Be part of an unforgettable and uniquely Australian three day wilderness celebration.
It’s a festival connecting you to nature through soul-stirring and authentic wild activities. And as nature is unpredictable, exciting and untamed, we mix in the whimsical to craft those truly exceptional moments.
This definitely isn’t your average weekend in the country.
This creatively programmed three day wilderness event is a rich mixture of remote glamping with concierge, mouth-watering food experiences, up-close nature exploration through hiking, abseiling, canoeing and mountain biking, awe-inspiring performance art and enough stolen moments to just be. It’s a carnival for the senses designed to let you do as little or as much as you want.
As a special offer to all Alquemie customers we are also including the Canoes, Canapés and Champagne experience as part of this 3 day itinerary at no extra cost.
Add in a wild Native Feast, night photography and an open-air wellness spa and you are starting to understand what it is all about. And then of course there are the surprises that can’t be shared just yet.
All nature-connect activities are optional but included as part of the package price alongside your food, drink and accommodation. Everything is included, you will want for nothing.
Your day is scheduled based on the questionnaire you complete after booking and matched to either your fitness level or your desire for a more leisure-based or physically challenging activity choice.
We provide exceptional chef-designed catering and we do all the heavy lifting along the way. When you reach that magic spot, your deck chair, canapés and special glass of something will await. All you have to do is sit back and savour the beauty that is mother nature. It’s a step out of the everyday into the wild.
The location – Joadja Old Town & Distillery
Joadja Old Town is a very unique and special place and never before has an event like this been held in this location. Its wilderness is unmatched in the area and the historical backdrop of colonial mining ruins are mesmerising.
Only 25 kms west of Mittagong, Joadja town was founded on a shale seam in 1850 and Scottish workers were brought out to Australia to mine it. The mine closed early in the 20th century, and the town was abandoned. The buildings were left to the elements, and nature has slowly regained its hold on much of the valley. The ruins that remain, entangled with the wild, tell the story of those that lived and worked here.
The mining technology that made the valley so prosperous in its time stands as the last of its kind in the world. Joadja truly is a gem of world heritage significance and an intriguing part of Australia’s history.
Canoes, Champagne and Canapés Experience
Before check in on 27th Oct or after check out on 29th Oct from Joadja Old Town we are also including this unique experience in Kangaroo Valley.
Canoes, Champagne and Canapés is the perfect combination food, wine and wilderness. Its gastronomy heaven for lovers of great food as well as a wine tasting exploration of award winning cool climate varietals and boutique craft beers from the Southern Highlands, all set in a wilderness sanctuary where nature over delivers.
Gliding downstream on the Kangaroo River from Beehive Point to the mouth of Yarrunga Creek with the backdrop of the Morton National Park in Kangaroo Valley is one such place. Take a seat in one of our custom-built double-canoe rigs and immerse your senses in its sheer beauty. This area is home to the majestic azure kingfisher, wedge-tail eagle, diamond python, rock wallaby, white-breasted sea eagle, water dragon and more.
Package price does not include transfers to and from Joadja Old Town or Beehive Point for the Canoes, Champagne and Canapés Experience. For those unable to self drive and need transportation and for full terms and conditions please contact your Alquemie Specialist.
The 3 Day WILDfest Southern Highlands Premium Package is all inclusive.
- 3 Days and 2 Nights Glamping on the Remote Joadja Old Town private site from check in on Friday 27th Oct to check out on Sunday 29th Oct
- Glamping guests enjoy concierge service and tent inclusions are:
- Real beds – Mattress on bed bases, floor rugs and welcome mat
- Quality bed linen package – sheets, pillow cases, warm doona, warm throw and cushion
- Towels, face washer and environmentally friendly toiletries
- Luggage rack and low shelving unit• Bed side tables with solar lights and chairs
- Communal lounge are in our Sperry Tent
- Toilets and hot showers serviced regularly on site
- Our central communal lounge Sperry tent will be stocked with local snacks to keep the hunger pains at bay as well as cool climate wines, local boutique beers and soft herbal non-alcoholic tonics and fresh gravity feed mountain water for you to access anytime.
