The new mantra is getting away from it all in places of natural beauty. But for those who like their creature comforts, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, by going glamping. Here are 10 of our favourite places to get your luxury camping fix.
Currajong Retreat, Burragate, NSW
What: This is the ultimate country escape, with three spectacular glamping tents on the ridge overlooking the Towamba River, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW.
Where: Currajong Retreat is located on Currajong Common farm at Burragate, about 45 minutes from Merimbula.
Experience: The tents are bookended between a glorious deck complete with divine bathtub, and a glam bathroom. The tent section is very un-tent like, with a super comfortable queen-size bed, a wood-burning fireplace, lounge area and kitchenette.
Things to do in the area: There is no need to leave the farm as Currajong Common is an angora goat farm and owners, Grant and Jenny welcome guests to help out with the adorable goats should they wish to. And believe me, you will wish to. Go along as Jenny moves them from one grazing area to another, or in or out of the shearing shed. The farm is just beautiful, and strolling along with the kids, or just around the property or by the river, is relaxing.
Highlights: The glamping tent, the farm, the goats, the amazing food, the hosts – the whole experience is a highlight.
Longitude 131, Uluru, Northern Territory
What: This is definitely glamping at its best with 16 grand tented pavilions with magnificent views of Uluru and across the desert to Kata Tjuta.
Where: Located a hop skip and a jump from Uluru in Outback Australia.
Experience: The refreshed two-bedroom Dune Pavilion features a sleek deck with expansive views of the Outback and knock your socks off vistas. It’s the only place in the world where you can see two World Heritage-listed wonders – Uluru and Kata Tjuta – from a deck.
Things to do in the area: The stay includes activities to see the best of the area including Uluru Sunset, Field of Light Experience, Table 131, Mala Walk & Kantju Gorge Mutitjulu Meander.
Highlights: That fabulous ever-changing rock that you can never get enough off. The colours seems to change every time you look at it.
Balgownie Estate, Bendigo, Victoria
What: Glamping in luxury with vines from the Estate’s vineyard as neighbours. There are 15 tents – all with decks. The bell tents are beautiful enough but the Safari tents even have a bathtub.
Where: Balgownie Estate Winery is 10 minutes from the Bendigo CBD.
Experience: The glamping tents are amazing, with heating warming up the tent even on those really chilly nights. Organise a wine tasting at the cellar door or book in for a delicious meal at the excellent restaurant on site. This is Bendigo’s oldest winery.
Things to do in the area: Head into town to explore some of Bendigo’s delights, including Rosalind Park, Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo Art Gallery, Golden Dragon Museum, Bendigo Tramway and the Bridgewater Bakehouse in Bendigo – home to Australia’s best vanilla slice. And that is official.
Highlights: Waking up and watching the sun rising over the vines; the wine tasting, and the on-site restaurant.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
What: Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef Resort includes 15 eco-luxe wilderness tents is an exclusive beach safari camp nestled in the dunes, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the fringing Ningaloo Reef.
Where: It’s located in the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth in Western Australia.
Experience: Guests can swim alongside the majestic whale sharks and the magnificent humpback whales. Nature is on your doorstep with lots of birds and animals in the Cape Range National Park. You can spot kangaroos, wallaroos, rock wallabies, goannas, echidnas and more than 100 bird species.
Things to do in the area: The surrounding landscape is amazing -think red sand, turquoise waters and blue skies. UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is where you will find more than 500 species of colourful fish, 250 coral species, rays and turtles.
Highlights: Taking a dip alongside those gentle swimming giants is something no one ever forgets.
Bamarru Plains, Northern Territory
What: Bamarru Plains has 10 safari bungalows built among the pandanus vegetation on the edge of the wetlands. Each of them has been built with privacy uppermost in mind and to take advantage of the spectacular views across the wetlands.
Where: Bamurru Plains is located on Swim Creek Station, a 303 sq km coastal buffalo pastoral property near Point Stuart in the Mary River Region. It is 10 km from Kakadu National Park’s western boundary, 100kms from Jabiru in Kakadu and just over 100 km east of Darwin.
Experience: Bamurru Plains’ attraction lies in the birdlife and wildlife of the surrounding floodplains and savannah woodland.
Things to do in the area: Highlights include a river cruise spotting birds and crocodiles on the Sampan River. Four-wheel drives in open-top safari vehicles, an airboat trip on the floodplains (subject to water levels) and a bushwalk in the savannah woodlands that fringe the floodplains are thrilling to do.
Highlights: There are so many highlights including experiencing the fabulous landscape and learning about the vegetation and history of the area.
Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW
What: Paperbark Camp has 13 safari-style tents in stunning bushland.
