Stella the Stargazer is the latest in a trend of luxury solar-powered getaways


The continued decline in costs for solar and battery energy storage systems means off-grid living is far more accessible, and luxurious, than previously thought.

Take Stella the Stargazer for instance, a modern (and mobile) “tiny home” that bears all the hallmarks of a spruced-up Aussie shed, with some key differences – including a 3 kW solar battery system, and a retractable bed which cantilevers outside the structure so that you can sleep under the stars.

Designed by Ample and funded by Visit Victoria, Stella the Stargazer is a limited edition vacation opportunity, a sort of pop-up vacation home that moves every eight weeks. Stella first took up residence among the rolling hills and vineyards of Maffra, Gippsland. At time of writing, the solar-powered holiday spot is situated somewhere along the Great Ocean Road, and from April 17 to June 18, Stella will take up residence in The Grampians.

Built using repurposed timber and steel salvaged from true-blue farming shed, a night under the stars with with all the amenities electricity can provide costs roughly $330 on weekdays and $390 on weekends.

Perfect for couples, the property comes with everything a cosy getaway requires, but none of the superfluous extras that might otherwise distract from the serenity of going off-grid in beautiful country. Stella comes with a fridge, woodfire stove, cooktop, shower and flushable toilet thanks to a fresh rainwater gal-iron tank and wastewater system.

More the merrier 

As a solar-powered off-grid holiday destination Stella the Stargazer is by no means unique.

Sydneysiders may remember Lilypad Palm Beach, a floating solar-powered villa that enables lucky guests to enjoy all the luxury of an island getaway with none of the sustainability concerns.

The Lilypad Palm Beach

Image: The Lilypad Palm Beach

Gawthorne’s Hut is another luxury solar-plus-storage powered off-grid holiday destination within a working farm 10 minutes from the centre of Mudgee, NSW. The property even won a “Best Unique Stay Australia” award in 2021 from Airbnb.

Black Lab Solar installed this system on the angled galvanised clad shell of Gawthorne’s Hut.

Image: Cameron Anderson Architects

On the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, eco-accomodation company EyreWay has built two solar-powered off-grid luxury tiny homes. The latest, called “Maldhi” after the Barngarla word for “night sky,” overlooks the cliffs of Sleaford Bay.


Image: EyreWay / Screenshot

Going off-grid used to suggest an element of roughing it, but thanks to solar and battery energy storage going off-grid looks a lot more amenable to those of us who like a bit of luxury in their lives.

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