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A family getaway to Wolgan Valley

A family getaway to Wolgan Valley is a perfect opportunity to immerse kids in Australiana and put the new Audi Q7 to the test.


Words:Snezana Belevska Bennell

There are weekends in the Greater Blue Mountains and then there are the kind that take your breath away.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa gives you one of those weekends: kangaroos at the door, exceptional degustation menus, champagne, horseback riding through rugged mountain ranges and activities which reconnect you not only with nature, but also with the most precious thing of all, our families.

Our Wolgan Valley adventure began in the elegant new Audi Q7. Spacious and silent with a smooth drive, it was everything we could have imagined and more. For a family of four, it was the perfect combination of style, comfort and safety. Although it is a luxury car, it is a kid-friendly one and I felt immediately comfortable with my sons Luka, 6, and Saachi, 4, investigating the ins and outs of the sunroof.

VIEWS OVER THE VALLEY

In peace and comfort we left the city behind. Rows of houses became hills and before we knew it, we rolled through the welcoming gates of the resort in the Greater Blue Mountains. A mob of curious kangaroos, seemingly waiting to greet us, watched as we stepped out of the Audi and into the resort’s resident 4WD for the chauffeured drive to the Main Homestead.

While I took in the heritage-style beauty of the homestead’s sandstone walls, timber beams and floor-to-ceiling views of the valley, I could hear my boys’ shrieks of delight at a large wombat guzzling grass in front of them. While they played outside, we enjoyed champagne in the luxurious bar in front of a massive double-sided fireplace. Quite the check-in.

The boys quickly learned of the resort’s complimentary mountains bikes. While David and I cruised along the path in the buggy to our lodge, the boys came flooring down the grassy hills, cheering with joy. I couldn’t help but smile; there is nothing better than children having fun in nature.

We arrived at one of the three Wollemi Suites, a simply stunning two-bedroom Federation-style lodge with sweeping ceilings, a huge living and dining room, a big yard and our own private glass-enclosed swimming pool. In short, it was the perfect accommodation for a family with kids. Every room had magnificent views across the valley and we spent the afternoon relaxing on our deck with glasses of wine. For those with the larger families, the three-bedroom Wolgan Suite offers sheer luxury spread over 410 square metres.

That evening we enjoyed a family dinner in the Wolgan Dining Room. With its elegant, peaceful air, I was a little nervous when we arrived – my boys were still amped up from two hours of nonstop riding and mountain air – but the staff quickly allayed my fears.

The boys were warmly welcomed, their dinner was organised and they were told of the Kids’ Room where they could relax after the meal; a function room towards the rear of the homestead converts to a children’s area in the evenings, complete with plasma TV, large pillows, toys, books and more. While the boys kicked back with fun games, we relaxed into our unexpected date night, toasting the brilliance of the resort and its attention to detail.

MORNINGS WITH THE MOB

The following morning, I was woken by Luka, centimetres from my face with this eyes wide open. “Mum… there is a kangaroo… at… the… door,” he enunciated slowly. Before I had a chance to respond, he bolted out of the room.

It turns out Luka hadn’t been imagining things. We opened the front door and there he was: an Eastern Grey kangaroo, a few metres from the suite. Another hopped over then a few more came by. We sat down on our verandah, basking in the morning sun and the company of the local marsupials. It was a quintessentially Australian moment.

After our morning meeting with the mob, we rode our bikes up to the homestead for a magnificent breakfast of pastries, fruit, organic muesli and freshly made juices, as well as a delicious made-to-order hot breakfast. We enjoyed a bit of everything, fuelling up in preparation for the packed day ahead of us.

The first activity we chose was tree planting, an education in conservation for the kids. Not only was that a unique experience but a truly special one for our family, communing with nature and naming a tree after beloved late Granddad Boris. We now feel a connection to this place, the resort and its 2832-hectare wildlife reserve.

We then rode our bikes to the 1832 Heritage Homestead, a former settler’s farmhouse now restored to its colonial glory. After the kids enjoyed learning about how people lived “in the olden days”, we popped into the Kitchen Garden, which supplies the resort’s restaurants, to visit the resident scarecrow.

As we were still full from our hearty breakfast, we had a late lunch in the Country Kitchen. No sooner were the Wagyu burgers consumed then the boys were off on their bikes once more giving David and I a moment to relax.

Dinner, once again, was superb – this time a six-course degustation menu. While the kids enjoyed a film after their meal under the watchful eye of babysitters organised by the resort, we joined some other parents relaxing into the evening with cocktails at the Valley Bar and Terrace Lounge.

On our final morning after yet another scrumptious breakfast, we took a trip to the stables where the kids got to meet resident horses Nero, Scooter, Twiggy and Marshmallow. After feeding them, they then rode the morning away.

Perhaps it was fitting that, as we drove out of the gates later in the day, comfortable in the Q7 even on the bumpy roads, we were farewelled by a mob of kangaroos. The kids insisted they were the very same ones that had greeted us. Now wouldn’t that be magical?



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