Not everyone loves the idea of camping. For some the thought of setting up a tent and sharing the ground with squilllions of unknown creatures is akin to torture. However, as seasoned campers know, that’s not the case at all.
Granted we have our nice Outback Camper and a very comfortable bed however, for those who don’t have the convenience of a camper or caravan, there’s still a way to enjoy a night under the stars without roughing it.
Why settle for five stars when you can have a million stars?
It’s called glamping and it’s not new. It’s been around for years, but it’s a great alternative for anyone who wants the ‘hard work’ done for them. After all, the tent’s already set up, the beds are made and often consist of plush and comfy coverings. You have all the luxuries of a hotel in the lap of Mother Nature.
Then it’s just a matter of following the camping rules: camp, hike, cook, drink, eat, watch sunset and the campfire, repeat.
As you’ll see below, just as there are different tents and caravans, there’s also varying levels of “glamping”.
Tee pees and tranquility
At Wakiti Creek Resort, about 230 kms north of Melbourne (near Echuca), it’s like stepping into a cowboys and Indian movie. Within this resort, there’s an Indian reservation complete with five authentic Indian teepees set in a semi circle. In the middle is a fire pit for those requisite campfire and marshmallow nights. At the other end of the park is a designated spot for horse riders.
The teepees are carpeted and have battery powered lighting and mattresses. The only thing you need is bedding and food, so it’s an ideal introduction for first time campers.
The park, which has creek frontage, offers a perfect blend of serenity and relaxation. There’s bush mini-golf, a pool, archery, tennis, volleyball and canoes for hire. My favourite memory was canoeing down the river at sunset with Doug, Harry and the kids.
A Jungle Safari
Tucked away down a country road and nestled in the hills behind Mitta Mitta is a jungle safari camp and a little slice of India called Bhartralia.
We left the camper at home and brought Doug’s parents here a few years ago. It was the perfect combination of comfort and gorgeous scenery. The story I wrote appeared in On the Road magazine back in 2013.
Inside each cosy Indian safari style tent it’s like something out of Lawrence of Arabia with plush beds covered with colorful doonas, billowing roof tops and gaslight bedside reading lamps. There are four tents, permanently erected, which sleep up to 12 people.
Outside the safari tents overlook rolling hills and an array of exotic wildlife.
There’s an outdoor open air garden room/ covered eating area where you can prepare meals and relax with a drink at the end of the day. The owners Chris and Sandy can even cook a full on Indian banquet for those who want a break from cooking.
From the Coast to the Outback
At Wilsons Promontory National Park you can book a wilderness retreat and enjoy creature comforts in the middle of one of the most spectacular parks in Victoria. Inside these eco-friendly tents the outside truly comes indoors, well, except for the numerous roaming wombats, who thankfully stay outside.
There’s a gorgeous bedroom, a private ensuite, a timber deck, a bbq close by to cook on and all super close to the beach.
From the coast to the outback, for the ultimate glamping experience the Northern Territory is hard to beat. Think indulgence under a five million star outdoor restaurant, fine dining and waking up to a sunrise over Ayers Rock. The Pavillion at Longitude 131 is truly the star of the luxury camp.
“Longitude 131 is the closest accommodation to Ayers Rock. With only 15 luxury tents onsite, each with an uninterrupted view, you’ll feel equally humbled and in awe of the enormous red rock and its ever-changing moods.
Of course a luxury tent isn’t complete without oversized rain shower, complementary in-room bar, iPad with preloaded entertainment and air-conditioning. Ah the joys of combining old world with new!”
Sounds great, though at $1,300AUD a night, I’ll stay with our humble camper. We enjoyed our own version of ‘glamping’ at the Ayers Rock campground last year with a peaceful ambience of music, red wine, steak and mood lighting, aka outdoor candles.
It was just as good as any glamour tent.
It’s all relative isn’t it?
Camping or glamping, which ever takes your fancy, there’s nothing better than combining some minor creature comforts with some majorly spectacular nature.
Sometimes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
How do you like to camp?
Live, laugh, camp and stay happy as we continue the journey.
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