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Iconic Australian rural retreat Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains, just a three-hour drive from Sydney, is all about big nature. Soak it up while walking, mountain biking, horseriding or lounging in your sumptuous pool suite…

Style Outback ultra-luxe
Setting No expanse spared

Why this week? Every weekend until 2 December, budding artists can enjoy up to three free art classes when staying Friday and Saturday nights at Wolgan Valley, a hotel offer worth AU$300 a person. Artist-in-residence Georgia Mansur will host the sessions, sharing her expertise on everything from outdoor sketching to watercolours and paints – and with a jaw-dropping landscape like this, you won’t be short of inspiration. You’ll also get the usual pampering inclusions: all meals, non-alcoholic drinks and select beers and wines, plus two daily nature activities each.

Our favourite bits With pristine wilderness, a world-class spa and 40 private pool villas, this is one special playground. When you’re tired of skinny-dipping in your own seductive pool, lounge more decorously at the heated outdoor pool at the Lodge. Worked up an appetite spotting kangaroos on a wildlife safari or being pummeled in the spa? Then retreat to the Wolgan Dining Room, which showcases seasonal, local, organic produce and a regional and international wine list as expansive as the vistas.

Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Straight up, Wolgan’s field guides are the best, masters of revealing the marvels and mysteries of nature. Me and my guide hoot like 16-year-olds as we barrel along the paths on our mountain bikes then wait, quiet as suede, as we watch life shimmer into being at the platypus deck (one of the most astonishing spots on this 4,000-acre block of wonders). The horse ride transports Mrs Smith back to the time before machines and we are both left revived back in the present day, unwinding over a good breakfast coffee.’ Read the full Wolgan Valley review.

You say… ‘What a wonderful experience. This has to be the best luxury accommodation in Australia and the staff were amazing. Can’t wait to go back!’ (Helen-Mary, BlackSmith, stayed on 29 August 2010).

See more tempting Wolgan Valley hotel offers or boutique hotels in New South Wales.

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