Climbing trees is a must.
Sorrel gets into some face painting.
Sorrel has found the perfect retreat to bring adults and children back to the simple joys of the Aussie bush and wildlife.
Wangat Lodge is 20km north of Dungog, on the northern side of the Hunter Valley and in the foothills of the Barrington Tops. It is made of mudbricks and locally hewn timber, sitting on 37 hectares of wildlife refuge, which is bordered by a pristine stretch of the Chichester River. The tranquil setting is perfect for family holidays, group activities, school camps, training courses and conferences.
This place of 101 things to do provides low-cost accommodation for two to 57 people who want to get among nature. There is a forest, rivers, streams and plenty of wildlife. You can play table tennis, handball or volleyball, or go horseriding.
The owners of Wangat Aboriginal for "A Place Where Whisperings Are Heard" set up the centre 15 years ago to provide environmental education for society at large. It has been run for 13 years by Ken Rubeli, who has experience as a teacher and forester and has spent time in Malaysia with Australia Volunteers Abroad. He is also a photographer and has written a book on tropical rainforests.
The Lodge, made from 11,000 mud bricks, has 10 rooms (four with six beds, five with four beds and one with two beds). Bathrooms are shared and the fully equipped, commercial-sized kitchen has a large refrigerator, freezer, stove and microwave. Crockery and cutlery are provided. The communal area is set up for dining, recreation, relaxation and lectures.
The two cottages, each built from 2000 mud bricks, can be booked for a minimum of two nights. Less time just does not give you a chance to fully appreciate what Wangat and its surrounds have to offer. If you stay in a cottage, activities are not arranged, but information and advice are cheerfully provided.
A barbecue and children's play area are provided; there is a bush hut for craft activities and a forest amphitheatre for meetings and recitals.
Holiday programs include night frog spotting 18 different varieties and bush walks across the river, looking for koalas, echidnas, goannas, wallabies, possums and snakes.
You need to take bed linen, food, books, games and instruments. There is no television at Wangat Lodge, so it's a wonderful place for people to sit, talk and get to know one another all over again.