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Published September 27th 2017
Watch the sun set in your glampsite (by Wilpena Pound Resort)
While you can escape the city with free camping, the latest luxury option, glamping, or glamorous camping, immerses us in spectacular natural beauty of South Australia without "roughing it".
To turn a campsite into a glampsite, you'll need a plush mattress or deluxe sleeping bag, with a kitchenette to tempt your palate and an ensuite to refresh for a new day in the outback. In the evenings, you might leave the tech switched off but an iPod and fairy lights add ambience after watching the final glow of a campfire before slipping into slumber beneath a starry night sky.
430km north of Adelaide, Wilpena Pound Resort is the best place for glampers in the spectacular Flinders Ranges. Captivated by breathtaking scenic flights over the vast Lake Eyre and guided tours through one of SA's first pastoral settlements, you'll be surrounded by the cleansing scent of eucalyptus from the gum trees, towering over the site for centuries.
Delve into Australia's natural history on a 4WD tour, plunging through undulating gorges with native wildlife, including rock wallabies and red kangaroos, while hearing echoes from abandoned copper mines.
Relax as the sun sets, bathing the ancient wilderness in glorious shades of red as you sip a cool drink. In the evening, retire to your 2 or 4 person safari tent, with bar fridge, ensuite and air conditioning. Prices start at $320 for a couple, with breakfast included.
600km northwest of Adelaide, the Gawler Ranges are accessed via a charter flight from Port Lincoln or with the ultimate road trip to Wudinna on the Explorer Highway.
On the Eyre Peninsula, your glampsite will be in a diverse landscape, with mallee wilderness, desert plains and woodland forests on your doorstep, glows with colour as wildflowers carpet the sands in spring and twittering birds flutter through treetops.
Guided tours transport you to a place far from the city, with a vast white salt pan in Lake Gairdner crunching beneath your feet and nature sculpting organ pipe formations in the rocks as native animals are your only neighbours.
In the evenings, your glamping tent is cool and comfortable, ensuring a deep and refreshing sleep in the outback or you can stay up late in the galaxy suite, a custom wagon with telescope installed to stare into the stars.
Contact Geoff and Irene via email at email@example.com or call 1800 243 343 to book. Visit the Kangaluna Wilderness Safaris website for more info.
Glamping beneath the stars (by Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris)
Wine lovers won't regret the 4-hour drive to Coonawarra, checking in at their glampsite beside the cellar door just north of Mount Gambier.
Once you've unpacked, join your host in the former 1860s stone shearing shed, now lined with oak barrels of Mediterranean and cool climate wines for a wine tasting tour.
Receive a masterclass in cooking and wine appreciation from award-winning winemakers and chefs before a 6 course degustation is served with a selection of seasonal produce from the Limestone Coast and matched Bellwether wines.
Your glamping tent is shaded beneath red gum trees, swaying in the gentle night air for over 400 years.
Prices for a twin share glamping experience which includes the degustation, start at $500.
The remote Australian outback can still be luxurious, with only 10 guests sharing this 60,000 acre conservation park in the Flinders Ranges.
After unpacking, jump in the open-top vehicles for a safari tour to catch the quick-footed emus and kangaroos in your camera lens.
While you can stay in classic Aussie homesteads, with leather lounges, a crackling fireplace and a swimming pool, glampers will always choose the bush camps, with swags setup comfortably on timber decks, open to the nightsky with millions of stars as your canopy.
Waking to the sunrise, refresh for a new day with bush showers fed by campfire-heated water.
Meals are culinary delights, prepared with local produce and enjoyed on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the ever-changing colours of the ranges.
Prices start at $930/night twin share, which includes all tours, meals and drinks.