First things first. What is a yurt?
From wikipedia: “A traditional yurt (from the Turkic languages) or ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent...The roof structure is often self-supporting, but large yurts may have interior posts supporting the crown. The top of the wall of self-supporting yurts is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs.”
“Yurts have been a distinctive feature of life in Central Asia for at least three thousand years.”
The Don River Yurt Co. is owned and operated by the Lizotte family, located in the Don Village on the NW Coast of Tasmania. Our yurts, a slightly modernised version of the traditional kind, are made from quality Tasmanian hardwoods and recycled timbers and the canvas skins are meticulously measured, cut and sewn here in Tasmania to the highest of standards, resulting in yurts that are both strikingly beautiful and amazingly strong.
Our yurt frames were constructed entirely by us at our family home in Don, with guidance and instruction for our first yurt coming from Sean Talbot, a close family friend that met our family whilst backpacking around Australia. Sean learnt about the building and construction of yurts through his involvement with Jersey Organic Yurts, a company based on his home island of Jersey in the UK . The timber for our yurts was sourced and milled by our dear friend and next door neighbour, Basil “Tiges” Hayes, from his coup in the near-by township of Wilmot. Our fire-retardant canvas skins and crown covers were designed and sewn by extended family member Sharon Walker at her home in East Devonport.
From the hauling of the lumber to the classy decorative details, the building process was a true group effort, with father, sons and their partners all helping out when possible with the cutting, sanding, steaming, shaping, drilling, framing, and, FINALLY, assembling! Everyone caught the yurt fever at some point with Mum weaving the crown cap supports and our youngest sister, Mieke putting pen to paper and helping to design our logo and business card.
There is something magic about building and working with yurts that speaks to the inner child. It’s a wonderful thing to re-discover the simple joy of piecing together a cubby house and creating a warm, inviting and intimate space to gather and celebrate. The adult in you can appreciate the elegance and strength of the design whilst the child in you will feel the spark of excitement that comes when you gather your toys and books and crawl, torch in hand, into your new pillow fort.
We’re very proud of our yurts and carry that same pride and care with us to every event that we are part of. We believe our yurts will add that special something to your celebration or party and we look forward to sharing these remarkable structures and the old wisdom of their ancient and unique engineering with the whole of Tasmania.