Camping is probably the best way to immerse yourself in Australia’s natural splendour. But while we all love the romantic notion of sleeping beneath the stars, not all of us enjoy ‘roughing it’. If you’re used to travelling in style, the idea of lugging heavy supplies, pitching a tent or cooking tinned food over a campfire can be less than appealing. Enter glamping, or glamour camping, which lets you commune with nature in the comfort of a luxury tent. We’re talking fresh linen, private bathrooms, spa treatments and gourmet meals prepared for you. You can glamp in some of Australia’s wildest and most remote places – from the Red Centre to the Kimberley and Kakadu.
Imagine waking to uninterrupted views of Uluru from your air-conditioned tent. Or sitting down to a silver service feast beneath a desert sky filled with stars. It’s all part of the glamping experience in Australia’s Red Centre. You get all-out luxury, in front of Australia’s most recognisable natural icon. Sleep in a freshly-made bed, shower in a private ensuite and press a button to raise the blinds on your spectacular outback backdrop. At sunset, perch yourself on a private ochre red sandy spot and watch Uluru’s colours deepen and transform with a glass of champagne. Then there is the fine dining – a five-course candlelit meal prepared by chefs wearing head lamps and served by waiters in black-and-white.
It may offer all the trappings of a 5-star hotel, but the main aim of glamping is to enhance your connection with nature. At a glamping site near the fringes of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, the timber safari suites are built above lush savannah bush. You can wake to the chorus of tropical birds and the sound of splashing buffalos. At a bush camp in Jervis Bay, on the NSW South Coast, wild possums are often your dinner companions in the award-winning treetop restaurant. On the other side of Australia, there’s a deluxe campsite right on the edge of Ningaloo Reef. Spend your days swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise water. At night, watch the fiery Indian Ocean sunset with kangaroos and wallaroos.
Glamping is all about sensitive, small-scale luxury. Leave only footprints on a four-day trek around Tasmania’s pristine Bay of Fires, where camp meals feature delectable local wine and produce. Get back to nature in safari tents set amidst the unspoilt bushland of South Australia’s Gawler Ranges. Or get off the rugged Gibb River Rd for a night of eco-friendly comfort in the tented cabins of El Questro Wilderness Park. Australia’s remote landscapes can be both unforgettable and inhospitable, but glamping removes the inhospitable element altogether.
Stay in an acclaimed Aboriginal wilderness camp on the isolated, beautiful Dampier Peninsula north of Broome. Local guides help you see this paradise of white beaches, red cliffs and turquoise sea through ancient Aboriginal eyes. You can camp on the beach, snorkel, swim, take bush tucker walks and try traditional fishing and hunting. Further south, check into a wholly Aboriginal-owned camp in Karijini National Park.
Glamping allows you to experience Australia’s nature in spectacular, eco-friendly style. You get the wild outdoors with just the right amount of luxury.
Savour sunshine, fine food and wine, watersports and tranquil riverside scenery on a houseboating holiday down Australia’s mighty Murray River.