Unyoked, the travel start-up that’s all about unplugging and unwinding in the wilderness, now has over 75 pint-sized cabins in its portfolio of remote getaways.
Its tiny architecturally designed cabins are on private land in the countryside or wilderness and are made to get you out of the city and into nature.
Twin brothers Cameron and Chris Grant launched Unyoked in 2016 as a way to escape their fast-paced city jobs.
“We realised our lifestyle and the amount we were working … [weren’t] congruent with a healthy lifestyle and how our bodies should be treated,” Cameron tells Broadsheet. “We wanted a way to access a more natural environment more often, and that’s how it all started.”
A yoke is a wooden bar that connects domesticated animals to carts or farming equipment, effectively harnessing them to work. To be “unyoked” means to be free of that harness, but for the brothers it’s so much more.
“[It’s] all about leaving the worries of the nine-to-five life behind, slowing down and forgetting about being busy, using your hands and really connecting with the moment – being part of something bigger out there, and that’s what nature really does to you,” Chris says.
Unyoked began with cabins in NSW’s Southern Highlands and Victoria followed with others just over an hour and a half away from Melbourne.
The NSW cabins are all within a couple of hours of Sydney CBD – ranging from the Central Coast hinterland and others in private valleys and forest glades. In Victoria, the tiny houses can be found in Gippsland, the Pyrenees Mountain Ranges, and even a pine forest bordering a national park. They’ve since expanded with properties near Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Byron Bay.
“They’re deliberately only two hours away, because while it would be great to have these experiences off the grid and miles away, that’s tough to do in modern life,” Chris says. “The whole idea is tapping out to eventually tap back in.”
Changes have also been made to the standard cabin design by Sydney-based design and architecture firm Fresh Prince (Marta, Dead Ringer). Based on feedback from hundreds of guests, these cabins have a focus on sustainability, longevity and functionality.
The solar-powered system has been upgraded, and rainwater tanks have a bigger capacity so they can stay off the grid longer. The kitchens have been spruced up with help from Three Blue Ducks – there’s more equipment to use with the gas stove, plus there are more amenities for cooking in the outdoor Dutch oven or over a campfire.
Some of the cabins are also hooked up directly to the farms water supply so there’s not risk of running out (though guests are encouraged to keep the showers short and snappy). You’ll be sharing your space with herds of happy cows who often use the cabins to scratch themselves which is way cuter than it sounds.
They’ve also added more desks and workspaces, which seemed counterintuitive at first, but the brothers found there was a demand for it.
“A lot of people use the cabin to tackle their creative problems or blocks. We normally advocate disconnecting, but we’re also all for helping people be more creative, so this just lets them work more comfortably,” Chris says.
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on October 15, 2019. Some details may have changed since publication. It was updated on August 11, 2023 with new locations and information.