is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.


Earlier this week my man and I spent three magical days in a treehouse in the Wollemi Wilderness area of Bilpin.

From the moment we arrived we were blown away (quite literally; we arrived in the middle of an insane storm) by the wild-haired owner Lionel’s dedication to creating a wilderness getaway that’s both incredibly beautiful, and completely sustainable.

Despite the fact that Lionel owns 600 acres of the Wollemi National Park, he has only six cabins dotted throughout his massive property, and has made sure that each of them have as little impact on the environment as possible. 

In our treehouse, set 35-feet above the ground and created with local felled timber and recycled materials like corrugated iron and sandstone, there were solar-powered lights, a composting worm toilet, a fire for heating, and water that was recycled onto the vegetation below.

Our time there was blissful. Think hours spent in the hot tub with the floor-to-ceiling windows open all around us as the storm raged and we sipped our champagne. A bush walk into the valley, through dense rainforest and down to the creek, passing the area where convicts used to quarry sandstone. A delectable farm-to-table feast by the fire at Sean Moran’s impeccably styled Tomah Gardens Restaurant inside the nearby Blue Mountains botanic gardens. A night in the cosy Love Teepee, where we went retro and played Pick-Up Sticks (remember them?), listened to Phil Collins, and watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And on our last night, a guided walk under a star-filled sky by the lovely and passionate Jochen from Blue Mountains Glow Worm Tours, to see glow-worms lighting up an entire crevasse down by the river.

We were sad to leave, but did so knowing we’d be back very soon, and with our heads filled with ideas for how we could continue supporting sustainable tourism outfits like Lionel’s.

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