NSW

Glamping on Clyde River proves a popular compromise for couples over summer

Ethan Harley and and Alex Mackenzie had a problem. One wanted to spend their summer anniversary camping in the wilderness while the other wished for the luxury of a catered hotel.

Ethan Harley and and Alex Mackenzie of  Sydney, enjoy the relaxed settings of The Escape luxury camping.
Ethan Harley and and Alex Mackenzie of Sydney, enjoy the relaxed settings of The Escape luxury camping. Photo: Jay Cronan

The solution for the young couple was, as in many relationships, one of compromise. After some debate, they booked a glamorous camping (glamping) escape on the banks of the Clyde River, a 40-minute drive from Batemans Bay.

"Ethan wanted to go camping and I was sure I didn't want to but then I saw this option and realised it gave us both what we wanted," Ms Mackenzie said. "Ethan didn't know much about this place and his breath was taken away when he got here."

Petra and Luis, Olivia Oswald and Heinz Schandl enjoy the Escape luxury camping resort on the South Coast.
Petra and Luis, Olivia Oswald and Heinz Schandl enjoy the Escape luxury camping resort on the South Coast. Photo: Jay Cronan

The couple stayed in one of three rooms that incorporate tents at the Escape resort, the brainchild of former Canberra restaurateur Colin Bailie and his wife Lucille, a former Canberra Capitals champion.

"We've been doing a lot of star gazing here but there is also the Clyde River and trails," Ms Mackenzie said. "Last night we came slept on the balcony of our tent room and the amount of stars we could see was incredible.

"The rooms are very simple and you can see how they have tried to make it like camping with tents and no television, although we have a fridge and a bathroom."

Mr Harley said he spent much of his childhood camping with his family and had been trying to convince his partner to give it a shot.

The Escape owner Colin Bailie with dog Billy.
The Escape owner Colin Bailie with dog Billy. Photo: Jay Cronan

"This is the compromise that we're happy with," Ms Mackenzie said.

With only three rooms at the retreat, the couple were also joined by a Canberra family who decided to introduce their Japanese guests to the Australian bush in style.

"We saw that this was fully catered and our guests have little experience in camping but were after the nature experience," Heinz Schandl said.

"This was the perfect was to experience the beauty of Australia without the hassle and in a convenient way," he said. "It's very small scale and it feels like a family here where they cater for you, so it's an amazing experience."

Hiroki Tanikawa, who was visiting Australia for the first time with his wife and children, said it was the perfect way to experience nature.

"This is just between real camping and a luxury experience so the kids can enjoy themselves but we can be comfortable at the same time," he said.

For owners Colin and Lucille, the luxury campsite has served as their wedding location and their long-time project to live a rewarding life close to the coast.

"Demand is good and it's growing also," he said. " We haven't had a spare weekend without 100 per cent occupancy since the end of September and it will be that way until Mother's Day."