The 6 Best Glamping Spots In Australia
We get it. You dream of camping – you picture connecting with the earth, frolicking in the hinterland, and becoming more zen than a Buddhist monk. But dealing with mosquitoes sneaking in through the crappy tent zip, back cramps from sleeping on the floor, and greasy hair that smells like a bonfire? Ugh, no thank you. Luckily, a slew of glamorous camping spots have sprung up in Australia’s beautiful seclusion – plus one right in the city hub – that let you camp with style.
#1 Ikara Safari Camp, Flinders Ranges, SA
If you fancy a trip to the outback but are surgically attached to your air-con remote, then this temperature-controlled spot with a king-sized bed and a private en suite is for you. By day, trudge through a maze of towering river red gums to sacred caves decorated with ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings. Then, as the sun sets over the jagged peaks of famous Flinders Ranges, grab some South Australian wine from the mini bar and move to the shady timber deck to watch it all unfold.
#2 Karijini Eco Retreat, WA
With Karijini’s craggy beauty, rugged ranges, and enchanted hidden waterholes, you don’t need bells and whistles when it comes to accommodation. But if said bells and whistles include a striking modern structure, plush linens, and a private en suite? Hey, we’ll take them. There are 40 deluxe tents for hire at the Karijini Eco Retreat, fitted out with eco-friendly features like solar-powered lighting and all-natural prods – which will mitigate your guilt for refusing to rough it. Amp up the glamp by booking a package that’ll get you a continental breakfast, a pre-packed picnic, bottles of Australian vino, and a hefty coffee table book that’ll take you back to Karijini when you’re back in your own (probably way less pretty) home.
#3 Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW
This glampground, encircled by gum trees and tucked behind Jervis Bay’s pristine coastline, is purportedly Australia’s first – and, with some ritzy renovations, still one of its best. Take the new six-sleeper King Parrot tent. Like its smaller sisters, the huge safari tent has solar lighting, luxury linen made from cotton and bamboo, and sleek hardwood floors – plus an outdoor deck area with comfy recliners, and a spacious bathtub in the en suite. When you’re not gaping at the views, rent a stand-up paddleboard to row through the adjacent creek, or dine at the Gunyah treetop restaurant, with its fancy food and free Wi-Fi.
#4 St Jerome’s – The Hotel, VIC
Camping atop an astroturf-covered skyscraper with panoramic views of the urban skyline? Seems weird, we know, but read on. Apart from fantastic views of Melbourne and Insta-worthy design touches, guests of St Jerome’s – The Hotel get treated to plush robes, tablets with pre-downloaded movies, a meditation tent, and free cocktail hour from 5pm. Whoop! We recommend this one if you’re a visitor wanting to experience Melbourne in a novel way, or a self-confessed urbanite who needs to recharge without straying from the concrete jungle.
#5 Nightfall Wilderness Camp, Lamington National Park, QLD
As any self-respecting glamper knows, exclusivity is all part of the game. So this rainforest retreat, which can only sleep six guests at a time, is the ultimate VIP encounter. Described as “high-end, raw-luxe” the architectural handmade tents feature rock-carved basins, vintage-tin baths, and mood lighting from low lanterns and a roaring fireplace. Hike up to the waterfalls, get a massage by the creek, gather for home-cooked organic fare at the communal camp kitchen, and, if you’re lucky, catch a movie under the stars. Bliss.
#6 Flash Camp, various locations
Festivalgoers who worship at the altar of the Kates – Moss at Glastonbury; Bosworth at Coachella – know that looking good on the second day of Falls, with a tequila/head banging headache, is tough. In a cramped tent with a sleeping bag on the dirt, the feat becomes near impossible – until these mobile four-person Flash Camp safari tents came along, that is. Available to hire for music events dotted around NSW and beyond, the sexy camp experiences includes actual toilets (see ya later, smelly portabelloos!), a private bar, massages, and even a make-up room. Hell, you don’t even have to bother setting it up – it’ll be erected in full glory by the time you pull in.
(Lead image: Paperbark Camp)