I HAVE introduced my dad to something new today.
He is no stranger to camping, having slept on the ground from one end of Australia to the other, but tonight is the first time he’s engaged in the very civilised activity of glamping.
Instead of pitching our own tent, and then curling up in a sleeping bag on the ground as soon as the sun drops over the horizon, we arrived at our destination for the night to find our canvas home already standing and complete with wooden floors, a bed made complete with cotton sheets and cosy doonas, and an indoor bathroom with flushing toilet and lots of hot water.
We’re staying in a quiet corner of the Wilsons Promontory National Park, in a cluster of four permanent tents known as the Wilderness Retreat, and as I sit at the table on our private veranda I can hear the waves crashing on the beach nearby and the resident parrots chatting away as the sun sinks below the rocky mountain in the distance.
Dinner will be a barbecue, with provisions from the gourmet hamper we picked up passing through the nearby hamlet of Merrijan, and as well as two thick steaks we will feast on salad and roast vegetables.
Like I said, very civilised.
Dad is keeping me company on a quick dash to Gippsland which started earlier today with a tour of the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi and continues tomorrow with a visit to the historic settlement of Walhalla.
Tonight we’re glamping – that’s glamorous camping if you haven’t caught on yet – and tomorrow we will stay in a historic miner’s cottage that’s been renovated to accommodate visitors to the historic mountain hamlet.
But after Dad’s night in the lap of camping luxury, I fear his boring old tent will never be the same again.