Luxury Australian glamping: Experience pure conTENTment
Glamping = camping with more than just a touch of glamour! Experience a true connection with Australia’s great outdoors without having to sacrifice the creature comforts we all love. Think safari-style tents – complete with comfy beds and gourmet meals, hot showers and many of the little luxuries you would expect of any other modern accommodation.
It’s a widely held fact that Australia does great outdoors .. and, especially in today’s fast paced urban world, most of us yearn for a greater connection with nature ..but let’s be honest, not all of us are cut out for camping.
Glamping lets us celebrate life’s simple pleasures – to ‘go bush’ without having to go back to basics.
So, here we have put together a sampling of some of our favourite glamping spots around Australia. These are the places that define, and in many cases redefine, the concept of glamping. So start packing – but leave the sleeping bag at home – and slip into one of these great Australian glamping getaways:
Jervis Bay, NSW South Coast
You don’t have to travel far to find peace and privacy – and Paperbark Camp delivers both in spades, just 2.5 hours South of Sydney.
Under the shade of towering eucalypts, yet still in earshot of the ocean, Paperbark Camp offers a quintessentially Australian combination of bush and beach. Elevated safari-style tents boast polished hardwood floors, solar lighting and crisp fresh linen, wrap-around decking, bath-robes and an open-air ensuite with rainforest shower or free-standing bath. By day, guests enjoy exploring this beautiful stretch of the New South Wales South Coast (don’t miss the nearby Hyams Beach) or simply doing nothing at all. In the evening, enjoy gourmet meals in the on-site Gunyah restaurant and drinks in the adjacent treetop guest lounge.
Need to know: Pioneers of Australian glamping (celebrating more than two decades of ‘five-star tenting’), the folks at Paperbark are committed to delivering eco-chic – as such, there’s no air-condioning, TV or mini-bars and WiFi is only available in the Gunyah guest lounge. Paperpark does not cater for children under 6 years of age, and is only open over the weekend during the Southern Hemisphere winter months (June-August).
Sanctuary by Sirromet
Mt Cotton, South East Queensland
Only a stone’s throw from Brisbane (just a little over 30km), surrounded by the intoxicating sights and sounds of South East Queensland, Sanctuary by Sirromet is the complete gourmet glamping getaway.
Dine your way around the property’s eateries from café-style to fine-dining or picnicking on your tented pavilion’s private balcony (whilst watching wallabies roam freely and sipping Sirromet wines!). Sample award-winning wines from the cellar door, go behind-the-scenes at their on-site working winery or venture further afield to savour deliciously fresh regional produce from farm gates and artisanal producers.
Nestled among the native scribbly gums, each spacious and air-conditioned tented pavilion enjoys a comfortable bed and its own sitting area, ensuite and WiFi. This really is pampered ‘camping’!
Need to know: Sanctuary by Sirromet offers a collection of different glamping options – from the spacious honeymoon pavilion to the roomy family pavilion (sleeps up to 4 people) and a wheelchair accessible pavilion. Sanctuary by Sirromet caters for children over 10 years of age.
Spicers Canopy Glamping
Scenic Rim, South East Queensland
Just ‘down the road’ (approx. 150km and still under 2 hours from Brisbane), the South East Queensland glamping adventures continue at Spicers Canopy. Accessible only by 4wd or helicopter, Spicers Canopy was designed as the overnight accommodation for hikers setting out on the 3-day guided Spicers Rim walk*.
Set deep within a 5,000 acre private nature refuge, Spicers Canopy’s ten tastefully appointed and powered safari-style tents each enjoy king-size beds and crisp fresh linens (and a nightly hot water bottle turn down service). Polished timber floorboards open on to a private covered deck with sitting area. A hot tub and hot showers welcome walkers home each day and guests enjoy locally sourced, chef-prepared meals in the communal lodge building or straight from the wood-fired pizza oven under a canopy of southern stars.
Need to know: Spicers Canopy caters for Spicers Rim walkers or exclusive use-group bookings (of up to 20 people). Each tent can be configured with king or twin bedding to comfortably accommodate two people. Three beautifully appointed bathrooms are located in the communal lodge building for shared guest use. Towels and bathroom amenities are supplied. Guests of Spicers Canopy enjoy gourmet meals and complimentary WiFi.
*The three-day all-inclusive guided Spicers Rim walk departs Fridays between March and November with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of just 12 walkers (15 years and older). The moderately rated walk covers an average of 10km a day through stunning Gondwana rainforests on Australia’s Great Dividing Range.
Ningaloo Coast, Western Australia
Head across to Western Australia, to where the outback meets the reef (Ningaloo reef that is). Sal Salis is an eco-luxe glamping experience nestled in the dunes between the turquoise waters of the Ningaloo Coast and the dramatic red landscapes of the Cape Range National Park.
