In March, Simple Pleasures Camping Co. is pitching a village of luxurious tents on the grounds of Mayfield Garden, a horticultural playground in Oberon, a three-and-a-half hour drive west of Sydney.
These are no ordinary tents. You won’t need to pack your sleeping bag or trangia – all you need to do is hand over $250 and you can sleep under the stars (with the only other light from lanterns) on the edge of the Obelisk Pond, so you can wake to the sound of frogs croaking and the breeze whipping the water. In the day, you can get lost in a hedge maze, see the 80-metre cascade and visit a Monet-inspired water garden.
The 15 bell tents (which comfortably sleep two people) will be fitted with vintage rugs and proper beds with mattresses and linen by In Bed. A bathroom, equipped with showers, will also be built for guests. (If you want to bring the kids you can add an additional two single beds to each tent for an extra charge.)
Australian banker Garrick Hawkins is behind Mayfield Garden. He transformed 64 hectares of a 2023-hectare working farm into one of the world’s largest privately-owned cool-climate gardens, but until recently it was only open one day a year. People can now visit 365 days a year, and, for the first time, camp here for five weeks.
The accommodation includes dinner for two (Mayfield steak, marinated chicken and vegetable platters), which you can cook over a farmers-style barbeque and then eat alfresco. Almost 80 per cent of what’s served comes from the Mayfield farm, the rest from local suppliers.
The tents are by roving glamping company Simple Pleasures Camping Co., set up by Dugald King and Marcus Kersch in 2005. They have propped up tents everywhere from Wallis Lake to Seven Mile Beach, and a more secluded spot at Wallingat River.
Simple Pleasures Camping Co. is popping up in Mayfield Garden in Oberon from March 23 until April 30. Packages are all-inclusive with rates from $250 per night, plus site fees (minimum two nights).