- Tea and coffee will be available on request through our concierge team.
- Gourmet meals prepared by Brigid Kennedy of the Loch in Berrima & Simmer Catering. These include:
- Welcome Lunch Friday 27th Oct – Our food is fresh paddock-to-plate all the way with gastronomic delights carefully crafted by our award-winning chefs for which the region is renowned.
- Sundowners followed by Gourmet Fire Feast on Friday 27th Oct. Sit back and relax as we serve you a char-grilled extravaganza of the finest locally cultivated produce. Platters to satisfy the most ardent meat lover or vegetarian gastronome will be served accompanied by the best of the best Highlands wines: crisp Pinot Grigio, delicate Chardonnay, elegant Riesling or gold-medal winning Pinot Noir depending on your preference.
- Breakfast on Sat 28th and Sun 29th Oct – After a steaming hot shower greet the day with fresh baked sourdough smothered in smoky butter, just-roasted coffee or hand-blended tea. Expect a sumptuous feast of freshly baked pastries, organic juices, super food porridge and classic farm-style hearty breakfast options such as free range eggs, locally reared bacon or pancake stacks with fruit and maple syrup.
- Picnic lunch on Saturday 28th Oct at the Joadja Old Town Property – location depending on your chosen activities that day. Enjoy crusty bread with hand made artisan delicacies such as pate, ploughman’s or thick crusted open sandwiches served with fresh salads, fruits of the season and something sweet to fuel you until dinner.
- Farewell Lunch on Sunday 29th Oct – Our last supper together will celebrate all that is amazing about the richness and diversity of food and wine produce from the Highlands region.
- After lunch on Sunday 29th Oct we will take you on a tour of the Joadja Distillery where they make Single Malt Whisky, Moonshine, Dr Gin, Anise and their Wee Scottish Ale as well as set up a shop in the WIldfest Café – Why not pack your bag with a taste of the Highlands to enjoy while you look back on your unforgettable images of WILDfest™ Southern Highlands
- Wild Native Feast event from 5.30pm on Sat 28th OctoberOur signature foodie event – A combination of award-wining local produce partnered with fresh foraged delights that have been crafted into a 7 course feast by resident chef Damien Monley. We will serve this under the stars in one of the paddock at Joadja Old Town and mix in some whimsical elements to really make your night complete – live entertainment with acoustic music, seven incredible courses and we provide you with Top Hat & Tails for the guys and Tiaras & Gloves for the ladies to really immerse=se yourself in the wonderland setting we have created for this special dinner.
- Participate in 5 of the available Nature Connect Activities with our fully qualified guides over your 3 day festival period:
- Hike & Harvest Bush Walk
- Mountain Biking with bikes provided
- Canoe experience with canoes provided
- Abseiling with all equipment provided and guides to teach you
- 4WD Drive tour of the Joadja Old Town Ruins
- Wildlife Encounter with the South Coast Rescue Team and Australia Raptor Centre
- Rejuvenate and Meditate- our bush spa treatment
- Art Classes in the bush
The festival organisers schedule your day based on the questionnaire you complete after booking. These are matched to either your fitness level or desire for more leisure-based or physically challenging activity choices.
- Start the day with either Yoga or Tai Chi before breakfast.
- Additional activities such as night photography and glow in the dark boules will be offered and you can choose to participate or not during your weekend adventure.
FRIDAY 27TH OCT 2017 Sunrise 6.00am
11am – Arrive and Check In
Guests arrive at our remote location – Joadja Old Town in Southern Highlands about 1.5 hours south of Sydney. We have arranged car parking nearby for those arriving in their own vehicles or local pick ups for other arrival options. We then transfer you on to the WILDfest site by 4WD where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink, meet the festival staff and settle in to your perfectly provisioned bell tent. We’ll brief you on your itinerary before you embark on your long weekend.
