When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I really need a holiday”? Chances are, it was somewhat recently, and most likely, it’s been repeated more than once since your last holiday. Unfortunately, when you need a mental refresh, going overseas for a couple of weeks isn’t always an option. Sometimes though, all you need is one or two nights away to feel totally rejuvenated. Enter, Unyoked.
A business started by two Sydney-based brothers, Unyoked is a collective of tiny, off the grid houses scattered in undisclosed locations in regional parts of Australia. The concept seeks to provide city dwellers a respite from the 9-5. A spot surrounded by nature, with no Wi-Fi, no TVs, and no spreadsheets. So far, there are two houses, called Miguel and Heike, found somewhere in NSW’s Southern Highlands area. Cam and Chris, the brothers behind Unyoked, have big plans to launch more around the country.
I was recently fortunate enough to spend a night in Unyoked’s first tiny house, Miguel. It made for a perfect weekend escape, being only a couple of hours drive out of Sydney. I had a relatively good idea of what to expect from Miguel; Unyoked’s website features some pretty enticing photos of it and some if its surrounds, but when I got there, it was far more impressive than I imagined.
A small, black gabled roof is the first thing you see as you walk up the hill towards Miguel. As you get closer and the whole thing comes into sight, it really hits home just how isolated you are. The quaint little house sits at the edge of a lush, green clearing. Though you pass some farmland to get there, once you’re at ground zero, it’s really just you and whatever animals live in the bushes nearby – and that’s exactly the appeal of it.
The house itself is incredibly impressive and the design of its interiors can easily rival that of some hotels I’ve stayed in before. If like me, you love nature, but at the same time you also love hot showers, a warm bed, a roof over your head, and electricity, Unyoked will be right up your alley. Miguel can sleep three (one double bed and one single), has a decent sized kitchen with all your utensils, pots, and pans sorted, as well as a clean and spacious bathroom with a hot shower and composting toilet. They’ve even provided a couple of books and board games (remember those?) for entertainment.
It’s easy to feel disconnected from nature when you live in a city and work in front of a computer all day every day. I was surprised at how nice it was to be away from all that, even if it was just for one night. Sitting by the fire on a chilly night, watching the stars slowly light up the sky, was a truly beautiful experience.
One of the best things about Unyoked is that there’s no pressure to do anything while you’re there. There are no major sights to see, no museums you have to visit. If you want, you can go for a walk around the area. There are a bunch of different trails you can follow, stamped out by the sheep who reside on the farm below. Alternatively, you can just chill out at the house and enjoy its comfort. I personally enjoyed lazing in bed all morning, with a book and coffee in hand, enjoying the warmth of the sun coming in through the window. Miguel’s isolation meant there was a very peaceful soundscape, pierced only occasionally by the bleat of a nearby sheep.
The Wrap-Up – Unyoked Review
Though Unyoked only launched a few months ago, its demand has been huge; a testament to what a great idea it is. If you need somewhere to truly relax and disconnect, this is a great way to do it. Both houses are booked out for a while, but there will be new ones launching in different locations over the coming months. Jump on the waitlist to get in early for these ones – it’ll be entirely worth it.