Travel

Unique Dome Airbnbs That Promise a Well-Rounded Getaway

You'll never want to sleep in a square house again.

best dome houses airbnb australia
Photo: @jadekristel

If you’ve never spent a night in a dome, what are you waiting for? Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to Iceland to experience the igloo-shaped accommodation. There are geodesic dome homes popping up all over Australia, like mushrooms. You can find them in all shapes and sizes, from temporary pop-up dome tents to permanent solid structures.

READ MORE: The Best Dome Airbnbs in New Zealand

We compiled a list of the most unique dome rentals on Airbnb, from the bush to the coast, to help you find your next dome adventure.

The Best Dome Airbnbs in New South Wales

best dome house airbnb australia
Photo: @thedome_jervisbay

The Dome Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay
2 Guests, $340 per night, 3-night minimum
This dome nestled amongst the bush in the rural suburb of Woollamia is on a private site, so you don’t have to worry about bumping into other guests. Despite its remote location, it’s only a five-minute drive to Huskisson’s shops and cafes. It’s also a 10-minute drive to the famous white sands of Hyams Beach and Booderee National Park. The dome itself is furnished with a queen bed, lounge, and swinging chair. There is a bathhouse with a bath, and toilet area, so think of it as glamping more than camping.

best dome house airbnb australia

Romantic Hawkesbury River Dome

South Maroota
2 Guests, $300 per night, 2 night minimum
Located a 50-minute drive from Sydney is a plastic dome nestled on a high ridge with views of the Blue Mountains. The dome sits on a 25-acre waterfront property, offering complete privacy. Guests can sit on the back deck with a glass of champagne, or slide into the vintage clawfoot outdoor bathtub. There are walking trails around the property and a canoe available to take out for a paddle on the Hawkesbury River.

best dome house airbnb australia

Dome Home Mount Victoria

Mount Victoria
2 Guests, $258 per night, 2 night minimum
Escape to nature with this dome, set on its own secluded spot with a rocky outcrop and native forest. Breathe in that fresh mountain air, while hiking the surrounding area or swinging in the hammock. The dome is furnished with a queen bed, lounge, shower, BBQ area, and outdoor lounge. Everything is solar-powered and the water you drink is rainwater.

best dome house airbnb australia

Glamping Byron Bay Hinterland

Alstonvale
2 Guests, $217 per night
Byron Bay is known for its luxury accommodation, but also its camping areas. This dome tent combines both, to offer a glamping experience on a raised deck with valley views. The six-metre geodesic dome has a skylight so you can stargaze from the bed. A private shower room and composting toilet is right next door and there is free parking on site as Uber and taxis are limited in the area. The dome is only a 10-minute drive from Alstonvile, which has cafes and shops, including a Coles for the essentials.

The Best Dome Airbnbs in Victoria

best dome house airbnb australia

Russo Estate Luxury Domes

Diggers Rest
2 Guests, $300 per night
There are nine luxury domes hiding in Victoria’s countryside, offering an upscale glamping experience. Each dome comes with orthopedic queen beds, heating and cooling, and an en-suite bathroom. All the essentials are supplied including linens, towels, slippers and soaps. There is a cellar door nearby where you can enjoy lunch or a tasting. The property also has an a la carte restaurant.

best dome house airbnb australia

Poppy’s Getaway

Olinda
2 Guests, $216 per night
Escape to the Dandenong Ranges with this cloth domed accommodation, on private property. Inside, there is a small kitchenette, cosy king bed, TV, fridge, dining area, and internet. The outside deck has an electric BBQ and a spa for guest use only. Unfortunately, there isn’t a toilet inside the dome, but you have access to a private bathroom and shower a few meters away.

best dome house airbnb australia

The Love Shack

Balnarring Beach
4 Guests, $191 per night.
This quirky love shack, dome-shaped cabin is mere steps from Balnarring Beach and sits on its own secluded property. There are two bedrooms, so you can invite your friends to stay. The large deck and BBQ area are perfect for balmy summer afternoons, but in the colder months, the wood heater will keep it cosy. Nearby, guests will find wineries, golf courses, hiking trails, and restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula.

