There’s something special about going somewhere you’ve never been. A road trip that includes a winding Channel drive, a ferry trip, and rolling onto an island off the east coast of Tasmania adds a whole new element of intrigue.
Bruny Island Hideaway is an off-grid cabin designed by Tasmanian firm, Maguire and Devine Architects, for a client who works in a busy hospital. For her, a tiny cabin on a remote block with towering eucalypts is just the ticket after a busy working week.
It’s nearing dusk as we push open the gate on a dirt road on South Bruny. There’s a swift thud of wallabies as the locals scurry off into bushland. This is the kind of Tassie I love most. Raw. Basic. Connected to nature.
A large clearing emerges, wrapped with towering eucalypts. The well-manicured lawns (thanks wallabies) are wet from misty winter rain. Our little hideaway begs us to enter. It stands petite on the landscape, looking invitingly warm.
There’s no need for a grand tour once inside. This timber-lined escape has but one interior door and open-plan living complete with loft sleeping quarters. Big sliding doors on either side invite the outside in, but on a winter’s eve it’s all about lighting the fire in our new-found cocoon.
The low dining table is perfect for two, with comfy sheepskins pulled close to a Huon pine tabletop with morsels of bird’s eye figuring. Two violins, a telescope and all manner of “small house” books encourage a slowing of time. At this hideaway, cooking in the oven means waiting for the fire to warm it. There’s ceremony about it. There’s a chance to slow, to consider, to become quiet.
Out on the deck, a sunken bath calls. With an audience of marsupials, I take the plunge. From biting cool air into toasty rainwater. It’s bliss. Above, stars in all their might attempt to glow through a cloud-blanketed sky. It’s Tasmania. A moment later, wind sweeps those clouds away and pins of light sparkle through. It’s a moment too dark to capture with a lens and best preserved as a memory anyway ... through your eyes.
What’s the hideaway about? It’s about simplicity. It’s about slowing to a pause. Reconnecting with self or a fellow soul. It’s a place where life’s clutter is void. There’s no room for bountiful “stuff” because it’s not necessary. It strips back the moment to what’s important – being in it.
Beyond the cabin door is an island that continues the theme. We walk out to Cape Queen Elizabeth in search of a much-loved rock formation. Our first avenue is blocked by the incoming tide. We come to a standstill. As chief navigator, I smile. It’s nature having her way and our opportunity to align with Bruny’s schedule. Redirected over the headland we enjoy an unexpected perspective and sweeping views across Muirs Beach. Not everything needs a script here. In fact, wandering is best done with the spontaneous direction of those hideaway-based marsupials.
Explore. Rest. Enjoy it.
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