New ‘glamping’ sites on the horizon as SA offers a bigger share of the booming camping and caravanning market

Demand for eco-camping and caravanning shows no signs of slowing down in South Australia with two new sites being developed in Port MacDonnell and Penola.

A southeastern holiday park operator said the popularity of eco-tents and ‘glamping’ has grown in the region, with two new sites being developed in Port MacDonnell and Penola.

Around 90% of caravanning and camping takes place in the regions, with the industry generating around $689 million a year, giving the regional regions a significant financial boost.

Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park owner Steven Moignard said he installed 20 eco-tents at his site in 2015 and saw growth of around 25% each year before the pandemic hit.

Now, following a grant from the Department of Environment and Water, Mr Moignard plans to pitch another 20 tents at a new site in Dingley Dell, near Port MacDonnell.

Mr. Moignard says the “glamping” experience is popular because visitors can enjoy camping without having to give up their comforts.

“If you equip them with heaters, air conditioners, electric blankets, kettles, fireplaces, outdoor picnic tables, people can have a camping experience without having to know anything about camping or camping. setting up a tent,” he said.

Inside a glamping tent, folded towels in the foreground on a bed, table and chairs outdoors with gum trees in the background
Steven Moignard, operator of Coonawarra Bush Holiday Park, is looking to expand after the success of his current glamping site. (Provided)

“It’s less risky than camping alone, where you can be wiped out by wind or rain and not have fun.

But it’s not just people who are new to the camping experience and are trending towards glamping.

“We get a lot of experienced campers and people with caravans who come to stay at glamping sites because they don’t have to unpack,” Moignard said.

“It’s just practical and it’s a bit different.

“You can see the sky, be woken up by the birds. You kind of feel a little closer to nature.”

Less capital investment

Mr Moignard said glamping tents were also more cost effective to set up than traditional accommodation.

“They cost us about $5-10,000,000 to install…compared to the $80,000-90,000 to install a cabin.

“You get a couple of years lifespan for each one and you might only have to replace the canvas every two years, everything else you can keep.”

He says these eco-friendly tents are also kinder to the environment.

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