What’s more Australian than heading out to the bush, pitching a tent under the stars and soaking up all that the great outdoors has to offer?
The idea of setting up a temporary home away from home, switching off your phone and immersing yourself in nature is considered one of the best forms of R&R.
But we get it. Camping is not everyone’s (enamel) cup of tea. Mosquitos. Tripping over pegs and ropes. Lack of electricity. Mosquitos. Public toilets (if you’re lucky). Mosquitos. Sleeping on the ground. Oh, and did we mention mosquitos?
A portmanteau of glamour and camping that fuses the basic ideas of camping with five star living. This style of camping has become extremely popular, and it’s no wonder with its ability to suit those with both a penchant for the great outdoors and the luxuries of resort living. Whilst we all might like the idea of going back to basics, who doesn’t love a fluffy hotel robe and a ridiculously oversized bath?
Here are our top picks for your next glamping adventure.
1. Longitude 131, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT
Saltbush cocktail anyone?
Burrowed amongst the dunes in Australia’s Red Centre, awaits sixteen tented pavilions offering an immersion like none other. Wake up to unparalleled views of Australia’s iconic Uluru, and be witness to a dazzling light show at night from a swag by the fire (nightcaps complimentary). With fine dining, Indigenous-inspired spa treatments, plunge pool, complimentary champagne, and rooms fitted with original Indigenous artworks, this is truly the only way to fully immerse yourself in the spiritual heart of our beautiful country. This is camping.
Prices from $1400 (2 night min stay)
2. Bubbletent Australia, Capertree Valley, NSW
Get out of your bubble and into this one
In what is possibly the best news since the Spice Girls announced their reunion tour, you can now spend the night in a fully transparent bubble. The guys at Bubbletent will take you off the grid and place you in the heart of nature, in one of their three bubbles overlooking the untouched Capertree Valley. Ensuring your stay is a world class one, Bubbletent have thought of just about everything; from the spacious bed, eco-friendly bathroom, and fully equipped BBQ style kitchen, to the wood-fired hot tub (yes, you read that correctly), telescope, and hammock, what are you waiting for?
Prices from $310 p/n
3. Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef, WA
Where the outback meets the reef
If you’ve heard the story of the wise man who built his house on a rock, you might want to rethink everything you know. The team at Sal Salis have expertly crafted sixteen wilderness tents amongst the white dunes of the World Heritage listed Cape Range National Park, and we are starting to think the fool was onto something big. Spend the day in the pristine Ningaloo Reef with whale sharks, humpback whales, manta rays and dolphins. Or if you’re more of a land creature, spot red kangaroos, goannas, echidnas and emus amongst the coastal dunes. Return to the camp at night and indulge in the best of Australian bush cuisine whilst sipping on a selection of Western Australia’s finest wines. Pro-tip: the site also hosts a honeymoon tent, furnished with a four-poster bed and romance in mind (wink!)
Prices from $750 p/n
4. Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW
Camping for grown ups
Pioneers of the glamping scene in Australia, this family owned and operated campsite is a must on any glampers list. Just a short two hours drive south of Sydney, hidden amongst the eucalypts and paperbarks in the world famous Jervis Bay, Paperbark Camp offers city slickers a haven of tranquility (with crisp white linen and fluffy slippers to match). You will not want to leave your elevated safari-style tent, with its wrap around deck, queen size bed and open air en suite. But you should, for one reason: The Gunyah. At the heart of the camp, this breathtaking treetop dining space boasts a fine dining menu abundant with locally sourced produce. Oh, and leave the billy can at home, you can indulge all of your double-shot-almond-flat-white needs here.
Prices from $395 p/n
5. Nightfall Wilderness Camp, Lamington National Park, QLD
Get lost in this Lost World paradise
Why go regular glamping, when you can now go super-intimate-exclusive glamping? It’s 2018 people! Be one of the just six guests allowed at a time at the serene Nightfall Wilderness Camp, located near the lush Lamington National Park in the aptly named Lost World Valley. Giving off major treat yo’self vibes, guests are invited to enjoy natural spa-pools, personalised yoga sessions, wilderness massages, an open bar (we know exactly where we’ll be), and lazy afternoons in their own freestanding bath. As if we weren’t already sold on the idea, evenings are capped off by the campfire before heading back to one of three architect-inspired, hand-built safari tents kitted out with rotating fireplace, rain-head shower, hand carved stone basin and luxurious organic bedding.
