Why this is the perfect winter break.
The dense bushland west of Sydney hasn’t ever held any great appeal. “Quaint” is what Sydneysiders say of the mountainous region and valleys. So we headed to Wolgan Valley with lacklustre enthusiasm. See, here at GQ, holidays evoke images of sunshine, sea and sand – bushmen we’re not, and any place offering activities with ‘mountain’ as a prefx generally aren’t for us. Emirates One&only Wolgan Valley – to use its proper name – shattered such sentiment. For a start, it’s far removed from the touristy tea houses of Katoomba – enclosed in what can only be appreciated on actually being there; a valley of immense girth, framed by 100-million-year-old sandstone cliffs that shout their sense of Australiana from every peak. Grandeur runs through all that’s on offer. Never home to more than 80 guests (hello exclusivity), the property has 40 stand-alone ‘suites’ or villas, including four larger ones for families – arranged around a central homestead housing reception and cheese room, alongside the main dining area and various other offerings. Our luxury Heritage Suite meant interior designs on the chic side of ‘country’, a private 7m pool and king-size bed, with the right amount of tech to see you through a night indoors – should you not wish to consume the nightly sunsets and dramatic star shows. All meals are included in the room price – from a swish breakfast buffet to lunch and three-course dinners that highlight deft culinary flair with locally-sourced produce from the Hunter Valley, Orange and Mudgee. Still, if the costs haven’t drained the wallet – it’s expensive – try the degustation menu and the matching wines. Life at Wolgan is lived as one wants – from reposing at the central infnity pool to heading out to explore the landscape through the many, varied daily activities (mountain biking, horseriding, heritage walks and more). Then there’s clay-pigeon shooting, archery and the dedicated spa, featuring products from luxury local Sodashi. Or simply sit back on the veranda with a cuppa – and contemplate how appealing this part of the Blue Mountains actually is.
INSIDE ONE OF THE RESORT’S HERITAGE SUITES; POOLSIDE AT WOLGAN VALLEY’S ONE AND ONLY RESORT; A SCENIC VIEW OF THE RESORT.