melbourne's next.