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Glamping on the Gold Coast

Megan Jerrard

I'm loving the explosion of glamping in Australia; the availability of luxury tents in picturesque natural surrounds. I'm talking tents with real beds, cozy decor, and all of the amenities of home. Think sleeping under the stars, hearing the crickets chirping at night, and opening your eyes in the morning to stunning, secluded wilderness. Perhaps a red-neck wallaby jumps by.

Trust me, once you realize that you can get all of the benefits of camping without any of the headaches, you'll never go back to pitching a primitive tent again!

Approximately 90 minutes from the Gold Coast, Nightfall Wilderness Camp sits in the 'Lost World', beside the crystal-clear tumbling waters of Christmas Creek and Queensland's ancient Lamington National Park. Offering luxury safari tents with designer fireplaces, vintage tin baths, hand basins carved from rock, and generous king size beds with organic linen, our two night stay completely changed my perception of what "holidaying on the Gold Coast" could be. And like-wise, what "camping" could mean.

Glamping on the Gold Coast is a fantastic way to step back from the excess' and complications of modern life. Because sometimes you just need to seriously disconnect and get away. Though immersing yourself in nature and sleeping under the stars no longer means having to sacrifice on comfort, and Nightfall Wilderness Camp is redefining the concept of luxury through architect-inspired, hand-built, luxury safari tents, and sumptuous fire-cooked cuisine.

We arrived at Nightfall in the early afternoon, reveling in the pure fresh air and tranquility of the forest. Hiking World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park was on the agenda for the afternoon, though set in a dramatic gorge high in a rugged mountain wilderness itself, the camp grounds were far too enticing too leave.

We popped the champagne and instead enjoyed views of the dramatic cliffs from our tin bath. We kicked back in bean bags and hammocks and took advantage of the peaceful setting, which we were happy to share with exotic birds, possums, bandicoots, wallabies and the occasional kangaroo. We loved that you could be as relaxed or active as you choose, with activities on offer tailored to your mood.

With only 3 safari tents (though a fourth one on the way), Nightfall is limited to six travelers at any one time, ensuring total privacy and intimacy; perfect for a romantic retreat. The seclusion of our tent was unparalleled.

Each Safari tent is set in a private clearing, surrounded by views of soaring cliff faces, lush tangled forests, crystal clear tumbling waters, and a night sky filled with a million stars. The outside view was impressive; though the inside needed to be seen to be believed.

Each tent is a spacious 62 square meters and self contained. They feature electricity, generous king size beds, an in-tent rain-head shower which opens to the forest outside, a vintage tin bath, indoor ensuite, soft bathrobes, and furnishings which have been carefully chosen to give a relaxed feel. There is a designer wood fireplace and a mini kitchen loaded with organic coffee, tea and other treats. The tent's canvas is adjustable allowing you to choose your level of connection with the wilderness outside.

We quickly realized that what Nightfall offers is a small slice of life in the Australian wilderness in a way which is more intimate and personal than your average hotel.

However glamping is just as much centered around the food experience as it is the accommodation. And food was another highlight here. Delicious fire-cooked organic meals were part of the package we chose, and at the close of each day sunset drinks were followed with the option of dining under the stars, beside the campfire and creek.

Breakfasts at Nightfall are 2-course and eaten outdoors in the idyllic surroundings. Our first course was yoghurt, berry and granola parfait and freshly squeezed orange juice. And if that wasn't satisfying enough, their second-course definitely did the trick. Locally sourced bacon, poached eggs and wilted spinach on toasted sourdough with woodfire oven-roasted tomatoes and a light balsamic vinaigrette. We never wanted to leave.

When it comes to glamping, Nightfall Wilderness Camp sets the bar high. Stunning accommodations and truly delicious food in a secluded rainforest setting; there is no roughing it here. The camp is the perfect place to retreat, relax and rejuvenate after a long day exploring the Gold Coast. It gives you the opportunity to experience a blend of simple luxuries as well as some of the Gold Coast's most captivating rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife.

Pro Tip: Nightfall camp may be hidden away in the Gold Coast Hinterlands, though the secret is quickly getting out. If you're keen to book their off-the-beaten-track glamping experience, make sure you book well in advance.

For more information on the walking trails in Lamington National Park, click here.

If you're after other accommodation in the hinterland, click here. Or for holiday parks and camping options, click here.

Photos by Mapping Megan and Travel Ling

Megan Jerrard

Travel Blogger

Megan is the blogger behind Mapping Megan - an adventure travel blog bringing you the latest in adventure travel from all over the world. She has mountain biked the most dangerous road in the world (Bolivia), skydived over the Swiss Alps, and summitted Mt Kilimanjaro, though when she's not exploring distance corners of the globe she enjoys hiding out in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

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