Cabins are an ideal solution for when you want to get off the beaten track without having to sacrifice access to indoor plumbing. Whether you wanted to head north to the mountains, west to the spa country, east to the Yarra Valley or south to the sea, there's a cosy cabin ready with a comfy bed and wilderness to explore.
Ever wanted to stay in a tiny house in the middle of Victoria’s wilderness? Unyoked is a tiny house surrounded by fallow farmland, friendly cows and zip, zero, zilch phone reception. The cabin comes complete with a mini bar filled with ingredients to make lasagna, s'mores and Negronis. Staying here is quiet, but not in a Wolf Creek kind of way. More in a there-is-not-a-soul-around-I-might-as-well-walk-around-naked kind of way. The exact location of the Scandi-inspired off-grid cabin is kept secret until a few days before you go, and there are currently three cabins to check out within two hours drive from Melbourne.
Tiny Stays comes as advertised: tiny. But clever use of the space and decor makes it feel cosy rather than claustrophobic. It's located at the top of a straw-coloured hill about ten minutes' drive from Healesville, and your time at the cabin is best spent outside soaking up postcard-perfect views of grazing roos and dense gum forest. There’s even a firepit to keep toasty warm and a stack of board games to keep entertained (yes, you can get phone reception if you’re desperate). Inside the cabin fits a pillow top queen bed, a two-burner gas stove, a bar fridge, kitchen sink, all cooking utensils and basic kitchen ingredients (like oil, condiments and even muesli for breakfast).
This luxury timber cabin (from, yes, 1860) is down a laneway just off the main drag in the beautiful Victorian gold rush town. It's surrounded by a lovely garden and gum trees, and it's just the place for peace and quiet. No expense has been spared to turn the cabin into a gorgeous retreat, complete with modern comforts and beautiful period styling. There's an espresso machine, king-sized bed, deep bath, fluffy robes and everything you need to make a hearty breakfast. The furniture is reclaimed and remade from artefacts of the time – a giant bellows forms the coffee table, and an antique cupboard holds the TV and DVD player.
There’s a simple pleasure in waking up to the sound of magpies, with sunlight streaming in through gaps in the curtains. At Shacky, your time is yours to spend offline however you like – whether that’s walking through olive groves (and meeting the occasional alpaca), reading beside an open fire or cooking eggs and bacon on a potbelly stove. At night guests can enjoy the glow of the fire and a million stars overhead; a bottle of Stone Dwellers Chardonnay (from the local Strathbogie Ranges) tastes even better with a meal you’ve cooked yourself on a wood-fired stove. Not only is the house completely self-sufficient and solar-powered, it has also been designed by Melbourne-based group MvS Architects (using all-Australian materials) to blend in with its surroundings.
Now technically the Nest refers to its cabins as "pods". If you can get past that minor detail however you'll find the Nest to be both luxurious and tranquil. These cabins (there's a set of three) are spacious, modern, eco-friendly and just outside of Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff. The pods are made out of recycled materials, use filtered rainwater and are powered by solar during the day. It might sound strange, but staying at the Nest really does feel like staying in a nest, albeit one with plush carpeting, spa and an oh-so-comfortable king bed. Ditch your bags as soon as you arrive and sink into the spa with a glass of sparkling (P.S. the mini bar is complimentary).
Escape the city and be back by bedtime
If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore. These one-day escapes are just what the doctor ordered, so get out there and explore Melbourne's beautiful backyard.