The Best Dome Airbnbs in Tasmania

best dome house airbnb australia

Sheffield Dome

Sheffield
2 Guests, $300 per night.
This cozy, romantic hideaway sits on three acres with a lake, waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife around. Inside the dome, there is a small kitchen with basic essentials, a four-poster king bed, a bathroom with a separate toilet and a deck with an outdoor tub for two. Guests can sit on the deck overlooking the lake, walk the meandering pathways or sit by the near firepit in the cooler months.

best dome house airbnb australia
Photo: @ourtravelfeet

Domescapes in the Vines

Sidmouth
2 Guests, $336 per night
There aren’t many domes set on vineyards, but this is one of them and it’s in Tasmania. Set amongst the vines of the Tamar River, this dome is a 25-minute drive from Launceston but feels a world away. There are three domes, the Pinot, Sauvignon, and Amarone. Each fully insulated geodesic dome, can comfortably sleep two and offer a free wine tasting and bottle of wine. You can also book a spa treatment or order a cheese platter for your dome. The Pinot Dome sits on a large private raised deck with views of the valley and is by far the most popular choice.

best dome house airbnb australia
Photo: @silverwoodfranklin

Silverwood

Franklin
2 Guests, $220 per night
Not all dome homes have to be tent structures. This unique dome-shaped home is a permanent fixture immersed in nature. The open plan home is only a few minutes’ drive from the historic riverside town of Franklin, and has everything you could possibly need to bunker down in winter. There is a wood heater to keep you warm during the colder months, and due to its location, it’s a great spot to stargaze.

The Best Dome Airbnbs in South Australia

best dome house airbnb australia

Kangaroo Island Round House

American River
2 Guests, $140 per night, 2-night minimum
Stay in one of these unique domed stone houses set in the quiet village of American River on Kangaroo Island. Enjoy the beachfront landscape and protected waters of Pelican Lagoon. As for the homes, each dome is a bedroom, then guests can walk across the courtyard to the kitchen area and bathrooms.

The Best Dome Airbnbs in Queensland

best dome houses airbnb australia

Cape Tribulation Holiday House

Cape Tribulation
6 Guests, $360 per night, 2 night minimum
This stunning house is set on five acres in the heart of Cape Tribulation. It’s a short walk to beaches, swimming holes, hiking trails, and bars. The house, itself is a handbuilt yurt, with octagon panelling and a light-filled interior. It runs on solar power and water is pumped into the house, so it’s safe to drink. There are two-bedroom, a cosy enclosed living room, a deck with BBQ, and a covered verandah with a dining area. The views overlook the rainforest, and there is little to no service here, so it’s perfect for a digital detox getaway.

best dome houses airbnb australia

Henley House Kin Kin

Kin Kin
5 Guests, $150 per night
The Noosa Hinterland has so much to offer including this space-age looking domed house, which can sleep up to five people. Inside, there is a kitchen, one bathroom and one bedroom with three beds. There is also a living room with a sofa bed for extra guests. Spend your days hiking, exploring the nearby beaches, golfing, or fishing. At the end of the day, settle into the hot tub for some relaxation.

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Travel

Hollywood's Favorite Mountain Town Isn't Where You'd Think It Is

It's all hot springs and Hemmingway lore here.

Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images
Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images
Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images

“Idaho is like the new Colorado, and Sun Valley is like the new Aspen,” a woman leaned over and said as we began our descent into Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho. “Everyone’s coming here now.”

Similar to Aspen-which has seen an unprecedented influx of transplants from around the country since the pandemic began-Sun Valley has served as Idaho’s venerable ski town ever since it was established as the country’s first designated ski resort in 1936. But those same snow-covered mountains people swish down all winter look awfully pretty come summertime, surrounded by the nearby Sawtooth Mountain range and set within the sweeping Wood River Valley.

Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images

Celebrities, artists, and fiercely passionate locals have long been a part of the fabric of this town ever since Ernest Hemingway was invited to live and write in the Sun Valley Lodge in 1939.

“Many celebrities were invited to come for free.” actress and Sun Valley resident Ali Larter told me at The Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) in April. “Hemingway was one of the first famous people to come and help build up what this mountain town was, and it’s become a part of what makes this valley the creative hub that it continues to be even today.”

Sun Valley’s cach√© remains alive and well, with its contingent of laid-back locals, cool bars, restaurants, and always-sunny Sun Valley vibes. While the secret about this idyllic mountain town may be out, Aspen, I can assure you, it is not. From spending some time soaking in the local hot springs to visiting a few of Hemingway’s favourite haunts, here are all the ways to enjoy Hollywood’s favourite mountain town, no matter the season.

Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images
Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images
Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images

Walk in Hemingway’s footprints or drink amid the flowers

With 50 peaks, 300 lakes and rivers, and 250-miles of trails, wherever you are in Sun Valley, adventure isn’t far behind.

A good place to get your bearings is the White Cloud Trail. One of the most popular hiking loops at a leisurely 2.5 miles, it’s a short walk or bike ride from the Sun Valley resort area. As you make your way along the trail, plan to stop by the Hemingway Memorial, which is a fantastic place to soak in some views.

About four miles down the Wood River Trail is the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, which makes for a lovely bike-ride destination. The garden is a beautiful place to spend a few hours, especially in the summer when numerous events take place, like tours, wine tastings, and cocktail evenings.

