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March 5th, 2014

Valley of Dreams.

Valley of dreams

Nothing adequately prepares you for the epicness of the Capertree Valley.

It’s like a Tolkien novel or Patterson poem.

Nestled at the foot of this valley is Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa – nothing prepares you for the epicness of it either.

The property (part of Leading Hotels Of The World Group) is set on 4000 acres and combines six star luxury with the Australian bush.

The food, the service, the facilities, the spa, the interiors are as good as you will find in a luxury hotel in any major city and that’s what makes this place so unique – you are completely isolated but in total comfort.

I’ve struggled finding the right adjectives to describe this resort and my experience there – it is THAT special.

I’m hoping my pictures can do the emoting for me because I absolutley loved it and know you would too.


My Stay In Snaps.

The rooms at Wolgan Valley are not rooms – they are houses.

Each suite has a wrap around veranda, double-sided gas fireplaces (which intersect the living room and bedroom), a walk in closet which is the size of most peoples kitchens and a bathroom complete with huge tub, walk in stone shower and separate lavatory.

The decor is warm and plush – it doesn’t feel like a hotel room.

The beds at Wolgan Valley are legendary with guests from all over the world ordering one to take home upon departure.

Once you’ve slept in one you will understand why.

It’s not a bed – it’s a cloud.

Every hotel room needs its own pool right?

All the suites have private pools, personal mountain bikes and a wonderfully stocked mini bar filled with the sort of snacks you actually want to eat.

The main lodge is wrapped by a huge swimming pool and houses four different dining experiences and is eclectically decorated in a mix of Australian luxe meets Aspen ski lodge.

Big oversized chairs, coloured glass, huge fireplaces and floor to ceiling glass that open onto a deck with extraordinary views.

The resort has a huge market garden which services the kitchen.

It’s planted in grounds of the original homestead (which dates 1832 and has been restored to Burra Charter standard) and I’ve never seen (or tasted) herbs and vegetables quite like these.

The food is incredible.

Delicious, simple and so fresh you can almost still taste the earth in it. Head Chef Damian Brabender has a true paddock to plate philosophy and all produce is either grown on the property or sourced from regional providores in Orange and Mudgee.

Some of the local stars include Ormiston free-range pork, Mandagery Creek Venison and Oberon Line tTrout and you just need to go and try the desserts because there are not enough adjectives.

There’s a terrific wine list which features varieties from Italy and France to New Zealand and Mudgee.

Hand-picked and home-marinated.

I dream about these olives.

And this bread.

Baked with fresh rosemary and a garlic confit  – it was so spectacular that I begged the chef for the recipe….and yes of course I will share.

Breakfast juices too pretty to drink.

Ditto the cocktails…. this one is a Lychee Caprioska.

Did I mention there was a Cheese Room?

This is essential information because you MUST leave room after dinner for a journey into this little slice of heaven.

I love a good hat!

I borrowed this wonderfully banged up Akubra from my nature guide Stuart.

The resort offers guests a host of daily activities but a must is the wildlife tour of the property. The acres and acres of stunning landscape are populated by hundreds and hundreds of kangaroos, wallaroos and wallabies.

When I went for my run in the mornings they literally bounded along side me. Like Skippy.

During a dusk tour I was lucky enough to see two of the very rare Albino Wallaroos that call Emirates Wolgan Valley their home.

The mountain escarpments at last light is take-your-breathe-away stuff.

A photo does not do the scale justice.

It blew up my mind.

Getting There.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is three hours by car west of Sydney between the Gardens of Stone and Wollemi National Parks in the Blue Mountains. Private helicopter journeys (45 minutes) to and from Sydney are also available.

Rates start at around $1900 per suite per night (two people inclusive). This rate gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, non-alcoholic beverages, a selected range of local wine and beer with meals and two on-site nature-based activities per person per day. Any additional activities, private touring, spa treatments, additional beverages and room service charges will be charged directly to the guest’s account.

The resort offers a range of special promotions throughout the year  which propose real value and the longer you stay the less the nightly rate becomes. The resort is currently offering a Summer Temptation package which is available until March 31  and is $740 per person per night – saving you almost $400 per couple.

For more information on rates and packages – CLICK HERE

Or You Could Learn To Paint.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa is running  intimate art and photography workshops  from Friday 2 May to Sunday 4 May 2014 and from Friday 16 May to Sunday 18 May 2014.

I was lucky enough to have a water colour class with the artist in residence Georgia Mansur (above) who is so wonderful and warm. She’s inspired me to continue painting for relaxation.

Aimed at beginners and improvers, Georgia combines her local and international experience to teach watercolour techniques that develop guests’ artistic skills. Priced at $300 per person, the Artist-in-Residence package includes up to three sessions of art instruction by Georgia Mansur with outdoor sketching sessions, sketch pads, pencils, paint/water colours, brushes, and an artist’s pack including a course syllabus to be given to guests to take away. Guests will also be provided with light refreshments during all painting sessions. To book, please contact the Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa reservations team on +61 2 9290 9733 and quote ‘ARTS’ or


I travelled as a guest of Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa – thank you for an unforgettable time.


  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    You look fab in that hat! It’s so extraordinary there I agree :) x

  • Dale Curran

    *Capertee :)
    Thank you for shining a light on our amazing back yard.

  • Bee

    Looks pretty amazing… But who can afford to stay there?!?!

  • MariM

    These pictures are incredible.
    I am going for my 40th birthday and am so excited.
    Thanks PJ

  • PaulaJoye

    It is very indulgent Bee – agreed.
    But really, truly worth it.
    Take out airfares and the resort becomes one of the more affordable luxury travel experiences.
    I shall be saving up to return.

  • PaulaJoye

    Thank you for having me in your backyard.
    Blew my mind.

  • PaulaJoye

    Thank you lovely.
    How good is the food!

  • Ks

    It’s Capertee valley not Caper Tree

  • Emma

    Ok so I keep coming back to this post and looking through the pictures it’s amazing!

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