Posted on: February 21st, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan
The Best Australia Food and Wine for a Coastal Vacation
The food and wine scene across Australia is constantly setting trends and becoming a bucket list destination for foodies everywhere.
On the east coast you’ll find an abundance of the world’s fresh seafood and waterfront dining with a tropical flair. You’ll also find that Hunter Valley and the Barossa are not Australia’s only premier wine regions. The Margaret River wine region in Western Australia is a must-do for any wine lover.
In Part I of our 23 Ways to Wine and Dine in Australia blog, we showcased the top spots for food and wine in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide. But exceptional gourmet food and wine experiences are also found in tropical Queensland and Australia’s enchanting west coast.
Stop at these 23 spots for the best wining and dining in Noosa, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and surrounding wine regions.
Noosa is a bit of a hidden secret in Australia. With fantastic beaches, lush national parks, world-class dining and shopping, this is the place Aussies go for a beach holiday close to home.
The food and wine scene in Noosa is quickly becoming one of the best in all Australia. You’ll find everything from award-winning waterfront dining along the Noosa River to a motorcycle-themed bar serving craft beer and coffee.
Treat yourself in this beach city gem and indulge in one of our must-do restaurants while in Noosa.
Sails – No local can deny that Sails is a Noosa institution. Framed by the serene views of Noosa Main Beach, vibrant seafood delightfully presented and an extensive wine list – pure tropical bliss.
Wasabi – Some of the best views of the Noosa River are found at Wasabi. A sunset sitting is perhaps the best complement to its traditional Japanese cuisine. Their Omakase degustation menu features a seven or nine course meal highlighting ingredients sourced from their own local farm, Honeysuckle Hill. You’ll find tried and true favorites like sashimi and nigiri along with regional dishes such as Moreton bay oysters and sake steamed spanner crab.
Locale– Wander down to the end of Hastings Street to perhaps the most down-to-earth restaurant in Noosa: Locale. Sleek and sophisticated Italian cuisine meets lush alfresco dining in this local favorite. Their prawns and zucchini flowers are popular starters, but you’ll be dreaming about their squid ink pasta for days. Their wine list is also a dream, ranging from champagne to shiraz and everything in between.
Season Restaurant– Attentive and professional service with a charm as relaxed as its beach setting, Season is another Hastings Street favorite. Book ahead for a beach side table, but don’t fret if you don’t get that coveted seat – the real star of Season is the seafood curry.
Noosa Beach House – If you’re coming to Noosa Beach House, you’re coming for the signature Sri Lankan Snapper curry. Can’t decide from their small menu? Opt for the degustation menu and delight in six courses featuring roasted pork belly, wagyu sirloin, local spanner crab along with an Amuse Bouche. A little bit of everything with a little something extra!
As the capital city of tropical Queensland, Brisbane combines urban city living with beachside relaxation. And as the third largest city in all of Australia, there no doubt Brisbane is becoming a contender for some of the nation’s best food scenes.
Here are the top Brisbane restaurants to stop at for world-class wining and dining.
Sono Restaurant – Looking for the best sushi in Brisbane? Or perhaps the best seafood, period? Look no further than Sono. Boasting Brisbane’s freshest sashimi, exciting teppanyaki and amazing views of the Brisbane River, this Japanese and seafood dining experience is unreal. And with Moreton Bay just a little ways down the river, their Moreton Bay Bugs are a must.
Urbane – If you have an entire afternoon free, that may be just enough time to dine at Urbane. Here, it’s all about dining at your own leisure where friendly and personable attendants will remember your name. The service is definitely one of the top reasons Urbane is listed as the top restaurant in Queensland. Their five and seven course degustation menus featuring Australian and vegetarian cuisine undoubtedly contribute to their well-deserved awards.
Bacchus – This is perhaps the best place for that first dip into Australian fine dining. Extremely knowledgeable and approachable staff will dash away any qualms you have about asking what exactly is on your plate. That’s just a testament to the impressive presentation. And with a menu detailing the exact region where each dish is sourced, you’ll soon become an expert on your own meal. Pair your seven course degustion meal with wine or choose a decadent dish from their a la cart menu. The venison main dish is a popular hit.
