It isn’t that it can’t be fun to lose half your tent pegs, get mozzie repellent in your sandwiches and drink warm cider out of plastic cups. But sometimes you just wish you could enjoy the outdoors with a few creature comforts, and for those times there’s ‘glamping’. As summer draws to a close, here are our top three just-out-of-Sydney spots to enjoy the remaining few balmy nights semi-alfresco style.
Lie under the stars and on top of crisp white linen with the city lights in the distance and a fully stocked Island Bar in close quarters. Your pre-erected (no faffing around with mallets and tent pegs) bow tent is all set up and ready to go upon arrival, pre-loaded with two or four camping beds and mattresses, bedding, sun lounges, side-tables cushions and lanterns. You can BYO dinner, but why would you choose washing up over antipasto dishes and woodfired pizzas? Cockatoo Island Glamping & Camping, Cockatoo Island, $140 – $155 per night for two campers or $280 – $310 for four.
Tandara is camping for people who hate camping. Stay in a spacious African safari-style tent, curl up on the bed watching plasma TV, stroll the manicured gardens and cook up a sizzling gourmet feast on a barbeque better than some people’s kitchens. If it weren’t for the kookaburras and the uninterrupted views across Lane Cove Valley (best taken in with a glass of cold sauv blanc), you wouldn’t even know you were in nature. Tandara, Lane Cove, $200 per night per couple.
There are entire Tumblrs dedicated to lodgings this magical. Paperbark’s tents sit elevated on timber decks and lit by an ambient solar-powered glow, the cosy interior boasting a queen-sized bed, tea-making facilities and en suite complete with free-standing bath (go deluxe for a claw-foot) and flushing toilet. And only a short stroll away is the sparkling coast of Jervis Bay, which is just as social media-friendly. Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, nightly rates and weekend packages range from $370 – $1220 – see website for details.
Field Candy Tents
So pegs and gas cookers don’t ruffle you? Well don’t make do with any old piece of canvas. Field Candy has a range of tents in designs guaranteed to turn heads, including giant fold-out books, mad meadows of flowers and prints by Australian artist Jonathan Zawada. Head to their website to choose one that suits you.