LUXURY CAMPING AT PAPERBARK CAMP

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I love camping. But I am not going to lie. I also love a bit of luxury. So to me, camping and luxury is the ultimate getaway combination. Otherwise known as ‘glamping’, staying in a luxury camp setting is perfect for those who like to camp but don’t have the equipment or the time to gather all the necessary equipment and camping gear. Glamping is a relaxed luxury camping experience where everything is organised for you. Unlike traditional camping where you bring the tent and equipment with you, with glamping – it’s all set up and ready to go on your arrival, plus it includes a few luxury benefits such as hot shower, outdoor bath and luxury amenities. How good does that sound!

I recently stayed at the luxury camping retreat, Paperbark Camp in New South Wales, Australia. I organised my weekender with luxury holiday house rentals and boutique hotels website Alluxia. A three-hour drive south from Sydney, we left very early in the morning to avoid peak hour traffic and also to make the most of the glamping experience.

The driveway entrance is clearly marked and as soon as our car turned off the main road, the scenery changed from sparse grazing fields to lush Australian bush dramatically peppered with native paperbark trees. After a couple of minutes the car was parked and we made my way up some timber stairs to the reception, which also doubled as the Gunyah, meaning ‘meeting place’ in Aboriginal.

We arrived a little earlier to the check-in time of 2pm, so we were kindly offered a hot cup of tea and nestled ourselves on the cosy couches in front of a log fire. The day itself was overcast and cold, adding to the romantic atmosphere of Paperbark Camp.

Not too long after we finished our teas, we packed our bags onto a buggy and were shown the property, offering bicycles, canoes and a vegetable patch. We were then driven to our secluded deluxe tent. My jaw dropped to the ground when I saw where we were staying. Hello glamping! Our host showed us through the spacious tent, pointing out the front deck, large bed with mosquito netting, wardrobe area, luxuries amenities including bath robes, towels and slippers, and a mind blowing outdoor bathroom with free standing bath, shower, toilet and basin with stunning views of the paperbark forest.

The day itself was romantic, overcast, cold and rainy – perfect for indulging in some serious rest and relaxation. After we unpacked our bags, there really was only a few things left to do – enjoy the secluded view of the paperbark forest from our bed and private deck, catch up on reading our current novels, have as many outdoor baths as humanly possible, go canoeing and simply unwind and relax.

When the afternoon started drawing to a close, we pulled up the tent flaps covering the mesh windows and lit every possible candle we could find. With the rain falling softly on the tent, we enjoyed a steaming hot bath before jumping into bed and falling asleep every so quickly.

The following morning, we got up early to enjoy another bath. Upon opening the tent flaps, a thermos of hot water was sitting very ornately at the top of the stairs – too cute! So we chose to stay in bed a little longer whilst enjoying a hot cup of tea. After our millionth bath we walked up to the main ranch for breakfast at the Gunyah.

I’ve had a few breakfasts in my time at hotels, holiday houses and campsites, but nothing had prepared me for the exquisite breakfast we received. Perhaps not having any expectations helped a little, but when we walked into the Gunyah, we were shown to our table which was already laid out with scrumptious granola muesli, a plate of colourful seasonal fruits, full cream milk (our favourite) and a selection of poached pears, creamy yoghurt and stewed rhubarb (also our favourite). We were also served a hot meal each of our choice, which we shared. Hello bacon, eggs, salmon, toast and tomatoes!

Rolling back to our tent we then repeated everything we did the day before and slipped into the glamping abyss. During our stay, we did manage to explore Booderee National Park, which I’ll share with you very soon. We loved Booderee National Park so much we are coming back to camp at Green Patch for a weekender to celebrate one of our birthdays and a milestone.

So if you’re looking for a spot of camping and luxury, I cannot recommend Paperbark Camp highly enough. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay there and I am so happy with the five star services given by the Paperbark and Alluxia. I hope one day I get to go back!

TRIP NOTES What: Paperbark Camp Where: 505 Woollamia Road, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia 2540 When: Opened all year round but is closed in July and August How: Book through www.alluxia.com. Paperbark Camp is a three hour drive south of Sydney and is located in Jervis Bay.