By day, guests can swim with whalesharks (in season: April to July, or with humpbacks, July to October) or wander with wallabies; snorkel, kayak, hike or simply daydream in their hammock cooled by the ocean breeze. And in the evening, guests are treated to uninterrupted views of the star-studded southern skies and soothed to sleep by the sounds of the ocean.
Each eco tent offers the best of barefoot luxury with comfortable bedding, a private balcony and eco-ensuite facilities. A communal ‘lodge tent’ is the venue for sundowners and is where chef prepared meals are enjoyed by candle light and in the company of your fellow guests, swapping tales of the day’s adventures as the sun sinks into the Indian Ocean
Need to know: Solar-powered Sal Salis lives by its eco-credentials of minimal impact and sustainability (shower-time is limited and eco-soaps are provided, there’s no television or telephone (and that is definitely part of the appeal!) and whilst there are insta-opportunities at every turn, you’ll have to wait to post ad there’s no WiFi in these parts. Wilderness tents can be configured with twin or king bedding, and a third person/child can be accommodated in a deluxe swag. The property caters for children from 5 years of age. Sal Salis also offers a honeymoon tent that’s ready made for romance (complete with four-poster bed). Sal Salis closes seasonally between early November and mid-March each year. Rates are inclusive of all meals, most beverages and a selection of daily activities. The property is also available for exclusive-use bookings.
Mary River Flood Plain, Northern Territory’s Top End
With space one of today’s greatest luxuries, luxury abounds at Bamurru – 300 square kilometres of breathtaking wilderness are shared by a maximum of just 20 guests. Sleeping in mesh-walled safari-style bungalows, guests enjoy comfortable bedding and spacious en-suite bathrooms.
Shared meals are enjoyed in the main lodge pavilion, which opens onto an expansive deck overlooking the wetlands – the ideal spot for a G&T at sunset! .. whilst the wet-edge pool is the place to escape the heat of the day (and still enjoy a bit of wildlife watching) .. and the open-fire is perfect for a cosy nightcap whilst gazing up at the glittering Milky Way.
Three hours’ drive, or a 30 minute flight, from Darwin, Bamurru Plains provides access to one of the world’s greatest wetlands and is fringed by the world-heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
Guided walks and open-top game drives, airboating adventures and croc cruises will introduce you to a collection of Australia’s native wildlife: wallabies and water buffalo, brumbies and saltwater crocodiles, brolgas, jabiru, magie pie geese and countless other bird species. Other activities on offer at or from Bamurru include barramundi fishing by heli and birdwatching from a tree-top hide, quad-biking and hiking, as well as full-day tours to Kakadu by private plane.
Need to know: Rates at Bamurru are inclusive of all meals, selected beverages and a collection of daily activities. There is no WiFi or mobile reception at Bamurru – this is the place to disconnect to really reconnect! Bamurru is not suitable for children under six years of age. The extra-spacious Kingfisher suite is ideal for families, sleeping up to 5 (including three in deluxe swag bedding) and equally perfect for honeymooners, enjoying the space for a private in-room candlelit dinner. All bungalows enjoy ceiling fans, three bungalows also have air-conditioning available on request. Bamurru is closed from 1 November through to 1 March annually, and opens exclusively as a fishing lodge each March/April.
Uluru/Ayers Rock, Northern Territory Red Centre
Glamp it up a notch at Longitude 131 – this is next level tented luxury!
Nestled among the dunes looking across the red desert plains to Uluru and the domes of the Kata Tjuta through floor to ceiling windows, Longitude 131 is the ultimate Australian outback address.
Sleep under the luxuriously canopied ceiling of your temperature-controlled private pavilion or under a blanket of stars in a cosy swag on the balcony. The two-bedroom, ultra-luxe Dune Pavilion also offers a private plunge pool and firepit on the generous wraparound deck overlooking the endless outback vistas.
All Longitude 131 guests also enjoy a collection of private dining options, the resort’s outdoor swimming pool, access to the lodge’s day spa offering outback inspired treatments and an inclusive daily selection of exclusive activities and touring.
Need to know: Rates at Longitude 131 are inclusive of all meals, selected beverages, WIFi and a collection of exclusive daily activities and touring. Longitude 131 offers an accessible accommodation pavilion and welcomes guests of 10 years of age and above.
Defined as “a state of happiness and satisfaction, often as a result of having everything you need” Australia’s unique glamping accommodation options are the way to experience pure conTENTment in the great outdoors. Immersed in nature, indulged with modern comforts.
More Australian Glamping ideas ..
From the beach to the bush, the outback to the ocean, there are so many other fabulous glamping adventures to be had right across Australia: from Tasmania to the tropics, the New South Wales South Coast to South Australia, island getaways and outback hideaways .. just ask your Southern Crossings Travel Designer to tailor an itinerary to suit.
Read on for more inspiration with unique accommodation for luxury travellers in Australia and New Zealand.