THE BUCKET LIST FILES | VOL 6 Callicoma Hill Eco-Cabins | Ecotourism Certified
THE EXPERIENCE | INSPIRATION THROUGH CONNECTION
It’s hard to explain, that feeling you get when you’re sitting somewhere, enjoying the view and everything that’s happening around you, and your whole being feels at peace. Like when you watch a sunset and the clouds are so dramatic that it’s like someone has painted the sky with giant, detailed, glowing brushstrokes. It’s an experience that if you’re alone, you wish you could share with someone else, but one that also feels like it’s meant just for you.
This is the feeling you get every time you come back to this peaceful nature escape. It’s hard to believe that only 3 hours out of Sydney lies this little peace of paradise, on the south-western edge of the Barrington Tops, an hour from the vineyards of the Hunter Valley and out of reach of the demands of wifi and technology.
On this visit, you’ve come with your family – the kids absolutely love all the animals that are at home here, including the kangaroos and wallabies that hop around just outside their bedroom! Within a few hours, they’re not missing the TV and instead discover all sorts of treasures in the natural surroundings that evoke their childish imagination.
Amazingly, you even manage to convince them to take part in a few walks (the promise of marshmallows around the fire helps!), taking the opportunity to encourage in them a sense of curiosity for nature and enjoying quality family time – something which can sometimes get lost among your normal to-do lists, soccer practices, music lessons and homework-filled evenings.
Whilst the kids play, you take the opportunity to get your drawing pad out – it’s not often that this appears these days, but with no internet and no access to emails, it’s a small chance to spend some time being mindful, letting out that tension in your shoulders and breathing deeply the crisp, clean, air. Not many people know you’ve got a creative side, and it’s nice to rediscover this for yourself.
In the evening, you build said promised fire, eat marshmallows and tell ghost stories. The stars above stretch out like a blanket, giving you the feeling of being enveloped in nature from all sides.
Being here reminds you of your own childhood. Life was simpler then – how has life become so hectic these days? How important it is to remind yourself of what matters, not just for yourself but for your kids. If they grow up with a love and appreciation for nature, they’ll surely be more on board with protecting it. At least that’s what you hope for…
THE HOST | WHO RUNS THIS BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCE?
Callicoma Hill’s self-contained eco-cabin and bushwalks have been Ecotourism Certified since 2011. Situated 3 hours’ drive north of Sydney and close to the mountains of Mt Royal and Barrington Tops National Parks, this family-owned and operated nature getaway was crafted by owner Martin Fallding with total respect for the natural landscape and its biodiversity. Picturesque Lake St Clair is about 15 minutes’ drive away and offers fishing and boating alternatives to bushwalking.
Built upon the values of simplicity, truth, beauty, peace, equality and durability, the 120ha property contains a bunkhouse that sleeps up to 10 people and bush camping sites as well as the self-contained eco-cabin. Each accommodation type is only ever booked for one group at a time, though it’s also possible to book the whole property for a large group.
The Ecotourism Certified Callicoma Hill eco-cabin features many environmentally friendly features, such as a fully independent solar electricity supply, rainwater tanks and the use of a wood-fired stove for cooking, heating and hot water. Waste water is treated in constructed wetlands and the property is a refuge for a range of native animals, including threatened species.
THE DETAILS | MORE INFO
THE BUCKET LIST FILES | SHARING YOUR MAGIC
Are you an Ecotourism Australia certified operator? We want to share your little piece of paradise. Visit this page to read what we mean by “bucket list experiences” and answer a quick survey to go in the draw to be featured in the next volume of the Bucket List Files.
For more info, please email us.
[All photos from Callicoma Hill]