Like selfie, staycation, and yolo, glamping is one of those words that has weaselled its way into our everyday dialogue. These eco-friendly, designer digs are the hottest accommodation trend since couch-surfing, making us question how we ever justified sleeping on wafer-thin tarps.
Glamping – modern speak for glamorous camping – is becoming a popular choice for today's wannabe woodsmen-and-women. You still earn that sense of self-satisfaction getting down and dirty with nature, with the luxury of indoor plumbing and roomy beds to recover from forays in the great outdoors.
If you're planning a holiday to Queensland, then a stay at any of these six spots will quickly turn you into a happy glamper.
Alure at Stanthorpe
Australia's first five-star tent experience, Alure is glamping with a capital 'G'. This romantic Stanthorpe hideaway features eco-fireplaces to keep the winter chills at bay and stylishly kitted-out kitchens.
Win favour with your lady when she sees the en suite bathroom, stocked with L'Occitane toiletries, a GHD hair straightener and warm, fluffy towels. Two decks and a private spa mean creature comforts both inside and out.
Set in Southern Queensland Country, Alure is the perfect spot for star-gazing (preferably from the comfort of your heated spa), or sitting back and letting the executive chef whip up a feast for two. It's also a convenient stone's throw from the Granite Belt's best cellar doors.
- Luxury Tents starts from $380/night on weekdays (minimum two nights)
- Only one luxury tent and two villas on site ensure maximum privacy
- Stanthorpe tour buses pick up/drop off at Alure
Nightfall Wilderness Camp
When night falls, there are few better settings to find yourself than this eco-chic retreat in the lush forests of Lamington National Park. Nightfall Wilderness camp is a world away from the everyday, pared-back without sacrificing one iota of style.
Focusing on a holistic, nature-centric experience, Nightfall serves up organic eats and traditional bush tucker, and creek-side massages set to a real-life rainforest soundtrack.
The canvas walls can be lifted to reveal nature in all its glory, while the interiors feature a rotating fire, vintage tin bath, rock-carved hand basin, and king-sized bed. This secret escape on the Gold Coast Hinterland may or may not have coined the term 'raw-luxe'.
- The camp is limited to six visitors at one time
- Prices start from around $455 per night (inc. breakfast)
- Nightfall has an opening special of $100 off per night, valid until February 28, 2015
Glamping at Castaways
"We were looking for somewhere for seven families. Some of the girls had never camped in their lives – they just wanted the experience for their kids," says Flight Centre product specialist, Radka Wilson.
Enter Castaways at Moreton Island. "This was perfect because you don't need a tent, you don't need all the 'camping stuff' ... you get the camping experience without the packing and unpacking," Radka says. "My husband is converted. He loves glamping."
"It does get expensive – buying all the stuff. If you just want to go camping once it turns out to be a really expensive trip.
"Castaways came with a barbecue pack and a breakfast pack. If you don't have a 4WD, it's fine – they pick you up at the ferry and drop you off at the glamping area," Radka explains.
"We've been to Fraser a few times and I loved it, but I hate the whole packing and unpacking. That's probably what puts me off the most – that and the comfort factor when you're sleeping on an air mattress. I found Castaways was just really easy."
- Two-person glamping tents are $110 off peak and $125 on peak; four-person glamping tents are $150 / $180
- Package deals are available (glampers can save 10–40%) including ferry travel and transfers
- Optional adventure tours include shipwreck snorkelling and sand tobogganing
Ketchup's Bank Glamping
Two's company at Ketchup's Bank Glamping. Log fires crackle and wine glasses clink as wallabies bound freely around the Cannon Creek campsite.
There are only two lodgings set on this secluded Scenic Rim property, which proudly claims to be South East Queensland's first couples' glamping experience.
Wind your way along the gravel road 15 minutes from the tiny town of Boonah (105 minutes from Brisbane) and you will reach a hundred-acre patch of pure Australian bushland.
Sleep soundly among the Eucalypts in an eco-tent, waking up to sun streaming over the mountains. Electric blankets, campfire-ready marshmallows and starry skies are all included for extra toasty romance.
- There are only two eco-tents on site at Ketchup's Bank, starting from $299/night
- Specials include a Monday Romantic Escape ($360) and free bottle of wine with mid-week bookings of two nights or more
- Food hampers are available and can be cooked on your personal barbecue or campfire
Murphy's Creek Hideaway
Step inside the safari-style tents at Murphy's Creek Hideaway and you'll spy a king-size bed, claw-foot bath, mini bar, private en suite, day bed, rain shower, and fluffy robes for you to snuggle into during your stay.
With cabin names like Sanctuary, Serenity and Tranquility, you're pretty much guaranteed to leave with a calmer disposition than you arrived with.
Murphy's Creek in the Upper Lockyer region also features powered and unpowered campsites on the cheap, but good luck trying to sleep soundly when you know you could be sipping wine by candlelight and taking a tub in a luxury tent just over the escarpment.
- Luxury tents start from $249 per night
- An extra 'indulgence package' with gourmet breakfast or wine and chocolates can be added for $20 extra per night
- Glampers can combine their stay with adventure activities, such as abseiling
Jabiru Safari Lodge
Perched on the Atherton Tablelands where the rainforest meets the savannah, Jabiru Safari Lodge offers one of the classiest Outback experiences going.
The African-style safari cabins are a sanctuary in the heart of the Mareeba Wetlands, with en suites and in-tent fridges meaning you don't have to let your appearance or appetite go unattended.
There are, however, no telephones or televisions in your abode, leaving you no choice but to switch off and surrender to a continental breakfast on the Lagoon Deck.
A series of lagoons, creeks and channels swiftly weave their way throughout the Reserve, providing the perfect rest-stop for some 60+ species of birds and other wildlife.
- Deluxe Safari Cabins start from $245 per person twin share; Eco Safari Cabins from $215
- Rates include all meals, daily wildlife safari and canoeing on Clancy's Lagoon
- Guided tours ($89 per hour) and airport transfers to/from Cairns ($48 per person) are available