Wild Winter Escape: Why Winter is the best time to CABN

A wild Winter escape here we come! The mornings are fresh, crispy even; the air a welcome wake-up as you breathe in that first surge of frosty winter wind. It’s refreshing and exhilarating, while at the same time being the perfect time to chill by a campfire under the stars or hunker inside, with a cup of hot soup, a woolly rug and the latest greatest novel.

This is precisely why we reckon’ winter might just be the perfect time to plan a romantic or family getaway in one of our remote tiny cabins. After all, most of us have overdosed on screen time, your lounge is probably after a break, and your pooch told us it’s tired of being used as a hot water bottle (thanks very much). There’s never been a better time to support regional tourism, and get back to basics, post-pandemic.

With an assorted range of locations in South Australia and Victoria, and plans for many more coming in the not-too-distant-future, there are romantic or family abound wintery wilderness escape options for you, wherever you may be. We pride ourselves in situating our completely self-sufficient CABNs in remote, secluded and hidden locations, but mostly under two hours from the hustle and bustle of city life, so you can enjoy the serenity of the Aussie bush landscape.

While many of us opt for the warmer months for a getaway, we think there’s something extra special about winter. A warming fire, lush green landscapes, romantic misty mornings and pink-skied evenings – what more could you want?

If we haven’t convinced you enough to get off-grid yet, we chatted to Jess – one of the CABN team founders, about what she loves about getting cosy in one of their tiny cabins during the winter months.

“Winter holidays are so ideal as you can rug up (I love layers) and sit by a campfire, gazing at the stars, drinking a glass of wine, no phones or screens, just talking. It’s the best!”

Here are a few more reasons to book a winter escape with CABN…

Best in bed

We don’t want to toot our own horns, but we like to say we really are best in bed, when it comes to tiny cabins that is. When you’re on holiday, the bed is often the most anticipated element of your home-away-from-home when you walk in. Let’s be honest, one of the first things we all do when we arrive at our home-away-from-home is to fall into the pillowy delight to test the springs, sink into the softness of those fancy thread-count sheets, and wonder how many hours we’ll while away under the duvet that we won’t have to make (ever).

Jess says the CABN beds are a personal favourite feature. “Jude and Allira have divine cosy lofts, which are super warm and toasty,” she says of the South Australian and Victorian cabins. “Matilda and Chloe have stunning big windows by the bed, so you feel like you’re sleeping outside amongst the trees. And Georgia’s bed is like a secret cubby you would have loved as a child, but with a view of the stars!”

Campfire season (May – October)

All of our cabins feature a designated fire pit for you to toast some marshmallows, warm your toes and spend some quality time fireside with your best mate or favourite human or even solo if you’re after a bit of soul-searching in the wilderness.

Jess and the family love to spend time rugged up and fire-side. “We love sitting around a campfire, especially toasting marshmallows and telling scary ghost stories.”

Here’s a few campfire cooking ideas to get creative by the campfire on your Winter escape:

  • S’mores (have a google and look these American sweet treats up) – you’ll only need to have bought a couple of ingredients and a campfire and you’re in holiday heaven.
  • Baked spuds – who doesn’t love a good baked spud, with whatever toppings you love (or just butter)? This meal pretty much cooks itself: just wrap in alfoil and leave in the coals! They’re family-friendly and taste even better in a wood fire.
  • Baked fish – if you’re feeling a little creative, pop some fresh fish in some alfoil and chuck it in the fire until it’s baked to your liking (we’d recommend looking up a recipe with a tasty herb or spice rub and some cooking time directions as per the fish of your choice).
  • Damper – an Australian swagman classic and this one is a great one with kids, and a hit with the whole family for lunch or dinner. Prepare the ingredients at home and make some homemade damper (there are hundreds of simple recipes online) to use the fire to cook it for roasty, toasty bread.

Kitchen creations

Many of us have become a little more creative in the kitchen during these recent times, so why not put your new skills to good use with some cooking inside your cabin?

All our cabins include a two-burner stove and an outdoor barbeque, so we recommend bringing a few local ingredients from a local farmers market or a local greengrocer and butcher in the area (there are plenty nearby in these produce-heavy regions), and cook up a mini-storm in the stormy weather (excuse the pun).

There’s also a little fridge/freezer in every cabin, too, so you can keep your goodies nice and fresh. Oh, and that bottle of locally sourced wine cool, too (very important).

“My favourite thing to cook in the CABNs kitchen are the easy one-pot wonders where you throw everything into a pot and leave to cook until your choice of meat is tender” Jess says. “It’s super easy (I’m definitely no cook!) and is soul food for a winter’s night.”

Here’s a few other simple suggestions to get you started:

  • Local lamb or beef mince, made into your favourite Bolognese sauce, dolloped generously over pasta.
  • Mushroom and gorgonzola risotto.
  • Winter veg soup (locally source your vegies from the array of country markets and add some bacon – regional butchers will usually have this – if you fancy a meaty kick).

Stargazing at the Milky Way

One of the best things about getting out into the wilderness is the clear dark night skies allowing you to see the planets and the stars shimmer at night. Did you know that winter heralds the beginning of what serious stargazers call the Milky Way Season? Due to longer nights, clear skies and the centre of the Milky Way passing overhead. It’s mystifying for little kids and big kids alike. One of the cabins even have star-views from the comfort of a queen size bed (Georgia), and if you leave the curtains open, the starlight (and moonlight if you’re lucky) will come streaming through at night (how romantic).

Rugged-up nature hike

Our CABNs are built as a tribute to the remarkable Australian landscapes and to inspire reconnection and love for the outdoors. Most locations offer various hiking trails to explore and if you’re lucky you’ll observe wildlife in their own habitat. Wherever you choose to stay, there are miles of Aussie landscape to wander. Crunch those fallen leaves, splash in those puddles, feel the crisp morning air on your face and spy all the wildlife around you. Just pack some comfy walking shoes and layers to take off as you go!

“My favourite things to see from the CABNs are the different coloured vine leaves, especially in May,” Jess says. “The family of Alpacas and the many Kangaroos that pop past for a visit at either Matilda, Georgia or Jude CABNs, both based under an hour south very close to Kuipto forest on a spectacular vineyard, are a particular personal favourite”.

Sauna in the rain, stay, stay, never go away

One thing that often puts people off a winter getaway is the rain, but when you’re cocooned in your cabin, warm and toasty with the heater on, rugged up under the bed covers and watching the rainfall rhythmically outside, you might just change your mind. There’s a reason why there’s a collection of ‘calming’ apps that all feature rain noises – they work. They are popular with many people to aid in relaxation or even falling asleep. Many have suggested we love the sound of rain because of its ability to drown out other city-sounds or white noise we may experience at home in the night. Rain being a constant pitter-patter, allows our minds to focus on relaxation, rather than wandering to different noises, subconsciously. We’re also said to associate rain with romance, so a winter escape off-grid could be the ideal break for you and your loved one. But if it’s just you, or you and your bestie, why not practice some self-love, romance-yourself with a book, a bowl of pasta, and cuddle up in bed while the rain patters down outside. Yes please.

“As the sky darkens and the rain starts to pour, there is nothing like firing up the hot sauna found in our eco luxury CABN Xs William and Giles. Pour water over the coals, shut the door, breath in the steam and cleanse the pores from inside out whilst looking out to the vineyards beyond. Everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime.” Jess highly recommends.

So, we hope you consider escaping to a CABN this winter, supporting local regional tourism while adventuring out and about in our magical Aussie bushland this Winter.