Paperbark Camp is the ultimate Jervis Bay glamping experience

Searching for an unforgettable glamping experience in Jervis Bay? Look no further than Paperbark Camp.

If you thought that canvas accommodation was only for warmer months, it may be time to think again. With heating in all of its luxury safari tents, Paperbark Camp makes for a delightful winter warmer, the perfect combination of luxury and nature.

The award-winning Paperbark Camp is nestled in pristine riverside bushland close to Jervis Bay, an easy two-and-a-half-hour drive south of Sydney. The deluxe camp offers a soothing sanctuary amongst the majestic eucalyptus, complemented by an abundance of wildlife and birds that wake guests gently with their sweet songs. Each of Paperbark’s 13 luxe, elevated tents are heated and feature a private, open-air ensuite with bush shower and bush-view bath, spacious terrace, and king or twin beds with organic cotton linen and handmade bath products.

Traveller: Tina-Louise Jackson
Room: Deluxe Plus Safari Tent
Address: 571 Woollamia Rd, Woollamia NSW 2540 
Date: June 2023
Price range $550-$750
Best for The understated luxury tented camp is ideal for switching off, both literally and metaphorically, and embracing the sights and sounds of nature with every creature comfort. 

Paperbark Camp offers an incredible Jervis Bay glamping experience

Claim to fame

Arguably the first ‘glamping’ experience in Australia and opened in 1999, Paperbark Camp was dreamed up over a few sundowners at a friend’s private bush camp in Africa, a place close to owners Jeremy and Irina Hutching’s hearts. It’s still a family affair some 20 years later and you’ll feel like a welcomed and valued guest when you stay.

Paperbark Camp’s showstopper

Outside, it’s the beauty of the surrounding nature.  At night, the blanket of stars on view on a clear night will mesmerise.  Inside, it’s the heating in each tent, ensuring you stay toasty, whatever the weather.

Deluxe Plus Safari Tent

Each of Paperbark’s 13 safari tents are thoughtfully spaced amongst the Paperbark and Eucalyptus trees to maximise privacy, just as well if you’re looking to enjoy a relaxed bath in the open-air bathroom, the only ‘peeping tom’ would be the odd possum or passing kangaroo.

Our Deluxe Plus Safari tent boasts a wraparound sundeck with outdoor furniture inviting you to sit a while and soak up the very best of nature. Stepping inside your luxury tented abode you’ll find polished hardwood flooring, two single-day beds and a large king-size bed with mosquito net and beautifully soft bed linen.

Sustainability

With a sustainable philosophy and advanced eco-accreditation, there are no power points or bar fridges, lighting is solar powered, and, with no tv to distract you, the best show in this town is the night sky, viewed from the sundeck or even the open-air bath. If completely switching off has you twitching, well-placed USB charging points beside the bed ensure you’ll be charged when you emerge recharged from your digital detox.

“Camping in winter, you must be crazy?!” I hear you cry, however, there’s nothing crazy, or chilly, about these canopied cradles. Hot air heating will ensure you remain toasty on even the chilliest of nights, there are plenty of extra blankets to cuddle up super-cosy, and even hot water bottles to warm the bed before you jump in.

The coolest part of this stay is the private open-air bathroom offering a rain shower and free-standing bath with a view. Grab a glass of local wine and your partner for a romantic soak in nature.  Or a book, if you prefer to bathe solo. 

The family factor

The Deluxe Safari Tent will easily accommodate two adults and two children, however for even more room for families, book the King Deluxe Safari Tent, which comfortably accommodates up to five.

Beyond the rooms

Make the surrounding nature the focal point of your stay at Paperbark Camp. There may be no static bike or treadmill to burn those calories, so grab a bicycle and head into Huskisson, stroll down to the river and jump in a canoe for a paddle down the river, or take one of the many bush trails around the camp to view nature at its finest. Kangaroos laze in a paddock close by the river in the afternoons, and by torchlight, you may even spot a possum or two.

The Gunyah (an Aboriginal word for meeting place) is the central hub of the camp, serving as reception, bar, restaurant and communal lounge. Breakfast and dinner are served here, and as evening falls (along with the temperature perhaps) or you can settle in front of the fireplace on the comfy sofas to read a book or play a board game.

Things to do near Paperbark Camp

A five-minute drive will take you into the bayside town of Huskisson (if you’re feeling energetic it’s a 15-minute cycle ride or you can even take one of Paperbark’s canoes), rocking a local (and award-winning) microbrewery brewery vibe – visit Jervis Bay Brewery and Flamin Galah Brewery to sample the local brew.

