The Highlands’ Very Own Nature Festival

The Highlands’ Very Own Nature Festival

Who Should Go To WILDfest 2019


WILDfest 2019 is happening in October and we are crazy excited! A month long nature festival in the Southern Highlands, a program of super unique events celebrating our gorgeous region. 

And unique is definitely an understatement! 

From forest bathing to foraging, glamping under the Milky Way, cooking with fire and an astro night time photography workshop in canoes!!! See? We told you it was unique. And that’s just SOME of the experiences on offer. So many cool things to choose from. 

So who should go along to WILDfest 2019……….?



Showcasing the stunning produce we have access to in The Highlands is a big part of WILDfest 2019, and Wild Harvest Feast on October 5 is definitely a highlight. It’s a supercool fusion of fine dining and cooking with fire at a secret and stunning outdoor location. Five courses of deliciousness cooked by Lennox Hastie of the two-hatted Firedoor – amaaayzzing restaurant BTW – and beautiful wines served up under a gorgeous marquee and the stars! How amazing does that sound? Click here to book yourself a spot! 

Fire food


Foodies (and lovers of all thing wine – helllooooo, that’s us!) will love the Cheese, Chocolate and Dirt Horizontal Wine Tasting. This event focuses on Pinot Noir, a variety of wine that so many local wineries have nailed thanks to the cool climate of the Southern Highlands and the fabbo skills of the winemakers, of course! And don’t worry! A Horizontal Wine Tasting doesn’t mean you taste wine lying down, cos that could get a bit messy, right? Especially with red wine! It means you’ll be tasting wines from the same vintage…but from different wineries. Tickets go on sale soon - watch this space for all the deets. 

Wildfest Cheese Chocolate Dirt

The Highland Forage will also appeal to local foodies. This is a supercool walking trail with an 8-course degustation menu telling the story of the food of the region, from the mountains of The Highlands down the escarpment to the coast. It’s like a deliciously loooong progressive lunch in a gorgeous location with live music, artisans and locals to chat to, wild flowers blooming in the spring air and breathtaking scenery. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Tickets on sale this month - keep an eye on this page so you don't miss out!



Oh man, this looks incredible….the Wild Spirit Challenge is perfect for those who love a bit of adventure, getting back to nature and exploring the distinctive landscape of the Shoalhaven and Kangaroo River system. This is a 3 day, 2 night epic water voyage for both experienced adventurers and newbies! Night paddles, exploring private beaches and caverns, and the sunken gumtree forest (we’ve been there, and it is amazing!) - this is a hands-on canoeing and camping adventure that will leave you feeling pretty gobsmacked about how gorgeous this area is and completely rebooted and refreshed. What a way to disconnect from modern life! The Wild Spirit Challenge is on 5 – 7 October and you can book your spot here


Kangaroo Valley River

If an overnight camp is not on your to do list but you still want to go exploring on the water – with a little bit of luxury! – then the Canoes, Champagne and Canapes experience is right up your alley…ahem…waterway. Paddle down the Kangaroo River in a custom-rigged canoe (guaranteed not to capsize – happy days!). Blue sky, fresh air, clear head, eagles soaring above you and surrounded by water and trees. PLUS you’re sipping on a glass of local bubbles, beer or wine, and munching away on delicious canapes. Choose from two days – Saturday 19 October or Sunday 20 October. What a fun way to spend a few hours! Book your spot on this oarsome adventure here - see what we did there?? 


Got a little road rage? Been a bit stressed at work? Then escape into the forest with the awesome WILDfest Forest Bathing experience. We love this…and we especially love that scientific studies show that forest bathing is sooooo good for our wellbeing. Our heart rate slows down (bye bye road rage!), blood pressure decreases (bye Felicia!), stress lowers and our immune systems get stronger. Wow, right? You can do a 2-hour session on October 6 or crank it up a notch and sign up for the Forest Bathing Overnight Retreat. So here to grab yourself a ticket. 

Wildfest Forest Bathing



Who loves being outdoors but also loves a bit of luxury? Our hands are up! There are some fabulous WILDfest glamping options for adults only or for the whole family. 

Camp out with the fam bam at Tidbinbilla’s nature reserve. The kids will have a ball spotting all the different types of wildlife, cooking around the campfire and sleeping under the stars. This awesome experience is available through the school holidays from Friday 27 September through to Saturday 12 October. Click here for more info and booking details. 

Or if you’re up for a glam grown-up’s adventure, book your luxury bell tent at the Southern Highlands Wilderness Retreat 4- 6 October - hold on to your hats, people and listen to this. Sleep under the Milky Way in luxury (think crisp linen, fluffy pillows and snuggly blankets), sip on stunning local wines, devour award-winning paddock-to-plate meals, head off on an outdoor eco-adventure or - and this gets our vote – have a pamper session at the WILDfest bush spa. All on a private and secluded 499 hectare property just 20 minutes from Bowral. Heaven….All the details are here, including info on other gorgeous WILDfest glamping packages and options. 





This might just be the pic of the bunch (see what we did there?? Sorry not sorry!). This is soooo unique. An Astro Night-Time Photography Workshop where you canoe – yep! A moonlit paddle on super stable double rigs – through the sunken forest to the location of the outdoor workshop on the banks of Lake Yarrunga. There you will learn how to capture gorgeous nightscapes with award-winning photographer, Ari Rex. Mind. Blown. This is for one night only on Saturday October 19 and there are only 20 spots so don’t dilly dally with this one, peeps! Book online here. 

Wildfest Astro Photography


The Gathering with Mark Olive on Saturday November 2 is a cooking workshop and demonstration with a difference. Mark is Australia’s most celebrated and renowned Indigenous chef – the perfect person to learn all about how to incorporate indigenous ingredients into meals and everyday life. Numbers are limited to 40 guests only and tickers go on sale soon, so keep an eye on this page if you’re keen to meet Mark and make and break some bread with him! 

Wildfest The Gathering


2040 is just the beginning…..Based on Damon Gameau’s award-winning film about what we can do to recreate a healthy earth, WILDfest and Carousel Lifestyle will be hosting a ReGeneration Weekend at The Mill on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October, where the goal is to get the Highlands Activation Plan started. Stay tuned for info on forward-thinking guest speakers, inspiring workshops and film screenings, and more. It’s up to us, people! Want to get involved? Email the WILDfest team here

What a bunch of amazing events and experiences! And how lucky are we that it is right here in our very own backyard?! 





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Penny Webb

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