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Blue Mountains

Just 90 minutes west of Sydney is the Blue Mountains region. The famous blue-hazed beauty of the mountains is caused by the fragrant eucalyptus oil emitted from the leaves of thick eucalyptus forests. Here Ultimate Viewers explored the mountains by taking eco-tours of the forests, valleys and cliff tops and enjoyed easy bushwalks in the crisp mountain air.

Where We Stayed: 

Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a luxury homestead-style resort set within its own conservation and wildlife reserve, adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The pristine environment is breathtaking, while the resort's style combines cutting-edge technology with the original heritage architecture.

Guests can take part in wildlife spotting and horse-riding tours, relax in one of the 40 free-standing suites—each with its own private swimming pool and terrace—or unwind at the Timeless Spa where Australian products, such as the natural and organic Sodashi range, are used.

Where We Ate:

Lunch at Darley's Restaurant, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa: This award-winning restaurant is located in a heritage cottage in the five-star resort, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa at Katoomba. Modern Australian cuisine is served in a romantic dining room that features beautiful stained glass windows, ornate fire places, crystal chandeliers and breathtaking views of the gardens and Jamison Valley.

Wolgan Dining Room at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Seasonal, regional and organic produce from local boutique farms, growers and wine makers is on show when you dine at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa. Dinner is especially relaxed with a five-course, à la carte menu featuring Australian produce—indigenous fruits, herbs, and spices such as quandong, pepperberry, lemon myrtle and wattle seed.

Country Kitchen at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Country Kitchen is open from dawn to dusk in the main homestead building. Throughout the day, it serves a tempting selection of light meals and snacks, with local ingredients on display.

Solitary Restaurant: The heritage-listed Solitary, perched above Leura Cascades, is ideally situated for diners to take in uninterrupted valley views. The cozy dining room and garden offer magnificent vistas over Mt. Solitary, Kings Tableland and the Jamison Valley while a delicious seasonal menu delivers food that matches the fine views.

The Heritage Homestead: The Heritage Homestead was built in 1832 and has been restored with great attention to detail so it appears today as it did when Charles Darwin first visited the Wolgan Valley in 1836. The Homestead's fully restored kitchen garden provides the resort with organic produce and sets the scene for authentic Australian barbecues with stargazing and storytelling.

What We Did:

Wolgan Wildlife and Sundowner Tour: Set off an hour before sunset in a luxury, four-wheel drive vehicle to see Australia's native animals—kangaroos, wallabies and spectacular birds—when they are at their most active.

Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting and Stargazing Tour: Explore the fascinating nocturnal world of the Australian bush using spotlights to see rare possums, wombats, wallaroos and other night animals.

Colonial Heritage Tour: Join a short walking tour around Wolgan's historic sites, and get a glimpse into the hardships and ingenuity of Australia's pioneer settlers.

Tread Lightly Eco Tours: Tim Tranter is a specialist in environmental and cultural aspects of the Blue Mountains World Heritage region. Visit ancient forests, see spectacular waterfalls and deep canyons while gaining an insight into local history and Indigenous culture.

Next: Byron Bay – view itinerary
FROM: Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure
Published on January 18, 2011

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