April/May in the Mountains - go fruit picking in Bilpin. Pine Crest is a great place to go, just 10 minutes down the road.
To help you get acquainted with all that the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury has to offer, Bronwen has put together a number of unique experiences for you to choose from. Some of these experiences are free while others include a fee.
With your host, Bronwen Logan:
One-hour "Reiki Treatment" at the Tomah Retreat by Reiki author and teacher, Bronwen Logan. You can find out more about this healing modality at Bronwen's Reiki website. Depending upon the season it is quite possible your treatment will take place outside under the trees. Bookings are essential and can be booked when you book your accommodation. $125pp.
One-hour "Meditation" Class at the Tomah Retreat by meditation teacher, Bronwen Logan. This class can be created for a minimum of 2 participants with varying levels of experience. Bronwen loves to teach this up in the treehouse where the wind is fresh and the skies are open. Bookings are essential and can be booked when you book your accommodation. $60pp minimum 2 people.
One-hour "Healing for Animals" class at the Tomah Retreat with healing practitioner Bronwen Logan. Walk with Bronwen as she teaches you the techniques she uses help keep her animals live long and happy lives. Bookings are essential, with a minimum of 2 people and can be booked when you book your accommodation. $60pp minimum 2 people.
Or book into one of the weekend Reiki Classes at Interna
Ask Bronwen to tell you a little about the Living Labyrinth we built from 800 dwarf buxus plants - before you go and walk it. It's a great contemplative tool and will support your inner healing during your stay.
There is also a free 45-minute infrared sauna for 2 people for each day of your stay.
Bronwen can also arrange a local massage therapist, to come to the Tomah Retreat. These need to be booked at least 1 week prior and a minimum of 2 massages required. But Bronwen recommends trying a Reiki Treatment if you've never done so before :-). Here's a picture of a treatment at the Tomah Retreat Treehouse.
Around the Region:
Cider Cellar Doors
Bilpin, land of the apple, has 2 Cellar doors for you to sample:
Visit the quaint Saturday Morning Markets at the Bilpin Hall. Locals come together to chat over a cuppa and sell a few nicknacks. There's fresh bread and veggies - but come early. A low key event typical of the laid back mountain vibe. 10am-12 noon.
Spend the evening in the dark looking at beautiful glow worms in Berambing, just 5 minutes from Tomah Retreat. You can book here.
Enjoy a free Guided Walk at the Botanical Gardens, just 500 metres away. Other group activities can also be organised with the Botanical Gardens including walks with an indigenous local. Various fees apply.
Every Saturday there is also a Forest Bathing tour at the Botanical Gardens. Definitely worth experiencing the gardens from this perspective.
Kurrajong Village has lots of lovely cafes and quaint shops. 20 minutes back towards Sydney along Bells Line of Road.
Mt Wilson just 15 minutes away has some beautiful old established gardens that you can visit, especially lovely in Spring and Autumn.
Mt Victoria, 25 minutes away, has a quaint independent cinema called Mt Vic Flicks which shows an eclectic mix of quality films from Australia and abroad, arthouse to kids, new releases to classics.
Near Lithgow are the outdoor Japanese Baths called Sparadise.
Find out what fruits and nuts are seasonal and if there are any picking opportunities in the area. You pay for what you pick and this can include walnuts, apples, berries, cherries, peaches, nashies and more.
OR Spend an hour or two on some lovely Local Walks.
Walls Lookout: (Bronwen's favourite) Turn off Bells Line of Road at the Pierces Pass Road 11km west of Mount Tomah (8 minutes). Park in picnic area and park in top carpark. This walk offers spectacular views of the Grose Valley from the cliff top. Caution: the cliff edge is overhanging and unfenced but is absolutely spectacular.
Grade: Easy 3km return
Hour: 1 hour return
Burralow Creek - Burralow Creek, a tributary of the Grose River, can be reached from two directions. From Kurrajong Heights on Bells Line of Road, turn left into Warks Hill Road then left into Burralow Road and follow the 4WD trail 7 km into the valley. Or further west on Bells Line of Road and 1km east of the ‘Fruit Bowl’, turn left onto the Paterson Range Trail and follow it for 10 km.
Burralow Rainforest Walk or Bulcamatta Falls Walk - On the western side of Burralow Creek camping area there is a sign-posted track. (To find this track stand with the camp toilet at your back and walk across the camping area, go past the side fence and look for sign near stepping stones across creek). Cross the creek and follow the trail past convict ruins to a small waterfall. Glow-worm grottos can be found in the rock face. Grade: Easy 3km return.
The Gorge Walking Track: Turn right on to Bells Line of Road towards Bilpin and in 5 minutes turn into Valley Ridges Road and proceed for 2km to the Waratah Native Garden Picnic Area. From the picnic area the track leads down to the cool mossy gully of a tributary of Hungerfords Creek. Koalas have been seen in the forks of eucalypt trees along the track, listen for the mimicking cry of a lyrebird.
Grade: Moderate 2km return
Hours: 1 hour return
Mt Banks and the Wall Track: Mount Banks picnic area is on the southern side of the Bells Line of Road, 6 km past Mount Tomah. The moderate 2.5km walk to the tree-covered summit of Mount Banks (1062 metres) takes about 1 hour return. The Wall Track leads to a lookout over the Grose River Gorge, the chasm of the Grand Canyon, Katoomba and Blackheath may be seen in the distance.
Grade: Moderate 11km return
Hours: 4 hours return
Pierces Pass: Turn off Bells Line of Road at the Pierces Pass Road 11km west of Mount Tomah. Travel along gravel road for 1 km to picnic area and park in top carpark. This walk starts off quite gently as you enter the Grose Valley, however, be prepared for steep descent with many steps. Walk leads you through a rainforest gorge before emerging at the base of cliff lines providing views of the valley. The tracks to Victoria Falls Lookout (4 hours) and the Blue Gum Forest (2 hours) should be undertaken with caution as they are unmarked and require a topographic map and navigation skills.
Grade: Difficult 5km return
Hours: 3 hours return
Rigby Hill: From Pierces Pass Picnic area follow the steep track to the top of Rigby Hill for spectacular views over the Grose Valley.
Grade: Moderate 1.5km return
Hours: 1 hour return
Experienced canyoners will be very excited to know that the Tomah Retreat is next door to the spectacular Claustral Canyon.