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

Spend the morning soaking in local hot springs or angling for rainbows

Just 10 miles west of downtown Ketchum on Warm Springs Road, Frenchman’s Bend is the best place to soak in local hot springs. This shallow spring has long been a local Sun Valley hot spot, though it’s very much not clothing optional, so skinny dippers beware.

But getting hot and pruny isn’t the only way to enjoy the water here. Stretching 137-miles long and running directly through Sun Valley, Big Wood River is a great spot to go white water rafting in nearby Stanley or try your hand at fly fishing.

If you’re angling to get out and catch those elusive rainbows, try a guided fishing trip or even a women’s intro to fly fishing clinic with Sun Valley Outfitters. Big Wood is known for wild trout, though Silver Creek Preserve is another excellent spot (and a Hemingway favourite).

Warfield Distillery & Brewery
Warfield Distillery & Brewery
Warfield Distillery & Brewery

Eat homey dishes in cozy settings

Sun Valley’s food scene rivals that of any big city, starting with coffee and a ham and cheese croissant at Konditorei. Otherwise head straight for The Kneadery for a country frittata and ultimate Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream in downtown Ketchum.

Walk it all off before heading to Warfield Distillery & Brewery, which serves up some of the best elevated pub food. The beautiful rooftop is perfect for drinking in the views over downtown Ketchum and Baldy mountain. Don’t miss the signature Warfield Burger and Bacon Blue Ridge Salad and save some room for the carrot cake if you can.

Set on a side street in downtown Ketchum, The Covey‘s hearth style, seasonally inspired menu more than delivers when it comes to homemade pastas and some of the best locally caught trout you’ve ever had. It’s also got a killer wine list and a gorgeous new outdoor garden to enjoy it all in. If push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to post up at the bar, where you can chat with some of Sun Valley’s coolest team of locals and longtime friends who own and operate this awesome spot.

Rickshaw
Rickshaw
Rickshaw

Rickshaw is the cozy [read: tiny] neighbourhood joint to satisfy all your Asian- fusion cravings. The Korean Fried Chicken (KFC), Chiang Mai Curry Noodles, and Green Papaya Salad are cooked to chef-kiss perfection. Just note that this place packs up quick and reservations can be tough to come by, so if you can’t get a spot, grab your food to go and post up for a picnic in any of the nearby parks.

One absolute can’t miss when you’re in Ketchum is the chance to guzzle down schooners at Grumpy’s, a true Sun Valley legend. You can sit out front and enjoy the chilli fries and beers, but you’ll be missing out on the indoor ambience of this time-capsule-of-a-ski-town dive.

Come nighttime, head to Pioneer Saloon for margaritas, pints at The Cellar Pub, a tipple and some of Tom’s Mom’s Meatloaf at the Sawtooth Club, before an obligatory lap at Casino.

The Gold Mine Thrift Store
The Gold Mine Thrift Store
The Gold Mine Thrift Store

Strike gold at the local thrift

There’s no shortage of high-end boutiques in and around the Sun Valley Resort and downtown Ketchum, but for a real taste of local goodness, Gold Mine Thrift Store is considered the ultimate choice for all your thrifting needs. There’re always gems to be found here and it’s an added bonus that all of the proceeds go towards The Community Library next door.

For all your gear and outdoor needs, head to the Elephant’s Perch; or for some great local reads, look no further than Chapter One Bookstore on a side street off the Main drag. Finally, The Farmer’s Daughter is the perfect place to pick up some cool, local home d√©cor and Idaho knick knacks.

Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort

Sleep like a star at Sun Valley’s best hotels

The Sun Valley Lodge is the go-to spot for a five-star stay in Sun Valley. Dating back to 1936, it’s also the former residence of Ernest Hemingway, whose room here is said to still house his typewriter.

The hotel’s pool area and bowling alley are always buzzing with activity, but if you’re in the mood for some bonafide “me time,” head straight to The Spa at Sun Valley, where a spin inside one of their “Experience Showers” in the locker room is enough to make you a believer in the power of one really good shower.

Right across the courtyard from The Lodge, the Sun Valley Inn is a bit more rustic than its glamorous counterpart-but recently remodelled and offering access to all of the same amenities as the Lodge at a fraction of the cost, the Inn is a more economical way to stay in the resort area.

Just off Main Street in Ketchum, Limelight Hotel is the perfect, pet-friendly place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. Word to the wise, snag a room with balcony views over Baldy, and don’t miss a chance to wind down with a dip in the pool and hot tubs.

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Michelle Gross is a travel, food and lifestyle writer who loves a small-town vibe. An alum of the University of Colorado Boulder, she spends a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors. This summer you’ll most likely find her on a paddleboard or on her porch in Beaufort, South Carolina.

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