Autumn Awakening

Friday afternoon we packed the defender with a few bags and a few friends then headed two hours west to a place encompassing mountains, waterfalls, woodlands, and rainforests - the glorious Blue Mountains. With stunning natural beauty, the World Heritage region of the Blue Mountains is an astonishing place any time of the year - glowing in autumn, misty in winter, colourful in spring and refreshing in summer.

We travelled in autumn to witness the colour of the leaves change from an earth green to a feverish red as well as to see the slate-coloured haze that gives the mountains their name. (It comes from a fine mist of oil exuded by the huge eucalypts that form a dense canopy across the landscape of deep, often inaccessible valleys and chiselled sandstone outcrops). Arriving at sundown, we settled smoothly into Kookawood - the air was fresh so we started a roaring log fire and spun some tunes on the record player - finding ourselves a bottle of wine we discussed a plan for the following day’s adventures. Kookawood felt like home, not just in itself but in its surroundings. The peaceful location, the furry farm friends, the ever-changing outlook of hovering fog through the hills and valleys. We could feel the immensity of nature.

When you step inside Kookawood you step back in time. This unique and charming country house was lovingly hand-built by the owners over 10 years using stone, recycled timber, reclaimed windows and doors and is filled with a collection of antiques and collectibles. Perched on a hill in the heart of Rydal, Kookawood steals a magnificent 200 acres of the Blue Mountains. North facing, the wrap around veranda and outdoor entertaining area makes time at home far more enjoyable with its ever-changing outlook.

The cottage had everything we needed to ease into the weekend, as well as explore further afield with friends. At the crack of dawn, we awoke and warmed up with some hot coffee and a soak in the bubbly outdoor claw-foot bath (a definite stand out for us). The sky was slate and the wind was brisk. Crisp clean cold air filled our lungs and the vast landscape slowly revealed itself on the horizon.  We set out for a day fuelled by adventure - hiking, driving, gazing and feeding. Following a wet day of wandering, we returned to the comfort of the country house, dug into a smorgasbord of cheese, charcuterie and wine and got lost in conversation around the stone fireplace. We'd found a good thing and we weren’t leaving anytime soon!

Things We Did

  • Food & Drink
  • Scenic Drive
  • Farm
  • Lake
  • Lookout
  • Waterfall
Pho Moi
Fresh, authentic Vietnamese street-food in a clean, urban setting. We couldn’t go past pho with slow cook sliced beef brisket....
Zig Zag Railway
The knapsack viaduct is an impressive structure which is highly articulate about the technical challenges involved in the construction of the rail across the Blue Mountains....
Fiona's Farm Animals
Billy and Bunny are two hand-raised miniature horses who live behind Kookawood - be sure to bring some carrots if you’d like to treat these two beautiful creatures....
Lake Lyell
Lake Lyell is a picturesque recreational lake for camping, swimming and fishing. With plenty of picnic tables and barbecues, you can have a picnic dinner and watch the fisherman catch rainbow fish and trout or take part in the water activities yourself....
Lincoln's Rock
A flat rock cliff face offering all-encompassing views of Jamison Valley. Here you can fee the immensity of nature. A perfect spot for a picnic at sunset to watch the ever-changing colors of the rocks and valley as the sun and clouds move overhead....
Wentworth Falls
The famous three-tiered falls that lend the town its name launch a plume of spray over a 300m drop. This is the starting point of several walking tracks which delve into the sublime Valley of the Waters. The most popular being the short but steep walk via National Pass Walking trail to Fletchers Lookout where you can marvel at the falls cascading into the valley. For those energetic souls, combine Wentworth Falls track with the short Weeping Rock Circuit, the varied Under-cliff Track, or historic Princes Rock Lookout Track....

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Where we stayed
Things we did

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