For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “glamping” is tented accommodation with a luxury factor. If you’re like me and prefer hot/running water and a bed on your holidays, then glamping is for you.
I had a week off last month, and Jarrad had casually mentioned a few times that we should have a mini-getaway together. With work being so crazy, I’d left it to him to pursue possibilities, and I guess he’d done the same, because it got to the last day of term and we were still sans travel plans. I decided to get on Google in my lunch break and see what I could find. It’s amazing how much cheaper travel becomes if you are able to travel mid-week and during a school term. I have had my eye on Paperbark Camp for years, so when I stumbled upon it again and the price was right, I became so excited.
Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay is set on 100 acres of pristine bushland, (almost completely untouched) and their whole concept is about eco-friendly and environmentally mindful accommodation.
We flew into Sydney, and hired a car to make the 2.5 hour drive south. The drive is beautifully scenic and we passed through Heathcote National Park, and over Seacliff Bridge, which I was mildly obsessed with. It was so majestic, with the sheer cliffs of the east coast rising on one side, and the ocean spread out as far as the eye could see on the other.
Paperbark Camp was amazing. The only electricity on the property could be found in the reception building, which also served as a fine dining restaurant, so there was ample opportunity to relax without the distractions of technology.
Our first morning there saw us driving back to Seacliff Bridge to watch the sunrise from the cliffs above. Getting up at 3.50am wasn’t pretty, but the view was so worth it. Finding the entrance, let alone the track to the top of the cliffs can be tricky. Luckily I had stumbled upon The Londoner In Sydney blog, and she has the best post and video with instructions of how to make the climb.
By the time we got back to the camp, it was still shy of 9am, and we made use of the complimentary canoes, before heading out to nearby Hyams Beach (which holds the world record for having the whitest sand) with a picnic hamper from the restaurant. We spent the afternoon playing bocce and human-sized Jenga, bushwalking and kangaroo spotting. The camp lights a bonfire every night, but we were so sleepy from our early morning adventures that we went straight to bed after dinner.
The next morning we woke up to a fresh thermas on our doorstep. The camp also had bikes available, so we spent our last hour riding around the neighbourhood.
On our way back to Sydney we stopped in the township of Berry to have a look around and grab some lunch. We’d planned to stop beside the Hacking River on our way back through the national park, but unfortunately we got stuck behind a truck which cut our time a bit short. It was such a shame too, as the place that we stopped at had a little boat shed that you could rent rowboats from, and my only regret from the whole trip was that we missed out.
If you are looking for a mini-break, a weekend away or just a chance to switch off, I cannot recommend Paperbark Camp highly enough. If glamping still doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there was abundant accommodation in the townships of Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach.