Welcome to our dream place. We are, Thomas and Helen Ebersoll, and we first discovered the Wolgan valley on a camping trip to Wollemi National Park. Like many people before us, we were amazed by the spectacular scenery of this magic place and excited by the possibility of creating something really special here. Little did we imagine that one day, our dream would start to become a reality. Now with our family, our daughter, Marianna, now aged 17, and dog, Bella, we are up and running. We opened our first cabin in 2004, the second in 2006, the third in 2007, the Shower and Toilet Block in 2010 and the fourth cabin was opened for the Newnes Marathon in June 2013.
Surrounded by the wilderness of Wollemi National Park, spectacular sandstone cliffs, rain-forested canyons and the historic ruins of the former shale oil mining town, we invite you to stay in our unique, hand-crafted cabins and experience this stunning place.
Our cabins offer you comfort not yet seen at Newnes. They are all self contained with a modern kitchen, bathroom and verandahs with spectacular views. The smaller cabins, the "Capertee" Cabin (we also call it the "Honeymoon Lodge") and the Colo cabin, both sleep 4 in an open-plan area. The "Colo" is similar in design to the "Capertee" but with the addition of a tower sleeping area and study nook. The larger cabin, the "Wolgan" cabin sleeps 6 and is designed for wheelchair access. This spacious cabin has one bedroom and an open living area. Our latest cabin - the Wollemi -is also our largest. It sleeps 9 guests in three bedrooms and a large living area. It features our famous tower dining room and you just have to experience it.
We also offer accommodation on our campground where well behaved pets are welcome. Our camping guests enjoy the hot showers in the shower and toilet block. Equally popular is the covered picnic area with barbeque and Pizza Oven.
We do not have spa baths!!! They are the ideal breeding ground for germs and it would take very harsh disinfectants to keep them clean. Those chemicals have no place in our eco development and they would have a negative effect on our on site sewerage treatment.
Ours is an "Eco" business without "the hype". We like to think of ourselves as a "Grass Roots Eco Resort".
We are not a member of some (expensive) "Eco" logo, but we do:
• Run entirely on solar power;
• Operate our own sewerage treatment plant;
• Provide fresh organic food from our own garden;
• Collect fresh eggs from our happy, free-range chooks.
Our electricity is created by 54 solar panels which produce 6KW of power. These panels are mounted on 6 trackers which follow the sun. The power is stored in a battery bank and provides all our energy needs for lighting, fridges, etc.
Free power from the sun!!!!
Sewerage and water from showers and sinks are treated, firstly in septic tanks and then filtered in underground trenches so that the final product can even be drunk.
Our garden is open to our guests and we invite our guests to pick their own fresh vegies. However at the beginning of this summer it is very dry and there is not much. We also have 10 very friendly chickens who produce eggs for breakfast (although a bit lazy in the winter months) and recycle all organic wastes. Let your kids pull out a carrot and chew it and then collect some eggs from the chook pen. Let them realise that food does not grow at the back of the local supermarket.
The Newnes Hotel
Built in 1907, the Hotel is the only remaining building of the former mining township of Newnes. The old bar operates as a kiosk on weekends and the museum provides some background to the rich history of Newnes. There is no hot food or alcohol available anymore The Hotel is the focal point of our development. We have rebuilt the fireplace in the bar, to keep our visitors warm in winter.
The old Hotel and the ruins of the old township, especially the impressive structures of the former shale oil refinery, bring alive the atmosphere of the early 1900s.
Surrounded by the vast wilderness of the Wollemi National Park, nature is at our doorstep. Wildlife is abundant and wombats and wallabies are especially frequent visitors.
Birdwatchers will also find much of interest in the range and variety of species which make the Wolgan valley their home.
Bushwalkers can choose from a number of different walks, the 1 hour climb to the top of Mystery Mountain with its spectacular views over the ridges and canyons of the Park or the challenging 7 day hike out of the Park along the Wolgan River to Putty Road.
There are also rainforested canyons and gullies or rugged mountain tops to be explored.
For the more adventurous, mountain climbing, abseiling and canyoning are there to be enjoyed.
For those interested in history, the walk through the the ruins of the former shale oil refinery is a must.
For cyclists, the Wolgan Valley Rail Trail is a thrilling experience, 7.5 km rolling downhill through deep cuttings and across elevated dams, passing many historical features - how does that sound ?
And if nothing else can enthuse the visitor, the Wolgan River brings peace and relaxation to anyone who wanders along its banks.
The overall aim of the Newnes Hotel Historic Wilderness Retreat is to promote, conserve and market the historic and recreational value of Newnes and its natural beauty. The guiding philosophy is 'low key', sustainable and environmentally sensitive.
Our vision is to create a 'family place' with 9 cabins tucked in the woodlands surrounding the Hotel. The Newnes Hotel will be restored but our initial plans for a cafeteria and bed and breakfast accommodation has proved impossible due to regulatory requirements. We keep it standing and operating as a museum and information kiosk. It is the center of our development at Newnes.
The Wollemi cabin was completed and open for the Glow Worm Marathon in June 2013. Our building program is now at a pause to pay the debts and we see how we progress further. The feedback from guests is very encouraging.
We are a great place !
(Above) The new Wollemi cabin; three bedrooms, 11 guests and a most spectacular dining room.