Unique nature stays for your next Australian holiday

Photography by Destination NSW

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. That’s just a taste of the zen you’ll find on one of these unique nature stays. From tiny homes and eco-cabins to glamping tents and timber-clad cottages, there are plenty of choices if you want to switch off and reconnect with nature – and yourself. 

Wake up with the sunrise

Built on a shared ethos of simple, conscious living, The Camp.Earth allows guests to wind down and enjoy a more self-sufficient way of life.

Located in the Northern Rivers of NSW, within a 30-minute drive of Byron Bay, The Camp offers a luxurious camping experience with uninterrupted ocean and mountain valley views. You’ll sleep in a beautifully appointed canvas bell tent, replete with a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, fireplace and warm shower.  

Stay in a natural hideaway

Nestled beside Myall Lakes National Park, a two-and-a-half hour’s drive north of Sydney, sits Bombah Point Eco Cottages, a collection of sustainably built timber and glass cottages.

Designed for couples or small families, the cabins are spaced for comfort and privacy with a rainwater spa bath, wood fire and wrap-around verandahs. Collect fresh eggs in the morning, pick herbs, fruit and vegetables from the on-site gardens or hire kayaks and enjoy a morning paddle.  

Get away from it all

If you would like to ‘go bush’ in NSW without heading too far from Sydney, Turon Gates Mountain Retreat is a tranquil bushland property in the western reaches of the Blue Mountains, just 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney.

There’s a lovingly built collection of luxe cottages, rustic cabins and a glamping tent at the property, which encompasses 2,428 hectares of diverse terrain full of native wildlife to spot, such as kangaroos, wombats, platypus, echidnas, possums and lizards. 

Kimo Estate, Gundagai.

Camp with all the extras

Located in the rolling coastal countryside of Central Tilba on the NSW South Coast, a five-hour drive south of Sydney, Tilba Lake Camp offers guests a decidedly chilled stay.

If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll love Frankie, a spacious Sibley bell tent with a queen bed, ensuite, fridge, gas stove, private fire pit, and other comforts. But if you’re into tiny houses you’ll adore the ‘pods’.

Lake Pods Bonnie and Clyde have full kitchens and a living area with a loft-style bed above, while Ocean View Pods Archie and Georgia have king beds, kitchenettes and a small living area on the same level. All pods have private bathrooms, fresh linens, a fire pit, and other luxe touches.  

Shack up by a lake

Immerse yourself in nature while staying in an upscale ‘shack’ on the shores of Wallaga Lake, north of Bermagui on the Sapphire Coast. Surrounded by native birds and wildlife, Serendip offers guests complete serenity, spending their days enjoying the lake’s fishing, swimming and walking trails.

The shack comes equipped with a kitchen, fire pit and outdoor shower; retreat inside to a luxurious double bed to sleep. Stand-up paddleboards and kayaks are available, and there is an isolated beach nearby.  

When you need to get away from it all, nothing beats an off-grid wilderness getaway. These cosy cabins, glamping retreats and eco-cottages powered by renewable energy don’t just offer a splendid sense of isolation, but also an opportunity to tread lightly on the planet. So relax, turn off your phone, and be at peace with nature.  

A Camp.Earth glamping tent

Bubbletent Australia, Capretee, Blue Moutains

Stargazers and romantics will fall in love with these magical clear domes in Capertee, less than three hours’ drive northwest of Sydney in the western reaches of the Blue Mountains. 

Bubbletent Australia’s three transparent spheres are named after zodiac constellations — Leo, Virgo and Cancer. They sit atop raised wooden decks and give guests a spectacular view of the stars at night and the Capertee Valley during the day.

The tents are constructed with fireproof, commercial-grade PVC, and renew, filter and dehumidify the air inside the tent up to nine times an hour.  

Turon Gates Country Resort, Capertee, Blue Mountains

Less than 30 minutes drive west of Bubbletent Australia, a collection of luxe cottages, rustic cabins and glamping tents make up the accommodation at Turon Gates Mountain Retreat, another idyllic off-grid option in the Capertee region of the Blue Mountains.

Go bush and explore the rocky outcrops hugging the crystal-clear creek, try horse riding and spotting wildlife such as kangaroos, wombats and platypus during your stay.

Unyoked, various locations 

Environmental warriors and twin brothers Cam and Chris Grant have set up more than 20 eco-friendly cabins across Australia where nature-loving visitors can experience minimalist stays in the wilderness.

NSW has 14 Unyoked cabins hidden in secluded locations from the Hunter Valley to the Northern Rivers, the South Coast to the Central Coast hinterland. You’ll be given exact location details upon booking, and all you need to bring is your own food and a sense of adventure — each cabin has an adventure level rating to help you make the right choice.  

Avalon River Retreat, Toms Creek

Bubbletent Australia luxury glamping accommodation under the night sky in the Capertee Valley.

The blissfully secluded Avalon River Retreat on the banks of the Ellenborough River, 80 minutes drive west of Port Macquarie on the NSW North Coast, is perfect for an off-grid family holiday.

Choose from tipis, a tiny house or a cedar cabin to sleep in and spend your stay exploring 162 hectares of rolling pastures and pristine rainforest on this totally solar-powered property tended by owners Sophie and Ged. Look out for wildlife including koalas, goannas, water dragons, wallabies, turtles and parrots on your adventures. 

Hernani Wilderness Hut, Hernani

Hide from the world in this rustic eco-hut high on an escarpment in the New England region of country NSW, 1.5-hour drive west of Coffs Harbour on the mid-North Coast.

The open-plan Hernani Wilderness Hut is crafted with recycled timber and sleeps up to nine people. Inside you’ll discover a slow-combustion fireplace, colourful crochet blankets and a quirky tree-branch balustrade winding up to a loft bedroom.

Run onto green lawns from your doorstep and see laden fruit trees — from late spring until early autumn you can pick peaches, pears and plums.  

Loggers Cabin, Dorroughby

On the edge of Nightcap National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests of AustraliaLoggers Cabin is the ultimate off-grid rainforest escape.

Just 45 minutes west of Byron Bay, the cosy solar-powered studio cabin in the small hinterland community of Dorroughby makes the perfect base for exploring the national park, with the 100m-high Minyon Falls just 5km down the road.

Bring your own food to cook or pre-order a hearty meal to heat over the fire pit. Travelling in a group? There’s also a two-bedroom Queenslander-style cottage on the property.  

Tilba Lake Camp, Central Tilba.

Pindari Tiny Home, Kangaroo Valley

Nestled in natural Kangaroo Valley bushland two hours south of Sydney, Pindari Tiny Home offers a totally off-the-grid and eco-friendly experience with all the luxuries of home.

Relish in comfy queen beds, a fully equipped kitchen and a hot shower. Switch off your phone and enjoy the outside log fire and surrounding wildlife, with soaring views of Mount Scanzi.

Keep an eye out for wallabies, possums, kangaroos, and wombats in the evening, and listen to the amazing chorus of birds at dawn. You will never want to leave this tiny, tranquil oasis.  

Kimo Estate, Gundagai

The three architecturally designed eco huts at Kimo Estate are perched high on a 2833-hectare farm just outside Gundagai, four hours’ drive southwest of Sydney.

JR’s is the original eco hut and provides an Australian country experience for the style-conscious.

Fergo’s is nestled into a hillside with a fire pit and Sweeney’s is at the highest vantage point of all overlooking the Murrumbidgee River. For an extra touch of luxury, all three huts boast a wood-fired hot tub. 

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