travel

THE TRAVEL DIARIES: I spent a night 'unyoking' in Matthew McConaughey's Wild Turkey cabin in the bush.

When I was first asked to travel to a remote location to stay in a cabin for the night I was… hesitant.

I grew up watching horror movies and I knew – deep down within myself – that an inner city journalist spending a night in a cabin in the wilderness never ends well.

Plus, I love streaming TV and scrolling through my phone and the very thought of being alone with my thoughts terrifies me.

But then I thought there was a tiny possibility the spirit of Matthew McConaughey would turn up in the middle of the night and whisper “Alright, alright, alright” in my ear.

So, I packed my supplies and my colleague Belinda, my cavoodle puppy Darcy, and I hit the road.

Just over an hour and a half later we arrived at The Reserve.

SIDENOTE: Holidays can make you live longer. Post continues after video. 

For a little while we just ran around yelling out “Is that a wallaby” and “Look at that view” and “I think I saw Matthew McConaughey behind that tree”, then we built a little campfire, settled in and… unyoked.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Reserve, the cabin Wild Turkey’s Creative Director Matthew McConaughey co-designed with Unyoked:

How long does it take to get there?

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The Reserve was co-designed by Matthew McConaughey. Image: supplied.
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The location of The Reserve remains a secret until you book your experience, so I can't give too much away.

We drove from the Sydney CBD and just over an hour and a half later, we turned into a green oasis, a cute little village with farmhouses and full dams and some happy-looking cows and llamas in the paddocks.

A few kilometres down the road, we turned into a discreet driveway and followed the arrows to The Reserve.

Even though it was just outside the city, it felt like a million miles away.

What's the cabin like?

The best way to describe the cabin is that it looks like the inside of Matthew McConaughey's brain.

It's rustic, impeccably planned and full of Wild Turkey.

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The bed. Image: supplied.
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The sunrise the next morning. Image: supplied.
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The cabin is kitted out with everything you need - a toilet, a shower (yep with hot water), a stove top with two burners, a fridge, a sink, and a queen bed.

The cupboards are stocked with pots and pans and plates and bowls - everything you need to cook up a feast. There's even a cocktail-making station and a bottle of Wild Turkey Longbranch.

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The bathroom. Image: supplied.
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The kitchen. Image: supplied.
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Somewhere to sit and read. Image: supplied.

The bed is perfectly positioned between two large windows, so you can watch the sun rise in the morning.

If you get bored - there's a bunch of books and board games to keep you occupied. There's even a cassette player with a bespoke range of cassettes including a live recording of Woodstock, which just makes perfect sense in Matthew McConaughey's cabin.

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A little bit of Woodstock. Image: supplied.

Are you really isolated?

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It's pretty damn quiet. Image: supplied.

You're far enough away from other people so that you feel like you're in your own little oasis, but close enough that you can get help in case of an emergency.

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You won't hear or see anyone else during your Unyoked experience, but you won't feel like you're a character in the opening scenes of a b-grade horror movie either.

What do you... do there?

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The sun rising through the trees. Image: supplied.

You put down your phone and look up.

You go for a walk and feel the dirt under your feet and breathe in the fresh air.

You light a campfire and tell stories late into the night.

You listen to the wind whip through the trees above you and get a little bit too excited when you spot a wallaby.

You cook dinner and eat it looking out over a valley instead of at a TV.

You listen to a live recording of Woodstock and say "alright, alright, alright" a lot.

You wake up early and watch the sunrise through the trees outside.

You have a cup of tea and slowly make your way back to your normal life.

You... unyoke. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Reserve was co-designed with Wild Turkey's Creative Director, Matthew McConaughey. You can read more about The Reserve here

Keryn Donnelly stayed at The Reserve as a guest of Unyoked

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