Noon -1.30pm- Welcome Lunch
Our festival foodie mecca has been set up adjacent to the Whiskey Distillery where you will, over the next three days, sample the best of locally grown produce from more than 100 regional growers and producers. Brigid Kennedy and her team at The Loch, Berrima are well known for their Foodie Field Day Feasts and are providing our day-to-day catering. Brigid is an expert chef and the driving force behind the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Clusters, a development which has put the national spotlight on the rich and diverse wine and food culture in the Highlands. She is also a celebrated author having published Small Food and All Fired Up and is currently working on her next book Slave to Flavour
Expect delights such as line-caught local perch, fresh hand-reared Angus beef, free range chicken, luscious organic vegetables and fruit, artisan cheeses, the freshest of hand-kneaded breads, smoky churned butters, award-winning cold climate wines, and boutique beers and ciders that rival the best in the country. Our food is fresh paddock-to-plate all the way with gastronomic delights carefully crafted by our award-winning chefs for which the region is renowned.
2.00-4.00pm – Hike and Harvest
Time to set off and explore the surrounding native bush with our expert guides. We have a number of trails to choose from that weave through pristine wilderness teaming with wildlife – meet some local kangaroos and wallabies, wombats, birds in abundance, lyre birds, monitors and our elusive platypus. See our colonial past as you pass by mining ruins and take in the abundance of native bush foods on which our forefathers and indigenous populations survived. Then quench your thirst with fresh mountain stream water as you unwind and get accustomed to the extraordinary landscape. Hike to the top of the mountain to gaze over the escarpment from the comfort of your deck chair, raise your glass and take that unforgettable photo. Just sit back and take the time to enjoy the uniqueness of nature’s beauty – you have earned it.
6pm – Sun-downers by the waterhole
With the sun setting over the water we have the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and watch nature light up the sky. And as nature is unpredictable, exciting and untamed, we mix in the whimsical to make our first night a truly exceptional moment. Expect some entertaining surprises.
7.30pm Under the Milky Way Gourmet Fire Feast
Sit back and relax as we serve you a char-grilled extravaganza of the finest locally cultivated produce. Platters to satisfy the most ardent meat lover or vegetarian gastronome will be served accompanied by the best of the best Highlands wines: crisp Pinot Grigio, delicate Chardonnay, elegant Riesling or gold-medal winning Pinot Noir depending on your preference.
Add in an optional glow-in-the-dark boules tournament or perhaps night photography under the splendour of the Milky Way guided by one of our award-wining photographers. There are also a few more surprises we don’t want to share just yet!
Make your way back to your inviting 900 thread count sheets by foot or vehicle and expect to see a few nocturnal friends along the way.
SAT 28TH OCT 2017 – Sunrise 5.59am
7.00am Start the day with morning yoga in the bush
Yoga is a group of spiritual, mental and physical disciplines which originated in ancient India and what better way to greet the coming day than in the quiet seclusion of the Australian bush. Deep breathe, stretch your body and leave your troubles behind you as you ready yourself for another day connecting with the wild parts of the world.
7am – 9am – Breakfast
After a steaming hot shower greet the day with fresh baked sourdough smothered in smoky butter, just-roasted coffee or hand-blended tea. Expect a sumptuous feast of freshly baked pastries, organic juices, super food porridge and classic farm-style hearty breakfast options such as free range eggs, locally reared bacon or pancake stacks with fruit and maple syrup.
9.00 – 11.00am – WILD Cycle
Explore the wilderness with our expert guides on mountain bikes and a choice of tracks: a challenging upward track or an exhilarating cycle down into the valley with the wind in your face. Mountain bikes are tailor made to handle our terrain from hard-packed, muddy, rocky, gravel, tree roots to soft form vegetation. They are the prefect vehicle for an adventure along the tracks and trails that make up the Joadja Old Town estate.
All bikes are provided for you and our guides will be on hand to show you the best places to ride. And of course we weave in some unexpected surprises to take your long weekend from ordinary to extraordinary.
12.30 – 2.00pm – Lunch
What better way to enjoy the water than in our custom-built canoes while you sip on award-winning Highlands wines and savour native food canapés? We have designed a central rig that links two canoes together offering not only greater stability to paddle but also a perfect picnic table.
