Three hours’ drive from Sydney and I’m on my belly sipping water from a fast running creek, cold, pure and filtered down from the escarpments of two surrounding national parks within the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Area. No chlorine; only as nature intended, a dose of minerals and perhaps a slight hint of wombat pee to authenticate the experience. Looking up, breathtaking hues of rich red and grey sandstone escarpment surround wherever the eye can see. The colours change with the moving of the sun bringing the cliff face to life. Instantly, I’m struck by a sense of awe and slowly I understand why Australia’s indigenous ancestors feel such spirituality to their land. On my first morning I opened my front door early and almost tripped over a large male eastern grey kangaroo. I was startled to see the beast and stepped aside, yet he was nonchalant and entirely unfazed by the encounter and was only interested in the lush grass of my front lawn.
Wolgan Valley is a very special place and its new inhabitants, Emirates One&Only Resort and Spa, are the next custodians of this ancient landscape and its riot of wildlife. Thankfully, they take their responsibility seriously with several environmental initiatives in place to minimise the impact of a five-star resort. As it is with all Australian farms, creek and riverbed erosion is a major problem and with thousands of trees planted or yet to be, they are starting to see results to reverse the damage.
The property has 40 free-standing private suites, each with their own swimming pools, walk-in dressing rooms, spacious living rooms, lavish bedrooms and bathrooms with luxurious amenities. The double-sided fireplace is enjoyed in the colder months and all have been built in an authentic weatherboard country house style; even the light fittings replicate the simplicity of an Australian federation farmstead. Private verandas with escarpment and landscape views are hard to remove yourself from. All meals and beverages are inclusive, and enjoyed within three of the main homestead’s dining venues. The service and quality of locally harvested cuisine and wine are exceptional and only surpassed by the sweeping views of the valley itself. Guests can lounge by the pool or spend the whole day hiking around the valley, bike and horse riding, or join in the guided nature walks, wildlife safaris or heritage tours.
This is a five-star bush sanctuary and no expense has been spared to create great comfort for guests. The overall experience of abundant flora and fauna, spa pampering and cutting-edge technology together with a carbon neutral impact, provides guests with what is one of Australia’s top bush resort getaways. Thoroughly inspired and rejuvenated, my only concern is when I can return. I would like to join the ever-growing ranks of repeat guests, infatuated and inspired by its impact on mind, body and spirit.