Prices from $795 p/n (2 night min stay)
6. Balgownie Estate, Bendigo, VIC
Wine down here
If there’s one thing we like better than glamping, it’s wine. So when Balgownie Estate announced that they would be pitching fifteen luxury bell tents amongst their vineyards, we just about lost our minds. A quick google search of the region found that the long summer days ameliorated by cool overnight temperatures, combined with the superb alluvial soil, are optimal conditions for premium wine grape growing. We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t know what half of that means, but it sure sounds like the kind of place we want to be! The beautifully styled tents offer all the luxuries of a hotel, plus a private deck to sip copious amounts of their famed Cabernet Sauvignon, and a plush queen sized bed to rest your
wine drunk head on. Pro-tip: book the safari tent and relax in your own eco-friendly hot-tub overlooking the picturesque Bendigo wine region.
Prices from $205 p/n
7. Roar and Snore, Taronga Zoo, NSW
Where the wild things sleep
Take a walk on the wild side and get up close and personal with the wildlife at Taronga Zoo on this once in a lifetime glamping experience. With an exclusive guided night safari and a rare behind the scenes tour of the zoo, this is glamping with a difference. Not only are the luxury tents award-winning, they are set before the most stunning backdrop of them all: the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge (a view that the giraffes wake up to every day, mind you). This one-night unmissable experience is the perfect inner-city solution to any long-held African safari dreams. Lions and tigers and all-you-can-eat-buffets, oh my!
Prices from $295 (adult) & $195 (child)
8. Twilight Glamping, Great Ocean Road, VIC
Glamping your way
The duo behind Twilight Glamping spotted a niche in the camping market, and ingeniously turned it into a living. The pair offer beautiful bell tents for hire along Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Road, but here’s the best bit: they set up the whole darn thing for you (bohemian chic styling included) at the site of your own choosing, and then pack away your entire mess afterwards (like your own mum sans the nagging). This wouldn’t be glamping without a touch of luxury, and Twilight Glamping has you covered with a range of seasonal packages. We are currently dreaming of their Ultimate Hens Party Package, including a ride in a vintage kombi, DIY flower crown workshop, gourmet picnic, beach yoga and much more. BRB texting all of our engaged friends!
Prices from $340 (based on 2 people for 2 nights)
9. Wingtons Glamping, Clarence Point, TAS
Take a step back in time
The team at Wington’s Glamping are all about transporting you back to a time when going on safari was as glamorous as it got. Think majestic bell tents, queen-sized beds dressed in the finest Egyptian cotton linen, luxurious Persian style carpets and a roaring fire under the stars. Located in the heart of the Tamar Valley, spend the day hunting down the finest wines along the region’s famed wine route, then return home, relax in your plush Turkish bathrobe and enjoy an abundance of fresh Tasmanian produce in your own private outdoor kitchen. Don’t worry, you won’t have to leave the 21st Century entirely: electric lighting, Bose Bluetooth speakers, and chargers are all available for your convenience. (You didn’t really think we’d go an entire day without keeping up to date with Kim K’s Instagram did you!?)
Prices from $220 p/n
10. Ikara Safari Camp, Wilpena Pound Resort, SA
Adventure in style
Head five hours north of Adelaide and you just might stumble across the beautiful Flinders Ranges. You are unlikely, however, to stumble across the fifteen luxurious tents tucked away in a secluded part of the Wilpena Pound Resort. The safari tents, equipped with king-sized beds, tiled bathrooms and timber decks, are dotted between breathtaking red river gums and native pines, and enjoy expansive views of the rocky surrounds. With fluffy towels, fresh coffee, a mini-bar, and, wait for it, room service, we won’t blame you for accidentally thinking you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up at a luxury hotel.
Prices from $320 p/n