Malt– Satisfy any cravings for duck at Malt, where this consistent favorite is cooked to crispy perfection. Add in generous wine pours, a rustic-chic setting and live piano performances for an evening of utter romance.
Gerard’s Bistro– Tantalize your taste buds with Brisbane’s take on Middle Eastern cuisine at Gerard’s Bistro. Get cozy with your dining partner as these dishes are made for sharing. And you’ll want to get a little taste of everything, with tasty dishes such as coal-grilled octopus, suckling pig and fried cauliflower.
Mount Tamborine and Surrounding Wineries
The vacation never ends when you’re in the Gold Coast. Sunny beaches, wild theme parks and a buzzing nightlife – it’s got everything you need to wind down and get loose.
But for a more quiet retreat, the Gold Coast Hinterland will enchant with its lush national parks, waterfalls and charming towns.
In this region you’ll find Mount Tamborine, known as the “Green Behind the Gold.” And with breathtaking scenery, clean mountain air and award-winning wineries, we feel their gold is well deserved.
O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard– With a fabulous picnic lunch on offer to complement their gorgeous grounds, this is the winery of your fantasies. That is, if you dream about a gourmet picnic by Canungra Creek, sipping on a glass of wine while looking out to the turtles in the water. If you’re lucky you may spot the elusive resident platypus!
Witches Falls Winery– If you’ve only got time for one winery visit while in the Gold Coast, Witches Falls Winery is the place to go. Passionate and friendly service, local cheeses and six wine tastings for $6 – it’s hard to go wrong here.
Ocean View Estate– For a boutique winery with serious food, Ocean View Estate is a must. It’s difficult to say which is their main draw – their superb wines or their extensive and carefully curated menu. And for the non-wine lovers out there, they do their own craft beer as well!
Albert River Wines– Got a special occasion coming up? Albert River Wines provides the perfect setting for any celebration. High quality dishes such as barramundi and veal provide an impressive dining experience, surrounded in the colonial charm of a historic home. Add in a taste of their sauvignon blanc or their popular red blends for a splendid day in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Most people only experience Australia’s east coast on their first vacation Down Under.
But Australia’s west coast offers an otherworldly charm that shouldn’t be missed. Repeat visitors from around the world are drawn to Western Australia’s surreal national parks, a burgeoning food scene and fantastic wine regions.
Perth, the nation’s sunniest capital city is the main base for exploring the best of this region’s food and wine. Chic eateries and European-style bars are tucked in its inner city laneways, and fine dining is found within the CBD.
Here are the top spots in Perth worth a stop for a little indulgence.
Wildflower – The tasting menu at Wildflower not only offers exceptional Australian cuisine but also rotates according to the six seasons of the indigenous Noongar calendar. Each dish celebrates local ingredients throughout the changing of the seasons. This is the sort of attention that makes Wildflower a local favorite. The stunning views of the Swan River definitely help.
Petite Mort – Petite Mort is a bit of a hidden secret, where French and Australian cuisine meet in a three or ten course menu. Ingredients full of color and flavor are paired together on elegantly presented dishes. The ten course degustation menu is a favorite for its corned silverside and quail egg dish along with its signature dessert – “Death By Chocolate.”
C Restaurant in the Sky– It’ll be difficult for anything to top the views at C Restaurant. Literally. This upscale restaurant is located in the slowly revolving 33rd floor of St. Martins Tower, lending to incredible 360 degree views of the city. What better way to spend an evening than indulging in fresh seafood or tender pork belly while looking out onto the Swan River and city lights?
Varnish on King– This hidden gem of a whiskey bar is quickly becoming a Perth institute. The Bacon Flight – four generous cuts of bacon matched with whiskey – is a bucket list item for true Perth foodies. And if you’re not into whiskey, they have a Rose and Bacon flight as well!
When looking for things to do in Perth the most common response is a day trip out to Margaret River. With stunning natural beauty, craft breweries and countless wineries, this region provides so much more than one day’s worth of adventure.
Known for its cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, you’ll find just as delectable white wine varieties throughout the region.