Where: The camp is a five-minute drive from Jervis Bay, with the tents nestled among the eucalypts and paperbarks on the banks of Currambene Creek.
Experience: This is the first glamping experience in Australia and it is glamping with style. These gorgeous tents have polished hardwood floors, private open-air ensuites, and outdoor decks. There are original, deluxe and king deluxe, which you need to see to believe. You would swear you were in a five-star boutique hotel judging by the look and style.
Things to do in the area: There are walking trails, the white-sand beaches of Jervis Bay, the town of Huskisson and all the aquatic fun including swimming or snorkelling with seals, and dolphin watch cruises.
Highlights: The bush at Paperbark Camp is simply spectacular, and the quality of the onsite Gunyah Restaurant is sublime.
Sanctuary by Sirromet, Mount Cotton, Queensland
Sanctuary By Sirromet. Image provided
What: A wonderful glamping experience in the grounds of Sirromet Winery.
Where: Located in Mount Cotton, a 30-minute drive from Brisbane.
Experience: Enjoy just being in the beautiful grounds of the winery with wallabies to be seen, amazing Granite Belt wines to be drunk and incredible food at Sirromet’s three restaurants to be enjoyed. There are 18 tents consisting of family pavilions, premium pavilions and the top of the range Laguna Suite (pictured above).
Things to do in the area: Go on a winery tour, do a tasting or ask about the exclusive wine experiences. Then there is the Supa Golf. Outside of the winery, do a day tour of Cape Moreton or Stradbroke Island, go outback heli-fishing or go for a kayaking tour at Redlands.
Highlights: The views over the lagoon and the opportunity to indulge in some of Sirromet’s wine experiences.
Turon Gates, Blue Mountains, NSW
What: A little piece of bush paradise 2.5 hours from Sydney.
Where: Located in the Blue Mountains close to Katoomba, Mudgee, Bathurst and Lithgow.
Experience: The glamping tents are dotted along 15km of crystal clear trout stream and feature a king-size bed, sofa, cosy reading lamps, dining table for two, and a crackling log fire in the main room. They even have an ensuite bathroom with a bathtub for two, a kitchenette, and a balcony with a gas BBQ. They each have an outdoor firepit as well. The property has an abundance of wildlife including kangaroos, wombats, platypus, echidnas and possums.
Things to do in the area: Horseriding, mountain biking, gold panning, fly fishing, kayaking. Or just enjoy this magical location and your amazing tent.
Highlights: The horse riding. And sitting around the firepit at night, roasting marshmallows and telling stories from the day.
Truffle Lodge, Derwent Valley, Tasmania
What: Truffle Lodge has eight safari tents that offer almost every creature comfort.
Where: Located on the banks of the Derwent River at Gretna, about 35 km from Hobart.
Experience: Each Truffle Lodge tent is double-walled and triple-roofed for maximum comfort and features canvas, leather and recycled wooden furniture, a handmade wooden bath, rain shower, extra-large and deep double beds, a coffee machine, tea making facilities and a bar fridge.
Things to do in the area: Guests at Truffle Lodge can experience a range of eco-friendly activities virtually outside their tent. Options include exploring the lush surroundings, hiking to local vantage points to take in stunning bush vistas or cooling off with a refreshing dip in the River Derwent. Further afield you can book a luxury guided fly-fishing tour, platypus-spotting kayaking adventures, seaplane flights for vineyard lunches, or do a helicopter tour to Maria Island.
Highlights: Apart from the tents themselves, the location is achingly beautiful – especially when viewing it with a glass of wine on the large deck at the end of the day. You can take your pick of lazing in a hammock or sitting in the rocking chair.
Ikara Safari Camp, Wilpena Pound, South Australia
What: Glamping is available in the beautiful Flinders Ranges at Wilpena Pound with 15 luxe wilderness safari tents.
Where: Ikara Safari Camp is in Wilpena Pound Resort that is located in the Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, 429 kilometres north of Adelaide.
Experience: The two-person Ikara safari tents are suitable for singles or couples wanting a luxury ‘glamping’ getaway. Each tent has a modern ensuite bathroom, a luxe King bed, reverse cycle air conditioning and its own private deck and fire pit.
Things to do in the area: There are guided walking tours with a local Adnyamathanha guide, 4WD tours into outback gorges, and a Sunset Tour. Enjoy the bubbles and canapes while you watch the sky changes colours as the sun sets over Wilpena Pound and the Ikara Flinders Ranges. Scenic Flights are the best way to appreciate the grandeur of the surrounding area. Get a bird’s eye view of the gigantic caldera like Wilpena Pound, and the majestic Ikara Flinders Ranges as they stretch into the distance like a gigantic natural backbone.
Highlights: Discovering the wildflowers and watching the magnificent sunsets.