By Laura Brown
Updated Jan 29, 2018 @ 11:30 am
Wolgan Valley Resort Safari
Credit: Courtesy

It’s easy to romanticize the faraway land of Australia. It exists in the literal upside down. It has all sorts of wildlife that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. And I, of course, am from there.

My career has brought me to the United States, which is further from home—my family, friends, and kangaroos—than I’d ideally like to be. And traveling back is a real … slog. The flight is expensive and the jet lag wreaks havoc on your body. Fortunately, I know where I will head immediately upon landing, forever more—Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley resort.

Wolgan Valley Resort Landscape
Credit: Courtesy

Two hours drive from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains, Wolgan Valley is like Narnia with kangaroos, wallabies, and wallaroos (a darker, stockier hybrid) peppering the landscape—and your porch. It’s insane how ... everywhere they are, and how comfortable they are with guests.

On a cloudy day Wolgan Valley looks like Wuthering Heights, and on a sunny day, a postcard. Guests get their own house, complete with an indoor pool. The beds are like sleeping on clouds. The food is incredible and there is lots of it (I had the most fantastic ribeye two nights in a row. If I’m going to get heart disease, let me die here).

Wolgan Valley Resort Kangaroos
Credit: Courtesy

Apparently the place was at 80 percent occupancy while I was there with my boyfriend before Christmas, but it still felt like we were the only ones there. And waiting for you on the veranda of your own private villa is a set of mountain bikes you can use to pedal around and explore the expansive property—and miraculously, run into absolutely no one.

This place magically distills everything that is good about Australia together. Call me jetlagged/homesick/hormonal, but I actually teared up a little when we arrived in the valley, surrounded by tree-covered cliffs. All over the place are funny little burrows, where wombats hide during the day. (Wolgan’s conservational program makes sure the little fellas will be happy to come out at night for years to come).

Wolgan Valley Resort Poolside View
Credit: Courtesy

The whole place is luxurious without being showy. I felt like a well cared for child, gleeful, free, profoundly content.

So … Americans! If you ever get the chance, go here for a few days. There is honestly nothing like it on this earth. And every Christmas you might see me, lying flat on the grass with a smile.