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Let’s face it – dirt living, or living in yurts, compares to nothing else when it comes to a harmonious blend of tradition, versatility, and a connection with the natural surroundings. In the vast tapestry of Australian landscapes, the yurt has found a new home, captivating hearts with its unique charm. But what exactly is a yurt made of? Beyond its captivating circular design, there lies a fascinating story of craftsmanship and resourcefulness. 

As we embark on this exploration, we’ll unravel the mystery behind the materials that form the backbone of these nomadic abodes, revealing how the yurt adapts and thrives in the diverse climates of Australia while honouring its historical roots. Join us on a journey through the construction, materials, and cultural influences that make the yurt a distinctive and appealing choice for those seeking an unconventional, yet deeply connected, living experience Down Under.

Historical Roots of Yurts

The historical roots of yurts can be traced back over a millennium to the vast expanses of Central Asia, notably Mongolia. Developed by nomadic communities, the yurt emerged as a portable dwelling perfectly suited to the demands of a mobile lifestyle. The ingenious design allowed for swift assembly and disassembly, making it an indispensable shelter for those traversing the steppes. 

Yurts provided warmth and comfort in the harsh Central Asian climates, with felt or animal skins offering insulation against biting winds. This nomadic abode reflected the resourcefulness of its creators, embodying a harmonious blend of practicality and cultural significance. As the yurt’s influence transcended borders, its historical roots became a testament to the resilience and adaptability of human civilization in the face of diverse environments and challenges.

Construction of Yurts

Dirt Living has gained traction in recent times, with an increasing number of people opting for a range of structures that include yurts, geo domes and tiny houses. The traditional yurt consists of a circular wooden frame, lattice walls, a tension band, and a distinctive roof structure. The construction is designed to be easily assembled and disassembled, making it a practical choice for nomadic communities. In Australia, modern adaptations of the yurt may feature variations in construction to suit different climates and purposes.


1. Wooden Frame:

   – The foundation of a yurt is its wooden frame, typically made from a lightweight yet sturdy wood such as pine or ash.

   – The frame is intricately crafted into a circular lattice, providing the yurt with its distinctive shape.

   – In Australia, where different wood species may be more readily available, variations in the choice of wood can be observed based on regional availability and sustainability practices.

2. Lattice Walls:

   – The lattice walls are created by interweaving wooden strips, creating a flexible and breathable structure.

   – The lattice provides stability to the yurt while allowing air circulation, crucial for temperature regulation in various climates.

   – Australian adaptations may consider local wood varieties for the lattice to ensure resilience against the unique environmental challenges present in the region.

3. Felt or Fabric Covering:

   – Traditionally, the covering for the yurt is made from felt or animal skins, providing insulation against the harsh Central Asian winters.

   – In Australia, where climatic conditions vary significantly, modern yurts may feature fabric coverings made from weather-resistant materials, ensuring comfort in both hot and cold temperatures.

4. Roof Structure:

   – The roof of a yurt is crowned by a circular opening known as the “tunduk,” allowing ventilation and the release of smoke from a central hearth.

   – Adaptations in Australia may include adjustments to the roof structure to accommodate local weather patterns and ensure proper ventilation.

Cultural Influences in Australian Yurts

In the heart of Australia, the yurt experiences a captivating fusion of cultural influences, creating a tapestry of design that echoes the diverse heritage of the continent. Australian yurts, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics, often incorporate indigenous design elements, vibrant colours, and locally sourced materials. The infusion of Aboriginal artistry and cultural symbols adds a unique touch, making each yurt a celebration of Australia’s rich heritage. 

Moreover, the influence of modern living trends is evident in the emergence of Geo Domes and tiny rooms within yurt designs. Inspired by minimalist and sustainable living, these adaptations speak to the evolving preferences of Australians, combining the allure of nomadic dwelling with contemporary sensibilities. The result is a harmonious marriage of tradition and innovation, where yurts become not just shelters, but living artworks reflecting the vibrant spirit of Australia.

Environmental Sustainability of Yurt Living

Yurts, with their minimal environmental impact and efficient use of materials, align well with Australia’s growing focus on sustainability. Many yurt manufacturers prioritize eco-friendly practices, using responsibly sourced wood, recycled materials, and energy-efficient design principles to create a structure that not only respects tradition but also supports environmental conservation.


In the heart of the Australian landscape, the yurt stands as a symbol of adaptability and cultural exchange. Its construction, materials, and the fusion of tradition with innovation make it a unique and appealing choice for those seeking a connection with nature and a touch of nomadic charm. Whether nestled in the lush forests or against the backdrop of the vast Outback, the yurt’s versatility continues to captivate and inspire a new generation of Australians embracing a nomadic lifestyle.

About Author

Meet Ryan Smith, the passionate founder of Yurt In The Dirt. With years of living in yurts and hands-on experience in every facet of their creation, Ryan brings unmatched expertise and enthusiasm to the world of sustainable living. His commitment to quality and love for the yurt lifestyle fuel our mission to connect more people with this extraordinary way of life. Join Ryan and discover how yurts can transform your connection with nature

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