11.06.2010 Australia, New South Wales, Blue Mountains

Wolgan Valley should be considered a must-see when planning your all-inclusive Australia vacation. Quite simply, Wolgan Valley has the spas, luxurious accommodations and fine dining for folks who love places like Sedona, Ariz., or Palm Springs, Calif. The formerly-isolated, mountainous landscape now has become a hotbed of premiere resorts for those seeking serenity in remote locales. Yet the destination is also home to some of the world’s most breathtaking national parks and one-of-a-kind natural wonders that should not be missed.

Located in the Australian state of New South Wales (or NSW, as the Aussies call it) just 150 kilometers west of Sydney, Wolgan Valley transports travelers back to prehistoric times. The valley and its surrounding rugged landscape were carved out by the Wolgan River. The area was home to indigenous Australians for thousands of years before settlers landed there in the mid 1800s. Still largely unpopulated, the valley includes sections of Wollemi National Park. Wollemi is Australian natural wonder at its finest. Researchers have found 235 species of birds, 46 species of mammals and 58 reptile species in Wollemi. Some famous faces in NSW’s second-largest national park include kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos.

The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is ready to introduce you to these creatures through its wildlife safari trips. The guided excursions, led by experienced naturalists, include evening tours where budding wildlife watchers can nibble on appetizers and sip local wines while using torches to get a glimpse of the glowing eyes of critters residing in the brush. Another must-see in the park is the Wollemi Pine Grove. The rare type of pine tree that resides here belongs to a distinguished plant family that dates more than 200 million years old and only can be found in one other place on the planet. Hiking, kayaking and overnight camping trips also are great ways to soak in the area’s natural beauty.

Those of us not big on the “roughing it” idea can take comfort in returning to the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa. The resort is fully loaded with spa treatments like the Sodashi range which is totally organic and inspired by nature. After you’ve refreshed, a fabulous spot awaits you for eating an amazing meal while you share photos and recap the day’s adventures.

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