The Retreat House is nestled in Capertee Valley, NSW – the widest canyon in the world – and is roughly a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney via the Blue Mountains.
Capertee Valley is home to an abundance of wildlife and is characterised by rugged mountains and sandstone cliffs which have formed over millions of years. The Retreat House sits on a 150-acre property, at the foot of Mount Marsden, and is home to wombats, echidnas, kangaroos and resident alpacas and horses. It is an inspiring scene that offers guests an enriching experience regardless of the weather and time of year.
The property is surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage listed national parks, natural monoliths and marvels, and is only a short drive from charming, historical towns – such as Rylstone and Kandos – and Mudgee, one of our country’s best wine regions.
It’s the ideal spot to sit still and unwind in privacy and the perfect base to explore everything the stunning Central Tablelands Region has to offer.
Things to Do
Rylstone Artisan and Produce Markets
The Rylstone Artisan and Produce Markets is held on the second Saturday of every month and offer locally crafted items, fresh produce and value-added products such as oils, wines, cheeses and baked goods (and so much more!). We highly recommend checking out the honey stall – the creamed honey is one of our favourite items and oh, so tasty.
Craft Works Distillery
Craft Works Distillery is a small, independent, award-winning distillery located in Capertee Valley. ‘Crafty’ Field takes creativity to the next level by instilling his artistic spirit into milling, brewing, distilling and crafting his unique expression of single malt Australian whisky. Our favourite is The Capertee. And it’s a delicious expression of whisky, indeed. Make sure to visit and make time between tastings to check out Crafty’s artwork incorporated into every bottle label. If you’re lucky, you’ll also discover the brilliant stories behind them.
Almost Anything Emporium & Folkologie, Rylstone
We’re all about treasure hunting for items that are hand-crafted and made with love. Spend the morning wandering Rylstone and make sure to visit the many quirky stores along Louee Street. A couple of our favourites are Almost Anything Emporium and Folkologie. Both stores house locally crafted products and are run by creatives with a passion for woodworking and building furniture and items made of re-claimed timber. So inspiring!
If you’re up for a beautiful drive, hop in the car and visit the town of Mudgee, a 45-minute drive away. We love this drive. Mudgee is famous for its wines and you won’t be short of options to fill your day between tastings. Other than excellent cellar doors and breweries, Mudgee hosts wine and food festivals, charming cafes, farmers markets, cooking classes, famous restaurants, and an observatory from where you can peer out at the Milky Way. For those feeling adventurous, you can opt to hot air balloon at sunrise over Mudgee’s rolling hills and vineyards.
Naked Lady Wines
Naked Lady Wines is a small boutique vineyard outside the village of Rylstone, about a 16-minute drive from the Retreat House. They produce award winning wines which can be sampled at their Barn Cellar Door five days a week (Thursday to Monday). They offer platters of local produce and pizzas that can be enjoyed while taking in the beautiful views surrounding the vineyard.
Hike up Mt. Marsden
For those looking to crunch some steps, plan a hike up Mount Marsden. Allow for a 5-hour round trip to the summit and back with pit stops. When you visit the Retreat House, refer to our Guest Book for more details about this hike.
Wollemi National Park
UNESCO Heritage-Listed Wollemi National Park, open 7am to 7pm daily, is a 30-minute drive from the Retreat House. There is so much to do here and you could split activities across several days. The park offers guided walking tracks through glow worm tunnels, kayaking tours, biking, and plenty of other stunning walking tracks such as the Pagoda Lookout track which brings you through beautiful lookouts of the national park, Cudgegong River and pagoda rock formations. It’s the perfect place to sit and take it all in.
Capertee National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park
Get up early and plan another nature day in a national park you haven’t yet crossed off the list. Capertee National Park is a 35-minute drive from the Retreat House and offers incredible walking tracks and views. Otherwise, we recommend a visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gardens of Stone National Park, a 48-minute drive away. Gardens of Stone features rugged cliffs, canyons and sandstone pagoda landscapes with stunning nature views.