When is camping not like camping? When you’re enveloped in the luxury of a spacious, fire-warmed tent at Kanimbia Luxury Glamping in Queensland’s Obi Obi Valley. The property’s four expansive two-person safari tents aren’t your average campsites.
Forget head torches and sleeping bags: each tent covers a generous 72 square metres, with a full kitchen, plump extravagant beds and claw-footed soaking tubs with views across the grasslands.
Although this secluded hinterland spot is just 40 minutes from Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to a patch of the Serengeti—or somewhere else entirely.
“A lot of guests say they come into our laneway and it feels like they’re entering a different world,” says owner and Airbnb Host Ceri Little. “The land itself has this quiet, majestic feel and I think that’s what people fall in love with.”
Little touches make a big impact in the property’s four expansive, two-person safari tents — marshmallows to blister over your own private fire pit, locally-roasted coffee in the kitchens, soothing bath salts for the claw-footed soaking tubs and bathrobes and slippers for a glorious evening in. All tents have a Weber BBQ stationed on their private deck for outdoor cooking.
Each tent features carefully chosen furnishings sourced by Ceri from Africa and beyond – spot Mukwa, the beloved hand-carved elephant she picked up on the Zambian-Zimbabwean border in one of the tents — as well as wood-burning fireplaces and full kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Forty acres of birdlife-sprinkled bushland sets the tone for switching off. Whether you take it in from your private deck with a morning coffee or beside the warming flames of your fire, you’ll be enveloped by the soothing feeling that nature is never far.
“Most times come four or five o'clock, you'll find people with a glass of wine out by the fire pit, just watching the sun go down,” says Ceri.
About the Host
“I bought the property with my husband but we were only here two years when he died. After that, I had a realisation: I wanted to do something different so I decided to list my house on Airbnb. My then 14-year-old daughter and I went out into the field to camp so that people could have the house – and we loved it.
“At first it was just weekends but then the homestead got so busy we ended up camping there full-time. We got to a stage where I thought, ‘We need a better tent.’ So we bought a bigger one from South Africa. And it kind of grew from there when I thought, ‘Hey, I could do this and I could build not just one tent but four.
“As well as getting an income, I also get a lot of joy out of sharing the property with people because I can see it means so much to them.”
Just for you
“I really enjoy being a Host. We’ll go and get firewood for guests or if there’s a birthday or something special, then we’ll usually put rose petals out or give them a bottle of wine — it’s those little things that make guests feel good.
“If it’s a romantic getaway, we might light all the candles throughout the tents or have the music playing – we’ve had a few proposals! When guests walk away having had that special experience, that’s my little victory.”
Where to eat and drink (and grab coffee!)
“About 12 minutes west, there’s a little place called McGinn’s — that’s great for a morning coffee. There’s a place for breakfast at Montville called The Edge Restaurant that’s got a fabulous view and they do everything from brekkie burgers to pancakes; the blueberry ones come with bacon butter and honeycomb gelato.
“I recommend guests go to dinner at Spicers Tamarind, which is in Maleny, about 25 minutes away. They’ve got a fabulous setting, Asian-inspired menu and great choice of wines. Or the Spirit House at Yandina, which has a huge reputation on the coast for its contemporary Asian cuisine.”
Things to do
“Kondalilla Falls (below), which is just up by Montville, is 15 minutes from us and that’s a beautiful walk. There’s also Mapleton Falls, which actually falls over the side of the range and overlooks our place.
“The fig tree walk at Kenilworth is fabulous – it’s only 30 minutes and you’ve got a boardwalk weaving its way around all these majestic tree trunks in a protected piece of forest.”
Stay a little longer
“If you do want to venture a bit further, we’ve got lots of microbreweries. There are a couple up in Maleny, as well as Kenilworth Hotel, which has got its own microbrewery and also Eumundi Brewery and Terella Brewing. You can do this little microbrewery trail and do tours as well. That’s a full day thing.
“We’re only 50 minutes from Noosa. Most people who stay with us will go up to Noosa and spend the day up there. A lot of people have booked horse riding on the beach, which turns out to be a three-quarters-of-a-day activity.
“There’s so much to do but what you don’t want to do is rush. A lot of the time, people come and they have all of these expectations of what they're going to do and then they get here and don't do an awful lot. Staying at Kanimbia is an opportunity to stop and rejuvenate.”