For those who have dreamt about camping on the paradise that is Moreton Island but haven’t found the courage, the energy, the 4WD or the equipment, then glamping at Castaways is a dream come true.
In the tiny northernmost settlement of Bulwer a cluster of ten custom built tents are part of the accommodation on offer at Castaways, combining the comfort and convenience of a unit with the ambience of, well, an incredibly spacious good-looking tent.
Tents come in double (1 queen bed) or family (1 queen bed + 2 bunks) and each has electricity, a little deck out front and its own ensuite bathroom, complete with colonial style vanity and shower. And no need to bring sleeping bags as the beds are made up with quality sheets and doonas and like a motel, soap and towels are provided.
Beyond the obvious advantages of not spending hours putting up and pulling down tents, these are also built off ground with timber floors, meaning plenty of air circulation, no soggy grounds when it rains, high ceilings so no spending the weekend stooping and with tents fully screened, creepy crawlies are easily kept at bay.
The convenience and home comforts don’t end with the tents though. As part of the camp ground there’s a large state of the art community outdoor kitchen and dining area, with stainless steel gas stoves, 2 fridges and 2 barbecues and essentials like cooking oil and another smaller pavilion with more BBQs and tables. Glampers have the option of bringing their own food or ordering food packs (breakfast and/or dinner) to collect from the on site shop/restaurant to cook in the kitchen.
Otherwise Castaways restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, hot snacks and dinner, with tasty pub style food from big brekkies with the works to burgers, fish’n’chips, steaks and pizzas. Portions are huge, prices are reasonable, there’s a small kids menu and the restaurant is fully licenced so any alcohol brought from home will need to be enjoyed in the camp ground, not at a restaurant table.
The onsite shop is also packed with everything you could need or forget to bring, from milk to wine to insect spray, rashies and beach cricket games (though there’s a price for convenience - expect to pay a premium on anything you purchase).
And, despite the comfort on tap, the quintessential camping experience – sitting around an open fire toasting marshmallows – is included in the glamping scene, with a fire pit and firewood provided.
Need to know: There are no power points in the tents so any recharging of electronics will need to be done in the kitchen. Tents near the generator can be a bit noisy though Glamping at Castaways is in the process of organizing a fully insulated generator.
The sheltered beach, complete with a couple of shipwrecks is about 150m from the campsite. And although Bulwer is isolated, if you don’t have your own 4WD, transfers and trips to Moreton Island’s myriad attractions (including sand-boarding, snorkelling, light house, blue lagoon and wartime relics) can be easily arranged.
The writer was a guest of Glamping at Castaways and Moreton Island Adventures.