Event Details

Under the guidance of writer Jan Cornall, explore the heritage towns of Gulgong, Mudgee, Hill End + Rylstone through the eyes of its artists, artisans + growers.

What’s included: Daily workshops, excursions + interactive experiences; daily breakfast + a selection of other organised meals; accommodation at the Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong; transport to excursions + local dinners.

Price: $3990 pp

Over the course of this week, Jan Cornall will lead a profoundly unique literary experience centred around the NSW heritage region of Gulgong, Mudgee, Rylstone + Hill End. This is country that breathes with story and character; from Henry Lawson to the gold miners of Gulgong + Hill End; from the heart-wrenching tale of Jimmy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) to the local artists who have made this country their muse.

This masterclass focuses on the hunt for stories; how it informs the present; how it becomes integral to a place; how it is written and how story becomes eulogised into mythology.

Over a week travelling from a base in historic Gulgong, The Story Hunters will use the narratives of local people as a portal into place + country, a reflection of the present through the lens of the past, and a meditation on the origins and implications of character. It is a week that is part writers festival, part travel experience, part writing workshop and part holiday, where the whole greatly exceeds the sum of its parts.

You don’t need to be a writer to travel through writers eyes, to observe story + meaning, motivation + sub-text. Whether you are interested in writing, journaling or simply seek a deeper appreciation of how place can be explored and understood, The Story Hunters presents a new way to travel. Under the guidance of Jan Cornall, an observant writer and legendary faciliator, a more complex and nuanced world emerges in which characters, past + present, are given prominent and poignant speaking parts in the most surprising ways.

The Ten Dollar Town Motel in Gulgong acts as a home base for the week long immersion, a perfectly centred in the middle of this wonderful heritage town allowing for easy explorations into the surrounding areas.


This itinerary may be adapted as required, either to enhance its quality or to cater for any COVID19 considerations or weather conditions.

Not assigned in the itinerary are ongoing sessions with Jan Cornall punctuated throughout the day that integrate the story and encourage attendees to document their experiences with writings, sketches and journaling. Also not assigned are structured interactions with local people invited to present their personal and family narratives.


Theme – The Holtermann Museum + Welcome Address

Arrive 1pm in Gulgong – check in to accommodation – Welcome at the Holtermann Museum – Introductory talk by Jan Irvine on the development of the Museum before extended personal exploration of its photographic treasures – Dinner at local Thai Restaurant.


Theme – The Town of Gulgong

Morning talk on Wet Plate Photography at the Holtermann with photographer Adrian Cook explaining the process used by the Holtermann photographers (Adrian will stay for the week to offer small masterclasses and photograph the program) – Gulgong walk with locals: absorbing the town – visit Henry Lawson Museum with costumed commentary – Story of Billy Governor (Chant of Billy Blacksmith) – Dinner at local restaurant.


Theme – Aesthetics

Visit to the home and studio of Chester Nealie and textile artist Jan Irvine – Dinner at a local restaurant in Gulgong.


Theme – Hill End – History, Characters + Gold

Visit selected artists and characters of Hill End – town walk and local activities – Dinner in Mudgee.


Theme – Artisans

Framed as a day of creative delights. Visit Lue and the Bonsai Academy with a lecture on the philosophy of bonsai. Enjoy traditional dumplings in Rylstone, visit the Convent and Chapel Wool Shop and explore the historical township. Meet with local characters in Kandos – Brett Nutting of Ad Hoc Furniture and Alex Wisser, convenor of the Cementa Festival – discover how this unique festival invigorates the town of Kandos. Dinner in Gulgong.


Theme – Epicurean

Explore vineyard sculptures, meet cheese makers, visit a working olive press. Local dinner to be confirmed.


Theme – Wrapping the week

A day that looks to assimilate the experience of the week. Enjoy a Performance from local comedian + actor Jude Bowler and a catered evening meal.


Reflect on the week that was and depart after breakfast.

  • A bus will be organised to pick up from the nearby town of Mudgee which can be reached by air, bus or train. A return link will be offered back to Mudgee on the final Sunday morning at 9am.
  • Attendees are welcome to drive directly to Gulgong for the work.
  • A luxury coach will provide links throughout the week to the various excursions, however attendees will be welcomed to follow in private cars if they prefer. None of the drives are more than 2 hours.
Book Now


The Story Hunters with Jan Cornall

Ten Dollar Town Motel, Corner of Mayne + Medley Street, Gulgong NSW 2852


0414 929 768

Email Us

Event Price


Send an enquiry to this business