Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
Wollemi pine, one of the rarest and oldest tree species on Earth, grows naturally at the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa (+61.29.290.9733, www.emirateshotelsresorts.com) and throughout the surrounding conservation areas in Australia’s Blue Mountains. Botanists first discovered the 90-million-year-old species in 1994, after gaining access to a remote canyon of Wollemi National Park by helicopter. Last October, Emirates Hotels & Resorts opened Wolgan Valley on the lone tract of private land between Wollemi and the adjacent Gardens of Stone National Park.
Aside from kangaroos, wallabies, and wallaroos, your neighbors at Wolgan Valley are few and far between. You might spot other guests during daily excursions into the wilderness, in one of the resort’s three dining venues, or by the main swimming pool—or not. Many visitors are tempted to hide out in one of Wolgan Valley’s 40 spacious wooden villas, each of which features a pool, a fireplace, and views of the surrounding valley and sienna-colored sandstone mountains. But no trip to the resort would be complete without partaking in at least one of its outdoor adventures, which range from 4x4 wildlife safaris to tours of the Wolgan Valley Wollemi Pine Grove. ($1,520–$5,000)