Camping is a wonderful idea — reconnect with nature, breath in the ambience of peace and quiet and the fresh non-city air. It's the perfect escape from the urban jungle of life. But the logistics of camping are difficult. Packing all that stuff, unpacking that stuff, erecting the tent and praying that the thin synthetic material is enough to protect you from an impending storm or the swarming mosquitoes out to get your blood.
Thankfully glamping, the luxurious older sister of that other activity, provides a classy alternative to simply roughing it outdoors. Combining both the beauty of nature with the mod cons and comfort of a hotel means you can have your wilderness experience and goose-feather down quilt too.
Spend your next weekender sipping top-notch wines on an outdoor lounge on your own private deck, soaking up sunset-flooded rural views — smack-bang in the middle of lush vineyards at Balgownie Estate. The tents, of which there are 15, are also set up with rugs, lighting, furnishings, aircon, tea-and-coffee making gear and bar fridges. One even has its own hot tub. There are three tent types on offer (with increasing levels of luxury). The Bell Tent, the Bell Tent Twin and the Luxury Safari Tent — which is probably bigger than your CBD apartment — comes with an indoor couch, a four-poster queen-sized bed and a kitchenette.
46 Hermitage Road, Maiden Gully. From $310 per night. balgownieestatebendigo.com
An hour out of Melbourne you'll find the beautiful surrounds of the Mornington Peninsula, where soft sea-breezes roll across the ocean and long stretches of beach invite good times. Happy Glamper not only pitches and packs up your campsite, but also gives you a range of nifty options. Choose from a cosy couples' bell tent or an emperor tent fit for up to six people. The best part? Choose your tent and your location (in a campsite somewhere along the Mornington Peninsula) and Happy Glamper will set up your tent — complete with magazines, mats, boardgames and chairs. You can also pay for extras, such as a picnic kit.
Mornington Peninsula. $360 per night. happyglamper.com.au
Does a rhino get bed hair? Are giraffes grumpy in the morning? What does a lion eat for breakfast? Spend a night in your safari-styled tent fitted with all the creature comforts at the Werribee Open Range Zoo and find out all of these niggling questions that no amount of Googling can ever answer. Slumber Safari also includes delicious snacks, dinner, a night walk, campfire and the mandatory marshmallow experience.
K Road, Werribee South. $335 per adult per night. zoo.org.au/werribee/wild-encounters/slumber-safari
Sand, surf, little fairy penguins hanging out nearby and a restful sleep cocooned in stylish canvas — what more could you ask for? With comfy mattresses and linen, heaters and kettles, you can have a cosy weekend of romance or relaxation close to the beautiful beaches of Phillip Island. Simply book in your tent, choose which campsite you'd like it pitched in and leave it to the Phillip Island Glamping gurus.
Phillip Island. From $120 per night. phillipislandglamping.com.au
Another opportunity to disappear into a bell tent has arisen — and this time, you'll be heading to Terindah Estate. A winery on the Bellarine Peninsula, 20 minutes' drive east of Geelong and 80 minutes' southwest of Melbourne, Terindah has partnered with Twilight Glamping for Glamping Amongst The Vines, a pop of up 15 luxury bell tents. Perched near a private beach, this temporary village overlooks epic views of Port Phillip Bay, backdropped by the Melbourne skyline. In between soaking up nature, kick back on a queen-sized bed (or a twin, if you're travelling with a mate), draped in luxurious linen and plenty of cosy blankets. Every tent also comes with a jute rug, chairs, side table, mirror, towels and USB-powered lantern. Shower facilities are also located on site.
90 McAdams Lane, Bellarine. From $200 per night. twilightglamping.com.au/terindah
The Prom is one of Victoria's favourite national parks, and is a not-too gruelling three and a half hour drive from Melbourne. The 50,000 hectares of reserve is a magical realm of native wildlife, pure rivers, granite mountain-tops and lush valleys. Spend the day slogging one of the challenging hikes in the area before collapsing in a glam safari-tent at the Wilderness Retreat, complete with a queen-size bed, ensuite bathroom, timber furniture and BBQ. Or head over to the Buchan Caves Reserve in the Snowy Mountains — where Wilderness Retreat's other glamping tents are. Here you can explore the ancient limestone caves, then take in the countryside views from your deck.
Wilsons Promontory National Park & Buchan Caves Reserve. From $195 per night. wildernessretreats.com.au
Goose down quilt? Check. Bose speakers? Check. BBQ, esky and communal fire pit for adventurous campfire cooking? Check. Stunning views across Hepburn Shire? Yep — you guessed it — check. Cosy Tents is the perfect weekend getaway to explore the smorgasbord of gourmet food, wineries and award-winning restaurants in the region. Oh, and it's right near the spa capital of Australia. That's pretty handy too.
6 Kanga Road, Yandoit. From $195 per night. cosytents.com.au
Not only is saying the word 'yurt' over and over again fun, but staying in one is pretty fun too. Providing the only yurts — which are Mongolian round tents — in the magnificent King Valley wine region, the Yurt Alpine Retreat is smack-bang in the middle of a cattle and sheep farm overlooking the mountains. A glass dome ceiling makes late night stargazing a pleasant pastime — as well as spending time spotting the abundance of local roos and wombats.
234 Evans Lane, Myrrhee. $4140 per night. theyurtalpineretreat.com
Combining camping in comfort with drinking in a vineyard, winery glamping is the trend that absolutely no one will ever complain about — and now the Mornington Peninsula is getting in on the action. Located at Blue Range Estate Wines in Rosebud, Mornington Peninsula Glamping not only overlooks the vineyard, but boasts views out over Port Phillip Bay — plus luxe five-by-five-metre tents. Available for $265 per night, each tent is decked out with a queen-sized bed with 1000-thread-count sheets, two armchairs and a coffee table, plus solar power to keep your devices juiced. Visitors also have access to a shared cooking and eating area with two barbecues, hot water, and a choice of boutique tea or coffee, plus a luxury bathrooms in a shipping container.
155 Gardens Road, Rosebud. From 265 per night. mpglamping.com
Published on January 03, 2019 by Shannon McKeogh