At the South end of the Wollombi Valley, Willow’s Retreat is a secluded little valley, full of walking trails and great for nature lovers. The native eucalypt forest abounds with birds, wallabies, wombats and sometimes even koalas; a dream for the nature lover or photographer. As are the dark skies – see our photos for some examples of the night sky from our property. Featuring a hand-built, rammed earth home, the property is totally off-grid. If you’re looking for an escape from city life, this is the perfect antidote. Situated next to Willow’s Leap Equestrian, you may even be able to bring your horse!
Whilst we can accept last minute bookings, we’re not always within signal. Bear with us; we’ll message back when we can!
The Retreat is hand-built from rammed earth – one of the first such buildings in the region (and certainly the first one Cessnock Council had to certify!). Cool in Summer, and well-insulated in Winter, it’s the perfect material for this climate.
Willow’s Retreat is a secluded paradise, on over 50 acres of pristine bush and pasture, at the Southern tip of the Wollombi Valley, NSW. An hour’s drive from Hornsby, and only 45 minutes from the Central Coast, it’s quick and easy to get to, yet feels like another world. Relax, unwind, and enjoy the rich natural beauty.
From pasture in the valley floor, to huge rocks, cliffs, and virgin bushland, there’s an enormous variety of ares to explore and wonder at our flora and fauna. A bird spotter’s dream, we’ve recorded over 80 distinct species of birds (and photographed most of them!). From wedge-tailed eagles and glossy black cockatoos soaring overhead, to fairy wrens and whip birds darting through the undergrowth, everywhere you turn there’s something to see! The paddocks and hills are home to both eastern grey kangaroos and swamp wallabies, not to mention numerous wombats. Look to the trees at night, and you’ll find gliders, possums, and, for those of you fortunate enough to spot them, koalas! Make sure you let us know what you find – we also work in conjunction with local wildlife carers to monitor and treat our native friends if needed.
We have a couple of different options for your stay –
“Willow’s Wilderness” is a private, secluded paddock, with plenty of space for you and friends to camp and enjoy getting away from it all. Rather than cram different groups in, the whole paddock is your own! If you have a large group, speak to us about your needs. Fire circle and wood are provided (we’ll let you know about any fire bans or restrictions), but the rest of the site is a blank canvas.
“Willow’s Escape” is coming soon, but it’s going to be really special!
“Willow’s Retreat” is a beautiful house made of rammed earth. As such, it is extremely well insulated and maintains a great temperature year round. For extra comfort, there are ceiling fans for summer, and a wood fire and electric blankets for winter. Every living area is equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for your safety, with extinguishers and first aid kit for emergencies. Solar powered, and harvesting rainwater, it’s completely off grid. There’s also no mobile signal; however, we do have high speed satellite internet for those that don’t want a complete technology detox!
There’s a fully equipped kitchen, with gas oven/cooktop, microwave, kettle, toaster and large fridge and freezer (great for longer stays – shops aren’t close!). All utensils, crockery and cutlery are provided. Outside, there’s a brand new 4 burner barbecue with side gas ring, as well as a super-comfy hammock to laze in.
The living area is spacious, with comfortable sofas, flat screen TV and DVD library. Or go old school, with board games, jigsaws and boule to keep you entertained! There’s also a separate dining room, with a Japanese-inspired 6 seater table.
The bedrooms have amazingly comfy beds (one queen and two doubles), with all linen and towels provided. With no traffic noise to disturb you, you’ll have the best night’s sleep and wake to the sounds of the birds outside your window.
The rambling cottage garden is full of edible surprises! From fruit trees, to luscious herbs, to random turnips, you never know what you might find! There is an outdoor table and chairs, as well as fire pit for those cooler nights.
Everyone’s welcome at Willow’s Retreat – whatever your background and wherever you’re from, it’s the perfect place to be yourself.
To protect our wildlife and stock, pets are sadly not allowed. However, there is the potential to bring your horse to ride at Willow’s Leap Equestrian nearby!
We’re constantly adding things to improve your stay – and welcome any suggestions you might have! Make sure you contact us with any questions; we’re happy to help!