Looking for a weekend completely surrounded by nature? Waking up to the sounds of kookaburras, cows and the soft breeze during the early morning sunrise?
Or maybe you want to sleep in a remote, off grid, “glamping” accommodation which truly allows you to recharge, reflect and reconnect with yourself or another?
Shacky is the answer.
What Is Shacky?
Shacky is an authentic tiny house accommodation in Australia which allows travelers to have a proper vacation away from the hustle and bustle of life. It is as quaint as it looks and is a true gem of a holiday. One you won’t soon forget.
Shacky was actually a somewhat unknown accommodation for me until late 2019, but is one which is slowly gathering momentum in Victoria, Australia – my home state. Shacky currently offers 3 locations in Victoria as of February 2020: one in Ocean Grove – on the stunning Bellarine Peninsula; another in the Yarra Valley – surrounded by the best of Victoria’s wine country; and lastly in the Grampians – a perfect region for nature lovers to explore.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy the wine option of the “Shacky Yarra Valley”. Located near the township of Yellingbo, it was an amazing experience! But for me, it is the story behind how I managed to stay at this Shacky for no cost, which truly warmed my heart and reminded me of the kindness we can all extend to each other anytime. In October 2019, my younger sister Nikki lost her almost 2 year battle with breast cancer. This journey was hard and mentally taxing, but the time which followed her ceasing treatment and having to say goodbye were the hardest months of my life given she was only 31 years old and my only sister. So a weekend here was calling me after everything I had endured. I needed a relaxed getaway.
How I Stayed At Shacky For No Cost
When a colleague of mine made a booking with Shacky in October, she happened to show me the photos of the accommodation and ultimately introduced me to the “Shacky” brand because of what I love to do – travel. Especially, locally.
Shacky looked so cool and I was so jealous of her plans. Plus I love the Yarra Valley on any occasion and always try and get out there on weekends. However, a few days before her booking was due to take place, she called me and said she couldn’t make it anymore as her dog needed to have emergency surgery. She and her husband offered it to me, free of charge. I of course offered them something for it, but it was refused. Ultimately, they just wanted someone to enjoy the accommodation because they couldn’t go anymore. And I could. How amazing right?
Had this cancellation occurred two weeks before their stay was due they would have been able to re-book under Shacky’s booking conditions. But because they were a few days out – they could only transfer their booking, which is understandable.
A few days later, overnight bags were packed to head away for a glorious weekend in the Yarra Valley. Wine was calling and relaxation was on the cards. As my colleague had transferred the booking to me with Shacky, I had an email with a “guest guide to the Yarra Valley” already in my email. This guide offered me everything I needed to know about my stay, including the most important of information I would need to have a good stay:
–The Address Of The Shacky – You don’t find out the exact location of the Shacky until you book; just the region it belongs to. But once I had the address, the Shacky was not hard to find, and the road itself was marked with a Shacky sign which made it easy to spot.
–The Check In and Check Out Times – The Shacky has a 3pm check in – 11am check out, which is standard to most accommodations in general.
–Accessing The Shacky – You don’t meet the owners of the Shacky when checking in – but their information is available in the Shacky and on the email should you encounter any problems. There was a small black box “safe” with a key inside on the exterior wall near the door. The code was provided in the email so you could open it and access the key.
–Recommendations For The Area – Where to eat, where to drink and what to see nearby. All the good stuff we travelers need when exploring an unfamiliar area.
–What’s Provided In The Shacky – The Shacky provided fresh linen, bath towels, shower products, a mini fridge, cookware and utensils. The wine, cheese and strawberries, you will have to bring – but it will most definitely make your experience even more memorable if you do!
–Information On How Shacky Is Powered And Uses Electricity – Shacky is solar powered which is a great sustainability initiative. The air conditioning, fridge, speaker, lighting and awning all work off of this power, as well as any electrical outlets. The power works well, the phone service is very good because of where you are – but being mindful of your electricity use is paramount given the type of accommodation you are in and the solar aspect of it. You do not have unlimited power like a hotel.
Arriving At The Shacky
Finding the Shacky was easy. There were black signposts with the Shacky name directing you to the turnoff once you were on the road that the Shacky is located on. There is also a sign where the accommodation is too.
The gates were open and parking was situated just above the Shacky on a slight hill. It was all very simple to navigate. I tapped the code into the black box on the wall, collected the key inside and opened the Shacky up. As it was a very warm day, it was good to let the Shacky air out a little too, so opening the doors was beneficial. You did have to watch the flies though as they will stay inside if you don’t get them out.
What Does The Shacky Contain?
