Need To Know
40 villas, including spacious two- and three-bedroom retreats ideal for families.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability (try not to leave, ever!). Check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $1796.77 (AU$2,273), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include all meals (with non-alcoholic drinks and select regional wines and beer), plus two daily on-site nature activities a person. Spa services, premium alcohol, minibar items and room service cost extra. Children Cribs are supplied free for under-threes. If you need them, extra beds can be added to villas for AU$350 a night for children aged three to 12, and AU$600 a night for over-12s.
The sorts of activities Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley prides itself on – nature walks, horse riding and the like – and the surrounding terrain don't lend themselves to pushchairs and prams. Those who love to run for miles will be far more at home.
At the hotel
Swimming pool, spa, sauna, steam room, restaurants, bar, wine cellar, tennis court, gym, mountain bikes, equestrian centre, DVD/CD library, playroom, boutique, free WiFi throughout.
In your room
Temperature-controlled private pool, terrace, fireplace, flatscreen TV, movies on demand, DVD/CD players, preloaded iPod, minibar, coffee machine, binoculars.
Our favourite rooms
The three secluded Wollemi Villas each have two ensuite bedrooms, the second with a king-size bed that can be ‘unzipped’ into two king singles, as well as generous living and dining areas. There is also one three-bedroom residence, the Wolgan Villa, with a gourmet kitchen, dining room and wraparound veranda (the second and third bedroom can be set up with a king or twin beds). Children will love these villas’ slightly larger private pools. As with all the villas, interiors boast heritage Federation-era details teamed with modern luxury, and bathrooms have both baths and separate showers for blissful bathing.
Each villa has its own generous, heated plunge pool, sealed off in a space with a high door handle that’s unreachable by infants or young children. There’s also a large landscaped main pool near the Lodge, flanked by loungers and heated from mid-October to mid-April. There’s no lifeguard on duty here, but there are child-proof safety gates and the shallow end is suitable for small Smiths, providing you keep a close eye on them (it’s ideal for wading, but beware the drop-off to 1.5 metres after the step).
You’ll want to linger in the private soaking tub long after your treatment is over – and you can, because the Timeless Spa opens at 8am and continues through to 8pm. Choose from facials, massages and body therapies using Sodashi and Babor products, with couples’ treatment rooms if you fancy company. Treatments also use indigenous ingredients, such as wattle seed and eucalyptus, and you've the option to have your massage in your own villa if you prefer. The spa doesn't have a treatment menu designed with young ’uns in mind, but therapists welcome requests for children and teenagers and can give advice on the most appropriate treatments for the whole family. The hotel recommends that parents book treatments for themselves and their clan for the same time slot (under-16s need to be accompanied by an adult during their pampering session).
If your kids have something they can’t live without, make sure you pop it in their backpack. It’s a long way from Wolgan Valley to the nearest shop.
Each day there are children’s activities in the morning and afternoon that you can arrange with the Guest Services team at the resort. If your tribe is really keen on any particular experiences though, it's a good idea to book them when you make a reservation to avoid disappointment. Also be sure to reserve spots at the crèche when you bag your room; babysitters can be secured a day in advance.
Pets are not permitted, in order to protect native animals.
Wolgan prides itself on being Australia's first conservation-based luxury resort and is accredited by international group CarboNZero. Pastoral fencing has been removed, 200,000 indigenous trees have been planted and native wildlife reintroduced. Much of the hotel’s food is sourced from artisan suppliers within a 160-kilometre range, or grown in Wolgan’s own kitchen gardens.