Glamping has been gaining popularity over the last decade, with the word ‘glamping’ added to the Oxford English Dictionary just last year. As we watch the laid-back accommodation style gain rapid momentum, almost becoming a standard option to offer among luxury properties, the competition to create the most unforgettable luxury experience is hotting up.
“The simplicity of a glamping holiday gives travellers the opportunity to enjoy a camping experience in nature with all the comforts of home,” explains Sandra Chipchase - CEO, Destination NSW.
When you imagine glamping, you might think of bell tents, hanging pods, enchanting tipis or retro caravans – but there are also ultra-luxurious camping accommodations popping up across Australia, from the coast and hinterland to the wild Red Centre, they are popping up in ever more remote locations.
If you love the idea of being close to nature, but don’t want the hassle of setting up camp, let alone being without life’s luxuries, then glamping could be the perfect holiday choice for you. There are many options that offer an all-inclusive experience with all the trimmings you’d expect from a world-class hotel.
Spicers Retreats’ Group Sales Director Kylie Stever says many people living in urban areas harbour a deep desire to experience and reconnect with nature, without sacrificing modern comforts in the process. We live in a busy world where we are constantly ‘on’ with a high reliance on technology, allowing people to connect 24/7. Glamping provides that escape back to basics, that connection to nature and the chance to relax and take time out from the everyday.”
Melanie Clout of Travel Associates Camp Hill says “Glamping gives you the ability to disconnect and to relax in comfort. That connection to nature also allows you to take the time to reflect on what’s important.” Read on for [his/her] pick of Australia’s top glamping experiences...
Longitude 131, Yulara,
At Longitude 131, there are 15 luxury tents raised above the sand dunes, each offering views of Uluru from the end of the bed. Possibly the best view from any bed in Australia.
Recent refurbishments have added a balcony with daybed and EcoSmart campfire complete with a luxury swag for stargazing. Also new to the resort is the premium, two-bedroom Dune Pavilion with private deck and plunge pool, which is the only accommodation in Australia offering views of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Longitude 131 General Manager, Felicity Worthington says, “Glamping offers guests the chance to really connect with the destination and landscape while still having the benefits of an outdoor accommodation experience – with sunrise views, encounters with wildlife and sleeping under the stars.”
Zoofari Lodge, Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, NSW
Arguably the most exotic glamping experience on this list, the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW transports you to the African Savannah without the jetlag and 15-hour flight. The zoo is home to hundreds of rare and endangered animals including giraffes, rhinos, elephants and big cats, many of which you can see right from the front deck of your glamorous Savannah Cabin. These safari-style lodges feature African-inspired decor and are so close to the animals that they allow you listen to their noises, which are especially magical at sunrise and sunset.
Spicers Canopy, Scenic Rim, QLD
Spicers Canopy offers an all-inclusive back-to-nature glamping experience. Their eco-site, which is completely gas- and solar-powered, features 10 safari-style luxury tents. Each features king or twin beds with fine linens, polished timber floorboards, luxurious armchairs, a covered deck and Spicers branded bathrobes (perfect for a selfie on the deck, champagne in hand).
The permanent luxury tents offer luxurious spaces that exist in harmony with nature, looking towards Mount Mitchell, Spicers Peak and Mount Cordeaux. With no cars, computers or TV and limited mobile phone reception, it’s truly a tranquil oasis, with no need to compromise on comfort.
From the moment guests arrive, they’ll find everything is taken care of, from arrival champagne and the stacking and lighting of their fire to private guided nature walks and gourmet dining experiences.
Sal Salis, Ningaloo, WA
Located within Cape Range National Park near Exmouth, and part of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area, Sal Salis is a beach-side safari camp nestled in the low lying coastal dunes just 50 metres back from the reef. You won’t know whether to relax and look out at the water all day from your luxurious surrounds or jump right in and snorkel along Ningaloo Reef, home to over 500 species of colourful fish and 250 coral species. However you won’t want to miss ticking swimming with whale sharks off the bucket list by heading beyond the reef on a 40-foot-boat to swim with the mighty giants of the ocean – whale sharks, humpback whales, orcas, manta rays and dolphins.
Truffle Lodge, TAS
Newly opened Truffle Lodge rests on the banks of Tasmania’s Derwent River just 45 minutes from Hobart and surrounded by Australia’s first truffle orchards. Owners Laurelle and John Grimley describe the property as an Australian bush camp meets Arabian nights; sounds like the ultimate glamping experience.
Each private African Safari tent is fully equipped with king beds, lounges, heating and cooling, minibar, refrigerators, coffee machines, as well as its own luxury hand carved wooden bath and a separate rain shower. In addition, each tent has complete river frontage and a spacious private deck.