Australia: Wolgan Valley Resort
Nestled in the depths of the Blue Mountains national park, One&Only Resorts’ Wolgan Valley feels a world away from Sydney and yet is just three hours’ (mostly scenic) drive from the CBD.* A world-class eco resort, it occupies a small pocket within its own 7,000 acres of World Heritage Area and peace and tranquility are guaranteed.
The final approach into the property is via a long stretch of unsealed road within wild and unspoilt countryside, at the end of which is a collection point at the main gates to the resort - only the official Wolgan Valley vehicles are permitted beyond and, with no mobile phone signal, either, little other than the sounds of nature are heard within the resort.
A tray of drinks was extended to us while we took care of the front desk formalities and, as we stood in the imposing yet rustic reception area contemplating several days of serenity, we felt in us a decompression already taking effect. Jetlagged and jaded, having just returned from a busy fortnight in Europe, this was the ultimate antidote.
Guests are accommodated in standalone luxury chalets, each with their own small private pool and, parked on the porch, mountain bikes for getting around the resort. Sympathetically constructed of timber and stone and designed to harmonise with their surrounds, they have an earthy sophistication and the most idyllic of verandah views. And, as you would expect, great care has been taken in sourcing the most fitting of furnishings and fabrics.
There are a variety of activities on offer but, keen to settle our scattered minds and just ‘be’, we spent much of our stay lazily soaking up our surrounds and indulging in some of the spa’s heavenly treatments, retreating to the glass-sided relaxation room afterwards to sip therapeutic teas and watch fairy wrens and butterflies flitting around.
We did, however, enjoy guided nature tours with the resort’s experts, who seemed to know everything there is to know about the native flora and fauna. A night drive is a must, not just to see owls and wombats out and about, but also to take in the dazzling night sky. Experiencing an Australian sky with zero light pollution should be on every bucket list!
The spectacular escarpment that provides a backdrop to the resort makes for one of the best pool views imaginable and for sensational sundowners. It is also the outlook enjoyed from the restaurant. Nothing quite compares with taking in a stunning sunset while enjoying a delectable dinner prepared with locally sourced, mostly organic ingredients, accompanied by award-winning wines. It is truly a feast for all the senses.
Wolgan Valley Resort celebrates the wild beauty of Australia and her history - the original 18th Century homestead has been preserved as a museum, providing guests with a glimpse into the life of the early farmer settlers – and combines it with modern luxuries. It is the perfect destination to reset, rebalance and reconnect with nature.
Note: helicopter transfers to Wolgan Valley can be arranged, providing an aerial tour of Sydney’s iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge and of the spectacularly beautiful Blue Mountains.