A big part of Australia’s appeal is its world-famous wildlife, from capering kangaroos to cuddly koalas and kooky kookaburras. So, we couldn’t help but share our latest find at eco-chic retreat Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa (left) in the Blue Mountains near Sydney: four albino wallaroos.
A smaller, chunkier cousin of the kangaroo yet larger than a wallaby, wallaroos are pretty cool marsupials at the best of times, but guests on Wolgan’s wildlife safaris have been treated to regular sightings of four resident albino wallaroos with startling snow-white fur. This genetic mutation usually only occurs about once in every 25,000 births, so this sunburn-prone posse is rare as well as striking.
The two adult females have been dubbed Noor and Amira, meaning ‘light’ and ‘princess’ in Arabic, but we’re particularly taken with the joeys: one albino mum (right) has produced a regular coloured joey, while another brown wallaroo has been spotted carrying an albino baby in her pouch (we won’t go into the geeky genetic details here, but we’re impressed). It’s easy to see why naturalist Charles Darwin was fascinated by Wolgan Valley when he visited back in the day.
Just one of Smith’s luxe safari stays, Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa provides expert field guides to help you experience the wildlife on its 4,000 acres of pristine valley-dotted wilderness, with the chance to spy kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, platypuses and birds. Head out on nocturnal wildlife spotlighting forays, count cute creatures while mountain biking round the grounds – as sampled by The Sartorialist crew – or hit the trails on horseback. There’s a seductive spa, pool and fine dining for post-activity pampering.
Click here for the skinny on Wolgan’s Indulge your Senses, Winter Escape or A Spring Renewal packages, timed to fit in with the Aussie seasons with loads of indulgent inclusions; if you book a two-night stay from Sunday to Thursday you can also enjoy a free 60-minute spa treatment each.