By: Tatum Stafford
WWII airplanes, tiny cabins and glamping domes. When it comes to quirky accommodation, WA leaves no stone unturned.
If you’re looking for a unique spot to stay during your next WA holiday, it may be time to think outside the box. Here are 10 weird and wonderful accommodation options to choose from.
1. The Lily Dutch Windmill, Dakota and Dutch House, Stirling Ranges
Tucked away in the Stirling Ranges is perhaps WA’s most peculiar accommodation offering: a fully renovated Dakota DC-3 military aircraft. Manufactured for the war effort in 1944, this once iconic plane now contains two beds, a TV, dining table and plenty of authentic Dutch décor. It's believed to be the only Dakota rental accommodation in the world.
Glance out of the plane’s windows to get a view of ‘the Lily’, an authentic 16th century brick mill. It’s one of the largest traditional windmills in Australia, with a sail length of 26.4m, and is still fully operational, producing wholemeal stone-ground spelt flour for local and national supermarkets.
Bookings for the Dakota DC-3 and other accommodation (including the Dutch Cottage and the Winery Quarters) can be made at The Lily.
2. The Treehouse, Broome
Broome and the wider Kimberley region is renowned for its beautiful ancient boab trees, with some dating back more than 1,500 years. The Treehouse, a pavilion house located in the Old Broome part of town, features its very own boab tree that grows through an outdoor upper deck.
Amenities available in The Treehouse include a laundry and an outdoor bath and shower. The home’s host Trish can even lend you a few banana lounges to take down to Cable Beach to watch the sunset. Just note, the house isn’t suitable for small children.
3. Dunsborough Rail Cottages
Sitting pretty amongst peppermint and gum trees, the Dunsborough Rail Cottages feature cosy decor, a queen size bed and a spacious verandah to unwind on. Each cottage was once a train carriage but has since been restored and converted into comfortable accommodation a short drive from the Dunsborough town centre.
The cottages are located on a 100-acre farm which is filled with kangaroos, chickens and a few friendly alpacas. With assistance from management, you can collect fresh eggs from the chicken coop each morning, and watch the kangaroos gather on the spacious lawn area at dusk.
4. Unplug Rentals, Exmouth, Coral Bay and Esperance
Unplug Rentals offer a unique delivery, set-up and pack-down service for campervans, caravans and urban escape vehicles (UEVs) in Exmouth, Coral Bay and Esperance - which could make your next beach camping trip a whole lot more convenient and comfortable.
Each van sleeps up to four people and comes fully stocked with amenities, including basic pantry goods, a camping table and chairs, an ensuite with a shower and a toilet, cookware and USB-charging points.
All you'll need to do before booking your van rental is book your camp site. Popular spots include Ningaloo Station, Warroora Station, or spots within the Cape Range National Park.
5. Heyscape Tiny Cabins
Residential tiny homes are increasing in popularity across the globe, but if you’d rather a shorter stint in some tiny accommodation, book a stay in one of Heyscape’s Tiny Cabins in the Wheatbelt, South West or farmland close to Toodyay.
Each tiny cabin location was specifically selected for its peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty, with ‘digital detoxes’ popular during Heyscape getaways. In fact, the cabins are so ‘off-the-grid' that you’ll only receive details about their location 48 hours before you arrive. Depending on your cabin’s location, you may see kangaroos, echidnas, lizards, emus and plenty of small birds from your window.
All cabins feature comfortable furnishings (including a queen bed beside a large window view), a chair and picnic table, plenty of amenities and a wood fire out the front.
6. Kimberley Dreaming Houseboat, Kununurra
Houseboats are a fantastic way to access some of WA’s most secluded and beautiful areas that can’t be reached by road. One of the state’s most popular hosted houseboat experiences is aboard Kimberley Dreaming, which floats along the Ord River in Kununurra.
The boat is the perfect size for two couples (but can sleep up to six people), with two main cabins. Everything except food and drinks is supplied, including fishing kayaks, barbeques, and plenty of space to unwind.
For those eager to spend a night under the Kimberley stars, a dome with an inflatable mattress can be set up on the top deck during your visit.
7. Mile End Glamping, Yelverton
Kick your next glamping experience up a notch with a night in one of Mile End Glamping’s luxury domes. Sitting amongst idyllic forest surrounds on a private estate, the domes offer panoramic views of local wildlife, native bushland and a tranquil river that flows through the property.
Each dome is designed to accommodate two people, with a private bathroom, kitchen, king bed and an adjacent deck with a private outdoor bath and barbeque. For an extra bit of luxury, guests can even pre-order gourmet food and drinks from Margaret River Hampers to be ready upon arrival.
8. Hoover House, Gwalia
The 31st President of the United States Herbet Hoover was once the manager of the Sons of Gwalia Gold Mine – and thanks to a few upgrades, you can now book a night in his house near the historical settlement (and ghost town) of Gwalia.
Originally built in 1898, the restored Hoover House B&B features three bedrooms decorated in period style, a grand dining room, and wide verandahs with sweeping views over the Goldfields landscape. It has also become a popular spot for weddings in recent years due to its lavish décor and heritage exterior.
9. Barn Hives, Yallingup
Each hive is two-storeys tall, and contains a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, loungeroom and bedroom upstairs. Downstairs you’ll also find a pallet fire heater for winter and an outdoor sun deck with a barbeque. Water on the property is collected from rainfall and heated by solar panels, making the hives completely self-sustainable.
When booking, note that Barn Hives provides adult-only accommodation, but the management team are happy to discuss exceptions for children if required.
10. Toodyay Art Shack
Art enthusiasts will relish an overnight stay at the award-winning Toodyay Art Shack, sitting on the banks of the Avon River. It houses a private and eclectic art collection, and although it looks like a traditional cottage on the outside, inside it has maze-like interior, with an interesting floorplan and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.
The centre of the house features communal living spaces, and there’s a large open-air deck on the first floor with a studio, tearoom and steps up to a bedroom tower. Its covered balcony provides sweeping views out to the surrounding countryside. There’s also an outdoor bath and an extensive record collection with a supplied turntable.
In terms of art, you’ll find a range of modern images and sculptures from local WA artists including Paul Caporn, Briony Paul, Marcia Espinosa and Theo Koning.
As the shack has some experimental spatial orientations and inventive use of materials, children under 12 may need supervision.
Last updated: August 2021