Camping may have once been considered as “roughing it” – a getaway that was about getting down and dirty with nature. But these days it’s becoming more “glamp” than camp. The caravan, motorhome and camping industry is the fastest growing domestic tourism sector in Australia and has been on the rise for the past 10 years. But what’s the appeal? We all know that fresh air is good for us, but it’s more than that. There’s also that irreplaceable feeling of being given the freedom to roam at your own pace, meet others on the road, and experience the “real” Australia. Not to mention, it’s cheap. Glamping (glamorous camping) however, takes all of this up a notch. The great outdoors experience can now go hand in hand with a lot of luxury, all thanks to some innovative designs and an increasing priority placed on quality facilities and accommodation. TENTS Tents are no longer drab pieces of material over metal poles. Sure, they need to be able to protect you from the elements, but now you they can do so while also looking good! We’ve had our eye on tent designs before, such as these dew-drop dwellings here. Although, there just seems to be no stop to the more and more creative tent designs that continue to inspire, excite and intrigue! Field Candy Field Candy and Outstanding Tents are a design-led brand of tents that take conventionality out of camping spaces. Each tent is unique, and are specially designed by an artist, designer or photographer from different parts of the world. The Field Monster by Tomi of Spain for instance is bold to say the least, and the Get A Room tent will add a bit of cheeky humour into any camping adventure! All tents are also guaranteed to be high performance tents. They’ll keep you dry in the rain, warm through any winds, and all the while, fashionably stylish. www.fieldcandy.com The Opera Designed by Belgian designer Axel Enthoven, the Opera is a camper like no other. During transportation, the Opera is a neat trailer that hooks on to your car for the journey. After settling, the Opera folds out in only 5 minutes at the press of a button to unfurl into a beautiful 7 metre tent that resembles the iconic Opera House. Inside, the floors are teak, there is a stainless steel kitchen, hot and cold running water, ceramic toilet, and two electronically adjustable beds. We’ve just got one word for you – wow. The Opera definitely opens up a new world of camping, showing just how far camping has come through impressive design and new technologies. www.ysin.co.uk WHERE TO GO Once you’ve got your equipment sorted, you just need to find the ideal spot! Here are a couple of prime locations around New South Wales. Cockatoo Island, Sydney Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour, and is the perfect setting for those who haven’t been camping before. The island allows for a range of accommodation. If you’re not ready to sleep on the ground, there’s the option of a cabin or luxury apartment. Camping itself though, is made ultra easy. Once a campsite is booked, tents are all prepared upon your arrival. All you need to do is bring your own sleeping bags, pillows, and marshmallows. The Glamping package is even more simple. Here, not only is the tent already set up, but beds, mattresses and all other comfort necessities are also provided. All tents are a spacious 3m x 3m Safari Bow tent, with the grounds holding quality showering facilities. There is also a swimming area, tennis courts, and at night, the Sydney harbour view is simply breathtaking. Cockatoo Island is extremely popular for new years eve with spots being snatched very early on in the year. If you’re not lucky enough to get a spot for that particular date, it is still a worthwhile experience any other time of the year. To see which camping package best suits you, visit the website today. www.cockatooisland.gov.au Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay Paperbark Camp is about 2 hours drive south of Sydney in the area of Jervis Bay, and offers nothing short of a supreme glamping experience in a region that is renowned for crystal calm waters, white sand beaches and scenic woodlands. The tents at Paperbark are safari style, and built above ground for your privacy and comfort. All tents feature a wrap around verandah, hardwood flooring, full insect screening, solar powered lighting and high quality cotton linen and hotel amenities. For that little bit extra, a deluxe tent will also include a free standing bath-with-a-view. The park also has it’s own restaurant for meals and drinks at your leisure. To experience bird watching, star gazing and bushwalking in the arms of luxury, make a booking with Paperbark Camp here. Feeling your inner glamper? Good. It’s just you, the horizon… and maybe a glass of wine, or two.