When the June long weekend came tearing towards me, the brief was out of Sydney and out of reception. I needed a reset and I found it waiting for me at a clearing in the Wolgan Valley.
If like me, the brief is off-the-grid, then there's really no other option than Piccolino. Managed by Tiny Away, a company at the held of the tiny house movement in Australia, this particular listing is a self-contained cabin that rests in a clearing within the Wolgan Valley. There's no service and no wi-fi – just as the good lord intended.
For me, winter holidays always revolve around camping. You can have a fire and there's something restorative about being swaddled by the mountains when the temperature drops below 10 degrees. Piccolino is perfect for those who want to lean into a the outdoors but prefer a comfy bed. Then there's the fact that the accommodation has little impact on its surrounding environment. The kitchen, the bathroom amenities, all of it is natural where possible and just as considered in impact as with design.
Absolutely nothing. That's the point isn't it? To unwind and not fall into the trap of a to-do list.
Of course, you can break up the stints of doing nothing with gentle activities like taking a walk along the creek or going for a bushwalk and exploring the property from one of its many tracks. I rose with the sun and took particular joy in doing little things like building a fire (season permitting) and making a cup of tea to sip as I read Yassmin Abdel-Magied's book of essays Talking About A Revolution by said fire.
If birds are your thing, there's plenty of watching to do. I was visited by a family of kangaroos and a couple of wombats – a recurring theme on my recent trips out of Sydney. During the day I steered myself to Lake Wallace, a 30 minute drive from Piccolino, and did my best to catch some rainbow trout. They were just as elusive as their reputation.
Look to Piccolino for inspiration on what to pack. By this I mean, keep it minimal. The cabin has heating and all the essentials anyway. I always bring a book and my film camera. Aside from that, I wore these Nike ACG cargo pants the whole time and turned to my North Face puffer and late-night Etsy find Woolrich button up for warmth, packing a pair of merino wool socks from RoToTo for bed – it was six degrees after all.
More importantly (and enjoyably) was the food planning. I picked up some essentials from my local farmer's market, making a pit stop at Penny's Cheese Shop then Victor Churchill for cuts of meat to barbecue and Single Origin for their camping-friendly parachutes. Oh, and for breakfast there's nothing like a pancake shaker mix from White Wings. Truly.