Wolgan Valley is a visonary project that just happens to be a top-end resort as well. We visited Wolgan valley on a hot November weekend. 4 glorious days of bushwalking, mountain biking, horseriding and gourmet food.
We had been attracted to the resort by its location, particularly proximity to the national parks, and by its emphasis on outdoor pursuits with an end-of-day haven of luxury. We were not disappointed.
From the moment of arriving (when a mountain bike was fully kitted, and ready to go, and a massage appointment available soon after), everything went pretty much like clockwork.
We are fairly independent travellers, and don't generally enjoy being herded around with lots of other guests on group activiites. Wolgan offered us the choice - and we did mix it up a bit to good effect.
Day 1 - arrival at about 4pm. Quick mountain bike ride, massage at spa, and dinner.
Day 2 -
Independently, we were able to go into the nearby national part, for a 9km walk to the GlowWorm tunnel - a fantastic walk, and highly recommended. Just make sure you have a torch, plenty of water, at least a schematic map (some turnings/intersections are not signposted), and if you are inclined to sore knees, a hiking stick to brace the descents. We were dropped off at the entrance to the park, given a radio so we could summon help (if needed) and our return transport when ready. Packed lunches of gourmet sandwiches, thermos tea and delciious biscuits were provided. It was a grand day out. We cleaned up and jointed the wildlife tour for a drive around the property and opportunities to see wallaroos, eastern grey kangaroos, wombats and countless birds. All finishing up with champagne and canapes at a scenic lookout.
The following day, we headed out for a mountain-bike/hiking experience, again without guides. We rode our mountain bikes to a designated point on the property, then hiked cross-country as far as the land was passable. We then descended into the creekbed for much joyous splashing. It was a fiercely hot day, and the creek was so crystal clear and delicious that we decided to wade all the way back to our bikes. Again, food, drinks and radio were supplied for our safety and convenience.
Day 4 -
Horseriding. We are both able to ride, but a bit rusty. We passed muster (barely) under the stern eye of the riding guides, who perform a basic skills assessment. the horse I was given was just a delight, and had all the characteristics I had discussed when I described the things I like. It was a skilful bit of matching. The ride took us cross-country through fairly steep terrain. The staff are exteremly safety conscious, and this will be frustrating for some people who are accustomed to a more gung-ho approach. I appreciated it, but observed that the staff seemed uncertain about the assessment. This is not surprising when the initial assessment took place in a 15m round yard, with no ability to do more than walk. It think it will be better for all when the new stables and exercise yard are finally open, and horses, riders and guides can get to know one another a bit before heading out. Definitely not for beginners.
Overall, an action-packed few days, which returned us to our real lives recharged and refreshed, if a bit sore!
We are looking forward to returning and seeing the conservation vision realised. It is going to be amazing. the price-bracket means we won't be quite regulars, but it is definitely on our list of "special treat" weekends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley offers the rare opportunity to experience true luxury in a spectacular Australian bush setting. The property borders the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage wilderness region, just 190kms from Sydney. Nestled between two National Parks and spread out at the foot of towering cliffs, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is set within its own private conservation and wildlife reserve. The resort itself occupies just two percent of the total land area of 7,000 acres and its design, reminiscent of traditional rural Australian homesteads, reflects a timeless appeal and a natural sense of place in the vast and dramatic landscape of the Wolgan Valley. The 40 individual suites each have their own private deck and indoor / outdoor swimming pool. The main homestead offers distinctive dining, luxury facilities and the stand-alone Timeless Spa features six double treatment rooms, and a range of signature treatments. The seclusion of Wolgan Valley creates a natural sanctuary where guests can relax and explore in unsurpassed luxurious comfort. This is the quintessential luxury Australian bush experience - a unique blend of wildlife, dramatic natural beauty, conservation, heritage in a spectacular Australian bush setting, which can be explored through a range of activities including four wheel drives, heritage tours, wildlife spotting and horse riding. All meals are included in the tariff with a strong focus on regional and seasonal produce, and where possible organic ingredients are used. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a member of One&Only Resorts and Luxury Lodges of Australia. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Wolgan Valley Resort And Spa
- Wolgan Valley Hotel Blue Mountains