South Australia safari camp: Pitch perfect
Camping for cheats it may be. But glamping - in the form of luxury eco-tents with nearly every conceivable comfort - has certainly staked its place in remote Australian tourism in recent years.
The latest entrant to pitch a tent is Ikara Safari Camp, located at Wilpena Pound in the underrated Flinders Range in outback South Australia.
The new accommodation is part of the venerable Wilpena Pound Resort, one of Australia's first such outback tourism ventures, about 400 kilometres north of Adelaide.
It's run by the same group as Wildman Wilderness Lodge, located just outside Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, offering the option of similar safari tent accommodation.
Ikara's 15 en suite premium tents are situated in a secluded location away from the main resort, which was bought in 2012 by Indigenous Business Australia and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands. Set amid river red gums and native pines, there are spectacular views of the walls of Wilpena Pound from the shaded timber decks outside each of the "rooms".
Each tent at Ikara (the Aboriginal name for Wilpena Pound), is well-spaced from its neighbour, maximising privacy. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in a large communal tent, beside an open fire pit, at the camp's centre.
Guests can also access Wilpena Pound Resort's general store, restaurant and bar, swimming pool and internet.
Inside the tents, if it weren't for the flexible walls, you could be in a decent four-star-plus hotel room, except for the welcome absence of a TV. A fully tiled bathroom comes with a powerful hot shower, there's reverse-cycle airconditioning, plunger coffee and even a mini-bar-style fridge.
Roughing it, and for that matter cheating, never felt so good. Doubles from A$230 (NZ$252.69).