Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Glamping with Glamping Hub - Keeping Glamour in Camp

One of the best highlights of my trip in Australia is no other than glamping! As some of you would have learnt through my social media post, glamping is a portmanteau of 'glamorous' and 'camping' and there is no other way to describe this luxurious five star camping experience than to book your stay with Glamping Hub yourself! I assure you glamping is that escape you’ve been meaning to take. It’s that little break from the hustle and bustle. It’s a moment by yourself in a secluded terrain. Glamping is a way to connect with your surroundings without having to rough it.


Launched in 2012, Glamping Hub is the world's leading curated online booking platform dedicated to unique accommodations in nature. Here, you can find incredible accommodations all over the globe. Everything from tree houses in Spain, tipis in Texas, and California luxury trailers. Before planning your trip, have a look at the list of glampsites and let your imagination roam free! Among their sections you will find the latest trends in glamping construction.

You can check out Glamping Hub website here for more details! They have tonnes of glamping locations to choose from all over the globe. You can find out more about collection of glamping sites in Australia here. You can try other glamping places but as for now, when it comes to Melbourne, I am pretty comfortable with the one here for several good reasons!

It was through Glamping Hub's collection of glampsites we got to know our hosts which has an adorable story to its beginning.

I had a really bad morning on my glamping day. The car rental company gave us so much problem, so much so I almost felt like breaking down. The staff were rude and probably racist (rude awakening really) so it came to no surprise on how we were treated. It is a shame that it came from a reputable company but after much research, they are actually quite notorious among others. I was utterly enraged by how I was treated and left hanging without transport - with no resolution from them or whatever.

Long story short, we got ourselves a chauffeur instead.


The journey to Daylesford (a spa town off Melbourne) took about one and a half hours, almost two (because we got lost for a bit). It is nestled in the hills of the Hepburn Shire, approximately 130km from Melbourne city. As the location is remotely exclusive, there are no other transport options except private vehicle. So you can imagine how almost disappointed I was if I had no car and had to give this a miss. Most other car rental companies were actually out of cars to rent out since it's peak period. One rental company had a car and wanted to charge us with a four digit figure. Are you kidding me? It's not even continental. We were very fortunate because we got ourselves an Audi that came with a driver. None of us had to drive but to just sit back, fall asleep and control the music playlist. We only woke up when were close to our destination and were not too sure which path to enter because all paths look the same! We finally found it though because the road sign was written so small and its colour camouflaged against the hills.


My friend even commented that they should have put a big billboard but a place so exclusively luxurious that is so close to nature shouldn't be too commercialized. Wouldn't want too many people to spoil the tranquility!


Since the driver is local, it really cuts down the time to find our way there. Jarek was actually quite surprised that we arrived earlier than expected because I called him saying I would be late - because we had to spend more than an hour searching for a way to get there. That car rental company is so going to hell but on the upside, we arrived safely, and on time!


We were greeted by Jarek and he orientated us around the facility, showed us where's the bathroom, where's our tent and its insides, and shared with us how they started.

It all began during a camping expedition along the banks of the Murray River as Jarek told me. There, Jarek and Eva (the hosts) stood right in the middle of Australia’s longest river engulfed by corridors of river, red gum forests, and dry natural bushland. The beauty of the outdoors was so spectacular to them that it sparked the idea of combining outdoors with a trace of luxury. The way Jarek desribed to me on how it was nice to have a hot shower waking up in the morning just makes me want to do the same when I was there!

Although the weather was bright, it was actually quite cold so hot shower is pretty much a luxury in such wilderness.

Hence, a year since their expedition, their own brand of glamping was born and opened its doors to adventure lovers, who wants to keep glamour in check! You can check out their place here!


Each canvas tent is fully furnished with the essentials and all the comforts for you to enjoy. Plushy queen size bed, fine bed linen, onsite cooking facilities, access to hot showers and even power points for you to charge your electronic essentials! The entire place is ecologically friendly! Its electricity runs on solar power. It was mentioned that the power stored could last us through the night, so I tested its limit by charging all my devices. True enough, it works!

Our tent is also equipped with tonnes of kitchenware which seems underutilized and I'll tell you why! We did not let that go to waste though! We used it in the evening later for our dinner.

