The Eight Best Glamping Spots Near Sydney
For those who don't want to go all the way back to basics.
Where would we be without the portmanteau? The world may not miss Brangelina, but we would certainly be far worse off without glamping. Camping's not for everyone. Some of us have every intention of immersing ourselves in nature, breathing the sea air and setting up a temporary home away from home for the weekend. But the thought of camp stretchers, unidentifiable crawly things and eating tinned peaches can dampen a jolly holiday pretty damn quick.
Glamping effortlessly fuses the fun of camping with the glamorous creature comforts of hotel stays, like a refrigerator stocked with champers or the aesthetic refinement of looking like a giant book. Check out these top eight glamping experiences — here, all the hard work is done for you.
PAPERBARK CAMP, JERVIS BAY
One word: ridiculous. Located just a three-hour drive south of Sydney, Paperbark Camp is the ultimate in fine camping. Think food, wine and paradisiac natural surrounds, with the pristine waters of Jervis Bay at your toes. The idea for Paperbark was initially conceived during a trip to Africa — sitting elevated on timber decks and lit by a soft solar-powered glow, these intimate luxury safari-style tents boast wrap-around verandahs for an immersive bush experience without the creepy-crawlies. The food is fresh and local, including fish caught in the bay, mushrooms from Mittagong and wines predominantly from New South Wales vineyards. Paperbark's tents feature queen or king beds, tea-making facilities and en suite bathrooms — including some with free-standing baths. This is eco-tourism at its most delightful.
SIERRA ESCAPE, MUDGEE
Sierra Escape — Mudgee's luxe glamping retreat — is located 260 kilometres northwest of Sydney. The 280-acre property boasts spectacular views and is home to wildlife including kangaroos, deer and a variety of native birds. So yeah, basically it's paradise. The Carinya tent — if you can even call something this opulent a tent — includes floor-to-ceiling windows, large indoor and outdoor freestanding bathtubs and fire-pit area. It's insulated for all seasons, and there's even a deck out front where you can kick back and watch the sunset.
TANJA LAGOON CAMP
Stay in a safari tent, minus the lions. Instead, kangaroos, koalas and sooty owls surround you here. This super-secluded parcel of private land in the middle of a lagoon-tipped national park is a real haven, with only four tents on the property. Tanja Lagoon's tents aren't the kind that are going to packed up any time soon; each comes with an ensuite bathroom, handcrafted queen-size bed, sofa/daybed, writing desk, kitchen, barbecue and, if you go the deluxe option, a bathtub to fit two. They sit on their own expansive decks made of locally sourced timber, most of it milled nearby, since Tanja Lagoon Camp is an eco-orientated operation. If reading on your daybed isn't activity enough, there's canoeing, swimming, mountain biking, wine tasting and gallery-going to be done.
Overlooking the scenic Capertree Valley 200 kilometres northwest of Sydney, these low-impact campsites provide a secluded night under the stars with all the comforts of a luxury glamping experience. The clear walls of the bubbletent provide you with uninterrupted views of the night's sky and the expansive Capertree Valley canyon from your bed while protecting you from the elements or any of the area's critters. These off-grid campsites look over the world's second biggest canyon and one of Australia's best bird watching areas. Each bubbletent is fitted out with everything you need for a relaxing weekend away including electric blankets, a fire pit, a cheese board and a telescope for marveling at your surroundings. All you need to bring is yourself, your dinner and your favourite bottle of vino to sip at sunset.
ROAR AND SNORE, TARONGA ZOO
If waking up to the call of an elephant is not your 5am cup of tea, you better sit out on Roar and Snore at Taronga Zoo. Otherwise? It's an unmissable Sydney experience if you don't have the cash for an actual Sahara night safari. Snuggled on the Mosman headland, Taronga's safari tents — super comfortable and fully set up — are perched atop the country's most famous zoo (with the stunning Sydney Harbour views the giraffes enjoy daily). A buffet dinner and a personal night tour by a zookeeper makes this one helluva glamping experience with a difference. Just don't get too close to the snakes before bedtime unless you enjoy python-filled dreams.
KOOKABURRA RIDGE, CENTRAL COAST
This Central Coast getaway is the newest addition to In2TheWild's range of secluded glampsites. It offers what all of the outfit's getaways do: a comfortable, well-appointed but small-scale vacation spot, oh-so-much scenery, and no mobile reception or wifi. You'll find it around two hours north of Sydney, amidst bushland, but also only a short drive from the beach. The exact location of the site are only shared a few days before your stay, so you'll be treated to a surprise as you're packing. Here, there's actually space for two groups of four to stay — in two bell tents, each located around 100 metres away from each other. Whichever you choose, you'll find a queen bed inside each tent, plus two single beds if you need them. Outside, both tents come with their own deck and outdoor bathtub, plus a barbecue and picnic table. And yes, the whole vibe is supremely rustic, as you'd expect while you're glamping on a deck with grass and trees around you as far as the eye can see.
Crisp white linen. Happening Island Bar. Antipasto and woodfired pizzas. Need we say more? Sleep in splendour under the industrial cranes of Cockatoo Island in a stunning waterfront location smack bang in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Creature comforts roam free on the island — a large camping kitchen, multiple BBQ areas, your own fridge, microwave and a boiling water system. While you can bring along your own tent if you're a seasoned camper, the glamping packages can include a pre-erected Safari Bow tent, two camping beds with mattresses, all bedding, towels, sun lounges, an esky and a lantern. Just bring your BBQ tongs, cutlery, plates and excessive sunset snacks.
MAYFIELD GARDEN, OBERON
For a brief time each year, Simple Pleasures Camping Co. takes over the grounds of Oberon's Mayfield Garden for a luxurious eco-friendly camping retreat in one of the world's largest privately-owned cool climate gardens. Located three hours west of Sydney's CBD, this spot is seriously impressive, overflowing with acres of vibrant flowers and towering trees. You'll find ponds blooming with water lilies and impressive collections of maple trees. As for the glamping, you'll bed down in one of 15 bell-shaped tents fitted with queen mattresses, goosefeather pillows, bedside tables, solar lighting and vintage rugs. The experience also comes complete with towels, an outdoor table and chairs to sit at, lanterns and torches, along with on-site bathrooms and hot showers, which are exclusive to the glamping area. While the Autumn glamping has just passed us by, keep an eye on Simple Pleasures' socials for the announcement of the next session.
Top image: Destination NSW
Published on May 07, 2021 by Concrete Playground