Feature

Wonders of Wolgan Valley

Less than three hours from Sydney, discover an ultimate sanctuary of luxury and sustainability at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa.

To reduce the overall human footprint, the resort is compact in its layout occupying just two per cent of the 4,000-acre property.

The two-hour guided trail rides are a fantastic way to explore the property.

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Watching the kangaroos come out to play as another spectacular sunset moves its way across the majestic sandstone escarpments, it’s almost impossible to believe that less than four years ago Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa was a working cattle farm, complete with feral animals, soil erosion and deforested paddocks.

The valley had been ear-marked for subdivision but was bought by Emirates who embarked on an ambitious program to establish a world-class luxury resort with conservation and sustainability at the very heart of its business operations. The Resort opened in 2009 and within three months had been awarded carbon-neutral certification.*

Rest and recuperate

Swim in your own private pool, kick back on the verandah with a glass of complimentary wine or luxuriate in your rainwater bath. Everything is designed with relaxation in mind and built using sustainable design principles. Many of the beautiful pieces of furniture and artworks were created by local artisans using materials found on the property. An old akubra has found new life as a hip lampshade and old books have been intricately reworked as avian wall art. The ambience is an informal, understated luxury that will slow your breathing before you’ve had a chance to say “How’s the serenity?”

Earthly dining delights

As part of their commitment to sustainability, the resort sources produce from within 100 miles of the complex wherever possible. The menu changes daily under the direction of Executive Chef Dwane Goodman (ex Banyan Tree) and is supplemented with fruit, vegetables and herbs from the kitchen gardens. Every stay includes a nine-course degustation meal featuring organic produce from local niche providers such as Lakelands organic oil and Mudgee’s Ormiston free range pork.

A select range of beers and wines are included with meals. The wine list is extensive and guests are encouraged to attend wine-tastings in the walk-in cellar. Local standouts included The Architect Chardonnay from Orange’s Koomooloo Vineyard and Mudgee’s biodynamic Thistle Hill Riesling.

And don’t worry if you over indulge, you can work it off in the resort’s gym or burn a few joules by taking the complimentary mountain bike for a spin.

Activities abound

The resort offers a range of nature-based activities. An early-morning horse ride is wonderful way to explore the valley and after a brief test of our riding abilities, we mount up and set off on a two-hour trail ride. The terrain is quite steep in places, but our sure-footed steeds take it all in their stride and are un-phased by the many sleepy kangaroos and noisy kookaburras we encounter.

If horse-riding isn’t your cup of chai, try a guided nature tour with one of the resort’s field guides. Ranger, Paul Elliot, was well-versed in bush ecology and history keeping us well-entertained with his interesting anecdotes and stories about the native animals. Who knew wombat pooh was square? We were also incredibly lucky to catch a glimpse of the illusive and very rare white wallaby who has made the valley her home.

The tour concluded with canapés and organic sparkling wine at an elevated lookout. We watch the sun set from our vantage point and marvel at the five foot monitor lizard clambering up a eucalyptus tree to catch the last rays of sunshine.

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Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
2600 Wolgan Valley Road
Wolgan Valley Lithgow 2790
T: +61 2 6350 1800
E: info@wolganvalley.com
W: www.wolganvalley.com
Rates: From $1750 per night for a heritage suite.
Inclusions: All food, all non-alcoholic drinks, selected alcoholic beverages, one nine-course degustation dinner per stay and two nature-based activities per day.
Tip: Book your spa treatment early as spots fill up quickly.

* Carbon neutral certification by CarboNZero – an internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme.

“Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa incorporates as many Ecologically Sustainable Design principles as possible, including rainwater collection, full recycling of all domestic water, heat exchange technology to reduce electricity consumption and the use of solar panels for all hot water systems. Additional measures aimed at reducing the resort’s carbon footprint include efficient room orientation to reduce heating and cooling requirements, modern insulation envelopes and wide traditional verandahs, which increase airflow around and through the buildings. The resort even makes use of traditional windmills instead of electrical pumps.” Source: www.wolganvalley.com