Nestled in Thredbo Valley, just a quick drive from Jindabyne, on 13 acres of pristine alpine bush you’ll find Crafters Cabin. An eco-retreat that is the true definition of stunning. Pushing the boundaries of what a nature retreat looks and feels like, the cabin's modern design embodies seclusion and unity with the natural environment, while offering guests a truly luxurious experience.
Locals and lifelong friends, Dan and Mitch, are the creative force behind Crafters Cabin. A carpenter and a horticulturist turned apprentice builder, respectively, they both have a knack for blending the beauty of the natural and built environment. Together, they have poured their heart and soul into crafting a unique, eco-minded romantic destination for couples.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by breathtaking views of the striking bush setting, framed by expansive sliding doors. A hint that the line between the outside and inside is intentionally thin.
Sustainability isn’t just surface deep at Crafters. From the materials used to construct the cabin to the products and experiences offered to guests, every aspect of the retreat has been carefully designed to minimise its environmental impact. Dan and Mitch are dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Thredbo Valley for future generations, and they hope that by sharing their vision with others, they can inspire a new generation of eco-conscious travellers.
The cabin itself is 100% off-grid, utilising solar energy, rainwater, thermal mass walls for heating, and worm farm for waste removal. The interiors are also carefully curated with sustainably minded mod-cons, including Leif toiletries and C+G linens throughout. Not only do our colourways compliment the eco-retreat aesthetic, they’re also made 100% French Flax fibres, meaning guests can enjoy the luxurious feel of high-quality linen while also minimising their environmental impact. We adore the attention to detail and craftsmanship that Dan and Mitch have put into every corner, and detail of the cabin's design.
The cabin's secluded location, stunning design, and eco-friendly features make it a haven for anyone seeking to unplug, relax and reconnect with nature and their creativity. As design and sustainability lovers ourselves we can attest to this fact. We were delighted to explore and disconnect at the cabin for a few days, where we were lucky enough to chat to Mitch all about their approach and why off-grid living is so important to them. Read our conversation below.
C+G: Tell us your background story how you and Dan brought Crafters to life?
MF: Dan and I both grew up in Jindabyne, spending all of our days in the mountains. Skiing and snowboarding in the winter and riding bikes and hiking in the summer. When we finished school, I took off to Sydney to undertake further studies, winding up in the Botanic Gardens, and Dan completed a carpentry apprenticeship, honing his drafting and design skills. We rekindled after some years when there was an opportunity to purchase a small parcel of land in the Thredbo Valley from my family. We jumped at it straight away, but what were we going to do with it? Dan had just finished building his very own wood-fired hot tub, and we thought maybe we could build a shed and just pump out hot tubs. But then we spotted a gap in the existing tourist accommodation market and realised there was a real lack of luxurious accommodation for couples. Many hours were spent on computers writing business plans and designing buildings, and eventually, we came up with Crafters, a luxury one-bedroom cabin that is completely off-grid and takes advantage of northerly views of the Thredbo Valley and passive house design techniques. We spent 18 months building our first cabin, working through the 2019-2020 Bushfires and the beginning of the pandemic, opening during the middle of lockdowns, and we've never looked back. We're incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
C+G: What was the inspiration or the vision behind it?
MF: For us, it was about creating something that was beautiful to look at and something that was completely indulgent to stay in. Being out of town, we didn’t have access to water, power, and sewer. This meant designing a building that was going to be energy efficient, but it was also really important for us to not skimp on any of the trimmings that you would expect from a luxury stay. Just because the building is off-grid, it doesn't mean it can’t be luxurious. We looked at the colours and textures in the surrounding bushland when it came to choosing materials. Stonework, recycled timber, and mild steel allow the building to settle into the bushland. We’re lucky to be able to take advantage of a northerly aspect, and this has allowed us to employ passive house techniques to create a building that is cheap to run, even during the cold winter months. The interiors are styled to be functional but also something to admire, with brass trims, more stonework, and recycled timber featured throughout, bringing the outside in.
C+G: What an incredible area to live in the Snowy Mountains right in the middle of Thredbo and Perisher, the key skiing destinations. What cabins are also lovely in the other seasons as well - give us a snapshot of the seasons here
MF: The seasons in the Snowy Mountains vary so much. Summer can be incredibly hot and dry but then again we also get snow during the summer months. There's so much to see and do during the summer—the rivers and creeks flowing into the lakes are all a hive of activity especially when the heat is on. Hiking, fly fishing and mountain biking are all on offer during the warmer months.
Autumn is our favourite time of the year, the temperature starts to cool off and you get these incredibly clear cold days and can still enjoy the full suite of summer activities. The leaves along Lake Jindabyne start to turn golden and you know winter is right around the corner.
Of course winter is boom time for the area, with the population swelling into the thousands. Thredbo and Perisher are considered some of Australia's best ski resorts and luckily for our guests, Crafters is a 15 minute drive to the Ski Tube (underground train, tunnelling through the mountains up to Perisher Ski Resort) and 25 minutes to Thredbo Village.
When the snow starts to melt the valleys turn a vibrant green and the days start getting longer we’re into spring. The rivers and streams are stocked with fish, the mountain bike trails are prepped and the spring wildflowers up above the tree line start blooming. Spring is a beautiful time to visit, normally a bit quieter, it's a great time to come out of the winter hibernation and get some fresh air.
C+G: What can guests experience while staying at Crafters? Of course the amazing hot tub outside….
MF: Crafters offers a unique blend of indulgent romance and beautiful design. Within the cabin modern sophistication is ripe. Burnished concrete floors, raw plywood walls, gorgeous stonework and brass trimmings. Mother nature does all the heavy lifting for us, electricity comes from the sun, water from the rain and waste is taken care of by our onsite worm farm. We have a large double shower and the majority of the heat comes from the thermal mass wall in the middle of the cabin that is heated by the sun during the day. Our super king bed is like sleeping on a cloud and waking up in the morning to kangaroos and wallabies right out the front window is really special for our guests.
C+G: You of course love linen bedding and have our C+G robes for guests to enjoy - what are your favourite colours combinations in the cabin?
MF: Our favourite is the Tobacco with Olive. We love this look and it really suits the cosiness of the cabin. I think we might add a stripe into the mix too like Olive Stripes. But our guests really love sleeping in C+G and we often get great reviews from this aspect. We love linen as well as it is a natural fibre.