The Self Contained Mini Shack In Victorias Country Side Giving You A True Off The Grid Experience!
If you need an escape from the demanding, hectic hustle that is your day to day routine, the one that makes you want to tear your hair out and throw your mobile phone in the water to exclude yourself from reality at times, there's no need! The Shacky, perched up in the centre of a beautiful, secluded and incredibly tranquil Olive Grove in Victorias stunning country side is literally off the grid! no reception to be found unless you wander up the top of the surrounding hills - this may freak some people out, but to me it was so perfect! Sayonara frustrating work calls, spammy emails and calendar notifications setting your daily schedule out for you from the minute you wake up. It's a whole new kind of peaceful - nestled in amongst the olive trees on a private property on the outskirts of Euroa, surrounded by the large, green, rocky hills of Victorias High Country. Wildlife roam freely up on the hills, the hosts curios sheep that also call the grove home come to say G'Day and all you can expect to hear is the sound of a slight breeze as well as various species of beautiful birds fluttering around, making all kinds of different chirps as they chase each other in and out of the olive trees. It's so refreshing to know that your main concern when it comes to noise is perhaps a rather loud bird having too much fun or a sheep baaing rather than the sound of road traffic or noisy neighbours.
As you enter the area you can expect to find yourself totally overwhelmed and in awe of those that call these properties home. You are surrounded by farms with enormous expanses of land, home to free range farm animals and stunning hills covered in native flora and enormous rocks that almost look as though they've been dropped from the sky and fallen in to place - the visually striking views of the country side are so picturesque it's as though you're staring in to the scene of a movie or an image of a postcard.
The hosts come to greet you upon your arrival to make sure you are aware of the property boundaries, invite you to explore their beautiful grove and give you the run down of the Shacky and everything it has to offer. They are hard working retirees that pride themselves on their efforts to outstandingly host the Shacky and generously share their amazing property with others. They're justifiably proud and were happy to answer all of our questions about their initial eagerness to become hosts, the functionality of the Shacky, a bit about their background to allow you to get to know them a little and their future intensions as hosts and how they wish to further expand the Shackys' offerings. It can be kind of strange getting your head around the fact that you're camping in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception on someone else's property - but after you see for yourself their willingness to help make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible and realise they're lovely, grounded, trustworthy people, that unknowingness is quickly taken away.
The Shacky is a completely environmentally friendly, self contained little hut for two with a cosy bed, big sliding windows to look out of when you wake in the morning to embrace natures beauty, a mini heater, fresh spring water on tap, a solar powered hot water system and USB ports for charging electronics, inbuilt toilet, a great outdoor (yet still private) shower, a mini kitchen with a sink and serving area, an esky stocked with ice packs, a pot belly fire to cook and boil the kettle on as well as a gas cooker and plenty of cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery to use. There is also tea, coffee, milo, bottled water, choccy, milk and nibbles provided - you can preorder food to have stocked up upon arrival for you to cook, or you can do as we did and take some of your own. The lovely host provided us with some of the most delicious grazing platter foods I've had! I'd strongly recommend ordering that! Take a look at the shots below to get an idea of what to expect as well as inspo for what to bring yourselves - we made a delicious lamb rack and sautéed veggies for dinner and banana pancakes with fresh berries and cuppas for breaky!
This is a great way for those who don't see themselves as 'campers' to get a little taste of the outback, responsibility free, simple style of living. You don't even have to collect your own wood! it's all chopped and ready for you with fire lighters at hand! so don't worry, if you've never lit a fire yourself before, you don't have to go cold and hungry!
Sitting out by the fire pit and chatting, having a drink, eating nibbles, roasting marshmallows and simply enjoying each others company is so humbling - it's all you need in life, really.
Get to know the Shacky, truly!
Shacky Marketing Manager, Jin Soon kindly let me in on a few of the ins and outs:
Who is actually behind Shacky?
“We're still a fairly young company with a very small team, with the CEO being Andrew Hubbard.”
Where Shacky all started?
“Shacky started in Melbourne in 2016. Coming from a very corporate life, the idea of tiny houses really appealed to Andrew. It represents a simpler way of living. We're getting busier and busier, and people need that escape.”
What is our inspiration/what made us start the business?
“We're inspired by the unique landscape of Australia, and the abundance and beauty of regional land that many people have not visited before or are even aware of. We're also inspired by the people who live in these regional areas who tend to the land for their livelihood, oftentimes going back generations and who are as excited as we are about sharing the view and special offerings to people.”
Jin says Shacky has always strived to accomplish two things:
1. Providing a unique getaway experience to people so they can escape from the typical 9-5 grind and really experience for themselves the beauty and serenity of Australia's natural environment
2. Helping farmers and regional landowners diversify their income through our partnership.
And that they do! I was particularly impressed by the idea behind getting the local community involved and ensuring they’re supported through making property owners heavily involved in the Shacky process. Rather than just having the hut plonked on their property somewhere and not having a lot to do with the residence coming and going (as it is all managed through online bookings), the hosts are actually encouraged to purchase local produce when providing the supplies for the residence before they arrive, they’re also in charge of the maintenance, exterior design and appearance of the Shacky, giving them a little project on the side to constantly improve and get creative with! The little trinkets inside, the hand-made wooden steps and the path ways you see at the Olive Grove Shacky were put together by the enthusiastic hosts!
“The Shackys are designed to be an extension of its environment and landscape, encouraging guests to interact more with nature and offering a true off-the-grid experience.”
What about the design of our Shackys?
“They are designed by our in-house architect Jan van Schaik of MvS Architects, using all Australian materials such as local timber and corrugated iron. Keeping with the theme of sustainability, our Shackys are completely self-sufficient, with a composting toilet and is entirely powered by solar energy to keep the environmental impact as low as possible.”
Where are our Shackys actually made?
“Our Shackys are all pre-fabricated in a factory in Melbourne. This not only provides us with better control over the conditions of the build but also allows us to be able to transport the finished product and install in on the property all in one day!”
If there's one thing I'd strongly recommend doing when you stay at Shacky in the Olive Grove, it's to take a nice long shower and soak up the views and sounds of the nature surrounding you, you'll probably never have an outdoor shower quite so intimate and luxurious! and also, take a walk up to the top of the Hill to the right of the Shacky and sit on the little bench provided on sunset, the views are stunning!
In my opinion, I'd try to book in the cooler months where there are no fire restrictions! this ensures you don't miss out on the outdoor campfire experience!
For further information, bookings and general enquiries, head to the Shacky website. Their Instagram is also a great mini gallery to tempt you even further. If this isn't already on your bucket list be sure to add it now, it truly is a MUST!