Leeuwin Estate– World-class chardonnay, free tastings and amazing food – this is one of Wilyabrup’s finest wineries. Its sensational vintages also helped put this region on the wine map. Though there’s a fee to taste their Art Series wines, offering perhaps Australia’s best chardonnay, the price is totally worth it.
Cullen Wines– Considered a gem of the region, this family-run winery is 100% biodynamic. The ingredients used in their sophisticated menu are all sourced from their gardens and local surrounds. That’s right – not only will you find exquisite red blends but you’ll also find a divine menu with dishes such as rabbit, duck and barramundi. Come for the wine, stay for the food.
Fraser Gallop– Like a scene out of a movie, the Fraser Gallop Estate grounds are undoubtedly the most beautiful in all of Wilyabrup. And their serious, built-to-last Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon is just as stunning.
Woodlands– Personal and friendly tastings make their elegant cabernet sauvignon all the more pleasurable. Friendly and knowledgeable staff create the cozy and family-feel atmosphere this cellar door is well-known for. An asset to the charm of Wilyabrup Valley.
Voyager Estate– A bucket list item for premier Margaret River wining and dining. Delectable degustation with wine pairings, rose gardens and wine and cheese flights – this is a slice of paradise. If you still aren’t impressed, perhaps their flagpole – Australia’s second largest flag and flagpole – will do the trick.
Ready for a Little Indulgence in Australia?
Aussies love their food and drink, and love sharing the best places even more. For more recommendations on the best food and wine in Australia, your Destination Specialist can give you insider tips. We’ll make it all the more easier to plan your food and wine trail throughout your vacation Down Under!
I Want to Taste Australia’s Food & Wine!
Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).
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Posted on: August 26th, 2015 by Melissa Maxwell
What places are on your Australian vacation wish list?
The Great Barrier Reef, our iconic Sydney Opera House and surrounding harbor, the breathtaking outback, the beautiful beaches or the luscious rainforests. These places are wonderful to visit and offer endless photo opportunities. But when they get home and return to normal life, most travelers find their most memorable moments not in ‘seeing the sights’, but in experiencing the culture.
The Aboriginal arts and culture are a very unique and interesting component of the Australian identity and one that can be experienced without traveling to remote locations. You can experience the human element of Australia in intimate and authentic ways in every state and not far from where you will likely already want to visit. Save on your trip to Australia with our deals on customized Indigenous vacation packages.
Aboriginal Australia is as diverse as the continent’s landscape; not one nation but many nation states speaking more than 250 languages. Each stop will provide you with a new and unique perspective and ground your tour of the infamous sites to the people of the land. You can also experience the culture by adding a few Aboriginal managed tours to your itinerary. Here are a few of our favorite places to visit in Australia to get a big dose of historic culture.
Places to Visit in Australia – New South Wales
Image by Dreamtime Southern X
The Rocks (Sydney) – Take a 90- minute leisurely urban walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, the historic area of Sydney’s city center. Your Aboriginal guide with show you how the ancient wisdom of Dreamtime is continuously weaved into the modern city to create a unique Australian culture.
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – The Royal Botanic Garden is a great place to learn how early Aboriginal inhabitants lived as hunters and gatherers. Intimately associated with the environment they made poisonous seeds edible, created fishing line from bark, wove leaves into mats and baskets, and much more in order to survive. During a one hour tour an Aboriginal Education Officer will help you explore the rich Aboriginal heritage of the garden and give you a first-hand perspective of the its significance.
Taronga Zoo (Near Sydney) – Just short drive from the harbor you’ll find the Taronga Zoo. An Aboriginal discovery tour offers a chance to enjoy interactive experiences with unique Australian wildlife and a chance to discover more about Australia’s rich culture. An Aboriginal guide will tell you stories of Australian wildlife, the binding relationships between flora and fauna, and the Dreaming (the creation of various creatures and landscapes). You’ll also get a great photo opportunity with a Koala and ride the Sky Safari cable to discover why Taronga is known as “The Zoo with a view”.
