Long gone are the days when a canvas roof over your head meant roughing it – a new breed of bougie tented camps have put the “glam” into camping, with exposure to the elements as essential a part of the portmanteau as plush linens, an ensuite bathroom and a private deck for stargazing.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, WA

The only accommodation within Cape Range National Park, and with the world’s largest fringing reef literally on its doorstep, the Sal Salis experience is about connection with World Heritage-listed nature.

The distant roar of waves crashing on Ningaloo Reef provides the soundtrack for 16 safari tents nestled amongst the dunes, the breeze providing natural ventilation under rustic canvas flaps.

A comfy King bed, eco-sensitive ensuite bathroom and a swaying hammock are simple but essential pleasures; while gourmet meals, sunset canapes and an open bar featuring WA wines add to the exclusivity.

Watch exuberant humpbacks breaching from the deck of the main lodge; or join a tour to swim alongside dappled whale sharks. Open from March to mid-November, from A$1590 a night (two-night minimum). salsalis.com.au

Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW

Approaching its 25th year in 2024 – with the promise of special events to celebrate – Paperbark Camp made tented accommodation a covetable luxury item long before the glamping trend took off.

Perched on raised hardwood platforms among towering eucalypt and paperbark trees, three categories of tents – catering for couples through to families with kids – have a rustic-chic aesthetic, with corrugated iron open bathrooms, free-standing bathtubs, mosquito nets, private decks for stargazing and lush homemade bathroom amenities.

Gourmet meals are served in the treetop dining room with a focus on local South Coast wines and produce. From A$780 a night including dinner, bed and breakfast. paperbarkcamp.com.au

Longitude 131°, Uluru, NT

There’s glamping, and then there’s the 5-star swank of Longitude 131°, unparalleled Uluru and Kata Tjuta views making it Australia’s most celebrated campsite.

Its 16 tented pavilions have upped the ante for glamour under canvas, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to take in the ever-changing hues of Uluru from the comfort of your signature Baillie bed.

All meals and an open bar are included in the tariff; while a private toast to Uluru’s famous sunset and a visit to Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation are just two of the signature experiences available to guests. Packages from A$3780 per tent per night. longitude131.com

Bubbletent Australia, Capertee, NSW

The Capertee Valley is the world’s second-largest canyon, its vast geological wonders laid out before you beneath a star-spangled sky, always visible from the three clear domes of Bubbletent Australia.

Isolated from each other on a secluded rural property, each bubble perches on a wooden platform alongside a wood-fired bathtub, a fire pit and a telescope for stargazing.

While towels, linen and cooking essentials are provided, you’ll need to bring your own meals and wine (stock up during a daytrip to nearby Mudgee), as well as a snug jacket and beanie for those chilly Central West nights. From A$715 a night, two-night minimum. bubbletentaustralia.com

Balgownie Estate, Bendigo, VIC

Good food, good wine, and the simple pleasures of immersion in the great outdoors – what more could a happy glamper want?

Soak up views of Bendigo’s oldest working winery as you crack a bottle of award-winning Balgownie Estate wine from the private deck of your cute-as-a-button bell tent; or luxuriate in the outdoor clawfoot bathtub before retiring to the comforts of a luxe Safari Tent, replete with ensuite and kitchenette as well as a four-poster bed, air-conditioning and mini-bar.

Start the day with an indulgent champagne breakfast; or take advantage of the on-site restaurant by booking a package that includes a two-course dinner showcasing local produce. From A$159 a night. balgownie.com

Bamurru Plains, NT

In the exclusive Top End safari camp of Bamurru Plains, the ceiling-to-floor mesh walls of 10 bungalows and two larger luxury retreats are all that stand between you and the incredible bird and wildlife that roams the floodplains of this remote wilderness.

Unlock wild secrets on a signature airboat safari; or take a guided walk to learn how Indigenous custodians utilised the bounty of the land, before indulging in said produce in a communal-style gourmet dinner.

The private oasis of Jabiru Retreat is the camp’s latest offering, with two bungalows sleeping up to six people connected by an al fresco lounge area and private plunge pool for wildlife viewing in style. From A$2425 per night, all-inclusive twin share. bamurraplains.com

Currajong Retreat, Burragate, NSW

There’s something about taking a hot bath in the open air … and with tranquil river views and the play of light on distant hills, the tub is the place to be at lovely Currajong Retreat in the hinterland of NSW’s Sapphire Coast.

Located on a family-run regenerative Angora goat farm, there are just three eco safari tents in euphoric riverfront isolation, kitted with comforts such as a wood burner, waterfall shower and a kitchenette for making a cuppa.

Dinner, drinks and a breakfast hamper delivered to the deck are included in the rate, while guests have the choice of taking a dip in the river, feeding the baby goats, or doing nothing at all. From A$770 a night per couple, two-night minimum. currajongretreat.com

Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal, VIC

Can’t bear to leave the bliss of a hot springs resort? The Peninsula Hot Springs’ latest addition is a series of glamping tents, allowing guests to maximise their time in the thermal pools and spa facilities.

There are wellness activities and moonlit bathing dedicated to glampers, while dinner and breakfast are available in the Spa Dreaming Centre dining room.

The 10 premium tents are tucked into the natural environs of the geothermal pools, with each tent featuring custom-made furniture and thermally heated concrete flooring. From A$670 per night. peninsulahotsprings.com

Sierra Escape, Mudgee NSW

Leave the kids at home to enjoy the wine region of Mudgee in adults-only style, with Sierra Escape the perfect retreat after a day of wine tasting.

Secluded and off-grid, the 113-hectare property 20 minutes from town offers bush camping at its most palatial, with its spacious wooden-floored, canvas-walled structures elevating the traditional concept of a tent.

The collection includes three 54 square-metre tents with generous indoor and outdoor dining spaces, kitchens, en suite bathrooms, wood heaters and not one, but two bathtubs; while there’s also one smaller (read cosy) tent as well as a tiny house available. From A$495 a night midweek, and A$770 for the tiny house. sierraescape.com.au

Spicers Canopy Luxury Tents, Maryvale, QLD

Tucked into a private 200-hectare nature reserve, these 10 luxury tents provide a welcome base on Spicer’s two to six-day Scenic Rim Trail Walks, offering an all-inclusive, relaxed experience typical of the Spicers brand.

A communal lodge is the hub of the retreat, with a lounge area with open fireplace and a dining room where you’ll be served a gourmet dinner and breakfast.

While bathrooms are communal, a hot water bottle on turndown, bath robes, slippers and an outdoor hot tub are niceties to look forward during your daily walks in the spectacular Main Range National Park. From A$1990 per person for a two-day walk. scenicrimtrail.com

The writer was a guest of Sal Salis.

– traveller.com.au

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