There is something special about sleeping under the night sky; the stars peering down at you, the sounds of nature, and a stillness that casts a net of peace over your environment. In fact, that’s long been the appeal of camping. That rare chance to close your eyes at night and feel like Mother Nature herself is watching over you as you drift off to sleep.
But camping isn’t what it used to be. Long gone are the days when camping solely meant pitching a tent over a blue tarp and huddling in a sleeping bag under a nylon roof. A wind of change swept across the industry a few years back and the concept of “glamping” was born. With this trend came the opportunity to get back to nature, back to basics but to do so in utter comfort and style.
And although the idea of a “peaceful” night sleep might seem out of reach if you have young children, I can assure you that it’s not completely elusive when you choose to ‘glamp’. We discovered this first hand at Rivershore Resort, the first five-star luxury glamping, caravanning and camping resort in sunny Queensland, Australia.
Having two under two had stopped us from taking on the camping experience. The thought of trying to set up a tent, hammering in tent pegs, carting all the extra equipment we would need and then squishing the four of us into a tiny tent was not all that appealing. But Rivershore was no ordinary camping experience. It was glamping in all its glory and all we had to do was simply turn up and be wowed – which we certainly were!
Having opened in August 2016 Rivershore Resort was designed with families in mind and built from the ground up making it ultra-modern. The property is decked out with a large pool, water slides and water features, and playgrounds set up next to a 5 star indoor/outdoor restaurant and pool bar (not what I was expecting at all from a “caravan park”). The property boasts 13 African inspired glamping tents and plenty of grassy space for your typical camping or caravanning experience, and is on 10 acres of cane land by the Maroochy River so you can take out one of the kayaks, stand up paddle boards or cast a line to fish too.
After talking to one of the owners Cathy, we discovered that her and husband Bernie wanted to bring people back to nature and give them a camping experience—but in a different way.
It was Bernie who greeted us on arrival and showed us to our “tent” I suppose luxurious and comfortable but not glitzy is a good way to describe it. There was a real natural and earthy feel about the accommodation, even down to the color scheme—tans and brown, orange and white with hints of grey and red. Aside from the king size canopy bed and stunning décor, it was the large claw bath that caught my eye. Too bad I had to share it with my 18-month-old daughter and not a glass of champagne!
After settling in and checking out the abode we made a quick costume change into our swimwear and headed to the pool where both of the little ones had a blast. Floaties on, our daughter was straight in splashing around and even braving the two water slides with her daddy. Our youngest, two months old, had a sleep in a floating toy while I pushed him around the pool. This is how we spent most of our time here, relaxing in the pool or lazing in a poolside cabana followed by crisp cold beverages at the bar while our daughter amused herself on the playground.
At night we ate in the Driftwood Restaurant, then sat on our balcony watching the stars overhead completely unaffected by the lights or noise of the city while the kids slept soundly in their cots.
Perhaps one of my favourite things about the glamping experience was that you didn’t need to leave the property. Kind of like camping, once you set up you want to be able to stay in the one place and just unwind. With everything you could possibly need onsite (even a small shop for the essentials) we donned our best resort wear and stayed put. Days in the pool and on the playground or walking around by the river and nights at the bar and restaurant sampling the delicious food—the perfect family escape if you ask me.