Glamping in the Outback Northern Territory Australia

When I arrived in Kings Creek station via bus, Lily from Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge was there to pick a few of us up. She was petite and in her 40’s with a sly smile. She drove an dirty, beat up SUV, perfect for this desert environment.


The Australian outback is not at all what I was expecting. I had expected this red wasteland – flat, red, and barren. But instead I was surprised to find green plant life all around. Short, bushy, vibrant trees filled the landscape and seemed to glow against the red landscape. I had arrived in Autumn in the Northern Territory of Australia and I quickly determined that it’s the best time to be there – the temps were pleasant, the flies weren’t as bad as the summer, and there were green bushes.


With no internet or cell connection – this camping is the real thing. Never mind that inside the tent is a queen size bed, electricity, and separate tented bathroom with shower and hairdryer. Ok – it’s just about the real thing. Actually, it’s my kind of camping – it’s glamping! This glamping experience was a bit ‘rougher’ than the others I experienced in Australia but there is a reason it’s called glamping… it still was glamorous even though it was out in the middle of nowhere!


The tent was completely canvas and built on a decked platform. It had 5 zip up windows, electricity, a separate tent bathroom, and evena little back ‘door’ and patio to sit and look out on the scrubby bushes of the dusty, red outback. I didn’t actually spend much time in the tent though as there were a number of communal activities that kept me busy at the camp. It started with drinks by the fire served up by Lily and then we were all ushered to a rustic table. We sat outside under the stars eating canapés of smoked kangaroo, cheese, and avocado. The dinner and dessert were also just as impressive with salad, mashed potatoes, barramundi fish, lamb, and sticky date pudding for dessert. Lily was our entertainment bonding all of us traveling strangers together under the stars. She wore a little black dress while she gracefully placed logs on the fire and served food and stories up in an equal amount.


The people who live in remote communities always fascinate me. Lily said that shehoards newspaper and magazines because they get one mail delivery a week and one truck comes through the station a week. I found myself doing a little inventory in my head of my backpack trying to remember if I had any old magazines I could give her before I left! Once I retired to my tent after a nightcap of port around the fire, I heard the howling as soon as I lay down to go to sleep. Dingoes. The sound came from my left; it felt as if it was far away. I hoped it was far away. I dozed off for a few hours, however it felt like minutes when I woke up againto more howling. I could also hear a slow whistling hum. I lay there with my mind churning on the whistling sound. What was it? Then I realized it was the wind blowing through the tough, scrubby green brush trees in the outback. I wanted an outback glamping experience, and now I was getting it – complete with a pack of howling dingoes.


Despite my restless dingo filled night, I had to wake up early the next day for the main reason I came here to Kings Creek Station; the Kings Canyon Rim hike. Our Guide, Graham, pointed out various plant life and trees during the hike – some of which was over 600 years old. He also shared stories about the aboriginal culture from this area. The hike was a total of 6km and it wound around the top of the canyon providing you views over the sheer sandstone cliffs and into the valley 150 m below. The only challenging part of the hike was the initial 10 to 15 minute uphill climb to get to the rim. But it’s worth it as once you get to the top you have 3 more hours of walking and enjoying the lovely views.


Besides the hike, there’s plenty more to do during a two-night stay in the area. There are camel rides, helicopter rides, ATV rentals, and a small restaurant at the nearby Kings Creek station. The outback doesn’t really have towns – they have stations. The stations (ranches) were the only things really on this land. Kings Creek Station was a camel farm and tourist bus stop. Most of the stations herd cattle and they are normally about 1,000,000 acresand can have upwards of 8,000 to 15,000 head of cattle on them. The areas are so vast that they herd them with helicopters!


The little station café served up a rather unusual but tasty camel burger as camel meat is a staple out in these parts of the outback. Get the deluxe burger and you’ll find a lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, fried egg, and a pineapple slice on your burger! After a few nights listening to dingoes, swapping stories by the campfire, sleeping in a tent, hiking, and eating camel burgers – I felt like I had a real outback experience!

Tented Paradise – Wilson Island

Editor’s Note: Wilson Island’s tented paradise is currently taking a vacation of its own. Check back for updates on its reopening. In the meantime, check out nearby Heron Island, another southern Great Barrier Reef castaway stay.