Shacky is a tiny house. It is compact and cute, with good use of storage. If you have never stayed in a tiny house, you are in for a treat. It is a really modern accommodation, with a rustic feel which adds to the charm of the whole experience.
The Shacky Bathroom
Shacky had a really nice bathroom – with a toilet, sink and shower. Even with limited space, it was quite spacious.
The colour scheme was good with a lot of black and grey, which made it feel very much like a boutique hotel. It was spacious too which was great, considering the size of the accommodation. It had all the features you would expect.
The Shacky Living Area
Next to the bathroom was a bench seat with cushions.
This seat allowed for a place to sit and enjoy the views from the inside of the Shacky. Best of all, underneath this seat was a lot of storage – empty drawers that backpack sized items could fit inside, plus drawers with games – including bocce and jenga to alleviate boredom or just have some fun during your stay.
The Shacky Kitchen
The kitchen sat to the right of the bench seat. It had a deep sink, a drying rack, stovetop, kettle and ample bench space. All the major utensils were there, as well as boards and cookware. There is also a black kitchen table which is on wheels and pushes inside the kitchen countertop to ensure space is utilized here. You can roll it out to use it and sit on the wooden boxes which sit inside the Shacky to offer more sitting space when eating, or even cooking.
There is a mini fridge to store your food in – but I do recommend buying a bag of ice to put in the sink if you want your drinks or food ice cold on warm days. It made things chill a lot quicker and you can buy a cheap bag at the local Woolworths.
For the best experience make sure you bring wine, cheese, oil, vinegar, salami and fruit for your cheese platter board. A nice board of food items makes it a great way to relax. I also brought milk, eggs and flour to cook up some crepes for breakfast. (I have a crepe pan which I brought with me). Add some nutella and strawberries and it was perfection. I did notice that oil, coffee and tea was provided along with some small packs of milk.
My favourite wineries here by the way were Innocent Bystander – the Moscato and Tempranillo are stand outs. Helen and Joey do a great Blanc De Blanc too! If you can stop in on any of them before your visit you won’t be sorry! But the Tempranillo may just make your stay.
The Shacky Bedroom
Next to the kitchen was the bed.
It is a double bed sized perfectly for two – and adds to the romance of the Shacky and it’s quaint feel. The linens are perfect, with a duvet, pillows and throw pillows.
The bed sits opposite two windows; a side window and a floor to ceiling window which looks out at the view. This full length window really makes you appreciate where you are and waking up in such a location. You really do feel like you are in another world when you lay there and just appreciate the views you have. It is just incredible and to start the day with a sunrise and endless rolling hills is just perfection.
The Shacky Exterior
The exterior of the Shacky was really nice. It has a bench so you can sit outside, plus a veranda so you are sitting elevated off the ground and in line with where the Shacky is.
The design really makes sitting outside quite nice and enjoyable. The doors fold out to open fully so the Shacky can really open up which is a nice feature.
The Shacky Outdoor Area
To the left of the Shacky building was a fire pit and two chairs. Firewood was provided as was some outdoor cookware if you wanted to cook a bushman’s breakfast or dinner, which was nice.
Although the weather was very warm across both days, the nights were cool, so the fire was an added bonus to have and really capped off a lovely day. If it had been a total fire ban across this weekend it would have been really disappointing not to be able to have used the fire. But given the bushfires that were raging at the time across the country, it wouldn’t have been something I would have risked in any case.
Thankfully, it was able to be enjoyed.
This fire pit and seat arrangement of this outdoor area really added to the magical ambience of the location. The chairs are really comfortable to sit in too. I took my portable speaker which my phone could bluetooth to so music could be played while sitting out by the fire. Plus I didn’t use up any electricity either.
It was just a perfect night out amongst the stars and the cool night air – once the sun set of course. The sky was on fire, until then. What a place to watch the sun set. The photos included here have not been edited.
Overall Review Of Shacky Yarra Valley
Shacky was a completely new experience for me. I have never stayed in a tiny house but I really loved every aspect of it. Seeing how they utilize the storage of the Shacky, the quaint feel of the space and just the location for where it sits, was all perfect.
If you are wanting to get away from the world for a moment, be surrounded by nature or just have a romantic staycation outside Melbourne, then the Shacky Yarra Valley delivers all of this and more.
I feel so privileged that I was able to undertake this stay for my friends. But more so, I had one of the most memorable experiences here; one that I won’t soon forget. It was a weekend of wine, good food, amazing scenery and happy memories. It was everything I needed to see out 2019 and embrace the start of 2020. I can’t wait to try out the other locations soon.