Paperbark Camp Woollamia
Two-and-a-half hours’ drive south of Sydney, the 100-acre land, thick with paperbark and silver teeth, is located down a course five minutes in the village of Huskisson, that includes shops, restaurants, and an superb information center and whale and dolphin-watching.
Style & personality
The daybed fan out down brief woods paths across a “Gunyah” (assembly place in Aboriginal) on stilts, which houses a cavernous reception, lounge and restaurant with a wood stove, sofas, books, games and help yourself coffee and tea. By day it is airy, with spacious balconies; from night it is lightly lit. Do not overlook the poster on “Dangerous snakes of Australia” on the loo door. Parking is concealed 80 metres down the trail.
Service & amenities
Casual and welcoming. Luggage is carried by golf cart, and quirks are nicely explained (a carabiner fastens tent zips if you are outside, to dissuade inquisitive possums). Staff will create up hot water bottles or keep your wine at a refrigerator in the Gunyah. A bell rings at 10am to wake up breakfast stragglers.
Even the 12 tents, named after Australian monsters, sit on personal, 10ft-high, wooden platforms. Sugar Glider, our Deluxe tent, had armchairs plus a day bed on the veranda; in was a king-size mattress with topnotch bedding and mosquito mesh, backed by means of a mirror. Behind is a sliding door into the outside toilet, with chest-high wall in wrought iron, freestanding tub, hanging lanterns and a strong shower. Our November trip was mosquito-free, however, repellent is supplied, as are robes, candles and ear plugs (squawks and rustles punctuate nighttime and sunrise). For darkness or heat, the net “windows” could be canvassed closed. Solar electricity is for lighting; electricity points and completely free Wi-Fi are from the Gunyah.
Food & beverage
Breakfast highlights include stewed fruit and watermelon, and poultry, mackerel eggs and avocado on toast. The restaurant, also open to non-guests, provides elegant Australian cuisine at stiffish costs (cheaper on half an hour).
Value for cash
Worth it for an event (doubles from A$370 (#225) b & b or A$490 (#300) half board). Make sure to try out the free bicycles and canoes (the Currambene Creek flows through) and bushwalking. Paperbark Camp reopens for its 2013/14 year on August 31.
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