Winter is the perfect time to hunker down and recharge after an action-packed summer. No one has time to be seizing the day with an early start, or having a midday rumpus in a rooftop bar. The cold weather calls for long, pensieve walks in the woods, and snuggles under a comforter with Netflix. Time for a cheeky little cabin stay.
Combinging the camaraderie of camping with the modern comforts of indoor living and flushing toilets, cabin retreats are the ultimate way to go off the grid without leaving your comfort zone. Good thing Brisbane is just a few hours’ drive from the scenic rim, the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and the forests of northern New South Wales. All three regions are prime spots for a cosy winter getaway, with plenty of cabins and cottages dotted in and around their peaks and valleys. Here's some of our favourites.
The Bower Rainforest Retreat
Just ten minutes from the Maleny township, The Bower is the ultimate winter getaway. One of three lodges hidden in the Wootha Rainforest, this timber cabin is a textbook mountain retreat, kitted out with all the modcons, including a private deck, free WiFi (for Netflixing purposes only—no work emails), an antique claw foot bath, full kitchen, and a wood burning fireplace. Nice. They even stock the fridge and pantry with breakfast goodies, so you don’t need to leave the cabin till lunchtime.
Image credit: Garden Forest Studio
Garden Forest Studio Cabin
This completely self-contained cabin in the Noosa Hinterland is the perfect place to take a break from the daily grind. Completely ensconced in the forest, the light and breezy decor strikes a good balance between the surrounding greenery and proximity to the coast (just a 15 minute drive to Coolum). The Garden Forest Cabin also has an outdoor fire pit to keep you warm while star-gazing, and with modern amenities and premium WiFi, it feels like a coastal retreat dropped in the middle of the wilderness.
Image credit: The Pines
The Pines Treehouse Bungalow
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in a treehouse, this is the place for you. A weekend at The Pines with see you nestled among the tree tops and flanked on all sides by idyllic stretches of countryside as far as your eyes can see. The space is a rustic little nook that feels like it was modelled on a tent. Flooded with natural light and perfectly positioned for exploring the surrounding wilderness, the Pines is a glorious base camp for anyone looking to get off the grid and back in touch with nature. And with Noosa just a ten minutes' drive away, you can opt back in at your leisure.
Image credit: Belltree Ridge
Handcrafted from local and reclaimed timber, Belltree Ridge is an ideal country retreat, dropped on a 60-acre cattle farm and overlooking the Witta Wildlife Conservation Block. Slightly bigger than the previous cabins, this homestead boasts a full kitchen, laundry, two bathrooms, a fully-functioning fireplace, and capacity for nine people. This makes Belltree the perfect place for cosy winter weekend with friends, and with a driveway 500m long, you can be guaranteed absolute privacy and seclusion. In other worse, bring golf clubs.
Image credit: Enchanted Cottage
A picturesque stone cottage with leadlight windows, timber interiors and white walls, Tamborine’s Enchanted Cottage is the kind of house in the woods that'd put Hansel and Gretel on notice. Inside, a suspended fireplace warms the open living space. Outside, the encroaching woodland blocks out the modern world, and the cottage’s garden is a beautifully landscaped mix of hedges and herb gardens. The cottage can sleep up to five guests, so it's perfect for a weekend with your coven. And it's just a short drive to the wineries and rainforest walks of Tamborine proper.
Image credit: Little Bird Cottage
Little Bird Cottage
Living up to its name, Little Bird Cottage is like an oversized bird house. Perched in a woodland clearing, the hideaway is a winter oasis kept well away from the road and completely ensconced by a national park. Guests can rest and reset with a long walk in the forest, forrage for nuts from the surrounding macadamia trees, or snuggle up by the fireplace. We may never leave...
Image credit: Hinterland Hideaway
Want a panoramic vista with your cabin? Look no further. Unlike low-lying cabins, the Hinterland Hideaway is way up on a mountainside and has an awesome view over the valley. Made from an old shipping container, this cabin feels like a really spacious van, or the loft apartment of a music producer in the 90s. You wouldn't know it runs on hybrid solar power. Great for going off the grid. That said, the Hideaway will also let you dip back into the mainframe with super fast wireless, so you can Netflix and chill to your heart’s content.
Want more eco-hotels? We've rounded up the best sustainable travel options in Queensland.
Image credit: Jeremy Bishop