Places to Visit in Australia – Northern Territory
Uluru, Australia’s Red Centre (Ayers Rock) – Visiting the heart of Australia is about more than just seeing a giant red rock, it’s about experiencing the Outback; its majestic beauty, its heritage and its essence. As the traditional owners of Uluru Kata Tjuta and the surrounding land, who better to help you capture the moment than the Anangu? Unlike many of us the Anangu still possess a strong connection to the past and thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, wisdom and law. Their traditions are maintained and passed on through stories, rituals, ceremonies, songs, dances and art. There are many opportunities to experience their culture and learn more during your stay at Uluru. Here are a few Indigenous tours in Uluru. Your Vacation Planning Expert can help you select the best experiences for your trip.
Sounds of Silence Dinner– A unique award-winning gourmet desert dining experience complete with a didgeridoo welcome, a beautiful Outback sunset, Australian delicacies, and a tour of the stars.
Image by AYQ
Camel Ride to the Sounds of Silence Dinner site (or just around the Outback) – Camel tours of Uluru are always an amazing experience. Friendly local guides teach and tell stories about the flora and fauna, the land, the indigenous people, their own lives and the history of camels in Australia in a fun and enjoyable way. The photo opportunities are always amazing and the camels, with their own unique personalities and cheeky nature, may also provide a bit of entertainment.
Tali Wiru Dinner – Another unique desert dining experience with a taste of Aboriginal heritage. This tour fills up quickly as only 20 people are allowed per night. You are taken to a large dune, well away from anything else. A majestic view of Uluru is in the distance as a local plays the didgeridoo and canapes are served as the sun sets. You will enjoy a three course meal with matching Australian wines, desert with port, and an evening of star gazing and Aboriginal stories.
Desert Awakenings Tour – This tour is a great way to view the landscape and learn about its history and its people. Travelers often describe their experience as powerful and spiritual as they learn the history of the land, take in the rock paintings and learn about the local lore of the Anangu people.
Places to Visit in Australia – Queensland
Image by: Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours
World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park (Pick-ups at Cairns, Beaches and Port Douglas) – This intimate tour allows you to not only learn about the Aborginal culture of the rainforest but also experience it. It’s a day full of excitement, learning, and fun. Some highlights include a smoking ceremony, mud crab hunting, a visit to your guide’s home to cook your catch, a lesson in ingenious art, and a swim in The Mossman Gorge.
Mossman Gorge Centre (A quick car ride from Port Douglas) – The Mossman Gorge Centre is managed by Aboriginal natives, Kuku Yalanji, whose natural history makes them perfect guides to the oldest rainforest in the world. Your guide will provide an entertaining narrative of the unique tropical environment while demonstrating traditional plant use, identifying bush food sources, and sharing their special relationship to the land. The Mossman Gorge Centre is a wonderfully pleasant way to enjoy the rainforest as you walk along a broad walk, swim in pristine water and cross the mighty gorge on a suspension bridge.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park (About 15 minutes from Cairns Airport) – Enjoy one of the most memorable dinner and shows in the world. This performance and tour truly takes you back in history and goes a long way to bring perspective to the culture’s 40,000 year history. The food is unexpected, abundant, tastefully prepared, and absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of opportunities for photos, fireside chats with the locals and a chance to take the stage and learn a traditional dance.
Places to Visit in Australia – Victoria
Image by: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Melbourne) – The word Bunjilaka is a word created from two local Aborginal languages and means “creation place”. It is a place where Victoria’s indigenous communities can express their own history within the Melbourne Museum. It’s also a place where you can understand the aboriginal history of belonging to the land on the Yarra River, populated by the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people before the first Europeans arrived.
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne – The award-winning walk through the Gardens is often described as one of the most interesting walks in the city. A local Aboriginal guide takes you on a journey through the traditional camping and meeting place the for Kulin nation. You’ll experience stories, culture, plant lore, tools and ceremony.
Image by: Koomal Dreaming
Ngilgi Cave (About 40 minutes north of Margaret River) – Not many American tourists make it out to Western Australia. If you do, it’s well worth your time to visit Wardandi and Bibbulman Country. You can experience this great landscape and the caves through the eyes of the traditional owners. Take a 3-hour private tour which includes a bush walk, a trip into the Ngilgi Cave where your Aboriginal guide will play the didgeridoo, and a live demonstration of spears and boomerangs. All of this will leave you with authentic insight into the indigenous way of life in historic Western Australia.
