Inside the Australian holiday destinations that force you to disconnect

Sure, travelling overseas is off the cards and may well be for a while. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday – and better yet, explore our beautiful country.

If you can’t travel interstate, there’s loads of unique stays within a couple of hours drive from each capital city guaranteed to help you find Zen.

The best way to switch off — like really switch off — is by getting back to nature and going off-grid. From no WI-FI zones and patchy phone reception, to in-the-middle-of-nowhere cabins and luxury eco-stays, there’s plenty of options nationwide we can run to for a weekender to help unwind from 2020. Here are seven to get you started.

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UNYOKED

Located in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (between one and two-and-a-half hours drive from each capital city), Unyoked takes ‘glamping’ to the next level. Designed to make you disconnect, to put down your phone and to sign off from emails, there’s 17 luxury cabins well equipped with everything you need to give in to your surroundings and do nothing. Each location is secluded, away from the sight and sound of man-made elements and follows a set criteria to help with the benefits of disconnecting (think: relieving stress).

Unyoked gives you a chance to get back to nature. Picture: UnyokedSource:Supplied

There’s a comfy double bed, hot water, an indoor shower and toilet, cooking equipment for both inside and out, yoga mats and wilderness walking trails. With wellness front of mind, they’ve teamed up with Bad Yogi Retreat and placed yoga and meditation tapes in each cabin to help you unplug.

But it’s not all woo-woo wellness, even Matthew McConaughey is on board. He’s collaborated on a special cabin about an hour away from Sydney with a focus on bourbon and the beauty of living in the wild.

The Reserve (from $293, at Unyoked)

BLUE TONGUE BERRIES

Spend a night or two on this organic blueberry farm in Central Victoria. Completely self-sufficient they produce their own food, power and water, running completely off grid (literally) using hybrid solar and wind power. Switch off your phone, leave your laptop at home and take in the view of the Tallarook Ranges and Goulburn Valley.

Choose between bespoke strawbale cottage or the original weatherboard house (from $120, at Airbnb)

HAYDANBLAIR HOUSE

Haydanblair House, Norfolk Island.Source:Supplied

A quaint country estate located in the grounds of a park not far from Norfolk Island National Park, where WI-FI and phone service is pretty spotty. High cathedral timber ceilings, a wraparound veranda and lots of lounging areas means you can recharge without distractions.

Hang out on the lawn, hike in the surrounding parkland or head to the beach – there’s loads of options for getting back to nature.

Haydanblair House (from $196, at Stayz)

THE SHELTERED GLAMPING CO

This luxury camping ground in Ventor, Victoria takes sustainability to the next level. Run on renewable energy systems to deliver zero emissions, using composting toilet systems and giving back to the earth around them.

There’s five cotton canvas tents to choose from and one self-contained style Safari option with a wood fireplace and hot showers. Walking distance from the beach or by the property’s creek, each come with comfy beds, tea and coffee and ambient lighting to keep you cosy and take you away from the real world for a while.

Glamping tent (from $220, at Sheltered Glamping)

COOPERS OCEAN CABIN

Earth House, Tasmania.Source:Supplied

Dubbed the “Earth House” and situated on five acres of the secluded Seymour headland in Tasmania with panoramic views of the ocean, cliffs and local wildlife. Access to the National Park, in walking distance to both Templestowe and Denison beaches and a hotspot for local animals, there’s loads of distractions.

Earth House (From $232, at Airbnb)

IN2THEWILD

These tiny houses are off-grid, eco-friendly and sustainable, hidden in natural surroundings in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. In partnership with rural landowners each tiny house is within a two-hour drive from each capital city, with the properties ranging from boutique farms, rainforests, wineries and hideouts in the bush. If you’re bored, try the activities on offer – horse riding, hiking and even produce picking.

Tiny House (visit In2TheWild)

SAL SALIS

Wilderness Tent, WA. Picture: Mr and Mrs SmithSource:Supplied

Tucked into the remote sand dunes on the world heritage listed Ningaloo Reef in WA, these eco-wilderness tents blend into the environment to give you the most up-close-and-personal experience of the nature and wildlife that surrounds it. When you’re not waking up to kangaroos and staring out the sea, try snorkelling, a walk in the Cape Range National Park or kayaking.

They’re not cheap, but nightly accommodation rates include all meals, drinks and activities.

Wilderness Tent (visit Sal Salis).

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