Going to stay in Tiny House Daisy is the definition of getting off-the-grid. Located three-hours drive from Sydney on a remote property amongst state forest in the Oberon Shire, this is the kind of place where you don’t take an agenda.
A couple of days before you depart for your stay, you will receive a thorough, 14-page document from In2theWild. It details how to find the accommodation, what to bring, and what to do when you get there. You'll know that the town of Oberon, half an hour from the property, is the last place to refuel the car and stock up on any supplies. You'll know to look out for the sign for the Great Dividing Range and for the red lines marked on telephone poles.
Don't make our mistake though, and plot your arrival to arrive before nightfall. The process of locating the turn off from the highway and navigating the unsealed dirt roads into the property has an added sense of the unknown when in darkness, as rabbits dart across the road. A 4WD would be ideal for tracking along the rock-laden loggers roads and extra wobby last length of trail up to the tiny house, but the old reliable, two-door two-wheeler made the journey. On arrival, you’ll also need to follow instructions to start up the electricity, retrieve the key and make sure the water is on (don’t forget to turn on the fridge).
Daisy is your stock-standard, modern yet quaint, tiny house – it’s the kind of beauty that minimalistic interior design dreams are made of. The all-white interior, matching monochromatic bedding, and high, pitched roof make the space feel light and airy despite the small quarters. (Hot tip: pack light, there’s not much room for laying out a suitcase.) A queen bed is bordered by large windows that overlook grassy fields and the pine forest. A shelf-like windowsill borders the bed, with enough room to set down a mug of tea or a book. There’s a functioning kitchen and bathroom, as well as a king single bunk bed, if you really feel like fitting another person in (or bringing along a child).
In surges of wind and gusts of rain the tiny house unit shakes a little, enough to notice. But it feels safe, sealed from the elements, and a comfortable enough distance from the taller trees on the property to put any worries at bay.
The water hooked up from the tank out back is drinkable and the pressure and heat in the shower is better than what you'd get in plenty of inner city apartments (just keep your showers short, you will be reminded). The loo is a composting toilet. In place of flushing water there is a container of saw dust with a scoop, as well as an enzyme spray bottle for number twos. You might feel a bit like a cat with a litter box, but you'll soon got used to it.
During inclement weather, nest up with a book, cuppas from the stovetop kettle and watch the raindrops slug their way down the window. You can cook up a BYO breakfast with eggs gifted from the farm ("laid yesterday" a handwritten note on the carton informs us) and a bunch of fragrant herbs (“picked this morning”). On a clear day, or in the break between drizzles, prepare to be greeted by a herd of some 25 goats (including babies!). They have their names on their collars, and receive pats willingly until greener pastures call. In the evening, set a fire and light up the barbecue.
Daisy is the setting for the ultimate digital detox. You're likely to lose mobile phone reception along the highway, with little chance of it returning during your stay (unless your phone network provider starts with a ‘T’ and rhymes with ‘elstra’). Your tiny house is a WiFi-free zone, too. There are no outlets for plugging in devices like laptops or hair dryers (which would short out the electricity), but there are USB outlets for charging your phone. We find a basic Nokia smartphone plugged in with a note including the contact number for one of the farmers, this one gets reception. It's comforting to know you're not completely uncontactable. It's also handy for checking the weather predictions.
If you’re willing to lean in to the cosy quarters, the payoff for a stay at this tiny house is the ability to completely switch off. You get the immersion in nature you’d find in off-the-grid camping – without the prerequisite effort, gear and expertise – with linen, towels and hot running water to boot.
If you're looking for activties nearby, there's 4WD-ing, hiking, and up the road Helmshore Alpacas can arrange hands-on visits by appointment. Australia's largest cool-climate garden, Mayfield Garden, is just half an hour away. But if you plan for anything, it should be plenty of time to do nothing.
On our way out we stop in to say hello to the farmers, Nicky and Rob, who show us around their garden and introduce us to the dogs, chickens and gentle cows. They tell us the story of how they left their hectic lives in Sydney behind to buy some land and set up the rural lifestyle they always dreamed of, and send us off with more freshly laid eggs for the chilly bin. We might not be ready to dump our city slicker ways, but it's nice to play pretend for a couple of tranquil days.
Daisy is one of 14 tiny houses across New South Wales operated by In2theWild. Prices start at $529 for two nights (or $738 for weekend peak pricing), plus $50 per bag for firewood (one bag a night is recommended). See all the NSW tiny houses here.
Want more options? These are the best tiny houses and cosy cabins to rent near Sydney.