Luxury Camping Review – Glamping vs Camping

I’ve always loved the concept of camping, but last year’s stint in cyclone winds and heavy rain left me feeling damp, despondent and pining for a little luxury. So I jumped at the chance to try our Jervis Bay Overnight Luxury Camping for 2.

The drive down through torrential rains got me worried, but there are some very major differences between wet weather D.I.Y camping and this lovely ‘glamping’ experience…

Our very luxurious "tent".

Camping Set Up: Find the least muddy site and proceed to set up tent in the hope that you don’t end up with puddles in the sleeping area. Peel off drenched clothes in the public loos that are always 10 degrees colder than outside. Run back to tent through incessant rain.

VS

Glamping Set Up: Ascend the tree house-like restaurant to meet our friendly hosts, who escort us through the tall paperbarks to our luxury tent. Not a drop in sight on the hardwood floors. Plush veranda sofas, deep bath tub n’ soft bath robes, mellow solar-powered lighting and plush doonas invite us to get cosy.

Karim and I enjoying the glamping vibe.

Camping Dinner: Normally this is one of my favourite parts of camping – BBQing at the communal station and eating under the stars. But when it’s cold and wet, we’re likely to empty a tin of soup in a pot and crouch in our tent with flash light to assist with hand-eye coordination. Must remember to hide all food or else the bush turkeys and possums will consume in the night.

VS

Glamping Dinner: Head back to the restaurant for pre-dinner drinks, house roasted nuts and a game of cards in front of the lively fire. Our wonderful host tempts us with specials of freshly shucked oysters and slow cooked beef cheeks with parsnip puree. I decide on the pan roasted fillet of blue eye with baby carrots and peas. Rosewater panna-cotta topped with vodka granita and a lime and fig sorbet, as well as the impossible to resist pear and berry crumble finish us off.

You wouldn't get this when DIY camping!

Camping Bedtime: Soup bowls to the side, we slide horizontal under as many layers as possible. Still cold, we hold onto each other and hope to sleep through the night without having to make the dreaded midnight toilet run. Wake in the morning to find parts of the tent and ourselves submerged. Hold out as long as possible until the inevitable toilet run. Shoo the bush turkeys away from the remains of food we forgot to hide last night.

VS

Glamping Bedtime: We’re still at the restaurant, enjoying some jazz, Baileys and banter with the other guests. Eventually we end up back at our luxury tent with hot water bottles in hand and sleep soundly through the night despite the heavy downpour. During my morning shower a pair of kangaroos hop past and I hope I haven’t scared them with my birthday suit. We’ve overslept breakfast so our hosts kindly bring us everything on the menu to enjoy at our leisure.

Fluffy white robes and all.

Camping Wet Weather Activities: Wait for the rain to stop, drive to the nearest cafe for a latte, towel dry floor of tent, re-erect sunken tarps, put on another billy and watch it boil.

VS

Glamping Wet Weather Activities: Sit by the fire and play some board games, get into a canoe to explore the creek, hang out in the tent with magazines and a cuppa, have a steaming hot bubble bath, head back to the restaurant for more lounging by the fire and snacks.

Beats beans around the campfire any day.

The only problem with this experience is the dilemma I am now presented with: that is whether I’ll ever be able to go back to D.I.Y camping!

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4 Comments

  1. Liz
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Glamping: now I know the word I’ve been looking for. Hubby doesn’t love camping but prefer the stars in his accommodation and not in the sky!! Great compromise, I think I could talk him into this one. We need a power source.. does it have that?

  2. Arielle
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Liz! We had solar powered lights in our tent. There is no power otherwise, but our hosts were more than happy for us to plug our phone and laptop chargers in at the restaurant outlets. Not that I wanted to be on my phone! I happily left it off the whole time, otherwise the ringing might have scared off the roos!

  3. Posted June 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Arille, thanks for posting this. Glamping – I love it! My boy is trying desperatly to convince me to go camping and so far I’ve told him I only camp under the stars – 5 of them. Glamping may be an alternative.

  4. Arielle
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    lovely to hear from you Jane! It’s such a great way to combine love for camping and luxury so it’s win/win!

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