While planning a trip to Australia, my husband and I knew our tropical getaway had to incorporate two things: Glamping and the Great Barrier Reef. Is there a better travel cocktail? To our extreme delight, this combo led us to Wilson Island, a private coral cay with six tents, on-demand wine, and a personal chef in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Reaching paradise found is no small feat, though, when you’re sipping Champagne at sunset watching baby turtles hatch before your eyes, the plane and two-boat journey fades into oblivion.


On Wilson, there’s no fancy dock or water toys or plunge pool. The lack of these luxuries only adds to the castaway allure. Upon arrival, our skipper put the speedboat in neutral and let us off three feet from shore. I hiked up my dress, dodged a few waves, waded up to the deserted beach, and stood in awe for a good five minutes.


Basking in island bliss, I met my host, one of two staff members who tend to guests’ every island need. She welcomed us, explained Wilson’s “island time” flow—breakfast, beach, wine, lunch, snorkel, Champagne, dinner, sleep (repeat)—and carried our bags to the tent. As she was walking away I noticed she had no shoes on, and realized, “what’s the point?” The entire enclave is serenaded in sand.


Closed on three sides and secluded from other guests by the islet’s thick tropical foliage, my sand-hued safari-style stay was graced with a timber base, a king-sized bed, and a white hammock gently swaying in the wind. The ocean side of our plot was left open offering a view more magnificent than priceless art. It should be noted that I never closed that fourth tent flap, the vista was too soul-soothing.

Keen on exploring the five-acre footprint, we found the central washhouse for when nature calls (or we needed a solar-powered shower), and the Longhouse, where all meals are prepared and served. Peering at the board games, books, and rows of wine, we got stalled here when we met the chef who rushed over during prep to offer us some chocolate and wine.


Hand-in-hand, we took our pinot gris to the beach and strolled speechless as birds flew overhead and the waves lapped up over our feet. For the next hour, I searched for places to hide, so I’d never have to leave.

For lunch, we sat at a 12-person long table topped in shells and multi-utensil place settings. Over more wine, macadamia nut-crated barramundi—brought to shore by local fisherman—sweet potato purée, and watermelon granita, we traded travel stories with the other island-goers. Despite the formal menu, t-shirts and bathing suit coverups were the most elegant attire. At Wilson, you come as you are, sea-swept hair and all.


Full and little tipsy from our feast, we spent the afternoon transitioning between sand and surf, snorkelling with turtles, (friendly) reef sharks—yes, I almost peed my bathing suit at the sight—and a gazillion tropical fish in a rainbow of color.

While sharing the water with sharks is bucket list-level, it was nighttime that created the most lasting impression. As we were watching the sun paint a tangerine hue on the horizon, we were summoned to a communal beachfront pavilion where Champagne paired with cheese and crudités was served on a silver platter.

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Just as my bubbly was fizzing over my flute, someone yelled “turtle.” In a flash, I ran over—making sure to keep a respectable distance—and for the next 30 minutes watched a baby turtle hatch from its egg, dodge rocks and driftwood on its way to shore, and flail like a toddler as it learned to swim.

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In a state of is-this-for-real bliss I started weeping, knowing I was experiencing something near otherworldly. Once I composed myself, I asked our host if there were any cancellations for the next night. I knew in advance the island was fully booked, but after my eye-popping day, I felt the universe was on my side.

A few minutes later she came back and informed me there had been a double booking and we could stay another evening. All I had was 24 hours worth of clothes, but I didn’t care. We were shipwrecked in style, and for the next 36 hours, I was on a mission of Great Barrier Reef proportions.

Paws Up Glamping Location Featured on Forbes

The Resort at Paws Up was recently featured in an article with Forbes magazine.

The article chronicles a man who wanted to provide his 6 year old nephew with a billion dollar experience as opposed to the families whom take extravagant trips and leave the children at home.

Located in the beautiful, Blackfoot Valley, Paws Up is a 37,000 acre working cattle ranch that has 28 luxury homes, 30 decadent glamping tents and five private camps for extended families.

“With so much to offer, Paws Up is home to first class decadence on a grand scale. Something locals are proud to call ‘The Last Best Place,'” said, Jim Dobson a contributor to Forbes.

Having offered so many activities for him and his nephew, Dobson said that Paws Up really created a unique and un-forgettable experience for the both of them.

When staying at the Resort at Paws Up, there are many custom options for every glamper as well a well a highly trained and friendly staff, that make for an unforgettable glamping trip.

To read more about Dobson’s lush experience read his article: “A Billionaire Vacation In Montana Through The Eyes Of A Six Year Old: Chefs, Butlers and Snow Ghosts.”