Images by Natasha Mulhall
The vision of designer Sarah Williams, Cedar Cottage Meander is a hand-built eco-luxe cabin immersed in nature. Located at the foot of the Great Western Tiers in Central-North Tasmania, it’s roughly an hour’s drive from Launceston. Known as the ‘mountains of our spirits’ to the local Pallitorre people, the area has a unique relationship to the wilderness, boasting disparate environments, from the Meander Forest Reserve nearby (think: dense rainforest and stunning cascades) to alpine moorland nestled on the escarpments above.
The cottage is a study in organic materials, particularly native speciality woods. Williams’ appreciation for artisan skills is everywhere you look. There are rustic mortice and tenon joints, a hand-made Huon Pine kitchen, and post-and-rail fences crafted from hand-split hardwood. The structure was thoughtfully designed to ensure ease and enjoyment. It’s so well insulated that you might hear the Antarctic winds thundering through the mountains, but you’ll never feel a draft.
In keeping with Williams’ eco ethos, the cottage has been decorated with “relaxed comfort” in mind, using natural materials like wood, linen, cotton, jute, down and wool. Guests sleep under Carlotta + Gee linen (the cottage’s two beds are dressed with our Natural and French Navy bedding) and snuggle with Icelandic sheepskins, down-filled cushions and pure wool blankets.
More than a place to rest your head, the cottage is all about experiencing slow living at its finest. There’s a working organic garden (tended to by Williams’ mother, Carol), chef’s kitchen, fire pit and grill – even a cedar hot tub on a private deck where you can gaze up at the night sky and surrounding mountains. There’s also a well-stocked guest library that focuses on contemporary Tasmanian authors and holds many coffee table, art and hardcover books, including publications from the Museum of Old and New Art.
A Tasmanian native, Williams loves sharing the spoils of her hometown’s best produce and supporting small, local suppliers. The cottage offers luxe grazing platters that can be delivered at any time during a stay. They feature fresh produce like cheese, ethical meat and smoked salmon. There’s also craft beer, cider and wine.
Keen to discover more? We chatted with Williams about how she brought Cedar Cottage Meander to life.
CG: Tell us about Cedar Cottage Meander.
SW: Cedar Cottage Meander sits at the base of the Meander Valley and below the cusp of the Central Plateau Conservation Area. We have World Heritage-listed wilderness in our backyard and access to some of the best short walks in Tasmania. It was born in January 2021 after a year of planning, design and renovation.
CG: Tasmania is such a magical place; have you always wanted to bring Cedar Cottage Meander to life there?
SW: Tasmania has a pervasive gothic beauty that seeps into your bones and calls you home. Others have described the wilderness here as a “presence”; it’s moody, wild and mercurial, much like our weather.
I was born on the property next door to Cedar Cottage Meander and raised in Tasmania; however, I have lived on what we colloquially call “the Mainland” for the last twenty years. Five years ago, I moved back to the 54-acre bush property that my grandparents established in the late ‘70s.
CG: The materials of the cottage are all natural; tell us about them.
SW: The cottage was hand-built by my grandfather and a local master builder and is entirely bespoke, from the hand-split shingles to the lichen-covered roof shakes. The exterior is clad with Western Red Cedar. Inside, Tasmanian specialty woods like Huon pine and deep red Myrtle construct the kitchen cabinetry, floors, and dado boards.
Attention to craft and materials brings integrity to the build, echoing elements of traditional Tasmanian bush cottages and mountain huts. It’s a structure with soul, built with love and intention in a landscape of wild beauty.
CG: The bath outside must be a winner with guests – what other features do they love?
SW: It is; our guests love to enjoy a relaxing soak and a few local tipples after a day exploring Cradle Mountain. Especially in winter, when you can watch the snow flurries dancing on top of the mountain.
Many guests also enjoy playing the guitar around the open fire and using the bush cooking facilities. They have access to a working organic garden, a chef’s kitchen (perfect for cooking up our fabulous produce), and a fire pit. Our library – which focuses on contemporary Tasmanian authors, food and art – is popular too.
The views from the property are outstanding. They appreciate experiencing the beauty and remoteness of the area while enjoying modern amenities, like good Wi-Fi!
CG: What animals do you have on the property?
SW: We have so many marsupials we had to put a cage around the organic veggie garden! We have pademelons, wallabies, possums, native hens, echidnas, wedge tail eagles, currawongs, forest ravens, and two rescue cats. A large percentage of the property is regenerating native forest, so we have a lot of wild animals.
CG: Your guests sleep in C+G linen; what is your favourite colour combination?
SW: We love the softness and durability of C+G linen, especially as we have a high guest turnover. It’s robust but still super-luxurious against your skin. The sustainability ethos of the brand aligns with our values too.
We’re digging the French Navy and Natural combination at the moment, but we also love White and Sand.