Glamping (glamorous camping) is a wonderful way to explore Australia's natural beauty in style.
By Jac Taylor
Glamorous camping: it is not only possible, but an ideal way to see many of Australia's great sights without sacrificing comfort. You swap a sleeping bag for a bed with plump pillows and fine linen, and campfire food for three-course meals. The only thing that stays the same is that you're in a tent. This is truly a five-star way to enjoy the great outdoors.
Nightfall Camp, Near Lamington National Park, Queensland
A solar-powered camp in Queensland's spectacular Scenic Rim, surrounded by renowned national parks, Nightfall has three handmade canvas safari tents with timber floors, private bathrooms and rotating fireplaces. Relax with a massage alongside the river rapids, dine on fully organic camp cuisine and enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and espresso coffee.
Longitude 131, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
In an enviable location only 19 kilometres (12 miles) from the famous Uluru monolith in Australia's Red Centre, Longitude 131 blurs the lines between five-star resort and camping experience. Curved timber viewing decks and floor to ceiling glass windows looking towards Uluru contrast with giant tent canopy ceilings over 15 decadent tents.
Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Swim with whale sharks or even migrating humpback whales as you stay in total luxury among the sand dunes at Sal Salis Wilderness Camp, where the remote outback meets the turquoise, wildlife-filled waters of Ningaloo Reef. Choose from an eco-luxe wilderness tent, including ensuite bathroom and handmade timber bed, or the four-poster bed of the romantic honeymoon tent.
Ikara Safari Camp, Wilpena Pound, South Australia
A stay in one of the 15 glamping tents at Ikara Safari Camp at Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges makes a visit to the incredible rock formations, mountains and gorges of Wilpena Pound extra special. This is the only resort within the national park, and two-person and family tents make it accessible for everyone.
Cockatoo Island, Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney Harbour's largest island, Cockatoo Island, has tents, bedding and even toiletries provided for guests who want to glamp right in the middle of one of the world's most famous and beautiful harbours. You can even glamp here on New Year's Eve, in front of Sydney's famous fireworks (pictured). No matter what time of year you stay here, you're guaranteed to wake up to a very special view: no less than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Classic Australian bush provides the backdrop to Paperbark Camp, a peaceful escape (and multi-award-winning glamping institution) 2 1/2 hours south of Sydney. Deluxe tents even have their own freestanding bathtubs. There is also an exclusive architect-designed restaurant on site, Gunyah.
Karijini Eco Retreat, Karijini National Park, Western Australia
Set in the dramatic landscape of vibrant red earth, scrubby trees and meandering river gorges in the stunning Pilbara region of Western Australia, Karijini Eco Retreat's deluxe eco tents (complete with ensuite bathrooms) have zip-down screened windows, wooden decks and solar power in environmentally friendly luxury.
Bamurru Plains, near Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
The astounding Mary River floodplain, near Kakadu National Park, is home to so much Australian wildlife that it has been called Australia’s answer to Africa's Okavango Delta. Watch buffalo, wallabies and dozens of bird species go about their daily life from one of 10 luxury safari bungalows at Bamurru Plains.
Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Mary River National Park, Northern Territory
Also on the Mary River floodplains, guests of Wildman Wilderness Lodge glamp in luxury safari tents, enjoy breakfast in the open-air restaurant, savour sundowner drinks on the wide timber patio alongside the fire pit and experience fantastic boat, car and walking tours of the surrounding wilderness.
Kooljaman Camp, Cape Leveque, Western Australia
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, 220 kilometres (137 miles) north of outback beach town Broome, is jointly owned by local Aboriginal communities. It welcomes guests to swim from footprint-free beaches, learn about spearfishing or traditional bushfood, or simply explore one of the most truly remote places in the world.
Pebble Point, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The Great Ocean Road is a spectacular National Heritage-listed oceanside drive along Victoria's south-west coast. Pebble Point provides a luxury stop just six kilometres (3.7 miles) from the drive’s greatest sight, the limestone edifices of the Twelve Apostles. Six exclusive bush tents sit only steps away from three beautiful national parks.
Spicers Canopy Eco Lodge, Maryvale, Queensland
Ten luxury safari tents are dotted in the wilderness at Spicers Canopy Eco Lodge. Hearty meals are cooked in the fire pit and outdoor wood-fired pizza oven under a blanket of a billion stars, and the tents include a hot water bottle turndown service. Outside, guided and self-guided walks of the magnificent Scenic Rim region await.
Roar and Snore, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales
Knowing where the animals are is the key to a great safari experience – and it’s particularly easy in a zoo! Enjoy the beautiful city sights over Sydney Harbour at Taronga Zoo Sydney's unusual accommodation, where guests can meet the animals, enjoy a night safari, sleep in glamping tents and wake to an early morning behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. Roar and Snore operates every weekend and during Australian school holidays.
Bruny Island Long Weekend, Bruny Island, Tasmania
Combining farm gate visits, guided wilderness walking and luxury glamping each night, the three day Bruny Island Long Weekend experience combines three days of hiking through Bruny Island's magnificent surrounds with sampling local gourmet produce and sleeping in luxurious glamping tents each night. Over the course of the itinerary you'll enjoy slow-cooked pork from a farm, harvest fresh oysters directly from the water and indulge in some of the creamiest, handmade cheese Tasmania has to offer.
Bubble Tents, Capertree, Mudgee Region, New South Wales
The bubble tent in Mudgee is located 200 kilometres (124 miles) outside of Sydney’s centre, overlooking the Capertree Valley. Take a break from the city, marvel at the panoramic views of rolling hills or see the sky ablaze with millions of stars. Head into Mudgee itself to discover a quaint country town with lots of charm. Stock up on fresh produce and visit fantastic wineries to create the perfect picnic basket for your night under the stars.