When is a tent not a tent?
Possibly when it has a separate ensuite bathroom and is, in total, bigger than your Sydney apartment!
30 minutes away from Kings Canyon is a red-earthed, unsealed road that will lead you to the Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge. Set in a private part of an 1800 square kilometre cattle and camel station, 2kms away from the nearest shop, they certainly deliver on the wilderness in the title.
The tented cabins, with their ensuite heated bathrooms and secluded verandas, are the most luxurious accommodation you can find in this area. Inside our generous sized ‘tent’ was an air conditioning unit, cosy towelling robes and casual seating, whilst the ensuite just across the corridor had a heated shower, heat lamp (only necessary in the evening) and a range of eco toiletries.
My favourite part of the accommodation was the veranda though; it offered private views of the bushland and made you feel like you were truly in the wilderness, miles from anyone else, let alone another guest.
Each lodge is named after a different local character and a booklet in the room explains who these namesakes are as well as introduces the family who own the cattle station. I really enjoyed reading about the life of Len Tuit – the early central Australian tour operator after whom our cabin was named – even if he did meet a strange end after going fishing and never returning!
Dining at the Wilderness Lodge is a very social affair. Communal tables are set up for guests under a blanket of stars and the in-house chef whips up a 3 course meal using a range of local produce (like delicious kangaroo steak) and some not so local too – the night before we arrived the guests were served lobster!
Evenings at the lodge begin with drinks and nibbles at 7pm (1 drink is included with the meal package) and tend to end with good conversation over Pavlova. The meal package might be charged extra depending on who you book with but due to the remoteness of the location and quality of the dinner and I would recommend you request this.
Breakfast is served inside the reception cabin. There’s a range of cereals, fruit and toast at the buffet and then the chef cooks up your order of eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomato upon request. We were only able to sample the cooked breakfast one morning though as they stopped serving it before we could complete the rim walk – it’s a shame they don’t find a way to work around this as I assume most guests will be there to do the same thing. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available all day though, as is cold water. There are no fridges in the cabins so if you bring your own alcohol (which I would recommend you do for cost cutting!) ask the staff kindly to put it in their fridge for you.
Experiencing this level of comfort in the middle of the Aussie outback is wonderful – it’s just my style of camping! The lodge have won numerous awards for their service, which is very welcoming and friendly, but I feel its fair to say the level of luxury is not quite like what you would find in other countries (like this glampsite I visited in Sri Lanka which was exceptional.) There are a few little things the lodge could do – like providing water in the rooms, making the beds/supplying room service without having to request it and being flexible about breakfast – which would make a guest’s stay perfect. But if you’re looking for somewhere super comfortable, remote and with fantastic food – the Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge is a great place to stay in this part of Australia.
Find out more about the Wilderness Lodge via APTouring.