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Six of the Best Glamping Experiences In and Around Sydney

June 16, 2018 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

  1. Cockatoo Island | Sydney Harbour | 10-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay

Sydney’s best-kept secret is glamping on Cockatoo Island, which puts you front and centre on the iconic harbour. The historic island — a former convict penal establishment — is a 10-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay and has a variety of accommodation including three types of glamping: Glamping for Two; Two-bedroom Glamping for four people and Mini Glamping — a cosy tent for two. You’ll arrive to a pre-erected tent with toiletries, bedding and cooler box, and have access to hot showers and a communal camp kitchen with 10 BBQ areas, fridges, microwaves and a boiling water system.

What to bring? Bring your own food or order BBQ and breakfast packs from the island café, Societe Overboard. Don’t forget cooking utensils, cutlery and plates.

Need to know: There are strict alcohol rules on Cockatoo Island — you cannot BYO alcohol, but you can purchase takeaway alcohol from Societe Overboard if you’re a Cockatoo Island guest, or enjoy a drink at the Cockatoo Island Island Marine Centre or Societe Overboard.

For rates and booking information, visit www.cockatooisland.gov.au/stay/glamping

Mini glamping from AUD$130 / SGD$132++

  1. Tandara | Lane Cove National Park | around 20 mins from Sydney CBD

For a luxe camping weekend away without the road trip, Tandara, which means ‘camp here’, is nestled in the Lane Cove National Park and Lane Cove River Tourist Caravan Park, just a 15-20 minute drive from Sydney city. The safari-style tent is separate from the rest of the campsite and made for those who like their creature comforts. There’s a luxe king-size bed, a stunning bathroom with deep tub and a smart sound system, which pumps tunes through speakers tucked into the garden. For nature lovers there is myriad wildlife to observe, such as eastern water dragons, kookaburras and sulphur-crested cockatoos. If you want to do something other than sit with a glass of wine in hand in your natural hideaway and fire up the BBQ, you can canoe or kayak on the Lane Cove River.

What to bring: Hiking boots; your own bike helmet if preferred (Tandara supplies mountain bikes for guest use); food supplies (you can pre-order a delicious gourmet BBQ or breakfast hamper).

Need to know: There’s only one tent – so book early. No smoking, no children, no pets and there is limited phone reception in Lane Cove National Park.

For rates and booking information, visit nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/accommodation/tandara

From AUD$220 / SGD$223++ per night

  1. Paperbark Camp | Jervis Bay | 2 hours 38 mins from Sydney

Paperbark Camp offers a luxury but sustainable camping experience in a bushland setting a few hours south of Sydney in the stunning Sapphire Coast region of NSW. Inspired by the tented-style safari accommodation the owners experienced in South Africa, Paperbark Camp has established itself as a premier eco-tourism experience at the forefront of Australian glamping since it opened in 1999. Owners Jeremy & Irena Hutchings have created a remarkable stay with 12 cosy canvas tents placed strategically among native eucalypts. All the tents have five-star hotel-quality linen and amenities, hot showers, a wrap-around deck and full insect screening — with a bathtub in the Deluxe tents. You can canoe, cycle, read a book on the beach and later head to dinner at onsite tree-top restaurant Gunyah, and then meander back to your tent, spotting native wildlife along the way with your torch.

What to bring: With an onsite licensed restaurant serving breakfast and dinner, plus gourmet picnic baskets available, there’s no need to bring anything, other than some BYO wine to sip in your luxury tent and your own beach towels, which Paperbark don’t supply.

Need to know: You can switch off and get away from it all at Paperbark Camp – they have Advanced Eco Accreditation, which means you won’t find air-conditioning or heating, TV, bar fridge or power points for your technology. Note: power and WiFi can be accessed from Gunyah Restaurant.

