World's weirdest camping experiences

2013-11-07 10:01

There was once a time when the term ‘camping' signified a rustic holiday experience, sleeping in little triangular tents held up by a collection of dented poles and misshapen pens. While the latter may still be a regular feature, almost everything else has changed - nowadays tents are dome-shaped, poles are collapsible and there are reams of gadgets out there to make your holiday as un-rustic as possible. 

However, some campsites have taken the evolution of this holiday type to new levels... take a look at these seven rather strange camping experiences from around the globe. 

Vliegenbos, Amsterdam

Imagine spending the weekend camping in the middle of a city... and not just any city, probably the coolest in the world. Well, that's pretty much Vliegenbos for you. Located in the middle of a 62-acre wood, a short walk away from the lively centre of Amsterdam, this urban paradise is the perfect combination of convenience and escape. While they do offer the usual stands for tents and caravans, they also offer an array of more artistic alternatives, among others a wooden cube, a suspended dome and a camper that folds out to become a garden.

The campsite is closed between 31 October and 1 April.

Check out the Vliegenbos website for more details.

Wilson Island, Australia

If you're looking to get away from it all, there could hardly be a better place than this private island in the Great Barrier Reef. There are six luxurious safari style tents on the island, each of which accommodate two people, so it's a great option if you're looking to whisk twelve of your nearest and dearest off for a relaxing break. Oh, and also have a lot of cash to spend. 

Apart from lavish camping, the island also offers guests the opportunity to experience the colourful vibrancy of reef life - green turtle babies rushing to the ocean (if you're there at the right time of year), coral in spectacular arrays of orange, pink, blue and every shade in between, as well as illusive mutton birds nesting just off the pathway. 

Cost: $10 742 (R103 928 at R9.37/Aus$) for two nights 

Check out the Wilson Island website for more details

Old Mac Daddy, Elgin, South Africa

Cosily tucked away into one of the folds of the Elgin Valley, Old Mac Daddy luxury trailer park is an almost otherworldly experience. Classic silver airstream trailers, dotted here and there, stand out starkly against the backdrop of tall pine trees, while an apple orchard encroaches on the parking lot and a placid lake looks swimmable even on the iciest of days. 

There are 12 trailers, each boasting their own fun theme. For instance, the Dirkie Sanchez suite is where Nacho Libre meets the Voortrekkers, while Mills & Boon is the perfect expression of the infamous pulp fiction romance novels and Dig'it has a fun take on all things mathematical. 

Cost: R1 200 per trailer for a two night stay over weekends, R750 per trailer

Check out the Old Mac Daddy website for more details and take a look at our Old School Charm at Old Mac Daddy gallery.

Hillcrest Park, Yorkshire Dales, UK

Located in bucolic Yorkshire, Hillcrest Park is a 6-acre resort surrounded by farmlands and beautiful views. It was once a working farm, but has now been converted into a fully fledged and fun retreat for those weary of city life. 

While there are a bunch of holiday cottages, and caravan stands, their timber camping pods have proven to be a popular choice - as it gives guests that outdoorsy feeling without all the hassle of actually having to set up and take down camp. 

Cost: Between 40 and 60 pounds (R634 and R951 at R16.25/pound) a night for the family pod, which sleeps 5 adults. Between 30 and 50 pounds (R487 and R810) per night for a small sleeping pod, which sleeps 2 adults. 

Check out the Hillcrest Park website for more details.

Human Nest, Tree Bones Resort, California

Ever wondered what it must be like to sleep like a bird? Then Big Sur's Human Nest should definitely feature on your travel bucket list. This unusual work of woven wood-art was created and built by local artist Jayson Fann and has the best view of the beach. You can access it with a wooden ladder.

While a futon-type mattress is provided, it's important to bring your own sleeping bags and other gear for this night aloft. Also it's very important to note that the nest is NOT rain proof, so having a tent as a backup is probably a good idea!

Cost: $220 for a two night stay (R2 236 at R10.20/dollar)

Check out the Tree Bones Resort website for more details.

Huttenpalast, Berlin, Germany

Think retro campers and wooden cabins. Now think indoors. The two scenarios don't quite match up, now do they? Well, this is exactly what Huttenpalast offers guests - a night of camping INSIDE. 

The building the campsite is housed in used to be a vacuum cleaner factory, providing ample space for much fun to be had. There's also an in-house café and a gorgeous garden. 

Cost: 55 Euros (R752 at R13.69/euro) a night for a caravan or a cabin serving as a single room and 65 Euros (R893) a night for a double. 

Check out the Huttenpalast website for more details

Dream Domes, New Brunswick, Canada

Semi-transparent, these domes offer guests a light and view-filled experience in New Brunswick's Kingston Creek forest. 

Each dome boasts a comfy king-sized bed, a kitchenette, bathroom and large wooden terraces with wood-fuelled hot tubs. 

Cost: Expect to pay between $95 (R926 at R9.75/dollar) and $155 (R1 506) per night, depending on season and size.

Check out the Ridgeback Lodge website for more details.  

Planning a good, old-fashioned camping trip? Read our 10 tips on things NOT to do while camping.

Read more on:    travel  |  lifestyle  |  travel international

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