5 Unusual Escapes You Won’t Need a Passport For

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Heaven's on your doorstep.

The Pole House

Motor biking through Vietnam or climbing Kilimanjaro. We all harbour dreams of crossing some Insta-worthy experiences off our bucket list. But if your finances (or annual leave allowance, for that matter) won’t allow for such far-flung destinations, we bring good news – Australia boasts some of the most unique escapes on the planet. Leave your passport at home because these beauties are right on our doorstep.

St. Jerome’s – The Hotel, Vic

St Jeromes

Is it camping or is it a city break? Actually, St. Jerome’s in Melbourne is a bit of both. Nestled between the city’s high-rise buildings, this rooftop campground can be found smack bang in the middle of the CBD, making it a wonderfully unique oddity.

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Soak in the inner-city serenity from the comfort of your luxury canvas bell tent by night, and enjoy a gourmet breakfast and fresh coffee delivered by your onsite barista come daybreak. This is camping, just not as we know it.

Coastal Pods, Tas

Coastal Pods

Do you prefer your weekend breaks with a side order of environmental consciousness? If so, North Tasmania’s Coastal Pods could be perfect for you. Up-cycled (read: architecturally redesigned) from disused shipping containers, the pods are situated slap bang on the banks of the Inglis River, Wynyard. Each two-bedroom pod is furnished with reclaimed materials and bespoke furniture, resulting in an “industrial beach-chic” feel. The best bit? There’s also a cosy reading nook. Swoon.

The Pole House, Vic

Suspended 40 metres above Fairhaven Beach and positioned at the end of a 23-metre walkway entrance, The Pole House (pictured, top) is the weekend getaway venue of our dreams. After being designed and built by a local architect in the ’70s, the house – which sits upon a pole, giving it its “floating” look – underwent a huge renovation in 2012. The stunning one-bed, open-plan property now boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, unrivalled sea views and a suspended fireplace. Did we mention the view?

Jamala Wildlife Lodge, Canberra

Jamala Lodge

If the idea of bathing, dining and sleeping within inches of some of the most dangerous animals on the planet gets your pulse racing, then Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium is the holiday destination you’ve probably been waiting your whole life for. Feed giraffes from the comfort of your treehouse balcony, marvel at the pride of lions, cheetahs, tigers or brown bears nestled behind the glass wall of your bungalow, or take in the shark pool from the terrace of your lodge. While a room will set you back anything between $900 and $2,000 per night, Jamala Wildlife Lodge promises a taste of Africa within luxury surrounds.

Simple Pleasures Camping Co, NSW

Simple Pleasures Camping Co

Just like Jerome’s, the accommodation at Simple Pleasures Camping Co comprises a canvas bell tent that boasts more luxury than your average hotel – think Persian rugs, 100 per cent cotton sheets and duck feather pillows. You also get all the practical accessories you need for your stay (cooking accessories, citronella candles and solar lighting, etc.). Simple Pleasure Camping Co has permanent fixtures at an array of locations across of NSW, including lakeside at Seal Rocks and beachside at Booti Booti National Park. However, keep your eyes peeled for any pop up locations – recent pop-up campgrounds include Byron Bay and Manly Beach. Simply turn up, drop your bags and explore your beautiful surrounds.

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