Find out why the tiny house movement is taking off at this off-the-grid getaway in regional Victoria
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. shacky.co. $199-$249.