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Glamping South Australia: luxury tents to helicopters and swags

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While the South Australian government has had to change its original plan to open its state borders on July 20 after the increase in Covid-19 cases in Victoria, those travelling from Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the NT are already welcome and hopefully it won’t be too long before the rest of us can join the fun.

I’m already dreaming of some of the places I’d love to go and stay and while I’m not a fan of pitching my own tent I do love being in the great outdoors. Luckily for me and other lazy campers there are some gorgeous ways to go glamping South Australia style. 

From wineries in the Adelaide Hills to sleeping under the stars in the Outback, there are luxury tents on the mainland and out on Kangaroo Island. You can even take a helicopter to reach your remote hilltop swag.

Here’s some of the best glamping South Australia has to offer.

Bukirk Glamping, Clare Valley

In the hills of the Clare Valley, Bukirk Glamping has five big beautiful bell tents named Araucana, Frizzle, Leghorn, Silkie and Wyandotte. And if you’ve already figured out the connection between those names, you’ll now know why it’s called Burkirk.

Yes, it’s glamping with a chicken theme and that’s a winner in my book. At Bukirk (say it loud and you’ll sound like a chook) the bell tents all come with their own private ensuites and have a deck where you can sit with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

Araucana glamping tent, Bukirk, South Australia
Tents at Bukirk glamping South Austraila have private ensuites

There’s a large sheltered outdoor area with kitchen, tea and coffee facilities, a BBQ, dining area, board games to play and a fire pit. And just because we don’t have Graham Crackers in Australia doesn’t mean we can’t do our own twist on S’mores. Pick up the ingredients for Not Quite Nigella’s Ritz Cracker S’mores and put that fire pit to good use.

Each of the five chicken breeds on the tents can be found living their free range lives on the farm, and there’s also a pet pig called Kevin Bacon.

Read: 20 incredible Airbnb Queensland ways to stay

While they’re still being built at the moment, Bukirk will soon have cabins to stay in too, named after chicken houses and bedding. So one day soon you’ll get to choose between staying in the Leghorn or the Nesting Box too.  

Tent On A Hill, McLaren Vale

Surrounded by bushland and vineyards in the world-class wine region of McLaren Vale, the tents at Tent On A Hill are a beautiful escape from the everyday.

Each of their five tents can sleep up to four, but you’d need to draw straws to see who got to sleep in the comfy queen bed and who was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Each tent has its own private toilet, a handwashing basin and an outdoor hanging camp shower.

Tent on a Hill, South Australia, Glamping tent
Tent on a Hill, South Australia, Glamping tent at night

Solar fairy lights and lanterns provide all the lighting, and there’s no electricity on site so if you want to stay in touch with the outside world bring a power pack to charge your phone.

Read: Glamping Yorkshire style, the best tents, yurts and domes

Plates, cutlery, wine glasses and a bottle opener are provided so you can start to enjoy those local drops as you look out over the vineyards.

Wandering Souls Australia, Kangaroo Island  

While most glamping South Australia has to choose from is on the mainland, with Wandering Souls you’re out on Kangaroo Island. This wild, rugged and beautiful sanctuary for Australian wildlife is like nowhere else on the planet and a stay with Wandering Souls makes it even more special.

Rather than being a permanent camp, Wandering Souls Australia lets you mix and match tents and possible locations.

Wandering Souls Australia glamping tent, Kangaroo Island South Australia
Wandering Souls Australia glamping, Kangaroo Island South Australia

There are four campsites to choose from including the Bay of Shoals Winery and American River, and five tent styles including the luxe Australian Matilda and the Hamptons vibes of the Harper. You pick your favourite look, decide where you want to wake up, and their team sets it all up and packs it all down again.

If you’re travelling with a group you can have all five tents set up in your chosen location. Their management team can even help organise your wedding with a special Bridal Belltent or throw a mini festival for your birthday. Or just for fun with friends.

Wilpena Pound Resort, Flinders Ranges

Wilpena Pound, also known as Ikara, the name chosen by the traditional owners of the land, the Adnyamathanha people, is so big it could fit eight Ulurus inside and is 300m higher than our famous rock, yet it still manages to remain off the radar for many Australian travellers.

When you decide it’s time you go and see it for yourself there are a few different ways you can stay. At the Wilpena Pound Resort you can stay in a hotel style room or go for the glamping experience in a safari tent.

