Leave the mozzies, dodgy communal shower blocks and lumpy sleeping bags behind people, because we’re going glamping! We're totally on board for toasted marshmallows, the fluffiest of bed linens and long hot showers, please. Get out of town this summer and take camping to glamorous new heights this weekend, no matter your destination.
#1: Boats & Yurts On The Murray River
Yurts are the new tents. Talo Retreat offers a full-on glamping experience for those of us who simply can't face camping without a coffee machine and private bathroom. No TVs though (thankfully). Instead for entertainment purposes you get a porthole crowning your yurt for easy sky-gazing in bed plus your own bike and canoe (the Murray is but a minute's stroll away).
#2: Eco-Friendly Bliss In Gippsland
The accommodation options at this trio of Wilderness Retreats are like tents on steroids. You certainly won't be sleeping in the dust here. Each eco-friendly retreat has timber flooring, an outside deck and furniture fashioned by a local craftsperson. A communal kitchen comes complete with fridge, microwave and even a toaster so you don't have to miss your morning Vegemite fix. The ensuites here are probably better than the one in your apartment right now!
There are three sites to choose from, each featuring a different experience: Check out Wilson's Prom for beautiful bushwalks and days spent by the riverside or bay. At the Buchan Caves' site you can explore underground caves full of stalactites and stalagmites, or choose the Wilderness Retreats at Cape Conran to spot wildlife both under the sea and above.
#3: Surf & Camp In Style In Phillip Island
Phillip Island Glamping offers a stunning glamping service in the penguin-loving region. Pick a site and they'll set you up with a spacious tent done in a suitably beachy style. Each tent sleeps yourself and up to four of your besties and they've thought of little extras we always forget to pack like card games and a digital radio. They'll even set up outdoor furniture for your stay! It will be the perfect possie from which to scoff fresh fish and chips as the sun sinks.
#4: Head For The Hills In The Grampians National Park
If you're planning a hike through the rugged Grampians, perhaps up to the highest peak of Mt William for that on-top-of-the-world feeling, you'll definitely want somewhere to recuperate post-trek. Try Home Camp's new Under Sky service. They deliver possibly the chicest tent styling in town; think Belgian linens, snuggly merino wool blankets, hemp floor rugs and even bedside lamps you'll totally covet for you own bedroom. You'll need to book at least three tents for the location of your choosing and each fits up to four glampers in comfort—all the more reason to get the whole crew together for an outdoors adventure.
And if cabins are more your style, DULC Cabins, that come complete with fireplaces and actual beds, are a super-glam alternative. Minimum effort, maximum star-gazing.
#5: Get Wild(Life) On The Great Ocean Road
A stone’s throw from the craggy cliff tops and stately rock formations of the Twelve Apostles, Pebble Point comprises six airy safari tents overlooking coastal bushland and mountainous terrain. Each tent has all the ‘glamping’ essentials: king-sized beds, spacious ensuites, coffee-making facilities and a private deck with recliner-style chairs from which to watch the sun set. Ornate chests contain electric blankets and hot-water bottles, and each ensuite features a huge shower with a floor-to-ceiling window so that you can flash the native wildlife. Speaking of wildlife, you’re bound to see a bit of it—Pebble Point is nestled between three national parks, and if you’re quiet, you’ll meet wallabies, kangaroos and many native birds.
If you can drag yourself away from your tented haven, there’s an amazing variety of walks nearby. Take a brisk 10km constitutional to Loch Ard Gorge to marvel at the steep drop of the cliffs, or set out to Moonlight Head and descend 300 steps down to the beach to discover the remains of shipwrecks from the 1800s. And don’t forget the Twelve Apostles—they’re glorious at sunrise or sunset. Unbeknownst to most, a small colony of penguins can be witnessed just after dusk below one of the viewing platforms—ask to borrow a pair of binoculars from the Port Campbell Visitor Centre.
#6: Stay In A Retro Airstream Campervan On The Mornington Peninsula
A glamping trip the Mornington Peninsula will reward you with farm fresh eats, coastlines as far as the eye can see and so much local wine. You could stay in one of their tents, but we've fallen in love with something a little bigger on offer from Happy Glampers. May we introduce you to "Peggy Sue", a shiny silver vintage Airstream as well as "Miss Myrtle" a charming circa 1955 caravan? They'll be towed to wherever you are, already filled with all of the comforts of home. There's no set-up for cooking inside, but plenty of equipment for fixing up coffee, tea and the tasty snacks. A selection of books, mags and board games keep fun times going after dark before you settle into your queen-sized bed.
#7 Chill Beachside At Wilsons Prom
Sleeping with the lapping waves 10m away from your head? Doesn't get much more glamp than that. If you want an epic roadtrip (and some seriously comfy Lotus Belle Tents at the end of it all), head down to Yanakie Caravan Park and check out the tents from Prom Coast Eco Glamping. Husband and wife superteam Amy & Matt are just about the loveliest people in the world, and they've pimped out their tents with everything you could ever need. Luxe linens? Check. Mains power? Check. Bluetooth speakers, fresh water, BBQ supplies, magazines and bean bags? Check check check. Head on down to the Prom and give them a crack—you're staying like 5-minutes outside the National Park.
Melbourne’s an incredible city, but sometimes we all need to get out of town for a weekend. The Urban List has partnered with Visit Victoria to bring you our Get Out Of Town! series—the ultimate guide to Victoria’s rural gems. For more ideas about where to wander in Victoria, click here.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List, various