Sydneysiders starved of long weekend escapes (thanks for that, lockdown 2.0) need look no further than a very manageable one-hour drive north-west of the city for a semi-rural retreat.
And no, we're not heading to the Blue Mountains per se, though it is a delightful destination in itself. This time we're plotting a course to East Kurrajong, a small sleepy town nestled in the lower slopes of said mountains.
There, you'll find a five-acre lifestyle property where owner Taryn and her family live and breed — wait for it — Labradoodles.
Along with raising cute little pups, they also play host to couples (plus or minus a small child or dog) staying in the compact yet cosy tiny house on the rear of the gently sloping paddock.
Tiny 'Inja,' as Taryn's 155 Sqft tiny house is known, might be the perfect introduction for those who, like me, are new to the whole tiny house phenomenon.
We've all gawked over those aerial photos of some stunning remote location with a tiny house tucked among the trees, no other people, shops, wifi or mobile reception for miles.
And as much as it seems adventurous and peaceful (and top quality content for the 'Gram) I'd classify that as an advanced tiny house stay. The type of stay that requires proper hiking shoes, a satellite phone and water purification tablets.
Well, not quite, but there's certainly more planning and experience involved and I'm just not ready for that.
Somewhere like Tiny Inja, however, is a great starting point for tiny house beginners. It's easily accessible (no 4WD needed, I drove a sedan), and you can park right next to the tiny house to easily unload your stuff.
It's leafy and quiet and there is a small menagerie of farm animals — pigs, cows, goats, chickens — on neighbouring properties that create a farm-like atmosphere without, well... actually being on a farm.
Inside Tiny Inja
The house itself is cute as a button, with everything you need for a comfy stay. There's a small couch on the lower floor that can be converted into a single bed and a queen-sized bed up in the loft.
It's surprisingly spacious up there thanks to the pitched roof though taller folks will want to be mindful of their heads when going up the stairs.
There's a full yet compact bathroom with a shower and composting toilet which is really not as scary as it sounds.
Under the stairs, you'll find heaps of cupboards and drawers for storing bags and things, along with cups, crockery, utensils and cookware for use in the kitchenette.
In terms of appliances, there's a mini-fridge, microwave, kettle and toaster. You can cook light meals on the portable hotplate, which is also handily kept in the drawers when not in use to maximise space.
Or, you could leave all of that alone and go full holiday-mode by pre-ordering a breakfast and/or BBQ pack (at an extra cost) from Taryn.
I had the brekkie which featured homemade toasted granola, fresh fruit and juice. It was delightful and, if you're lucky, you just might have it hand-delivered by Taryn's friendly husband and kids.
If dining out is more your taste, there are plenty of pubs and cafes in Richmond town, just a short drive away.
As is Bilpin Cider Co., a brewery that turns local apples into a wide variety of yummy ciders. Enjoy tasting a few (or more) at the on-site bar or bring a picnic blanket, stretch out on the expansive lawns and bliss out to some live music on a Sunday.
Kurmond Social in Kurmond and The Village Kitchen in Kurrajong are two restaurants that come recommended by Taryn.
When the sun goes down I heartily encourage you to get the fire pit out the front going, toast some marshmallows and enjoy a beverage of your choice while watching the flames flicker away.
Yes, the main family house is a little ways up the hill behind you, but I honestly forgot it was there. Though, for a tiny house beginner like me, it was nice to know that someone was just a text away in case I set myself ablaze or, more likely, ran out of milk.
One day I'll wake up in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere, cut off from the rest of the world and responsible for (gasp) making my own breakfast. But until then, I might get a few more Inja-style stays under my belt first.
Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Tiny Away. Tiny Inja starts at $179 per night.
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