Earlier this year, we got to stay at the very exclusive Paperpark Camp in Jervis Bay, just 2 ½ hours drive south of Sydney.
We first met Jeremy & Irena Hutchings, the owners, when they came to pick us up at the closest train station of Bomaderry early on a quite sunny afternoon. They told us about how they opened Paperbark Camp in 1999, after many years of planning and dreaming of putting a bit of Africa in Jervis Bay. After 20 years, it still remains a family operated business and continues to be at the forefront of ecotourism and luxury camping in Australia.
We stayed for one night, one rainy night, above the ground surrounded by the soaring eucalyptus and intriguing paperbarks. Windows framed a panorama view of our own little bush hideaway. The open air private en-suite was perfect for bird watching and kangaroo spotting while enjoying a steaming hot bath. Warm wood tones, romantic candles and peaceful nature all around, the camp is a marvel. For me, it was the perfect balance of luxury and livability, something I hope to use as inspiration in one day designing a home of my own.
Before dinner, we went by bike exploring the spectacular Jervis Bay area, with its pristine beaches and stunning national parks. Being only a few minutes by bike to the first beach, the camp really is a perfect base to explore this unique and beautiful part of New South Wales. Sadly, the weather wasn’t really on our side that day. We experienced sun, wind and rain while biking but it is only another reason to come back one day!
Around 8pm, a magical candle lit dinner was waiting for us in the Gunyah (aboriginal for “meeting place”), their treetop dining room. Dinner was a perfect wine and food pairing, with locally sourced fish, meat and vegetables, and of course local wines. Everything was exquisite, a special treat for every senses that I still remember today!
We woke up the next day after one of the best sleep we ever had despite the rain. We felt so cosy in our tent, with the delicious smell of the rain in the bushes and the soft sound of the droplets on the roof. In the Gunyah, breakfast was a lavish buffet of fresh fruits, homemade granola, yoghurt, juices, toasts, etc. Everything looked so delicious it was hard to choose! And the buffet wasn’t the only piece of the breakfast. We also get to choose a hot meal, and we opted for a Camp breakfast and a Chef’s special. It is for sure the best toast I’ve had in my entire life. Coffee was freshly grounded and a pure delight.
Birds were singing right next to us, and the first rays of the sun were gently sparking between the branches. I remember feeling completely spoiled and utterly grateful. This is a place of absolute relaxation and contentment, a moment I will cherish forever.
If you ever come to Sydney, don’t miss this incredible experience and let Paperbark Camp surprises you. I promise you won’t regret it! And if you do so, feel free to tag me in your stories and photos. I will follow your adventures there 🙂
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