The words glamour and camping don't usually belong in the same sentence, but a few companies are marrying the two in forests, fields and camp grounds across WA.
While you will never get rid of the flies, a crop of companies offering glamping experiences in WA has cast aside the traditional swag — and the hassles of forking out for camping equipment you use a few times a year and setting up your own tent.
Instead, you can recline in a five-star hotel bed beneath a bohemian tent in your location of choice, or arrive with the family in tow to an already set-up and stocked tent in old- growth forest.
Pemberton-based WA Wilderness’ take on glamping has proved popular with WA families.
Formed three years ago as a partnership between the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Pemberton Discovery Tours, it aims to get people back into the State’s national parks.
This version of glamping has everything supplied, set up and packed away. Basically, it’s camping without the tiresome camping jobs.
“It’s been taken up by mainly WA local families wanting to give their children a taste of camping without the time concept of purchasing, setting up, then the cleaning, packing down and storing,” says Pemberton Discovery Tours co-owner Toni Dearle.
WA Wilderness can get you in a tent with wine glass in hand within 20 minutes of arriving in Pemberton.
This version of glamping also gives international tourists an authentic Australian camping experience in the bush.
“They would rather go for a walk or a swim in the river than learn how to set up a tent. They leave feeling relaxed and at peace. This is what our forests do,” Ms Dearle says.
WA Wilderness uses the term glamping to distinguish itself from “real camping”, which tends to be associated with a three-man dome tent and an esky, Ms Dearle says.
“Camping to some people who are time stretched means additional stress — not what you are after for your valuable family holiday,” she says.
GlampingCo takes the glamour component of glamping seriously.
Its beautiful tents are impeccably styled at a location of choice anywhere in the State.
It has 50 tents and packages where you can set up your own village (think amazing wedding), or a single tent can be hired for a romantic getaway or picnic.
Owner Nic Hopson travels anywhere in the State to your location of choice, or destinations can be suggested based on the type of experience you’re after, whether it’s bush, lake or beach.
Matt and Shay Hawke started Dunsborough-based Soul Camping three years ago, combining a love of the outdoors with a background in interior design.
Their bell tents have grown in popularity with a range of clients, including families wanting an easy holiday, surprise romantic getaways, honeymooners, weddings, yoga retreats, tween slumber parties, hens’ weekends, festival goers and more.
While the company covers all the State, much of its business is within the Margaret River region.
Tears of Joy Campers has given camping a retro spin with its Gidget camper. With its curvy 1950s teardrop design, retro colours, timber interiors and petite proportions, the camper will turn heads.
Owners Scott and Marina Deacon have four on the road — the aqua and deep-blue Willow, the blue and red Jassy, the lime sherbet Piper and the cream and electric-blue Harry — and will take delivery of a further four.
The campers have a slide-out design, allowing self-sufficient camping with plenty of mod cons. A rotating entertainment console means you can watch the 24-inch television and listen to the stereo inside or outside the camper.
A solar panel powers appliances and there’s a fully equipped kitchen with a cooker and Waeco cooler.
The queen-size bed converts into a lounge area with slide-out table.
There is an 80-litre water tank fitted with a pump and a 40-litre waste tank so you can take the camper to remote locations.
Top image: GlampingCo by Simone Harris Photography.
- WA Wilderness supplies everything except clothes and food. The partnership has up to six glamping sites at Drafty’s camp site in the Warren National Park near Pemberton. Packages include a Family Adventure Weekend at $270 a night for a minimum of two nights, with midweek specials of pay for three, stay up to five nights, and a weekly special rate of pay for four, stay up to seven nights. wawilderness.com.au or 0427 133 335.
- A GlampingCo tent cost about $400 for a weekend, depending on the travel time to the destination. The tent comes with a five-star hotel mattress, soft linen, tables, rugs and more. There are additional options including a fridge or private chef. The tents are 5m — or 6m for a family tent — and all the sides can be rolled up. glampingco.com.au or 0455 551 105.
- Soul Camping has 4m bell tents for $180 per night and 5m tents for $220 per night in the Busselton to Margaret River region, with a small additional fee for locations further afield. Bookings are for a minimum of two nights and include an air mattress, all linen, Kantha rug, pillows and cushions, battery-powered lighting, side tables, mats, an outdoor table and chairs plus a few more handy items. In addition to the tents, there are extras including the ultimate glamping package with a bar fridge, some utensils, tea, coffee and kettle and more for an $80 flat rate. A wine and gourmet cheese hamper can also be purchased for $40. soulcamping.com.au or 0448 874 318.
- Tears of Joy Campers cost $100 a day for the first two days, with the daily rate reducing incrementally for longer hires. tearsofjoycampers.com.au or 9498 2465.
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