If you’re not gaga for glamping yet, perhaps you just haven’t found the right site yet. Wingtons Glamping can certainly help with that and offers a unique experience that promises to be impossible to forget.
Soon to be celebrating two years of happy campers, Wingtons Glamping, set in the heart of the Tamar Valley, in Tasmania, has effortlessly risen through the ranks of coveted getaway locations, thanks to the truly unique and niche experience on offer.
Guests can enjoy sumptuous bell tents, erected just a stone’s throw from a beautiful river, for that authentic ‘getting back to nature’ experience that so many city dwellers lust after. Just don’t go assuming that the tents are basic, as Graham Kington and Nathaniel Wicks, the owners, have been careful to avoid exactly this issue,
“Each bell tent has been fitted out with European wood fires to keep you cosy and warm at night, queen size beds dressed with fine Egyptian linen, antique steamer trunks and Persian style carpets, to create an atmosphere that could only be described as absolutely luxurious. We also include some of life’s modern conveniences, such as an icebox to keep your wine cool, electric lighting, Bose Bluetooth speakers to help create the right mood and the ability to charge your mobile phone or laptop.”
Let’s be honest and say that as much as the idea of shutting the real world out for a few nights appeals, it’s always a bind to say goodbye to technology, especially for those of us that have become used to checking our emails throughout the day. Knowing that you can keep your devices fully charged really does make for a more modern version of camping that doesn’t negate on convenience. Really, that’s the whole essence of glamping.
The wow-factor inclusions don’t end with charging facilities though,
“The sites come with your own private outdoor kitchen; a Weber Baby Q BBQ and teak dining suite will make cooking your fresh Tasmanian produce a treat. To make our sites even more convenient, we have created unique private bathrooms with flushing toilets, hot showers and of course, luxury eco-friendly bathroom products and plush Turkish bathrobes. We also have a projector that guests can borrow to watch movies inside their tents.”
This all brings to mind striking images of riverfront luxury, relaxation and warm hazy days spent with loved ones, just luxuriating in the organic splendor of the setting, but it must take a huge contingent of staff to maintain the standards at Wingtons, surely? And wouldn’t that make it feel less like a nature-filled break and more like a standard hotel, just with fewer walls? Well…not in this case.
The site was already owned by Nathaniel’s family, but needed a lot of work to become a viable business location, not to mention an enjoyable home for the pair. Taking on a full cottage restoration as well as site prep was no small task,
“There are just the two of us working in the business – we don’t have any additional employees. We had a plan to get the business up and running in a month, after moving to Tasmania, but in the end, it took us almost six months. We had a lot of work to do on the cottage on the property, including reroofing, plumbing and painting. We also milled timber from some felled trees to build a deck and planted over 140 trees, all before setting up the glamping area. We opened just in time for the wettest winter Tasmania has ever had, so it was a bit of a trial by fire, but completely worth it.”
This is a great insight into what it takes to offer guests the perfect glamping retreat; hard work, constant vigilance and a heartfelt connection to not only the hospitality industry but also the natural world. It’s all about self-sacrifice, but it’s a price worth paying to be free of the trials and tribulations of regular employment.
Having worked in teaching and recruitment, not to mention hospitality, prior to opening Wingtons, both Graham and Nathaniel find joy in the little free time they do get together,
“We don’t get a lot of down time as we’re pretty busy! We shut down for a couple of months over winter and love to get away overseas. Last year we travelled to Taiwan and Japan and this year we’re going to Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. Next year we’re planning a round the world trip in business class, which we’re really excited about!”
Of course, family is also a key consideration as well, as Graham explained,
“Nathaniel’s family live about an hour away and we see them regularly – one of Nat’s sisters, Talia, has her own business making terrariums and we have one in each of our tents. My family live in Melbourne and the UK, so we don’t see them as much but my mum, dad and sister are meeting up with us in Bali for the last week of our holiday.”
Citing the busiest time of year as December through to the end of February, it’s advisable to book well in advance, if you want to take advantage of the incredible facilities on offer at Wingtons. During the rest of the year, weekends book up fast as well, so earlybooking, through the Wingtons website is highly recommended. Not ones to be out of the loop, Graham and Nathaniel have partnered with AirBnB, but this is a small part of the business, meaning that some good old fashioned direct contact is still the best course of action.
While Wingtons offers a commercially viable and exciting opportunity for travel aficionados with a penchant for the finer things in life, the glamping industry is still charmingly niche in Tasmania, with competitors being more friends than adversaries,
“Glamping is a small part of tourism in Tasmania at the moment, but it is growing. We know of the other glamping businesses and work together – we can only host a maximum of 6 people at a time so if there are larger groups, then we let them know about the other sites. We were called about a fortnight ago by someone looking to set up a glamping business on the east coast and we were more than happy to talk through some of the challenges we faced and offer some advice. We don’t see more glamping as competition and are happy to work with these businesses now and in the future. The more the merrier!”
This isn’t to say that Graham and Nathaniel won’t continue to dream up new and exciting innovations in a bid to stay attractive to both new and returning guests though,
“Future plans include wood-fired hot tubs, a whisky bar, expansion of the site at Clarence Point, working with selected vineyards to provide tastings onsite and even possible expansion outside of Tasmania. The most important thing to us is that our guests experience an authentic, luxurious glamping experience and to enjoy Tasmania at it’s finest. We want Wingtons to be remembered for creating something unique and restoring a family treasure. As well as keeping family traditions alive, like daily swimming in the Tamar River.”
Wington’s glamping has everything for even the most discerning of guests, all wrapped up in family values and an intrinsic appreciation of what the setting has to offer. If that doesn’t speak of unforgettable romantic getaways, family retreats and sumptuous honeymoons with a difference, what does?