‘Glamping’ is a relatively new concept. It stands for glamorous-camping and is a trend that is sweeping the world. It allows people to experience all the benefits of camping (i.e. a close proximity to one’s natural surroundings) without any of the difficult or uncomfortable aspects of camping such as a deflated blow up mattress or a leak that leaves all of your clothes damp for the entire holiday. It is no wonder, then, that glamping is so popular and when you consider everything Australia has to offer, it is not surprising that it has taken off in a big way down under.
Australia is huge and has a wide variety of natural spaces to be explored: every kind of climate and ecosystem can be found in the country. From arid desert to wetlands to pristine beaches and everything in between – Australia has it all. It is home to some of the world’s most famous natural landmarks such as Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef but at over 7.5 million square kilometres it can be hard to know where to begin. Below we’ve given you an insight into what awaits those going glamping in Australia to get you started.
The Northern Territory is a huge federal territory that covers almost one and a half million square kilometres of central northern Australia and yet it is extremely sparsely populated – despite its size it has the smallest population of any Australian state or territory. The territory can be split into two: the northern half has a monsoon climate and is home to lots of national parks made up of various creeks, wetland and lakes, whilst the southern half is far more arid. It is also extremely hot but with very little rain and as such this area makes up the majority of the Australian central desert in which Ayers Rock and The Olgas can be found.
One of the most serene and quiet glamping spots perhaps in the whole of Australia is the Banubanu Wilderness Retreat Tents on Bremer Island. Bremer Island lies a few kilometres off the coast of the Northern Territory; it covers a mere 16 square kilometres with a population of less than 30. The island is stunning and unspoilt, home to sea turtles digging holes to bury their eggs as well as countless species of bird. The tents themselves are on a beautiful beach-front eco-glamping site with their own bathroom, catered meals, mini-bar and a covered deck area with gorgeous sea views.
In an entirely different setting you can find Longitude 131: A glamping site that is situated in close proximity to the famous Ayers Rock. Uluru or Ayers Rock is a huge monolith – over 1,000 feet tall – that sits in the red sand centre of the Northern Territory. Due to its sandstone composition, the rock appears to change colour at different times of the day and holds massive cultural significance for local indigenous peoples. The glamping spot itself is a series of 15 luxury tents with kingsize beds, Wi-Fi, laundry, TV and large windows that you will struggle to tear yourself away from: It is simply so beautiful here.
New South Wales
New South Wales, which makes up the majority of the south-eastern corner of Australia, is famed for its golden coastline, turquoise waters and large metropoles (it is the most populated state in Australia). It is a haven for visitors from all over the world seeking sun, sea and surf but many people do not know how ecologically varied the state is with many snow-topped mountains and lush forested areas. Thanks to its fairly reliable good weather and of course its stunning natural scenery, it is also home to lots of glamping sites in locations to suit every kind of traveller. From the sun-worshipper to the intrepid adventurer, here are a few of our favourites.
Nestled on a quiet and undisturbed ridge of the famous Blue Mountains, a mountain range set in their own national park just to the west of Sydney, is a truly breathtaking glamping site. A part of the Blue Mountains Cabins ‘The Love Tee Pee’ is a luxurious and spacious teepee, which has all the modern conveniences coupled with unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains rising all around you. It has its own spa bath, fully equipped kitchen, fireplace for the winter and on your doorstep views down to the neighbouring Bowen’s Creek gorge.
If you’re looking for more a beach-based getaway then look no further than a series of tented cabins in Byron Bay. Byron Bay is an immensely popular seaside town in northern New South Wales particularly famous for its pristine beaches, great water sports and a relaxed and laid-back environment. Each tent here is equipped with a luxuriant queen size bed, ensuite bathroom, kitchenette facilities, 40” television, heating, air-conditioning, a private barbecue area and there is even a communal swimming pool. All of this is located just two kilometres from the bustling town centre and in close proximity to the beachfront making it a great spot for those wishing to try their hand at any local water-sports or for those who already know what they’re doing!
Queensland makes up the north-eastern corner of Australia: its northernmost point extends to the Torres Strait and covers the Boigu Island off the coast of New Guinea. It is the site where the Aboriginal population is believed to have arrived via the Torres Strait in around 50,000 BC and again where the first Europeans landed in the early 1600s. The state itself is famed for its coastline; it contains most of Australia’s most popular and best known beaches, including the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, as well as the Great Barrier Reef, which runs along the majority of Queensland’s coast – so you can imagine that there is a lot of marine wildlife to be spotted here.
If you’re looking for a glamping spot ideal for wildlife exploration then look no further than the Jabiru Safari Lodge in the Atherton Tablelands. Set in almost 2,000 hectares of woodlands, wetlands and grasslands with a vast range of walking tracks, these luxury tents are designed after the style of African eco-tents. The tents themselves have ensuite bathrooms, hot water systems (powered by solar panels), refrigerators and private patios with outdoor furniture and a barbecue – great for an evening meal sitting under the stars admiring the surrounding flora and fauna.
If you are going for a glamping escape in Queensland then you really cannot miss out on a beachfront spot too and one of the best has to be Cape Tribulation Camping set on the beach at the edge of the rainforest between Cairns and Cooktown. Stunning marine wildlife and coastal views plus ancient wooded areas are to be explored – ideal for the intrepid wildlife explorer and sun worshippers too. The tents themselves have all the luxury mod-cons and a close location to various bars, restaurants as well as the on-site camp kitchen.
Other places not to be missed
Below we’ve compiled a few extra suggestions of places not to be missed on a glamping tour of Australia.
- Bamurru Plains Wildbush Luxury is a spot in the Northern Territory at the edge of the Mary Rivers floodplains that has a series of luxury tented bungalows. These bungalows have all of your high-quality requirements but what makes this accommodation so unique is that it is set in a 300 square kilometre pastoral area with unique local wildlife on your doorstep, including the rare plumed whistling ducks and magpie geese.
- In Western Australia in Cape Range National Park on the shores of Nigaloo Reef, Sal Salis offers eco-glamping nestled amongst sand dunes with breathtaking ocean views. Aside from drinking in the sights of turquoise waters and white and red sand dunes, Sal Salis offers guided walking tours and water activities too.
- Down in Victoria at the end of the Great Ocean Road sits Pebble Point: a small series of luxury tents nestled in the bush only minutes away from Port Campbell National Park, Great Otway National Park and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. Enjoy a luxuriant night’s sleep in a king size bed and then spend the day exploring the amazing flora and fauna this area has to offer.