Less than a two hour drive from the heart of Brisbane, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a rare and special hideaway for lovers of nature, beauty, romance and tranquillity.
You can stargaze from the bed through the strategically placed skylight. Image Courtesy of Crystal Creek
The winding scenic road through the gorgeous Numinbah Valley with spectacular mountain and valley views is the scenic route to the very secluded and private Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat. Stepping out of the car on arrival, we are greeted by a few moments of peaceful silence, until the sound of sweet chirping birds begin calling through the crisp mountain air. It feels personal, like a call to let go and breathe – my shoulders instantly fall and relax.
As I step onto the French oak floor boards into Lamington Lodge, one of Crystal Creeks luxury Mountain View Lodges, I am overwhelmed. Floor to ceiling windows provide a breathtaking outlook onto an infinity edge plunge pool set against a backdrop of an utterly spectacular, rainforest-clad mountain. The word 'wow' keeps repeating in my mind as I float on cloud nine through this unique private oasis.
From the huge curved flat screen TV to the double sided fireplace and beautiful deck staring dreamily into the side of the thriving rainforest canopy, every part of our accommodation for the next two days screams luxury and romance.
A delightful rainfall shower in the marble bathroom, spa tub situated overlooking the rainforest, a skylight with electronic blinds in the bedroom for stargazing, and even a heated toilet seat are among the many little extras that contribute to what seems like a never ending list of features.
Spa with a view in Lamington Lodge
Views from Lamington Lodge.
The thought of lying flat out on the king size bed and viewing the stars at night is intoxicating, but right now it is still light, and the stunning emerald rainforest which surrounds us commands attention.
Massive panes of glass that make up the whole front of the lodge contribute to the sense of space, literally bringing the outside in. The feeling of living in the rainforest is an incredible experience.
The extent of seclusion and complete privacy is unexpected given the vast glass areas. There is nothing else in sight but nature at its finest. It is as though the entire rainforest has been reserved just for us. Its size, proximity, and beauty, are awe-inspiring.
Dreams about relaxing romantic nights in front of a roaring fireplace are about to come true as the weather bureau forecasts torrential rain – an accurate forecast this time.
As the fire roars to life, we sit mesmerised. The combination of fiery flames, pale blue pool, dark wood deck and rich emerald rainforest all in single sweeping view is intensely seductive. The whole place has been cleverly designed to fit in with its environment, aligning with nature in every way. There is a sense of calmness and serenity which permeates the lodge and its surroundings.
A lavish wooden deck complete with solar heated pool, huge Weber BBQ, table and oversized deck chairs staring into the face of the lush rainforest is extravagant, but thoughtful design has it all blending so seamlessly.
The view from the deck after rain
When it comes to meals, there are no shortage of options. The lodge houses a full kitchen with quality cookware and a wide variety of utensils supplied, right down to convenient extras such as glad wrap, paper towel, scissors, a coffee machine and pods, and a wonderful selection of herbal teas.
We have ordered Crystal Creek's gourmet dinners for both nights, which are pre-cooked and placed in the fridge each afternoon. Clear easy instructions are provided on how to heat the meal. The freedom of being free from timelines and able to eat dinner on a whim is wonderful. The first night is a chicken stroganoff served with a baguette, rice, broccoli and a dill butter – delicious. The dessert that follows is a chocolate mousse style cake with berries, cherries and cream. Even though we are full, it is impossible to resist. Although you can bring your own meals and cook, the retreat also provides the opportunity to simply pre-order their dinners, breakfast hampers or picnic lunch hampers.
Bed with a view. Image Courtesy of Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat
Raining or sunny, there is a range of activities to suit the active or inactive, including rainforest walking trails, lookouts, picnics in the orchard, hammocks strewn over natural swimming holes, glow worms, and a games room housing a huge selection of DVD's/Blu Rays, a table tennis and billiard table. Bikes are also available for guest use. Picnic blankets are available for romantic picnics in the orchard, torches for evening glow worm walks and Wi-Fi for those who can't live without it.
There has clearly been a great deal of thought put into imagining everything a guest could possibly want. There are even binoculars in our lounge for bird watching. However, there is so much pleasure in being in the lodge itself, you may never want to step foot outside.
We stayed in most of the time, opting for long luxurious spa baths with candles and incredible rainforest views, followed by lazing around in front of the fire toasting a few marshmallows. The spacious lounge with the huge comfortable couch and fireplace is perfect for leisurely nights in.
This rainforest paradise makes it so easy to indulge and forget the rest of the world exists - the hallmark of a true luxury escape. There are only two guests allowed per lodge, and no accommodation for kids, which contributes to making Crystal Creek an ideal romantic getaway.
Lounge in mountain view lodge. Image Courtesy of Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat
On our final morning, the clouds clear and the sun decides to come out blazing and beautiful, it is the perfect opportunity to take a walk to the gushing creek and swimming hole. There is such a lovely sense of solitude and peace about this place. A little bridge over the creek leads to the startlingly exquisite orchard. Walking past a lovely tree laden with ripe lemons we discover a picnic table conveniently located with an amazing view of Springbrook Mountain towering into the powder blue sky. This is a truly magical picnic spot. Our only regret is that we didn't order a picnic lunch hamper to enjoy there.
View along the walking track
Everything about Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is luxurious, exclusive, and utterly captivating. It is the place to create unforgettable memories, an escape to another world. My only consolation in leaving is knowing that we will be back.