On the Glamp: Australia's Best Luxury Tent Stays

19 Sep 2016

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Immersed in nature and barely another soul around for miles? Luxury camping, or glamping, is one of the best ways to get away from it all and de-stress from modern life without having to sacrifice any creature comforts. There’s minimum carbon footprint too. Best of all, the hard work of setting up and packing up is done for you so all you have to do is pop the cork on the champagne and settle in to watch nature do its thing.

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Twilight Glamping Tent
Photo: Twilight Glamping

Pop-up glamping

From restaurants to bars and even designer clothes shops, it seems we can’t get enough of pop-ups. Now there’s pop-up glamping – gorgeous, stylishly kitted-out bell-shaped tents that put you front row in some of Australia’s more stunning natural locations. Drift off to sleep to the sound of waves crashing along Victoria’s beautiful Great Ocean Road and Bellarine Peninsula with Twilight Glamping or head to the southern wilds of Kakadu in the dry season (July to October) for a luxury Flash Camp at Cooinda.

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Kangaluna Camps
Photo: Kangaluna Camps

Trail glamping

Forget about the frantic dash of DIY tents as night fast approaches. Glamping puts a whole new happy spin on going bush. Explore the ancient volcanic ranges, deep gullies, salt bed lakes and seasonal waterfalls of South Australia’s majestic Gawler Range with Gawler Ranges Safaris, heading out daily from base camp at the luxury eco-friendly Kangaluna Camps, airy, tented accommodations complete with private showers and flushable toilets. In Tasmania, the stunning four-day Bay of Fires walk lets you mix up the glamping – gorgeous demountable tents at Foresters Beach Camp - with an eco-lodge stay at the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge.

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Sal Salis eco camp
Photo: Sal Salis

Remote glamping

Want a total nature imersion? Glamping gives it to you tenfold.  With connectivity sometimes hit and miss, you’ll get a bonus digital detox too. In Western Australia, the remote beachside safari camp of Sal Salis, a stunning eco-camp with just 16 eco-luxe wilderness tents nestled in the dunes of Cape Range National Park at gorgeous Ningaloo Reef, offers solitude and incredible up close experiences with marine and bird life.  Then there’s Kooljaman at Cape Leveque.

This unique wilderness camp on native title land is owned by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities and offers incredible biodiversity and unspoilt wilderness in one of the more isolated parts of Western Australia.

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Notel Melboune roof-top caravans
Photo: Notel Melbourne

Urban glamping

Once the denizen of remote eco-sensitive locations, glamping has gone next level and cities are claiming it as the next hip thing. In Melbourne, sexy new Notel, six shiny airstream caravans atop a rooftop laneway carpark, delivers stunning city views and luxury as well as a caravan with a private outdoor spa. Then there’s St Jeromes The Hotel, an uber-cool hotel stay in a rooftop tent where morning brings a gourmet breakfast box and onsite barista to help open the eyes to the sensational 360-degree city skyline views. In Sydney, a short ferry boat ride from Circular Quay will drop you at Cockatoo Island and an evening of glamping on one of Sydney Harbour’s oldest historic islands. Or, you can join the queue to stay at Tandara, a singular luxury glamping experience just 15-minutes from the CBD in Lane Cove National Park.

Catered glamping

Why cook when you can be catered for? While most glamping has a do-it-yourself element or communal dining, catered glamping raises the bar a notch. At Longitude 131˚, in the spiritual heartland of the red centre, guests can enjoy commanding views of Uluru from any one of the 15 luxury tents as well as a la carte meals and private outdoor dining. Balconies also have daybeds and ‘campfire’ fireplaces. Just south of the Gold Coast, in Queensland’s untouched Lamington National Park rainforest, find privacy and seclusion at Nightfall, a luxury safari tent camp limited to just six guests where the menu is organic and grown on-site, there is a wood-fired oven and dinner can be tailor-made for a more intimate setting.

Belinda Luksic

Belinda Luksic is a freelance writer and photographer specialising in lifestyle, wellness and travel journalism. Her work appears in a number of publications, including Holidays for Couples, MiNDFOOD, Luxury Travel and TravelTalk.