Wild Village Experience – nature connection through learning ancient bush skills in a village setting

Wild Village Experience – nature connection through learning ancient bush skills in a village setting.

Dan Lyons& Nikki Brown

When: 03/09/2018 at 5:00pm
Format: 5 Days (3rd Sep- 7 Sep)
How Much: $Various - see details below.


Through learning and practicing ancient wild crafts (making fire from friction, animal mimicry, interpreting birdcalls, navigation by natural elements, rope making and weaving from natural grasses, barefoot walking by day and night, etc.) and the incorporation of traditional village practices (group processes, storytelling, camp fire cooking, sharing, singing, dancing etc.) there is a tangible surge in connection to nature, self and others. The aim is that the experiences enrich you and will subsequently inspire your own private and professional practices. Developing your own connection to nature improves you own ability to connect others to the healing power of nature. Let’s face it – in adventure therapy, it is the wildness of nature that helps bring the healing.

The camp will be held in the simple and comfortable accommodation of Wangat Lodge, nestled in the sub-tropical foothills of the Barrington Tops within pristine forests and on the stunning Chichester River with its deep swimming holes and rapids to explore. Wangat Lodge is managed as a wildlife sanctuary and conservation area and is rich in wildlife and incredible bio-diversity. It has a large indoor community space and outdoor communal fire pit. All food for meals is provided.


Early Bird Rates (Booked before 3 August 2018)

Adults: $660

Family of 4: $2000

Children 5 and up: $395

Children 4 years: $195

Children 1-3 years: $95

Children: 0-1 year free of charge

After Early Bird

Adults: $690

Children 5 and up: $400

Children 4 years: $200

Children 1-3 years: $100

Children: 0-1 year free of charge


Wangat Lodge – 1938 Chichester Dam Rd, Bandon Grove, 2420, NSW (about 1hr 20 minutes from Newcastle)

Equipment Required

  • Sleeping Bag and pillow case (available if required – please let us know before arrival)
  • Clothes to suit conditions – comfortable outdoor clothing
  • Towel
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Rain jacket
  • Snacks
  • Optional
  • Compass, Camera, Fixed blade bush knife.
  • Any materials or equipment for an adventure, activity, workshop that you would like to run.

Other Details:

Arrive by 5pm, Monday 3rdSeptember and Finish 10am Friday 7thSeptember

Meals:Monday nights meal will be ready on arrival. All other meals will be prepared by the village using the food provided. Cooking together brings a village together.

Daily activities: Nature connection, bush skills and child friendly activities will be on offer in the mornings. After lunch there is an opportunity to explore, rest, play volleyball, climb on the jungle gym, run your own activity or workshop or whatever else you feel to do.

The evenings will involve a shared meal and storytelling, music and a night challenge on one or two nights.

Accommodation: The Lodge, built by hand of mud bricks, has 10 bunk style rooms with 2, 4 or 6 beds in each and one cottage. Families can book a room or individuals can book a bed. There is also the option to set up a tent.

Transport: There is excellent public train transport from Sydney (Central Station) via Newcastle to Dungog. Cityrail and Trainlink. We can pick you up from Dungog Station, and bring you to Wangat Lodge (20 minutes).

Otherwise it is a 3.5 hour drive north from Sydney – or 4? hours from the conference.

Best way to “check out Wangat Lodge” is through our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/wangatbytheriver/

*We are planning to make an direct donation to AABAT from any profits made (will depend on number of bookings – above our minimum of 14 we will make profit)

Workshop Video

Presenter Information

Nikki Brown:

Nikki has spent much of the last 10 years learning traditional bush skills from Indigenous people all around the world. This included spending a year living in the bush, learning and practicing these skills including building her own shelter using hand tools, traditional methods and natural materials. This on top of working in the outdoors as an outdoors guide, bush regenerator, youth team leader and also following the work of nature connection facilitators, has left her with a passion for sharing the skills as she sees that when we rely on nature to provide our needs, we naturally become connected to it, we naturally want to look after it and we naturally find our place in the world.

Dan Lyons:

Dan is the NSW representative for AABAT. For the past 20 years he has worked with youth-at-risk in wilderness settings, running programmes of Bush Adventure Therapy. He has also taught Outdoor Education at Western Sydney University and at various schools. At present, he is co-owner with his wife Verity of Wangat Lodge where they offer accommodation, outdoor education and BAT programmes. He is a passionate adventurer, often putting himself at his edge in nature for personal growth and awareness. He really looks forward to hosting participants at the “Wild Village Experience”. Dan is an historian, youth worker, adventure guide, bird watcher and loves living in the little shire of Dungog.