Nestled within a unique corner of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, One & Only Wolgan Valley is an ultra-luxury nature-based resort.
One & Only Wolgan Valley is just a three-hour drive from the busy metropolis of Sydney, but feels a world away from city life. The resort itself occupies just one percent of its own 2,832-hectare conservation area between the Gardens of Stone National Park and Wollemi National Park.
Homestead sweet homestead
One & Only Wolgan Valley offers private villa accommodation in the style of traditional rural homesteads. It’s the only Australian resort in recent history to be granted permission to build in such close proximity to a World Heritage area, and this is because it has been built according to a philosophy of complete integration with its environment.
Each villa features a spacious living area, a private pool and cosy fireplaces for the chilly winter evenings. There are also expansive verandas from which you could spot kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and possums while enjoying your morning coffee. Or, after the sun goes down, sip a glass of wine while gazing at a clear sky illuminated by stars.
The resort has two dining options, The Wolgan Dining Room for authentic Australian fine dining and glorious mountain views, and The Country Kitchen, a more relaxed space for breakfast, lunch and snacks made with seasonal ingredients grown in the on-site chef’s garden.
For special occasions or romantic moments there is a range of private dining options. You can be whisked away into the wilderness by four-wheel drive for a private picnic accompanied by Krug champagne. Or, for more intimate moments, you can choose to dine in your own villa with a chef to prepare a classic Australian barbeque or a fancy feast with local flavours.
If you can bear to tear yourself away from your private pool, true-blue Australian adventure awaits throughout the property. One of the most magical ways to explore the Blue Mountains region has to be on horseback. One & Only Wolgan Valley has their own on-resort stables. Experienced riders can explore the area’s winding trails, river crossings and woodlands on a guided tour. Novices can opt for an introductory horse-riding lesson around the arena, and families with little ones can pay a visit to the horses on a stable tour.
Is there anything more Australian than bushwalking? Heading out into clean mountain air for a hike through resort’s untouched bushland reserve is an experience that can’t be missed. Head out alone or join one of the property’s guided walks where you can learn about the local flora and fauna.
For a more sedate, but equally enjoyable, experience, settle into an armchair in front of an open fire at the Valley Bar & Terrace for a tasting of the resort’s 1832 Wolgan Gin which is infused with a range of flavours including Australian botanicals and spices.
Conservation at its heart
In an area prone to drought and bushfires, One & Only Wolgan Valley has made water conservation a priority. Rainwater is collected and filtered onsite and accounts for 70% of the resort’s drinking water. The remaining 30% is sourced from the Cane Creek that runs through the property. All the water used throughout the property is recycled.
It’s not just the environment that One & Only is committed to protecting. One of the species guests at the resort are likely to see are wombats. Australia’s wombat population is highly susceptible to a debilitating condition called Sarcoptic Mange which they catch from introduced feral predators. The resort helps to fund research into this disease which is helping to protect this iconic species.
Guests can be part of the resort’s conservation story by booking into one of their hands-on experiences to help maintain their native wildlife habitat. Children can also be part of the experience by joining the Wolgan Rangers programme which includes a two-hour conservation and nature expedition where they’ll have the opportunity to follow animal tracks and build bush shelters.
One & Only Wolgan Valley was the first resort in the world to achieve the internationally accredited carbon neutral status when it opened in 2009 and remains the only resort in Australia with this standard of accreditation.
Address: 2600 Wolgan Road, Wolgan Valley, NSW 2790 Australia