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Published November 6th 2018
Forgo the trials of camping with these great options
We love our national parks but not all of us are cut out for traditional camping. There is all that stuff you have to carry in, that ducking behind bushes not to mention the things that go growl in the night.
Fortunately, Parks Victoria has moved with the times and is starting to provide accommodation for those who want something a little more upmarket while still enjoying the sensorial experience of being surrounded by nature.
Wilderness Retreats - Take a stay on the wild side
Wilderness Retreat, Cape Conran Coastal Park Credit: Parks Victoria
Wilderness retreats are high comfort, low impact, safari-style tents. They are elevated and weather and insect-proof with large wooden sundecks, a queen-size bed (and a single) an ensuite bathroom (bliss), plus all you need in the way of bedding, towels, crockery and utensils.
You can find these gems at Cape Conran Coastal Park and stunning Buchan Caves.
There are two national park camps where you can fuse glamour with camping: Mount Buffalo and Lake Eildon National Parks both offer glamping. These are two of Victoria's most stunning and remote locations and your accommodation is in bell tents, with lush linens and furnishings and the creature comforts of home.
But they are only available for a 12 week period from September to December! Parks Victoria is trialling the concept.
For more information on the two different experiences and to book, click here.
The historic Shearers Quarters at Murray-Sunset National Park is a novel way to experience the outback. Accessible only by 4WD and off an unsealed track, the cottage sleeps up to 10 people. It is perfect for a group getaway.
In this case, visitors do need to bring their own cooking equipment, linen, firewood and drinking water and expect to rough it a little. But while basic, this beats camping and the cottage has some amenities.
The location is also priceless. Imagine being smack bang in the middle of one of the world's most stunning landscapes with abundant wildlife and flora. There are clear skies by day and spectacular nightscapes.
One of Parks Victoria's most unique spots is the lighthouse on Gabo Island. The lighthouse is the second tallest in Australia and was constructed in 1862 after a series of shipwrecks.
The island is 13 kilometres from Mallacoota in far East Gippsland. Mallacoota is just off the Princes Highway, midway between Melbourne and Sydney. Access to the island is by sea from Mallacoota or by air and is weather dependent.
Your accommodation is in the assistant light keeper's residence. This has three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, laundry and bathroom with all linen provided.
Explore the island, search for whales and go snorkelling or head back to the mainland to check out the wonders of Croajingalong National Park.
More information on the lighthouse, island and booking details are available if you click here.