Our glamping ground is actually very, very ideal for a romantic getaway as it shuts you away from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to connect intimately with your other half. It is not that hard to figure out why couples go there as part of their honeymoon itinerary. The place is so obscure and quiet, pristine and away from the disturbance of modernity. For once, I was not distracted by anything else but the beauty of the scenery surrounding me. Honestly, I didn't even bother to update my social media until before I went to bed. And maybe if you are quiet and lucky enough, you can hear kangaroos mating. Haha!

So that probably answers why the kitchenware are underutilized, because something else is cookin'!


We were located minutes away from Daylesford village, which boasts some of the best fine dining restaurants, art galleries and boutique shops all in the centre of Victoria’s spa country. If you fancy cooking, you can drive over where there's Coles supermarket. We strolled out to enjoy the scenery along the way while waiting for our cab to the supermarket. Because there's only one way to get in, we were bound to see our cab when it arrives. The sunset, cold wind and hilly terrains make a perfect climate for an evening walk. I just couldn't get enough of the stunning vista. The idea of having an evening run strucked but didn't think it was that feasible since the gravel path was quite rocky and could cause injuries.


We bought some food for barbecue. We decided it would be best to cook, and enjoy the quiet night by the fireplace and gazed at the stars. If the sky would have been darker, we could have seen the Milky Way so clearly but there was full moon. It was still beautiful though! It was so cold at night that we could create vapours from our breath! I quite like the barbecue because there, we did not only get to eat, we got some warmth from the cooker! Everything was so convenient. Plates, fork and spoon, glasses were all ready. There's even OFF spray on standby just in case there were annoying bugs around.


After that sumptuous salmon spree and a few glasses of sparkling grape juice, we brought over snacks to the fireplace which was lit up by Jarek himself. We city boys just do not know how to start anything that does not involve switch and gas. Yeap, I can't even start a barbecue pit with charcoal and fire starter. There were a few fire wood there so we just needed to add on - which is as far I can go in keeping the fire alive. We sat there keeping ourselves warm while gazing at the stars. It was the most wonderful experience I have ever felt.

It was indescribable really.

You know how noisy some of us could get, that was the moment I really did not want to say nor hear anything, but the rustle of the leaves blown by the soft wind, and the crackle from the campfire. The view at night albeit the absence of streetlights was brighten up by nature is simply stunning. The sky was clear. Glittering stars illuminate the skies and the full moon has never looked so bare. It was so perfect that no camera could justify this magnificent beauty you see with naked eyes. The warmth that came from the campfire just makes everything feel so comfortable and safe although the only divide between the wild and us is a line of barbed wire.


It was so tranquil and spiritual I became very grateful for the view although it was something intangible and temporary. It was 2am and we needed some sleep! We did some packing for the following day before deciding if I should shower or not. It was so cold, I wasn't sure if I could put myself under running water. The weather had been dry, I did not sweat at all and since it was late and way too cold, I decided to do just the basics instead. Man, the bathroom is chic!


The shared bathroom has a ceiling window for daylight to pass through, the insides are all cladded with white tiles ala Scandinavian and its toiletries were all Australian made. The bathroom is so huge it provides ample space for movement around and the water pressure is so good that the morning I woke up, I had a satisfying warm shower. After all, I need to shed my dead skin to apply a fresh layer of sunblock.

Then came breakfast! While waiting for our driver to arrive, we were served with a nice box of breakfast set. It had croissants, bread, fresh fruits which I finished all except for the kiwis, cereal, milk and jam all nicely put in a jar as well as a flask of hot water for tea and coffee. Very exquisite taste to have Australia's T2 premium tea! We dined outside of our tent just to enjoy the view before we go off!


After our breakfast we took a stroll out along the path and it was just in time before we turned back, the driver came. We didn't really do the full exercise. Instead, we got the driver to drive us back because we need to take our bags! For the record, we walked for a kilometre before turning back. For a walk on vacation, that's like covering ten kilometres don't you think?


If anybody ask me what should they do in Melbourne, this is the one thing that I would strongly and confidently recommend or even encourage to do! Especially city people like Singaporeans who barely get to see the stars and enjoy quiet time.

You can check out Glamping Hub website here for more details! They have tonnes of glamping locations to choose from all over the globe. You can find out more about collection of glamping sites in Australia here. You can try other glamping places but as for now, when it comes to Melbourne, I am pretty comfortable with the one I stayed here!

Wishing all of you an amazing stay there!

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