Bubble Tent is Australia’s first inflatable homestay. It’s located roughly halfway between Mudgee and Lithgow, around 200 kilometres north-west of Sydney.
The tent is designed to shield you from the elements while maintaining uninterrupted views of nature. The idea came from Mayu Iwasak and her partner’s desire to sleep under the stars and remain warm. “You could say we're spoilt millennials indulging in our ultimate fantasy! Except that we want to share it with people, so we are not that spoilt, right?” says Iwasak.
The bubble tent overlooks Capertee Valley, the second largest canyon in the world and an Important Bird Area (IBA); there are approximately 242 species here, including endangered ones. The exact location of the site is kept secret until you’ve booked, so the experience is kept private and secluded.
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Your accommodation is inflated using a pressurised system (an eco-turbine fully operated by batteries and solar power) that tops it up with air constantly.
Inside are all the amenities of a hotel, including a comfortable bed, an eco-friendly bathroom with a compost toilet, running water, a shower and toiletries.
Upon arrival, guests are provided with a telescope for stargazing and an iPad loaded with playlists and birdwatching apps. It also has Luminous, a stargazing app that offers a virtual tour of the solar system. When you point it at the sky it will tell you the name of the constellation you’re looking at, and other interesting details. “Including man-made satellites,” says Iwasak.
There are also hammocks dotted around the property. “Guests find it quite fun trying to find their perfect one, whether it be in the shade or farther up on the hill with the spectacular views.”
The bubble tent is close to national parks, eco and heritage tours and cellar doors. Activities nearby include helicopter flights, hiking over the 1000-acre property, abseiling, canoeing and fishing.
Rates per night range from $250 to $310.