Australia’s landscape varies from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, from the desert outback to tropical rainforests and within each landscape is a unique historic culture, whose Dreamtime stories are as varied as the country they inhabit. A trip to Australia isn’t complete without experiencing at least a few of these ancient and mysterious cultures.
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Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 by veronicap
In Western Australia, you’ll have the chance to truly get outdoors, explore some of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes and at the same time acquire the highly sought-after “Aussie cultural experience”, all without compromising on your creature comforts from home . Western Australia’s expansive terrains fall nothing short of breathtaking. They have so much to offer with captivating views, exquisite dining opportunities, charming boutiques, thrilling Aboriginal history, pristine golf courses, and unique wildlife indigenous to the area. There are a variety of things to do and see during your stay. We recommend taking several days to drive or fly across the state to truly capture the essence of Western Australia and get fully acclimated with the area.
Western Australia takes luxury camping to a whole new extreme with ‘glamping’ – glamorous camping. There are several “eco-tent” glamping resorts that offer the perfect luxury escape to the outdoors, catering to both the lavish and back-to-nature enthusiasts. We have compiled a list of our favorite glamping resort destinations in Western Australia. For families and groups, we would highly suggest the Ramada Eco Beach, Bungle Bungle Bush Camp, Karijini Eco Retreat, or Soul Camping due to the larger number of tours and activities. Kimberley Coastal Camp, Sal Salis, and Faraway Bay Retreat are catered to intimate, quiet, and relaxing settings. Guided tours are the best way to ensure you don’t miss a single moment of what Western Australia has to offer!
The Ramada Eco Beach Resort is located in Broome, Western Australia and rests along gorgeous, white sandy beaches with the most magnificent views and scenery.
Photo By: Ramada Eco Beach Resort
The resort runs solely on sustainable energy; the ecologically friendly camp offers a wide variety of unique tours that cater to the interests of many different people. For the romantics, Ramada offers a drop off at the secluded beach and neighboring caves that allow you to explore the fascinating culture and reconnect. The salty Australia beach waters in Broome are home to the humpback whale and the endangered sea turtle. You may cruise the waves to watch the outstanding humpback whales during their migration to the Antarctic (seasonal) or volunteer during the months of November – January to monitor the endangered species and assist the locals in nurturing the turtles. For the adventurous you should find the nearest tour guide for exciting deep-sea fishing, land and beach fishing, and even helicopter fishing. There are an unlimited amount of activities for families, couples, and groups!
The Bungle Bungle Bush Camp is nestled in the World Heritage Listed Purnulu National Park, in East Kimberley Australia and is surrounded by the most captivating scenic views.
Photo By: East Kimberley Tours
The multi award winning camp spoils its guests with hot showers, impressive dining facilities, a homey campfire area, and a swimming pool. The camp embodies the beauty of the surrounding nature. You can disconnect from the world and explore the Purnulu National Park while hiking on any of the trails provided. You will find gorgeous beehive shaped towers, ginormous boulders, creek beds, towering cliffs, gorges, and waterholes surrounded by lush wildlife. There’s no shortage of tours and adventures to embark on while you visit the Bungle Bungle! Each tour includes afternoon tea and either breakfast or a picnic lunch. Plus, you are transported to and from the accommodation on a scenic helicopter ride with stunning views over the Ord River, Lake Argyle, Lissadell Station, and Texas Downs Stations. For the diamond lovers, spoil yourself on the Argyle Diamond Mine Tour! The Argyle Diamond Mine is the world’s largest single producer of diamonds, you may purchase jewelry and diamonds as well as enjoy a delicious buffet.
Karijini Eco Retreat is found in the Karijini National Park surrounded by bushland, near the Joffre Gorge.
