Snoozing under the stars in Australia’s capital has taken a fun twist this spring.
From glamping to traditional camping, here are our top five ways to spend a night in the stunning surrounds of the Territory’s great outdoors.
1. Family glamping at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
The ultimate family sleepover begins these September school holidays at Tidbinbilla. The best thing about the Wildfest Pop Up Wilderness Family Camp is the hard work is taken care of – there’s no need to pitch your tent or cook your dinner or breakfast.
Explore sections of the vast 54.5 square kilometre nature reserve with ranger-guided activities exploring the area’s diversity of wildlife as well as the rich indigenous history of the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and European settlement in the Tidbinbilla Valley.
The sleepover itinerary includes Dreamtime stories by firelight, day and night wildlife encounters and ACT Parks and Wildlife offers and ranger-guided walks.
Wildfest Pop Up Wilderness Family Camp runs from 28 September to 13 October 2018 and includes a day pass to explore the Reserve after check out.
2. Winery glamping for couples
Stay in an immaculately fit-out bell tent overlooking the vast landscapes of Canberra and beyond at the Naked Cubby, nestled above Mount Majura Vineyard just 15 minutes’ drive from the city.
The Naked Cubby is a couples’ retreat that’s all about simplicity, reflecting the idea of having a stripped back experience. No wifi and no technology; just books, nature and stars.
The bell tent is permanently located on a custom-built deck overlooking the vines, 600m uphill from the cellar door. The proximity of the vineyard to the city creates a backyard getaway experience where you can immerse yourself in the Canberra wine region without forfeiting the creature comforts of home.
Choose from a Schmick Stay, which includes additional luxuries during your stay such as a gourmet picnic hamper from Schmicnics and a bottle of Mount Majura wine, together with a local breakfast hamper. Or opt for a Simple Stay, where all you need to do is come along and switch off for a night before waking up to spectacular views and a local breakfast hamper.
3. Rustic cottage at Tidbinbilla and Namadgi
If you are not a fan of tents but still want to get away from it all, then Nil Desperandum is the cottage for you. With the mountains of Tidbinbilla as a picturesque backdrop, this spot is perfect for groups and ideal for those who want a base for bushwalking, bird watching, stargazing or just relaxing.
You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and food. The historic rammed earth cottage has three rooms, toilet facilities, running water, solar lighting and a fire pit and barbecue – but no electricity – all from a very reasonable $149 per night.
Want to spend the night in Namadgi National Park? Ready Cut Cottage, a 1927 heritage cottage, is for hire from $220 per night. This spot is ideal for walks including the Yankee Hat Walk, which leads to an Aboriginal art site. With three bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower and tub and an outdoor toilet and fully equipped kitchen and a short stroll to the Gudgenby Valley, it’s a great spot for a weekend away.
4. Camping with city benefits
Exhibition Park – Canberra’s showground area and home of the National Folk Festival and many other events and trade shows – boasts the only pet-friendly camping in Canberra and offers stays of up to 28 days. With a range of powered and non-powered sites available including large drive through sites, grey and black water dump points, campground accessibility has never been easier.
Exhibition Park is also home to the popular Capital Region Farmers Market, ideal for stocking up on local produce. Just an eight-minute drive from the city centre, convenience is enhanced with public transport from the main gate to take you directly to the capital’s top attractions.
5. Campgrounds around the capital
Take your pick from the many campsites surrounding the capital – from Kowen Forest, to Namadgi National Park, Woods Reserve, north of Gungahlin on the Centenary Trail and the Cotter Reserve. Explore your options on the Parks and Conservation website and then book your spot online.