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‘Glamping’ up a road trip

Yannling Lim on 08 Mar 2015

The Straits Times


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There is nothing quite like glamorous camping to soak in the natural surroundings of Western Australia.


WAKE up to the sounds of a wallaby grazing nearby or the birds singing in the trees.

And after a day of long scenic drives, wind down to vast starry skies overhead. All these are possible with “glamping” — glamorous camping — which ramps self-drive up by putting into the trail mix intimacy with nature without the rough. 

Ready-set glamping sites come complete with bedding, hot showers, toilets, and amenities, so your stay is free from the hassle of lugging camping gear around.

The fun begins the moment you collect your car at Perth International Airport or downtown Perth, where a typical one-week road trip starts with some sight-seeing at Kings Park or Fremantle Markets.


Perth pleasures

If you prefer to linger longer in the city before your road trip, Perth’s dining boom extends to its urban villages with new small bars, cafés and restaurants such as Print Hall, The Old Crow, Pleased To Meet You and Lalla Rookh. 

Surfers can ride the waves at Scarborough, which has a new Matisse Club next to the refurbished Rendezvous Grand.

Check out Cottesloe Beach’s new dining experience — Cott &Co Fish Bar — at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel on Marine Parade, or chill with dolphin sightings at the waterfront eateries in the tranquil waters of Mandurah.


From wine to whales

Fully relaxed, it is time to hit the road. A three-hour drive takes you to Margaret River, the starting point of another couple-hour spin before arriving at “glampsite” Pemberton.

To warm up to camper chic, make a few magical pit stops at the 1.8kmlong Busselton Jetty, the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere; the Jewel, Lake and Mammoth caves; and the fascinating Sunset Kangaroo Safari.

Midway at Augusta, you can stop at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the meeting point of the Indian and Southern Oceans.

Go trout fishing, cross the Yeagarup Dunes and cycle on the Munda Biddi Trail. Buy some groceries and play “glamp” chef as night falls.

Stand tall among some of the world’s tallest trees at the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk, near Walpole.

Drive to Torndirrup National Park near Albany for a glimpse of The Gap, a 24mdrop where the ocean rushes into a large cavern in the rocks.

Pamper yourselves with delicious Pink Lady apples, cheeses and chocolates at the Albany Farmers Market on Saturdays.

On your drive back to Perth, you can hop down for day walks along the scenic 140km-long Cape-to-Cape Track in the Margaret River region.

From June until December, don’t miss the whale-watching spots peppered along the beaches.

Without leaving the shores, you could be greeted with the spectacle of migrating whales — a glimpse of the sparkling humpbacks will complete your glamorous road trip.


Smooth ride

- Pre-book your car rentals early to secure the desired type of cars.

Best shots

- For capturing scenic coastal vistas, try taking a panoramic shot by digital stitching or by using an inbuilt camera function. To get deep blue waters, the sunlight has to come from behind you.

- To capture the Australian skies, set the ISO in the range of 100-200 for bright/sunny weather. For white balance, use “Daylight” or “Flash” mode for strong vibrant colours.

- For wildlife photography, use a long telephoto lens with the camera set to a high shutter speed (usually at least 1/250s or 1/500s) to avoid subject motion blur. An aperture set to f8 to f16 is usually able to capture good depth of field while keeping the subjects sharp. Try f11 for an all-time favourite.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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