Photo By: Karijini Eco Retreat
The Karijini Eco Retreat is the only glamping resort found in the national park; all cabins, eco-tents, and campgrounds are semi-permanent to preserve the natural environment, wildlife, and habitats of the animals that call Karijini home. This is the perfect getaway for families and groups! The Retreat offers a variety of options including 82 individual campsites for RV camping, 5 caravan park group campsites, 40 eco-tents, 10 “dorm-style” eco-tents, and 8 “dorm-style” cabins. On site there are BBQ grills, wifi, a payphone, gift shops, the Alfresco Restaurant and Bar – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and an amphitheater. The gorges and tours are a brisk walk from the shared, luxury accommodations of the retreat. There are a number of self-drive tours that take you along the depths of the Karijini National Park.
Photo By: Soul Camping
Soul Camping is the closest to traditional camping in WA without all of the hassle!
You are able to customize your entire experience – you pick the spot near Margaret River, Australia and they do the rest. They will pack and unpack the tent, supply you with a comfortable queen sized bed, warm blankets & comfortable pillows, and serve you gourmet meals for the duration of your stay – it doesn’t get any simpler than that. You will be staying in your own personal wilderness haven customized just for you. This is the perfect mix of nature and luxury. Glamping trips are the perfect opportunity for families or groups to truly bond and create a deeper connection with the wilderness and Australia. Soul Camping is perfect for large groups and properties, remote locations, or events.
Kimberley Coastal Camp is another hidden treasure of Western Australia that is not accessible by road, its remote location is alongside the Admiralty Gulf across from the Mitchell Plateau and Mitchell Falls.
Photo By: Kimberley Coastal Camp
There are two means of arrival: helicopter landing right on the beach, or an impressive float plane landing directly on the waterfront of the secluded highway. Kimberley Coastal Camp has two seasons – wet and dry – which are both equally incredible. The camp is open from March – October, catering the attractions to the seasons. The hub of the camp is simply known as “the shed”, a beautiful pavilion which serves as a gathering point for guests to unwind, have a delicious, gourmet meal, listen to music, or revel in the beauty of the ocean and wildlife. The guides are knowledgeable, experienced, and cultured and will assist you on all of your fishing endeavors. There are several guided walking trails that let you experience the wildlife and culture firsthand. Walking, flying, or boating are your only means of transportation which leaves the land virtually untouched and a safe-haven from pollution.
Sal Salis is found near the World Heritage Listed, Ningaloo Reef, hidden by the dunes in a private oasis of beauty and wilderness.
Photo By: Sal Salis
Each eco-tent has an incredibly stunning view of the ocean and a functional restroom. This is one of the more quiet and intimate of the glamping resorts, allowing a maximum of 18 guests at the resort at a time. It is the ideal place to relax, dip in the crystal clear waters, and unwind. The Ningaloo Reef is only a short swim from the beach and unveils some of the ocean’s greatest wonders. If you plan on traveling between the months April – July you can witness the whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, migrate with one of several whale watching packages catered to this event. Sal Salis also offers snorkeling, kayaking, guided gorge walks, and fishing. The breathtaking sunsets and million-star sky will leave you absolutely breathless. This is the perfect place for weddings, honeymoons, and couples looking to get away. It is intimate, romantic, and secluded. It is truly believed to be Western Australia’s best kept natural secret.
Faraway Bay Retreat is hidden along the Diamond Coast of Australia, accessible only by air, you will be on an isolated island near King George Falls, Western Australia’s largest waterfall.
Photo By: Faraway Bay Retreat
The season runs from March 1st – October 31st every year. The land is unexplored and a great way to really experience Australia in its natural habitat; the marine and wildlife will astound you. A trip to King George Falls is an exclusive trip for every guest. The Retreat focuses mainly on simplicities: private cabins equipped with single or king sized beds and flushing toilets, outdoor showers that overlook the ocean, exquisite food, and the sound and smell of the ocean to wake you up in the morning. The campsite is surrounded by cascading waterfalls, great fishing spots, spring pools, and gorgeous Faraway Bay. With a maximum of 16 guests on the island at a time, you’re guaranteed a perfectly private getaway. The serenity and tranquility of Faraway Bay will leave you with moments you’ll be able to cherish forever.
For more information on Glamping Western Australia, please contact us and we’d love to help you plan your next trip to Australia.
Page topics: Western Australia, Glamping Western Australia, Nature, Travel, Tourism, Camping