For as long as humans have packed their cars on a Friday afternoon and ventured into nature for a weekend of camping, they have tried to elevate the experience. Desire for canvas tents, inflatable mattresses, hibachi grills and portable outdoor living rooms have paved the way for the ‘glamorous camping’ movement – a great outdoors immersion that doesn’t require ‘roughing’ it.
In a 2021 report conducted by Grand View Research, Australia’s glamping market size was valued at USD 90.1 million in 2020, and is predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.0 per cent from 2021 to 2028.
WA alone is experiencing a surge in glamping devotees. An October 2021 report, facilitated by Tourism Western Australia and the Government of Western Australian, revealed the WA glamping industry was worth AUD$25.9 million in 2020, and is expected to grow to AUD$77.2 million by 2028.
Buoyed by COVID travel restrictions, venturing down the road less travelled and exploring our own backyard has never been more appealing for Australians, especially in our western-most state.
Here, T Australia tours the most luxurious, sustainable glamping getaways in Western Australia.
Sal Salis, Ningaloo
If oceanside glamping and total disconnection is your speed, set your compass for Sal Salis. Cushioned amongst the sand dunes a mere 50m from the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef, its spacious, safari-style eco tents sit in harmony with the surrounding landscape. There is no wifi or phone reception here, allowing full attention to turn to the world’s largest fringing reef, home to more than 500 species of colourful fish, 250 varieties of coral formations, rays, turtles, dugongs, and reef sharks. Certain months of the year invite swimming with whale sharks and humpback whales, before dining on dishes of fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce, served overlooking the expansive reef at the lantern-lit group Lodge. salsalis.com.au
Eco Beach Retreat, Broome
Located on the iconic Kimberley coastline, book one of three well-appointed, minimal impact eco tents at Broome’s Eco Beach Retreat. Fishing fanatics can indulge in Blue Water fishing (upon a 40-foot game fishing boat) in pursuit of Spanish mackerel and northern bluefin tuna, or land-based fishing at little Yardi – a creek known for mangrove jack and threadfin salmon. Guests are invited to learn about the magic of Yawuru Country and the region’s unique flora and fauna, or perch up at Jack’s Bar and Restaurant for seasonally curated dishes such as as Abrolhos Island scallops and Kimberley barramundi. ecobeach.com.au
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm
Nestled at the tip of Western Australia’s Dampier Peninsula, check into one of Cygnet Bay’s eco-friendly glamping tents and discover some of the world’s rarest South Sea pearls. Guests are invited to soak up views of the adjoining mangroves or verdant bushland and brush up on their precious gemstone knowledge with a pearl farm discovery tours or pearl grading classes. Adventure seekers can jump aboard boat rides through the untouched Kimberley Coast and the Buccaneer Archipelago. The pearl meat ceviche at Cygnet Bay’s homestead restaurant is not to be missed. cygnetbaypearlfarm.com.au
Olio Bello, Margaret River
If sleeping amongst olive and macadamia groves sounds like something from a movie, experience it for yourself at Olio Bello in the Margaret River. Check into one of six safari-style glamping bungalows that hug the lake at the award winning 320-acre organic olive farm. Sample the farm’s produce with oil, olives, dips, chutneys and dressings tastings, before touring the region’s nearby wineries. In-bungalow massages, morning yoga, farm strolls or mountain biking are also on the menu or order a glamper hamper to your site and take in the sunset on the bungalow’s expansive viewing deck. oliobello.com