While Uluru steals the limelight when it comes to Central Australian icons, its worthy rival in the natural beauty stakes is Kings Canyon, an easy 3½-hour drive north through the Red Centre.
Without the big influx of visitor numbers that swirl around Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon Resort's new glamping offering sees six permanent tents clustered around a wiltja – which means "shelter" in the local Anangu language. Constructed by a West Australian company and decorated by homewares retailer Temple & Webster, there are three tents for couples, each with a king bed, and three family tents with a king and two king single beds. Every tent has its own ensuite and deep verandahs set with hammocks or swing chairs. The canvas walls open to reveal the central desert landscape, offset by sofas, rattan easy chairs and timber furniture for a rustic luxe vibe.
The resort already has resort and motel-style accommodation and camping, a general store and a pub serving up live music and big steaks. It's also adding a new sunset viewing platform and starlight cinema to the site, with a caravan bar and Aussie movies on the play list.
Team up the stay with a visit to Karrke for an Aboriginal cultural tour with local Luritja and Pertame people and join the key activity in Watarrka National Park, the six-kilometre Rim Walk, which follows the curve of the canyon. Those not up for the walk, which can be strenuous in the summer heat, can take the easier 2.6-kilometre Kathleen Creek walk or book a helicopter ride over the rock formations of the Lost City and the lush Garden of Eden. Segway tours are also forecast to start this month.
Stays cost from $390 a night including breakfast; kids under 12 stay free. See kingscanyonresort.com.au