Filed under: travel | Tags: charles darwin, wolgan valley, wolgan valley resort and spa, wollemi national park
I seemed to have inadvertently stumbled into paradise.
Not a generic, unspecified paradise of sun, sand and Gillian Anderson lathering my back in lotion while whispering filth in my ear, but somewhere very rugged, natural, historical and real. And I hardly arrived here by accident – I’m three hour’s drive from Sydney, miles from the nearest town. This is a region of Australia that few if any tourists ever, ever stray so far from the coast to enjoy.
The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a AUD$125 million development by Emirates. Surrounded by the steep fists of the Blue Mountains in the Wollemi National Park, the resort only opened a fortnight ago. There are no towering skyscrapers of ugly punching holes in the skyline, just 40 single story villas scattered across a hillside. Emirates have been heavily involved in restoring indigenous species to the area; of the 4,000 acres occupied by the site, the buildings only cover two per cent of the land.
Right now I’m sat in my own private suite, the most sumptuous accommodation I have seen in all my days. To my right, my personal lap pool. Ahead of me, an original homestead settled in 1832, in the valley Darwin explored while collecting geological samples in the area. It’s there, through my window, not a minute’s walk away.
I wasn’t expecting internet access since there’s no mobile signal this deep into the valley, but the resort has wi-fi installed in every suite. Splendid. So before lunch and a tour (I’m desperate to visit that homestead and indulge in its wonderful history) I thought I’d pop by and share this rather wonderful place with you.
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