The Big Six: Tented camps in Australia
Saturday 28 August 2010
Bamurru Plains, Northern Territory
Watch grazing water buffalo and kookaburras while basking in the pool at this luxury camp. The nine safari tents offer comfortable seclusion from a savannah vantage point overlooking the Mary river flood plains and the abundant wildlife. With no televisions or telephones, this is a real retreat where the focus is the wilderness. Guests can take river cruises, go hiking or explore nearby Kakadu National Park.
Bamurru Plains, Mary river flood plains, Northern Territory (00 61 2 9571 6399; bamurruplains.com). Tents for two start at A$1,860 (£1,070), all-inclusive.
Kangaluna Camp, South Australia
Set in the ancient volcanic landscape of Gawler Ranges National Park, Kangaluna Camp comprises environmentally sensitive tents that harvest rainwater and are ventilated by curving roofs. They are pitched in woodland where emus and kangaroos are in abundance, but for a wilder experience, swags can be set up under the stars. A popular day trip is to Lake Gairdner, a glistening white salt pan contrasting with the crimson Outback.
Kangaluna Camp, Wudinna, South Australia (00 61 8 8680 2045; gawlerrangessafaris.com). Tents for two start at A$980 (£560), all-inclusive.
Paperbark Camp, New South Wales
Inspired by African safari holidays, the owners of Paperbark Camp decided to create their own version just over two hours south of Sydney on Jervis Bay. The camp has evolved from a rustic retreat to a more sophisticated set-up of elevated canvas tents – some with roll-top baths – pitched among eucalyptus and paperbark trees. There are forest walking trails, beach activities by the bay, and back at camp, an architect- designed tree-top restaurant serving modern European food.
Paperbark Camp, 571 Woollamia Road, Woollamia, New South Wales (00 61 2 4441 6066; paperbarkcamp.com.au). Tents for two start at A$350 (£200), including breakfast.
Wilson Island, Queensland
On this coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef, you'll find more turtles than people. There are six luxury double tents and a pavilion for dining and socialising. Other than diving or snorkelling, all you really can do – and all you would want to do – is swing in a hammock and enjoy the view.
Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (00 61 3 9413 6288; wilsonisland.com). Tents start at A$1,080 (£620) all-inclusive, with transfers.
Faraway Bay Camp, Western Australia
Gather, cook and eat bush tucker at this wilderness retreat in the eastern Kimberley region. The secluded bush-style cabins and outdoor kitchens offer panoramic Timor Sea views and provide a comfortable base for exploring this remote region.
Faraway Bay Camp, Kununurra, Western Australia (00 61 417 986 614; farawaybay.com.au). Tents start at A$3,460 (£1,980) all-inclusive, with transfers.
Eco Beach Broome, Western Australia
For this luxury experience, you can take a helicopter to its ocean-front location, sail across Roebuck Bay, or take a leisurely drive from Broome. At the resort, you can enjoy spa treatments, yoga and turtle-spotting tours, then retreat to your chic tent overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Eco Beach Broome, Thangoo Station, Broome, Western Australia (00 61 8 9193 8015; ecobeach.com.au). Tents for two start at A$165 (£95), room only.
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