We can practically call them our neighbours and I don’t think that’s extending the truth too much. Perched within the clouds 3,000 feet above sea level lies 23-million-years of ancient Gondwana Rainforest that we discovered from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (in a whirl-wind 22-hour overnight stay).
The Retreat is dotted with 66 rainforest retreat accommodation rooms (which are TV and phone free) and 48 self-contained, privately owned (strata titled in 2007) eco villas set within 20,000ha of rainforest. (This is where we stayed, nice).
Scanning the (enormous) Villa and absorbing the layout and décor (as you do), who could miss the enormous raised Jacuzzi that’s perched on the deck. It made for the perfect spot for a glass of bubbles (O’Reilly’s Lona Sparkling Blush in fact) before bed.
Keeping to schedule we dined (in style) in the Retreat Restaurant which (totally) reminded us of a rustic timber chalet in the mountains of Canada with soft music, a crackling fireplace and local produce presented by Executive Chef Mus.
We rose (nice ‘n early) to the sound of birds knocking on the Villa glass and warm sunlight streaming through the curtains (ahh). We didn’t want to miss the signature guided Bird Walk Tour along the elevated timber boardwalk, where we met the likes of Mr Regent Bowerbird (featured below).
To be honest, I was (extremely) nervous (and prolonging breakie) as the day’s activities fast approached. However, can I tell you how much fun we had (rain and all).
Have you heard of off-road Segway? Well, it’s a two wheeled toy (you can check out here) that silently manoeuvres through the rainforest using your (forward) body weight with absolutely no emissions (and at a decent 9 kilometers per hour).
Strapping on a harness is quite possibly the most unflattering outfit you’ll ever wear. My ego may have been bruised however the freedom of launching yourself from a perfectly safe platform down a 180 meter whizzing zip line does make up for the humility.
It’s. So. Much. Fun. (You can even (try) pushing your limits and rotating up-side-down).
On our next visit (to our neighbours Retreat, ha) we plan to explore the 23-kilometre Border Trail (from Binna Burra), followed by swim in the Infinity Pool and couples vinotherapy hot tub (oh yes); where therapists use the wine grapes grown down the road at the Canungra Valley Vineyards (literally, near our house).
// We were lucky enough to stay as guests of O’Reilly’s and all pictures (excluding me on the Zip Line) are courtesy of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (as ours in the rain weren’t much chop).