The Northern Territory is a 1.4-million-square-kilometre, open-air playground whose dazzling night sky is made for sleeping under.
For those who want to embrace the great outdoors without compromising on comfort, we’ve compiled a list of the best Northern Territory glamping sites.
Cobourg Coastal Camp
Hidden away on the northernmost tip of the Northern Territory mainland, Cobourg Coastal Camp is heralded as one of the best fishing destinations in Australia. Offering a unique glamping and wilderness experience, the camp comprises eight safari tents set upon raised decking. Here, you’ll spend your days eating fresh sashimi, oysters and sipping a gin and tonic, while recounting stories from your latest fishing safari.
If you’re not a fisho, there’s plenty to do; book one of the luxury small-group tours that explore the stunning Cobourg region, like this 4WD safari tour that starts in and returns to Darwin, taking in Kakadu and the Coburg Peninsula, with three of the four nights at Coburg Coastal Camp.
Bamurru Plains Lodge
Built amongst the floodplains and savannah woodland of the Mary River, you wouldn’t be caught dead unrolling a mere sleeping bag (or lifting a finger) at Bamurru Plains Lodge. Each safari bungalow is built on stilts overlooking the floodplains, and the animals and birdlife that frequent here.
Bamurru Plains, edge of Kakadu. (Image: Nicky Ryan)
Inside, the bungalows are kitted out with a spacious ensuite bathroom and plush bed facing Bamurru’s trademark floor-to-ceiling mesh walls that bring the outside in. You won’t find a television or mobile reception at Bamurru Plains; instead the call of magpie geese just outside are nature’s alarm clock, and the croak of frogs and meandering of marsupials your night-time entertainment.
Check out our Bamurru Plains review.
The infinity pool overlooking the wetlands at Bamurru Plains.
Ideally located in the middle of Kakadu National Park, Cooinda’s Outback Retreat glamping tents have all the creature comforts to keep you cool after a day of exploring ancient rock art sites and waterfalls. The fully air-conditioned glamping tents are fitted out with a locally inspired décor.
Cooinda Lodge, Kakadu
Banubanu Beach Retreat
Situated a 15-minute flight away from Gove in the pristine waters off East Arnhem, Banubanu at Bremer Island is a one-of-a-kind glamping destination, and a true escape of the daily grind. There’s a handful of safari tents to choose from, so you can embrace the traditional elements of camping without compromising on comfort.
Banubanu Beach Retreat, East Arnhem Land.
Spend your days hiking bush trails, bird watching, beachcombing, swimming, fishing and learning about the customs and traditions of the local Yolngu community. When the day is over, relax and unwind by the tranquil ocean and breathe in the sweet, fresh air provided by Mother Nature, while sipping a glass of wine or cold beer.
Kings Creek Station
Expect to sleep like a baby in the secluded, luxury glamping tents all positioned along an escarpment at Kings Creek Station. Elevated to catch the afternoon breeze and offer the best views on the property, each beautifully appointed tent comes with king-size or twin beds made with quality linens, a private bathroom, air conditioning and even a coffee machine. So idyllic is this working cattle and camel station that 30-odd documentaries have been filmed in the area, and the station hosted Australian Geographic’s fourth expedition.
There’s a lot to see and do here, too, such as camel rides, quad bike tours, helicopter tours, nearby Kings Canyon rim walk and Catherine Springs walk, and Aboriginal cultural tours.
Kings Creek Station is a truly unique 2,000-square-kilometre slice of the real Australian desert.
Kings Canyon Resort
Kings Canyon Resort, situated just shy of Kings Canyon between Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park and Alice Springs, boasts a new glamping offering that sees six permanent tents clustered around a wiltja – meaning ‘shelter’ in the local Anangu language. Three of the tents are for couples, with the rest holding enough space for families and including a king bed and two single beds.
Each tent has its own ensuite and verandah set with gorgeous swing chairs or hammocks. Don’t miss the dinner Under a Desert Moon, which is a dreamy way to unwind after hiking to the top of Kings Canyon on the spell-binding Rim Walk in Watarrka National Park.
Kings Canyon is a majestic destination featuring 100-metre-high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices and views that stretch across the desert.
Probably the most famous glampsite in the Northern Territory, all 15 of Longitude 131’s luxury tents have striking views of Uluru, while the new two bedroom Dune Pavillion comes with its own plunge pool.
Longitude 131˚ is the show-stopping accommodation at the heart of the Red Centre. (Image: Tourism NT/George Apostolidis)
The central Dune House has a lounge, bar and restaurant. All guests have private toruing options to make the most of their stay. Read our review of Longitude 131.
Roughly 15 kilometres west of Alice Springs, on the edge of the iconic West MacDonnell Ranges, lies the Squeaky Windmill. Each luxury eco-tent here is fully self contained with an ensuite and kitchenette, barbecue and deck, but it’s the added luxuries that make the difference – think air conditioning, plush robes, a flat-screen TV and coffee maker.
Once you’ve unpacked your suitcase, the only hard work you’ll be doing is kicking back on the deck with a cold drink and a platter of nibbles, or cooking up a storm with a barbecue hamper lovingly prepared by your host, Michelle.
Don’t mind roughing it for a few nights? Check out this list of the Northern Territory’s best campsites.