The Best Places to Go Glamping in NSW
All these luxury NSW glamping experiences are under two hours away from Sydney's CBD — making it all too easy to have a weekend wilderness adventure in total comfort.
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 quickly.
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 the best places to go glamping in NSW (within a few hours' drive of Sydney). All the hard work is done for you at each of these sites.
SIERRA ESCAPE, MUDGEE
Sierra Escape — the luxe glamping retreat in Mudgee — is located 260 kilometres northwest of Sydney. The 280-acre property boasts spectacular views and is home to wildlife, including kangaroos, deer and various 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 a firepit area. It's insulated for all seasons, and there's even a deck out front where you can kick back and watch the sunset from one of the best places to go glamping in NSW.
PAPERBARK CAMP, JERVIS BAY
One word: ridiculous. Paperbark Camp is the ultimate in fine camping, located just a three-hour drive south of Sydney. Think food, wine and paradisiac natural surrounds with the pristine waters of Jervis Bay at your toes. The idea for this glamping site near Sydney 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. It's no wonder why it also made our list of the best glamping sites in Australia.
TANJA LAGOON CAMP
Stay in a safari tent, minus the lions. Instead, you'll find kangaroos, koalas and sooty owls surrounding you. 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. The NSW glamping tents 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 NSW 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 glamping sites near Sydney 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 marvelling 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, the Taronga Zoo 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 make this one helluva NSW glamping experience with a difference. Just don't get too close to the snakes before bedtime unless you enjoy python-filled dreams.
MARRAMARRA LODGE, HAWKESBURY RIVER
This ultra-luxe glamping site near Sydney is set within the picturesque Marramarra National Park, right on the Hawkesbury River. Arrive in style, by boat from Mooney Mooney or Brooklyn, before setting yourselves up in one of the large open-plan safari tents. Each of the Marramarra Lodge tents boasts a king-sized bed, large riverstone-clad bathroom, aircon, all your linen and towels, a fully stocked mini bar, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. You can even get room service delivered. But the best feature has got to be the private timber deck that offers up uninterrupted views across this stunning spot that's just an hour out of Sydney.
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. it is easily one of the best glamping sites in Sydney. 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
Oberon's Mayfield Garden boasts 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 NSW glamping spot is seriously impressive, overflowing with acres of vibrant flowers and towering trees. In the gardens, you'll find expansive green spaces filled with bridges, paths, sculptures, stonework and vibrant flora, an English-inspired maze, a croquet court, a family chapel, interactive games and rowboats to take out on the lake. The Mayfield Restaurant offers a seasonal modern Australian menu based around produce grown on sight. Campers will be treated to a complimentary dinner at the restaurant, plus breakfast delivered to their tent, and can add a lavish sunrise or sunset picnic to their experience.
Top images: Sierra Escape courtesy of Destination NSW and Cameron D'Arcy
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