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23 - 30 JULY - 2023


defined as ‘a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment, joy or rapture’

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Over 7 days & nights in Katoomba, in the heart of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, THE FESTIVAL OF IMPOSSIBLE DELIGHTS brings a roster of magnificent facilitators with offerings from literature, creative writing, singing, tai chi, meditation, philosophy and wellbeing. Workshops are repeated daily ensuring small, intimate groups.


The four and a half star Mountains Heritage Hotel, overlooking Katoomba and the wilderness beyond, has been secured for what could be described as the worlds’ smallest festival with just 80 people accommodated in the hotel's 42 tasteful heritage rooms. Beautiful breakout spaces and decks offer respite upon which to chill with vistas of a blue world. 

You unpack on Sunday and then don’t pack again until the following Sunday. In the interval you will enjoy a fascinating hybrid experience that combines the delight of travel with the emotional & intellectual excitement of a boutique festival. 

Each day is a meditation on delight - with the masterful Jan Cornall leading fascinating creative writing workshops; Maestro Sue Johnson leading one morning class for all to experience the joy of singing, and one advanced class for singers; the Dickensian Walter Mason delving into the more eccentric byways of literature; Rod Lee guiding classes in tai chi and meditation, and talks on Buddhist philosophy.  

Then there are other treats, but in the spirit of true delight, they will just happen, and be all the more intoxicating for their unexpectedness. 

Each midday we venture on luxury coaches into the WORLD HERITAGE AREA to lunch in places of wonder or fascinating cultural significance, both First Nations and European. Evenings are spent either wandering into Katoomba to sample the mountain restaurants or dining at the Mountain Heritage, sometimes enjoying keynote presentations.

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How these different streams converge into one joyous experience is the unknown element, the exciting and spontaneous possibility of this fascinating, restorative & profound adventure into
literature, music, creativity & wellbeing. 


Core Facilitators & Elements

Jan Cornall

Creative Writing Coach

"I'm imagining the writing workshops will offer participants a chance to creatively respond to, reflect on, the experiences curated for the Festival of Impossible Delights. Sense based workshops on haiku, flash fiction, landscape, nature writing and more require no previous writing experience and encourage the participants to tap into their creative spirit as they become the observers of their own delight." 

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Sue Johnson


"The magic of singing - the joy and the delight - is that we don’t know what is possible when voices come together?

Music belongs to us all, to the singers and to the non-singers. It is one of humankind's great sources of delight. 

I ask that you simply show up, become part of The Choir of Impossible Delights, ‘tune in’, ‘deeply listen’ and trust, as waves of music flow through you."


Walter Mason

Literature & Philosohy

"Reading is a sacred activity, and together we explore the exciting possibilities of literature, history and learning.

Forget those dull lessons you endured in the past! Our time together will be spent making fascinating connections with books, poetry and characters, and realising just how important their lessons remain today.

Activating imagination and curiosity is the aim of the game."


Rod Lee

Tai chi, Meditation & Buddhist Philosophy

"Ancient techniques have now become important rejuvenating practices in today’s modern, stress driven world. During our week of wellbeing ‘delights’ we will explore Tai Chi, Qigong, Neigong, meditation, mindfulness, and simple Buddhist philosophical ideas and methods that we can use to enhance our resilience.

When we align ourselves with right thinking, and right action, happiness & delight is a natural result."


The Blue Mountains

A Wonderland of Blue & Mist

The Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is one of the worlds' great mountain wonderlands, bathed in refracted blue light and surrounded by eucalypt forests and breathtaking waterfalls. 

The natural landscape is equalled by its built environment with quaint villages and turn-of- the-century art deco hotels. 

Into this world we will gently venture each day to let the beauty seep into the mind and heart, and to perform its magic.


Surprises - the soul of delight

You'll just have to be there!

Intrinsic to the idea of 'delight' is the experience of the unknown. 

Each day at least one element, one presenter or one interaction will come as a surprise, and will have been designed to be deliver an unexpected and exquisite delight.


The Festival of Impossible Delights will not just deliver announced programs but unannounced gems.

Keynote Speakers

Left field topics & speakers from the worlds of art, thought and mysticism.

Sarah Rowan

Sarah Rowan is an artist and thought-leader who empowers individuals and organisations to ignite a better future through creativity. As one of Australia’s top Speed Painters, she has lived and breathed the dynamic process of transformation

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Adam Axford

At the core of Adam's philosophy is a single idea - our words shape our reality. This understanding ripples through performance, illusion, videos and working relationships, driving home a valuable message which is often overlooked.

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Carmel Bendon

Writer and presenter on “all things medieval” Carmel will facilitate an evening conjuring up  'The Mystics who came to Dinner' - the title of her latest book - as some of the great mystics of the medieval period join us for an imaginary dinner.  

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Who is the festival for?

For people interested in literature this will be a magnificent immersion in words and ideas.

For people who want to explore their voice, and the joy of singing, Sue Johnsons sessions could become your primary focus while enjoying all the other activities.

For those with an interest in creative writing and journalling this is a superb retreat while indulging in all the other delights.

For those wishing to take time to recharge and rejuvenate with tai chi and Blue Mountains winter air, this is ideal.

For the aesthetics who will enjoy sampling the entire selection of literature, creative writing & singing in a luxurious hotel set in one of the worlds most beautiful settings. 

For all those who just want to indulge and recharge in an incredible environment for an entire week.


Sound like you?
Stay informed and express your interest for Festival updates

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