Whilst dolphins are often seen frolicking in Jervis Bay year-round, winter is a wonderland for whale watching, as the whales make their way up and down the coast. Catch them from the heights of Point Perpendicular Lighthouse, 90 metres above sea level or take a whale-watching tour with Jervis Bay Wild for a closer look at these majestic beasts as they make their epic journey.

I wish I could take home…

Whilst it may not ever pack down small enough to fit in the back of the car, having one of these luxurious tents for my next camping trip would be a dream. And maybe the heating too, for winter camping.

Dining at Paperbark Camp

The Gunyah is the heart of the property. It is raised amongst the treetops and is swathed in golds and browns, bathed in a golden glow in the late afternoon. It’s perfect for a sundowner on the terrace or curled up around the fireplace. There are both indoor and outdoor spaces to dine or recline and a firepit to warm toes or toast marshmallows. As the central hub of the property, The Gunyah serves as reception and bar, and restaurant for breakfast and dinner. All stays include half-board, so you can taste both.   Bookings are essential, as the restaurant offers dining to out-of-house guests too. When you eat here, you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

Paperbark Camp celebrity chef dinner

Breakfast is a hearty affair, setting you up for exciting activities or a day relaxing on your deck.  Our morning starts with freshly squeezed juice and a delicious chia pudding, followed by a choice of hot breakfast. I choose sourdough toast with poached eggs, a side of bacon, mushrooms and sauteed spinach.

Dinner is just as hearty, with a set course menu with culinary delights including slow-cooked spatchcock and Asian glazed beef sirloin, all served with crusty local sourdough and cultured butter. Paperbark Camp’s menu is made up of locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

Amenity game

Whilst there’s no kettle or coffee machine in your room, a flask of hot water will magically appear on your steps first thing for your morning cuppa, with a selection of coffee and teas in your room.  In the open-air bathroom, you’ll find Paperbark’s own signature toiletries which are handmade and blended with native ingredients, to complete the ‘at one with nature’ experience.  Cosy slippers, a gown and that all-important hot water bottle will keep everything warm on the coldest of nights.

Insiders’ tips

Your closest neighbours will be the wildlife, and they love this bush retreat as much as you will, they’re not averse to taking the opportunity to check out the creature comforts inside your tent if it arises, particularly if there are tasty snacks inside.  When you head to The Gunyah for the evening, secure your tent zip with the carabiner to ensure any furry critters remain on the outside looking in, and don’t leave any food out – there’s a fridge in The Gunyah where you can store any snacks and drinks.

Spa life

Whilst there is no spa on site, massages can be arranged in your tent or on the sundeck.  Availability is limited, and it’s best to book this when you make your reservation.

Staying in

This is a bush retreat, and relaxation is the key so there is no tv or arranged entertainment. Relax and soak up the sights and sounds of the bush from your sundeck, relax in The Gunyah with a drink, a book or a board game, or stroll down to the river and grab a canoe if you’re feeling energetic.

Inside the Deluxe Plus Tent at Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay's ultimate glamping experience
With pared back details and luxurious touches, you’ll find ultimate relaxation at Paperbark Camp

Stepping out

A five-minute drive will take you into Huskisson and the white sands of Jervis Bay.  Jervis Bay is a nature lover’s paradise that will surprise and delight in any season. Explore the white sand beaches and spectacular coastal landscapes of the nearby Jervis Bay and Booderee National Parks. Paddle the tranquil waters of the Currambene Estuary or follow the headlands as you cycle from Huskisson to Hyams. These local coastal villages have plenty of lively cafes and boutique stores. Visit the Husky Pub to grab a snack during the day or try out one of the many microbreweries.

A little further afield, visit Berry or Bundanon, the birthplace of Arthur Boyd, now an immersive art experience.

A paddleboarder on Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay
Venture out and explore the stunning beaches of Jervis Bay

If only…

One night is never enough to fully relax and recharge.  Whilst mine was a short stay, I’d love to have lingered longer.

V&T expert rating

9 out of 10.  Bust the myth that camping is only for the warmer months, wrap up warm and embrace nature and stars at their finest at this cosy bush retreat that boasts every creature comfort (and a few cute creatures too).

Where to find Paperbark Camp

Just a two-and-a-half hour drive south of Sydney and three hours east of Canberra, Paperbark Camp is set slightly inland from Jervis Bay and reached by a winding tree-lined driveway. Drive deep into the surrounding bush, where the only sounds you’ll hear are the local wildlife and the odd chink of a wine glass.


This article was produced in partnership with Paperbark Camp. www.paperbarkcamp.com.au


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