In a quaint and quiet corner of Cabarita, on the New South Wales north coast, sits The Hideaway, which is not only aptly named, but is also Australia’s newest glamping retreat.
Plonked on the site of the old Cabarita Beach Caravan Park, The Hideaway opened in October 2019, ushering in a new era of classy camping to the sleepy beachside suburb of Cabarita. Adjacent to Cudgen Reserve and Cabarita Main Beach, this opulent offering is reminiscent of camping summers of old, but with a touch of luxe.
There’s 23 tents in total which come in three different styles: the Classic Bell Tent for two with queen-size bed; the Deluxe Bell Tent with a king-size bed, air-conditioning, mini-fridge, and couch; and the Bigger Bell Tent, ideal for a family with one king-size bed, two single beds, air-conditioning, mini-fridge and couch. All tents are supplied with lighting, floor rugs, soft furnishings, bath towels and large tripod fan. While the tents appear to be close to each other, they have been strategically placed for privacy and once inside their cavernous surrounds – the Classic measures five metres in diameter, and the Deluxe and Bigger each measure six metres in diameter – you will feel like you have space galore.
This writer stayed in the Deluxe Bell Tent which is touted as ideal for romantic getaways. Outside the tent sit two timber Adirondack-style chairs with a quirky chock of wood for use as an outdoor table and beach umbrella for shade. Inside, the tent is so tastefully decorated in nude and tan hues with plump cushions, stylish lamps and director’s chairs, it’s like stepping into a home magazine shoot. The comfortable Australian-made “koala” bed is adorned with a doona and crisp white linen. The cane dual-purpose towel/clothing rack comes replete with wooden hangers and a flashlight for night. There’s also a comfy cane lounge. You’ll go to sleep to the thunder of the nearby ocean, and awake feeling like you’re under a circus Big Top in this tent’s huge ceilings.
You can expect free wi-fi at this retreat should you wish to take advantage of its instagrammable ambience. There’s a communal fire pit, for use when fire restrictions are not in place, and a nice way to meet fellow guests. You may also bump into your fellow campers in the Cypress Room, another communal area (and former shipping container) with two large timber bench tables and chairs, a microwave, fridge, cutlery, crockery, washing-up area, two barbecues, outside picnic tables, books, games, bean bags and cushions. The communal toilets and showers (also a shipping container) come with thoughtfully-provided pump packs of hand and body wash, and a new-age shower head. There’s also a second toilet attached to the Cypress Room.
Perched in the delightfully-sounding Cypress Crescent, this is a non-smoking retreat with emphasis on quiet time between 10pm and 8am. It’s all about relaxation here among the native trees and plants. At night, enjoy the spectre of hundreds of fairy lights which sparkle throughout the park giving it a laidback music festival feel. There’s also security gates here, accessible by a special code given upon check-in, to ensure a feeling of safety.
“When you think about camping, you think about packing the car up with all this stuff,” he says.
“With this product, we encourage people to come with nothing but their smile and a sense of adventure and to get out and enjoy what Cabarita has to offer.
“Come and have a hotel experience in a tent.”
Park your car at The Hideaway and don’t move it until you leave, as there’s plenty to do in Cabarita. Within a one-kilometre walking radius you can hit the beach, or take the walkway to Norries Headland with its whale watching, surf breaks and views of the Border Ranges and Wollumbin Mt Warning in the distance. Walk along the poinciana-lined beachfront to Halcyon House and its award-winning Paper Daisy restaurant for breakfast. Here, feast on the likes of an open-egg omelette with green onion, cold-smoked fish and soured dill cream, while sipping fresh juice. The hole-in-the-wall Fuel Bakehouse is an ideal spot to pick up some lunch such as one of its award-winning pulled-beef pies (they don’t charge for tomato sauce here); and further up the road, discover the bustling and bubbly bolt hole Kartel for a great coffee. Paper Daisy is also a hot spot for dinner, whether you feast from the bar menu or indulge in its a-la-carte offerings. There’s also a smattering of resort-style shops at Cabarita for some lazy browsing and more restaurants and cafes to explore.
The Classic Bell tent starts from around $189 a night.
The Hideaway is an ideal getaway for the drive market from south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, with an easy 30 minute drive from Byron Bay and 1.5/2 hour journey from Brisbane. For those flying from Sydney or other parts of Australia, it’s only 20 minutes from Gold Coast Airport.
Travellers with a sense of nostalgia for that laidback beach holiday of their childhood, but with a sprinkling of luxury, will adore The Hideaway and coastal Cabarita in which it sits.