Wilpena Pound Resort glamping, South Australia
Wilpena Pound, South Australia

There are tents built for two and others set up for a family of four. Each tent faces Ikara’s rocky, rust coloured eastern wall and comes with solar power, running hot water, king size beds, ceiling fans and gas heaters.

There are mini fridges and tea and coffee making facilities, as well as hair dryers, irons and ironing boards if you prefer not to be crumpled when you camp. Sorry, glamp.

Bellwether Wines Glamping

When I think about glamping South Australia style I’ll admit a good drop of wine is involved. At Bellwether Wines you can do a wine tasting with the winemaker and enjoy a degustation dinner before walking back to your tent and snuggling in for the night.

Read: The best glamping holidays in America

The glamping tents are set up next to an 1868 stone shearing shed turned boutique winery and accompanied by huge red gums that are believed to be more than 500 years old. There are highland cows and sheep, chickens, a donkey and Mabel the Maremma, whose job it is to guard the chickens at night, though by day she’s up for a friendly pat.

There are six bell tents that come with queen beds or twin singles, and the amenities building has hot showers and a claw foot bath.  If you have your own camping gear, caravan or motorhome you can also have access to a powered or unpowered site.

Arkaba Walk, Wilpena Pound

One of the Great Walks of Australia, the Arkaba Walk is another way to see Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges and is a more active glamping experience than most.

Over four days and three nights a private guide will lead you over 45km of moderate to hard tracks through a 60,000 acre private wildlife conservancy.

The first two nights are spent in a camp with a delicious three-course dinner and the chance to sleep under the stars in a swag or in a shelter, while you’ll spend the third night at the 1850s Arkaba homestead.

Arkaba Walk glamping, South Australia, image Luke-Tscharke
The Arkaba Walk, South Australia

The timber swag decks are all slightly elevated and have a corrugated iron screen around three sides for privacy. In winter months the swags are warmed up with a hot water bottle and if its too windy or it starts to rain you can shuffle your swag back into the sheltered area.

But when the weather is on your side you can lie back and look up at the Milky Way before falling into a well-deserved sleep. 

Flinders Bush Retreats, Hawker

On a sixth generation outback station the McInnis family came up with a way to help their farm through the tough times of the drought. They turned two houses into self-contained accommodation and set up Eco Tents in a glamping corner of the property.

At Flinders Bush Retreats the insulated canvas tents have queens size beds with quality linen and Australian wool blankets, which will make you appreciate the sheep on the farm all the more. There’s gas hot water, a small kitchenette and BBQ for self-catering.

Flinders Bush Retreat South Australa glamping

This spot in a secluded gorge has no mobile phone coverage so set your out of office to Digital Detox. There’s also no electricity, though there are battery powered fairy lights and lanterns. Bring a battery pack of your own for your phone or camera to snap the stars and any kangaroo and emu friends you may make on your stay.

Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges

While I wouldn’t usually call sleeping in a swag glamping, when it involves a helicopter to a secluded spot with stunning views I think it’s time to make an exception.

Take a helicopter to your camping spot at Rawnsley Park Station South Australia

At Rawnsley Park Station overlooking Wilpena Pound you can stay at the homestead and in villas, or you can book in for their heli-camping experience.

First the helicopter will take you past Rawnsley Bluff and over Wilpena Pound before setting you down on the Chace Range where you can watch the sun set over the sweeping views below.

Rawnsley Park Station heli camping swag
View from Rawnsley Park Station heli camping

While you’re drinking in the view the staff will set up your swag for the night and will then leave fly away, leaving you to have your own private camp under the outback sky.

But don’t worry, you won’t have to come up with your own bush tucker. They’ll also leave you with a two-course camp oven meal and a bush breakfast you can cook over the fire the next morning, before you’re collected for your flight back to the station.

Bushland Bell Tent, Crafers West

Just a few minutes outside of Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf, this Bushland Bell Tent is a great base to not only get a taste of Germany in the village but to also explore the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale wineries.

Read: Seven ideas for glamping romance

There are two bell tents on a three-acre bushland block, each with queen beds, carpets, rugs and fairy lights. There’s a camping toilet in its own shed, but Airbnb superhost Alva is also kind enough to let you use her bathroom and toilet if you’d prefer.

Bushland Bell Tent glamping Crafers West, South Australia
Bushland Bell Tent interior glamping Crafers West

There are kangaroos, possums and kookaburras, and a resident echidna who lives near the post box, and if you’re lucky this taste of the Australian bush will come with a visit from the local koalas, who come by every few days.

You can also hire the bell tents to be set up in a nearby National Park campsite. You just pick which camp you want to stay in and Alva and her partner will do all the hard work setting it up and pulling it all back down.

Bayside Glamping, Marion Bay

At Marion Bay on the doorstep of the wildly beautiful Innes National Park you can fall asleep listening to the sound of the waves in this luxury bell tent thanks to Bayside Glamping.

The tent comes with a queen bed, an outdoor kitchen with a bar fridge, an indoor bathroom with hot water, barbecue facilities with all of your cutlery and crockery, and when you arrive you’ll find a bottle of bubbles along with everything you need to make pancakes the next day.

Bayside Glamping, South Australia

As well as using recycled timber and materials, the tent features Eco Downunder organic bedding, bath sheets and bathmats.

You can also arrange for the local café, Beach Break, to pack a picnic hamper for you to take down to the beach. Perfect for a romantic Yorke Peninsula getaway.

Kangaluna Camp, Gawler Ranges 

In South Australia’s rugged Gawler Ranges there’s an unusual style of glamping waiting for you. The  Kangaluna Camp has safari tents similar to those you may have stayed in before, but it also has a Swagon.

This swag meets wagon combo lets you sleep in a swag in a renovated covered wagon that comes with an 8-inch computer controlled telescope for gazing up at the moon, the stars and the planets, including the rings of Saturn.

Kangaluna Camp 'Swagon' Gawler Ranges South Australia
Kangaluna Camp Gawler Ranges

Along with the Swagon Kangauluna has three canvas eco-luxe tents with handmade wooden furniture and silkscreen prints by local artists. And when it comes to exploring the Eyre Peninsula you can join one of Gawler Ranges Wilderness Safaris to learn all about the wildlife and the landscape.

Tanunda Discovery Parks, Barossa Valley

The glamping South Australia wine options continue in the Barossa Valley with the Tanunda Discovery Parks.

The adults only two-person Deluxe Safari Tents are in a private area of the park with their own outdoor lounge, BBQ area, fire pit and heated swimming pool and spa. Each comes with an en-suite bathroom and a private deck and you can choose between a king or two twin beds.

Deluxe Safari Tents - Discovery Parks Barossa Valley
Deluxe Safari Tents - Discovery Parks Barossa Valley

If you’re more interested in a family vacation, you won’t be able to stay in the tents but can book one of the cabins and let the kids loose in the waterpark.

When they’re done with the waterslides they can also have fun in the dry spaces bouncing on jumping pillows (think big inflatable trampolines), swinging around the playground or having fun in the activity room.

Eco Tents at BIG4 West Beach Parks   

And finally if you’re looking for that holiday park feel and would like to share a tent with the kids then BIG4 West Beach Parks is for you.

There’s a skate and BMX Park, splash zone water play area, a heated swimming pool, two golf courses and a mini golf course, pedal carts for the kids and direct beach access.

Eco Tent BIG4 West Beach Parks South Australia

The Eco Tents come with a double bed and bunk beds, a bar fridge and an outdoor seating area. There are screens to keep the bugs out, a ceiling fan to keep you cool, and if you’re not ready to unplug from the world the Wi-Fi will keep you in touch. Although if you can possibly pull it off, avoid using it to check in on work and instead share the holiday snaps with family back home.

Of course the kids may be ruined for life on the camping front, but you can always teach them how to pitch a tent another time. 

This post contains some affiliate links, so if you click on a link and book something I will earn a small commission, but don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Comment

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says

    I’ve only tried glamping once and it was ok but it looks like glamping has definitely improved and become super glam! 😀 Thank you so much for the shout out xxx

  2. Peyton says

    I would SO love to try glamping at least once in my life . . . . as I’m pretty sure camping (well, I’m not opposed to a bit of camp, but you know what I mean) isn’t really my thing but those tents do look rather inviting, and the thought of being cut off from other human beings while enjoying nature has never looked so appealing as it does right about now. I’m in. As soon as I’m allowed out. And by that I mean . . you know . . . out of Europe, and into the land of Oz. So, see you in a couple years!!! Ha.

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