You will be surprised just how close to Sydney these stylish bush retreats are, finds Megan Arkinstall
Glamp in the city: Lane Cove, Sydney
Just 10 kilometres north of Sydney’s CBD is glamp-site Tandara, where there are boundless activities, such as kayaking, bush walking, bike riding… or kicking back with a wine on the private deck of your luxe tent (and we do mean luxe – the thing comes with a double walk-in shower). But the real highlight here is the locals: kookaburras, lorikeets, tawny frogmouths, possums, owls, sugar gliders, bandicoots… Listen to their evening calls as you cook up a feast in your fully-equipped barbecue kitchen. From $200 per night; kids welcome.
Indulge in gourmet farm decadence: Bilpin, Blue Mountains
Views of apple trees, spring-fed dams and the 50 acres of gorgeous property Farm Panaroma make for the perfect foil to end a day of gourmet horse riding. Yes, gourmet horse riding – private estate Megalong Valley Farm, a lazy 60-minute drive away, offers horse riding and picnic packages on their wonderfully picturesque property, complete with regional wine and boutique beer (from $195 per couple, megalongcc.com.au). Return to your beautifully styled lodgings afterwards for a dinner of fresh produce in warm, polished luxury – Farm Panaroma is owned by the restaurateurs behind slick Bondi eatery Sean’s Panaroma, producing heirloom apples, white cherries, almonds, quinces, charolais cattle, wiltshire horn sheep and more, for satisfied stomachs at both venues. From $350 per night, including breakfast; kids welcome.
Get back to basics: Cedars Cottages, Kangaroo Valley
Arriving at The Cedars, the largest private wildlife sanctuary in the Kangaroo Valley, is like expelling a long-held breath of air. Lush and green, with blissfully patchy mobile reception, it’s an ideal bush escape. Stay in the property’s basic-but-cosy wooden yurt, complete with a woodfire pot belly and intimate views of the greenery. Take a long hike, book a massage, swim at the property’s creek, or head into town to explore Kangaroo Valley’s thriving food scene. From $320 per night; kids welcome.
Revel in simple luxuries: Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains
Explore the lesser-known Blue Mountains: see its sacred indigenous art and ceremonial sites, swim in lucid rock pools and taste bush tucker with Blue Mountains Walkabout, ($95 per person, bluemountainswalkabout.com). Then head to The Bush Hut, a self-contained modern hideaway with floor-to-ceiling windows, private bushland surrounds and a cosy, indoor wood fire. From $200 per night, minimum two-night stay; kids welcome.