Find out why the tiny house move­ment is tak­ing off at this off-the-grid get­away in re­gional Vic­to­ria

Time Out (Melbourne) - - INSIDE -

THE EN­TIRE HOME spans just a few square me­tres. Its diminu­tive front ve­ran­dah holds a pot­belly stove with a hot plate and a kitchen com­plete with an esky, sink and shelves filled with tea, cof­fee and cook­ing uten­sils. At the back of the house is a drop toi­let, shower and high-end toi­letries. In­side the sin­gle room there’s enough space for a soft dou­ble bed, ta­ble and chair. Put any thoughts of claus­tro­pho­bia out of your mind: the best fea­ture about the room is its wall-length win­dow look­ing out into rolling hills. You’re in­side, but you could just as eas­ily be sleep­ing un­der the stars. This is 'Shacky', lo­cated in re­gional Vic­to­ria in a se­cret lo­ca­tion within a work­ing farm that is only re­vealed once you book on­line. It’s so unas­sum­ing that it’s easy to miss at first. Driv­ing through dense olive groves, the first glimpse of the tiny house is its slop­ing ter­ra­cotta-coloured cor­ru­gated iron roof. Com­pletely self­suf­fi­cient and so­lar-pow­ered, it has been de­signed by Mel­bourne-based group MVS Ar­chi­tects to blend in with its sur­round­ings. Shacky is the brain­child of Mel­bourne-based en­tre­pre­neur An­drew Hub­bard, who de­cided to em­brace the tiny house move­ment in re­sponse to an in­creas­ingly stressed-out pop­u­la­tion. “By sim­ply es­cap­ing for a night or over the week­end, you’re able to re­align with your­self, re­lax and recharge,” he says. Last year, the Shacky crew set up a crowd-funded pro­to­type in the Ot­ways for sev­eral months, and ad­ver­tised it through Airbnb. It re­ceived a hugely pos­i­tive re­sponse and so Hub­bard set out to find a home for the first per­ma­nent Shacky. Even­tu­ally, he found Vicki and Steve Daniel, two re­tirees liv­ing on an olive grove in north­east­ern Vic­to­ria. These days, the Daniels look af­ter their olives, al­pacas, sheep and their Shacky guests, en­sur­ing that they’ve got all the fire­wood and food they need. While spotty phone re­cep­tion might feel frus­trat­ing at first, set­tling into a slower life­style soon be­comes a joy. Evening is lit by fairy lights, the glow of the fire and a mil­lion stars over­head; and a bot­tle of Fowles Wine Stone Dwellers Chardon­nay (from the lo­cal Strath­bo­gie Ranges) tastes even bet­ter with a meal you’ve cooked your­self on a wood-fired stove. It’s no sur­prise that tiny houses are tak­ing off, and in Vic­to­ria, Shacky is lead­ing the way with a sus­tain­able, com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence that feels like a luxe al­ter­na­tive to camp­ing. Time Out stayed as a guest of Shacky. Rose John­stone àcreightons Creek 3666. $199-$249.

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