For rates and booking information, visit www.paperbarkcamp.com.au/bookings

From AUD$495 / SGD$502++ per night

  1. BubbleTent Australia | 2 hours 41 minutes from Sydney

Stargazers and romantics will fall in love with this magical clear dome overlooking the Capertree Valley near Round Swamp in New South Wales. The three transparent spheres named after zodiac constellations – Leo, Virgo and Cancer – sit atop raised wooden decks and give guests a spectacular view of the stars at night and the vast valley during the day. Inside you’ll find a chic setup with a queen bed with goose-down pillows, hidden sliding cabinet for storage underneath and a luxury vanity and composting toilet. And don’t worry — while the bathroom is also spherical, it’s not transparent. Outside, stairs lead down to a lower deck, which boasts an outdoor kitchenette and a seating area, an ideal spot to enjoy a glass of local wine and drink in the spectacular views. The Virgo BubbleTent has the romantic addition of wood-fired outdoor hot tub.

Your host supplies binoculars and iPad loaded with a birdwatching app, a USB charger, a sun shield, deck slippers, headlamps, an emergency torch, insect repellant, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. For cooking, you’ll find a pan, a kettle, serving utensils and cutlery, along with your very own herb garden.

What to bring: A backpack or overnight bag with easily-layerable clothing such as jumpers, thermals, jackets and a beanie; food and drink for your stay; extra drinking water and your fave tipple; a camera and a good book!

Need to know: This one-of-a-kind tent is constructed with fireproof, commercial-grade PVC, and renews, filters, and dehumidifies the air inside the tent up to nine times an hour. The tent will fully protect guests if it rains and it’s strong enough to withstand winds of up to 70 kms an hour. Bubbletent books quickly, so subscribe to hear updates, www.bubbletentaustralia.com/book/

From AUD$340 / SGD$345++ per night

. Turon Gates Country Resort | Blue Mountains | 2 hours 30 minutes from Sydney

If you would like to ‘go bush’ in NSW without heading too far from the centre of Sydney, Turon is a tranquil bushland property with rocky outcrops over a crystal-clear creek, misty valleys and native wildlife to spot, such as kangaroos, wombats, platypus, echidnas, possums and bush lizards.

A lovingly-built collection of luxe cottages, rustic cabins and a glamping tent make up the accommodation at the Turon Gates Country Resort property, which is a land holding of over 6000 acres in the Blue Mountains region. The cabins are wonderful for larger groups, while the luxe canvas tent is ideal for a romantic getaway and some excellent value glamping. The roomy canvas tent has a heated floor and is set on a raised platform with a spacious deck overlooking the river below. There’s a hot shower with strong water pressure, a fireplace, and a comfy bed just made for sleeping in.

While you’re at Turon, why not try horse riding with one of their qualified team or travel further south to explore the Jenolan Caves? Turon Gates Country Resort is also on the way to Mudgee, which has dozens of wineries, exquisite eateries and stunning heritage streetscapes.

What to bring: Only bring your linen (it can be provided for you) plus esky with your cold food, drinks and ice.

Need to know: Turon is a pet-friendly resort and smoking is allowed outside.

For rates and booking information, visit www.turongates.com

Glamping Tent from AUD$161 / SGD$163++ per night

  1. Roar and Snore Taronga Zoo | Sydney | 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay

Many people do not know that you can stay overnight inside Sydney Taronga Zoo in a safari-style tent, enjoy gourmet feasts under the stars and have an up close and personal experience with the exotic and native animals in the zoo. The Roar and Snore itinerary involves a twilight walk through Taronga Zoo once it’s closed to general visitors, canapes and welcome drinks, buffet dinner, then a night time safari at 9pm.

Wake up at sunrise to the roar of a lion, perhaps, and the stunning backdrop of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. After breakfast, head off on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour then feel free to explore the zoo for the rest of the day. Each tent has a double bed, a single pop-up trundle bed and there’s an on-site amenity block with bathrooms with hot showers.

For more information, visit taronga.org.au/taronga-zoo#accommodation

What to bring: Camera; toiletries; closed-toed shoes (no sandals, thongs or heels); wet-weather gear (Roar and Snore is an all-weather program).

Need to know: All meals and drinks are supplied by the zoo, strictly no BYO. If you have any special dietary requirements, special needs or peculiar requests let Taronga Zoo know and they will see what they can do. Roar & Snore has disabled access facilities.

From AUD$275 / SGD$279++ per adult per night

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