2.30-4.00pm – WILDlife – Meet some of the locals
At WILDfest™ we are for wild and wildlife so we have arranged an out of the ordinary encounter with some of our adorable Australian animal citizens in conjunction with Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc, HigherGround Raptor and Southern Highlands Koala Sanctuary. Their teams and a licensed exhibitor will be on hand to give you an insight into being a native animal carer and you can get up close with some of our more adorable mammals and birds.
5.30pm WILDfest Native Feast
No festival would be complete without its signature event and WILD Native Feast is ours! Under the stars guests will enjoy a 7 course food adventure carefully curated by Damien Monley of Grand Bistro, Bowral, from the natural bounty of our land. Enjoy a gastronomic treat using hand reared, hand grown and foraged local produce as the heavens put on a show for us.
Damien Monley is Head Chef and owner-operator of Bowral’s stylish Grand Bistro, has run the kitchen in Matt Moran’s eponymous 2-hatted restaurant, London’s internationally renowned Gastropub The White Horse on Parsons Green, the Brooklyn Hotel and has been owner-operator of two successful Sydney eateries, Madame Char Char at Surry Hills and Flat White Cafe, Woollahra.
He’s a man passionate about nature, the provenance of the ingredients and produce he uses, his relationship with local suppliers, and a belief in the joy of eating honest, rustic food.
No remote formal dinner is complete without an acoustic live performance under the milky way, so get ready for it. There is of course a twist. We’ve arranged to provide gentlemen with top hat and tails whilst the ladies are offered gloves and tiaras to add some magic to this signature event. It’s still outdoors though so gumboots all the way!
SUNDAY 29TH OCT 2017- Sunrise 5.58am
7am Start the day with Tai Chi in the bush
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. What better way to greet the coming day than in the quiet seclusion of the Australian bush. Deep breathe, stretch your body and leave your troubles behind you as you ready yourself for another day connecting with the wild parts of the world.
7am – 9am Breakfast
Another foodie feast selection to start the day from Brigid Kennedy and her team at The Loch, Berrima.
9.00 – 11.00am WILD Escarpment OR Joadja Ruins 4WD Exploration
Abseiling is not for everyone but if you like a really wild adventure then our team of expert guides will make sure they get your heart pounding as you see nature from a completely new perspective – off the top of the rocky escarpment overlooking Joadja Old Town. It’s the view any social media addict will covet.You may of course prefer a guided tour in a 4WD exploring the tracks and trails of the 1000 acre Old Town historical site and get a glimpse into our rugged mining past.
12.00 – 1.30pm Lunch
Our last supper together will celebrate all that is amazing about the richness and diversity of food and wine produce from the Highlands region. Why not pack your bag with a taste of the Highlands to enjoy while you look back on your unforgettable images of WILDfest™
2.00-3.00pm Rejuvenate & Meditate in our Bush Spa
Nothing says relaxation like an open-air bush spa. Opt for a luxurious foot massage to get the circulation going while taking in the peaceful bush views or perhaps a remedial treatment to smooth the knots in your shoulders, back and neck. It’s about shutting the door on the day-to-day, quietening your mind, relaxing your body and remembering what it’s like to feel wild and free.
Checkout from 4pm
Your bags will be collected from your tents and be on hand for your departure. We will transfer you back to your cars or arrange to drop you at your departure point. And for those staying in the Highlands to enjoy Anzac day we will coordinate transfer to your next accommodation choice.
When you are not participating in an activity there is as much or as little to do as you desire. Perhaps you want to read a book in our relaxation shade tent at the glamping centre and enjoy a glass of award-wining cold climate wine or walk the 500m to the natural springs for a swim.
Joadja Old Town is teaming with wildlife from kangaroos, koalas and wombat populations to platypus, lyre birds and monitors. Nature offers a great show to just observe or perhaps engaging in conversation with another festival guest is the way to spend a lazy hour.
This is your long weekend so you can opt in and out of activities as you choose and set your own pace. And after check out, the more adventurous are invited to take their own transport to another location for our Twilight Strip N Dip to baptise ourselves in the WILD, just the way nature intended.
For more information or to book this please contact your Alquemie Australian Specialist.
Contact us to begin your tailor-made journey to Australia