We went to stay in a tiny house near Sydney in Stanwell Tops, an hour’s drive away, to try out what it felt like.
Once covid restrictions had eased I was craving some time in nature, peace and quiet and fresh air outside the city.
Experiencing tiny house living
I’ve been wanting to experience living in a tiny house for a short period to be closer to nature and to drastically reduce (or nearly eliminate) living costs for a while.
Tiny homes on AirBnB near Sydney
There are surprisingly few tiny homes for rent on air bnb anywhere near Sydney. I expected more given the interest in tiny living in Australia and NZ.
I chose one that looked modern, surrounded by nature yet not far from Sydney. It worked out around $340 for two nights in total.
I wanted to see how the space would feel, if it would be claustrophobic, if things worked smoothly and how warm or cold it would be.
We arrived after dark in NSW winter and the house was very cold at first. It soon warmed up after a few minutes blasting a small fan heater. The space was generally quick to warm up and stayed warm for a long time with just a short blast from the heater.
The tiny home had everything you’d need for a short stay and they even fit two double beds in – one in a loft mezzanine and a pull-down one in a cupboard. The kitchen was functional and didn’t feel too cramped, altho we didn’t prepare any elaborate meals.
The ladder was very simple with a small step that folds flat. I’d want a more substantial stair and handrail as we both had wobbles where we felt we could have fallen when climbing up to the bed.
The bathroom had a standard shower, sink, toilet and cupboard. We’d definitely need more storage in there for longer term living, and I’d want some sort of bath ideally, either in the house or outside. But it was all perfectly convenient to use.
I imagine summer would have a more open feel as the deck would get loads of use. I sat in the sun on the deck for a while and we spotted some curious deer in the woods peering out at us (introduced, not native but obviously thriving).
Things to do in Stanwell Tops
Stanwell Tops area is great to explore – we went to see the local hindu temple, below.
There are lots of bush walks in the area and we chose an easy one that starts at Stanwell Park train station called the Wodi Wodi Track. It goes up the hill and has expansive views down onto Stanwell Tops and the coastline.
We took a few wrong turns and found various viewpoints along the way.
The beach in Stanwell Tops is rugged and scenic with impressive houses dotted around the cliffs.
We had a wander along the beach and took a wrong turn when it got dark…we somehow scrambled up a hill and ended up in someone’s garden in the pitch black!
Driving further down the coast on the Sea Cliff Bridge has incredible ocean views, well worth a drive. The next day at dusk we drove down it to Scarborough and had a drink at the Scarborough Hotel, which has a huge beer garden overlooking open ocean.
Lots of the benches were still cordoned off to keep numbers down due to covid. Will definitely go back in summer!
The verdict – a weekend in a tiny house
Overall it was great to try out tiny living for a weekend. The home we stayed in was pre-fab and obviously intended as a rental. So a tiny house with custom features and more eco-friendly and fixtures and fittings and our own decor it would be an amazing space to live for a while!
Next up is to try out living in a tiny house / RV or converted van on wheels as I really want a custom kitted out van to go on road trips and live in for a while for a nomadic and free existence.