The tourism industry is constantly evolving to satisfy customer demand, and in recent years we’ve seen an increased focus on immersive accommodation experiences.
On the Sunshine Coast there is a great appetite for new-style camping and glamping accommodation, with visitors eager to get back in touch with nature.
Diehard old-style campers might think that unless you carry everything on your back it isn’t ‘real’ camping, but the modern traveller still wants to feel like they are communing with nature without ditching the finer things in life (like a soft bed).
A glamping experience offers the best of both worlds. The natural surrounds mean you can disconnect from technology and spend quality time together as a family, without putting up with a leaky tent or deflating blow-up mattress.
Australia Zoo has nailed the brief with the announcement of their new $8 million wildlife camping experience: Camp Croc Hunter.
The new campsite will provide a range of accommodation options, including camping, glamping and eco-cabins, supported by a café, pool area, amenities block, school camp facilities and mountain bike course.
But the real drawcard is its location.
The idea of staying overnight at the Home of the Crocodile Hunter will be a drawcard for domestic and international travellers, families and incentive groups.
It will encourage day-trippers visiting Australia Zoo to stay longer and spend more and provide a welcome flow-on effect for the local tourist economy.
When Camp Croc Hunter opens next year (to celebrate Australia Zoo’s 50thanniversary) it will be in good company, with the Sunshine Coast riding the wave of the camping/glamping revolution with a number of new accommodation options.
When Rivershore Resort, located on the banks of Maroochy River in Diddillibah, opened its doors in 2016 it was the first new-build camping and caravanning resort South-East Queensland had seen in 40 years.
The popular campsite offers both traditional camping and caravan sites with luxurious self-contained glamping, along with a restaurant and bar on site, a massive pool and seemingly endless activities.
It also offers nature at its finest, with Maroochy River just steps away.
Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp is another fantastic example.
The world-class eco facility is nestled on 65 acres of natural bushland on the banks of Lake Cootharaba, is home to a large eastern grey kangaroo population, microbrewery and is open for glamping, camping and cabin-style accommodation.
Even The Big Pineapple has included on-site accommodation in their $150 million master plan.
With two young sons, I know the call will come for a camping experience, but I’m just praying that the Irwins’ Camp Croc Hunter experience is ready and waiting with the beds made, fridge stocked and wifi working. Bring it on!