This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Converted Train Carriage Turned Breathtaking Off-Grid Cabin

Stays

Tara Rowe and her partner Luke have lived with their young family on their 300 acre farm on the west coast of South Australia for the last seven years.

The property is half a working farm (yielding wheat and canola crops) and half a regeneration project, but the couple have always wanted to create a boutique accommodation offering on their slice of remote wilderness. So, when they found an antique train carriage at a junk sale in a neighbouring town, a unique opportunity presented itself!

Restored with local timber and filled with a mix of vintage furniture by local dealers and new pieces by Australian makers – The Greenly Carriage has panoramic views over the Southern Ocean, Mount Greenly, Lake Greenly and the rolling countryside. This is a very special place to stay!

30th September, 2021

Tara Rowe and her partner Luke found this old train carriage at a junk sale in a nearby town. It was in poor condition, and they decided to undertake a restoration project and convert it into accomodation. Photo – Rob Lang.

As well as restoring the train carriage the couple designed an adjacent outdoor eating area connected to the doorway. Photo – Rob Lang.

Thankfully, the original Oregon floorboards were intact. Photo – Rob Lang.

The cabin is completely off grid and sits on a slice of land on the couple’s 300-acre property. Photo – Rob Lang.

Tara collected a mix of vintage furniture and new pieces from favourite local makers such as Sarah Ellison. Photo – Rob Lang.

FUrniture from Curated Spaces and Grandfather’s Axe gives the interiors a unique but curated feel. Photo – Rob Lang.

The space is compact and used to be a sleeper carriage for railways staff. In its new incarnation, it now sleeps a new generation of people! Photo – Rob Lang.

The timber used to clad the interiors was all ‘dormant’, and grown from within 30 kilometres of the cabin. Photo – Rob Lang.

The same timber was used to make the posts for the outdoor dining area. Photo – Rob Lang.

The cabin offers panoramic, uninterrupted views of the Southern Ocean, Mount Greenly, Lake Greenly and the rolling countryside around. Photo – Rob Lang.

‘The coastline at the end of our road boasts endless kilometres of pristine, untouched and wild beaches with not even a footprint on the beach for most of the year,’ says Tara. Utter heaven! Photo – Rob Lang.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 30th September 2021

‘The coastline at the end of our road boasts endless kilometres of pristine, untouched and wild beaches with not even a footprint on the beach for most of the year.’ – Tara Rowe.

Tara Rowe’s farm is on Nauo Country, on the south western part of the South Australian coast known as the Eyre Peninsula. The nearest town is Coulta, with a population of 195 people. If you wanted some proper alone time after nearly two years of a pandemic, the couple’s new accommodation offering – The Greenly Carriage– would be the place to go!

Tara and her partner Luke salvaged an old train carriage from a Coulta local with the intention of converting it into an off-grid cabin. It was in terrible condition, but the Oregon floorboards were still intact and it retained a tag from its days as a functioning sleeper carriage. The tag told the couple it was originally used on the nearby Eyre Peninsula Railway, which was originally built in 1907 to connect Port Lincoln to Cummins.

Luke and Tara designed the conversion themselves, enlisting local builder and friend, Ross Campbell from Taiga Build to complete the construction.

The cabin was to be completely off-grid and restored using only local ‘dormant’ timber, which was sourced from within 30 kilometres of the cabin. This raw material was used for the interior cladding and the towering posts of the outdoor decking area.

‘Luke went along as they cut, craned, trucked the timber to us, with the cladding being milled nearby,’ says Tara. ‘Each and every piece of cladding, Luke put through the thicknesser himself and we then we oiled and oiled and oiled.’

As for the interiors, Tara kicked into scouring mode to ensure the space was filled with eclectic and unusual pieces.

‘My goal was to repurpose and buy second hand as much as possible, with a sprinkling of special new pieces from my favourite interiors stores,’ she says. ‘I wanted an eclectic mixture of “shacky” finds alongside a hint of mid-century design.’

The result is a unique and personal mix of furniture and art from Sarah Ellison and Grandfather’s Axe to Curated Spaces and local op-shops. One of Tara’s favourite pieces is the cane dining table she found in a scrap at a nearby antique store. She restored the cane legs, added a new tabletop and tiled it with leftover tiles from Tiles of Ezra and voila!

The care and consideration this couple has taken to ensure a gentle, unique space is all in service of the breathtaking surroundings and a deep respect for the land they are on.

‘The coastline at the end of our road boasts endless kilometres of pristine, untouched and wild beaches with not even a footprint on the beach for most of the year,’ says Tara.

Utter heaven!

Book a stay at The Greenly Carriage here.

This Week

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

Architecture

Turning Back Time In A Classic Melbourne Brick Home

Agius Scorpo Architects strip a Yarraville, Melbourne house back to basics, revealing and enhancing functional spaces within.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical vessels.
Christina Karras

Stays

Escape To An Adorable Country Cottage Overlooking The Grampians

Stoneycroft Cottage features a 1864-built bluestone cottage and converted shearer's quarters, on a picturesque farm in regional Victoria!
Christina Karras
  12 hours ago

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Cabin In The Heart Of Tweed Hinterland

Escape to the bush at this secluded eco cabin just 38 kilometres north of Byron Bay! With 100 acres, panoramic views + an outdoor bath there...

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Eco Bush Retreat Rebuilt From The Ashes

This entirely self-sufficient bushland house in Gippsland was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires just two weeks after it was completed. N...
Sasha Gattermayr

This Week

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Architecture

Turning Back Time In A Classic Melbourne Brick Home

Agius Scorpo Architects strip a Yarraville, Melbourne house back to basics, revealing and enhancing functional spaces within.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras

Stays

Escape To An Adorable Country Cottage Overlooking The Grampians

Stoneycroft Cottage features a 1864-built bluestone cottage and converted shearer's quarters, on a picturesque farm in regional Victoria!
Christina Karras
  12 hours ago

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical vessels.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

Similar Stories

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Cabin In The Heart Of Tweed Hinterland

Escape to the bush at this secluded eco cabin just outside of Byron Bay.

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Eco Bush Retreat Rebuilt From The Ashes

This entirely self-sufficient bushland house in Gippsland was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires just two weeks after it was completed. N...
Sasha Gattermayr

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net