Moogie Glamp at Lake Moogerah
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I’m sorry, Australia. When I opted to stay at an off-grid glamp and do a digital detox in the Scenic Rim, I had no idea I was taking the rest of Australia with me. It was the day of the OPTUS outage and the corresponding flood of public outrage: no phone calls, no worries. But having no phone navigation to a rural destination after flying into the Gold Coast from Melbourne filled me with trepidation.
Thank goodness for the lovely locals who drew maps along the way. Moogie Glamp may be off-grid, with its own rainwater and solar harvesting, but it’s easy to find. For Queenslanders, the Scenic Rim is around a 60-90-minute drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. For out-of-towners, it’s a whole new world.
With no Google Maps telling me where to go and after negotiating endless roadworks and corkscrew curves, entering the Scenic Rim felt like a spoon dip into Instant Calm.
The Scenic Rim is Queensland’s food bowl. And arriving is like entering the Promised Land with flat, endless emerald-green fields fringed by dramatic purple mountain ranges. These striking mountains are remnants of ancient volcanos; their fury spent, they now seem to embrace all who enter into their nurturing sphere.
Following signs to Lake Moogerah in the Fassifern Valley, I found Moogie Glamp. Optus be damned!
A glamp, for those not in the know, is a cross between camping and glamorous high-end accommodation, albeit with a rustic twist.
Glamping was on my bucket list because I’m not a happy camper. Experiencing the great outdoors without inconveniences and in relative luxury sounded like my billy cup of tea.
As a city girl, the idea of slithery things and insects with flapping wings filled me with dread.
My Moogie Glamp stay was perfect; all the creature comforts and none of the creatures I’d imagined.
My private parking was directly behind my eco-safari-style tent. Complete privacy. Although owners Tara and Ian Wallace live further up on the same property, so help was at hand whenever needed.
At the front, a couple of steps led to a patio/deck area with a gas camp stove large enough to cook anything. A hi-top bar table under the covered deck and stools made this a perfect brunch or morning coffee spot looking out at the bush.
No door into my abode but a strong zip, and the bottom of the canvas seemed weighted and magnetised, so it closed without gaps.
The walls were thick, waterproof canvas. No glass in the windows but mesh, so nothing gets in except the delightful breezes. You can use flaps to cover this mesh to lock the outside out. But why would you? How often do you get to sleep surrounded by bush tranquillity?
The four-poster bed with its canopy of soft netting made it apparent why Moogie Glamp, a nice treat for me, would be perfect for couples. With crisp hotel linen and batik bathrobes to wrap yourselves in, this is like a five-star hotel getaway without any adjoining walls.
Leading off the main room and kitchenette was an ensuite with a toilet, plush towels, upmarket toiletries and a rain shower. I fell in love with the double basins (yes, one for each of you), sculpted from huge river stones—Flinstoneque but rustically beautiful.
Given the many wedding venues
in the area, Moogie Glamp would make a novel honeymooners’ paradise. Or a weekend getaway for couples wanting to recharge in nature while still having access to outings such as wineries and restaurants. I met a couple of Brisbane girlfriends at Overflow Estate 1895 winery
the following day, which had water views and excellent food.
Moogie Glamp’s decking area looks down on the extensive outside area, which has a hammock, fire pit and grill. The fireplace is positioned so sparks cannot connect with the bush. My mother must have missed the memo about sending me to girl guides, but Ian happily came down and lit the fire for me.
Tara had left me a brie cheese studded with rosemary sprigs (an optional inclusion) with instructions on how to bake it on the hot plate until it oozed enough to dip in the flatbreads. Perfect with a drop of red from Falls Winery and Cellar Door.
Sitting next to the fire in the Hamptons-style wooden chairs, toasting the marshmallows and mashing them between Chocolate Wheaten Biscuits for s'mores was the perfect dessert.
Before climbing into my four-poster bed, I nipped a tumbler of the complimentary Red Fortified from Bunjugen Estate Vineyard Mt Alford
and began a mental checklist. Zipped in. Check. Breakfast sorted.
Tara had provided an amazing breakfast hamper with local produce. Was I cold with the flaps open? No, I was enjoying the breeze. And Ian would have happily lit the internal wood-fired heater if I’d asked him to.
That would have been cosy, but I was happy with my view of all the gentle fairy lights outside and the dying embers of my campfire.
Then I remembered what Tara told me about Hawgie, their resident male koala.
“We call him Hawgie after the noise Harley Davidson’s make,” she said. Once, a pack of riders roared down the road, and he tilted his head toward the sound, listening intently. And sometimes, he makes a similar low, deep-throated, guttural revving sound.”
Listening out for Hawgie to say goodnight, I had a moment of concern. And the next thing I knew, it was morning. I’d had one of the best sleeps of my life.
There was enough voltage to recharge my phone. Having lived a day without WIFI (thanks again, OPTUS), being off the grid wasn’t an issue. If my stay at Moogie Glamp taught me anything, it’s that nature is a better way to recharge.
WHAT’S CLOSE BY
Moogie Glamp is close to numerous outdoor activities, with six national parks close by, including sections of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. As well as hikes and trials, wineries, eateries, and farm gate producers are on your doorstep. Being almost on the banks of Lake Moogerah, canoeing and kayaking are possible.
I followed a few of Tara’s tips on what to do. Five minutes up the road was Haigh Park, edging Lake Moogerah. From here, I accessed the walk along the Moogerah Dam Wall. The authorities often let water out, so it’s like standing on top of Niagara Falls and looking down at the deluge with stunning views across the other side of the wall to the lake.
The closest village is Kalbar
, where German immigrant farmers settled in the 1870s. The village is known for its pioneering heritage, historic buildings, welcoming cafes, pubs, provedores and bakeries.
During the golden hour, I strolled along the main road, photographing historic buildings against the stunning backdrop of mountains. I was enraptured with the historic cemetery, where the residents are literally pushing up daisies or at least purple flowers. I’d never before seen such an evocative resting place.
I dined at the historic Royal Hotel
and can vouch for roast sweet potato salad, although Channel 7’s WEEKENDER rated the parmi as one of the best!). Channel 7’s WEEKENDER
Sadly, the shops were closed, but if you were there earlier, visit The Emporium
in the historic Wiss Building, an antique store that emulates the feel of an old-fashioned General Store. And stock up at Lovett’s, a famous country bakery
, Butcher Co
(Tara had left me some of their brilliant bacon and sausages in my breakfast hamper), and the Scenic Rim Fruit & Veg shop
with its stunning displays where you can pre-order a box of fruit and vegetables to take home.
Visiting the larger town of Boonah the next day, I fell in love with the Duck Junction
boutique’s stunning array of clothes in natural fibres. Across the road, Rockalicious
is a Rockabilly-themed retro-diner with a 50s black and white chequered floor and red booths. The staff wear swing skirts, and the range of ice cream is housemade. While sipping my Columbian coffee, I was presented with a 1950s Ladies Home Journal to flick through.
But the biggest hoot has to be the town’s community op-shop in a side street. The volunteers were having a CWA-worthy morning tea, which looked like an everyday occurrence. They were seated at a huge round table smack in the middle of the shop, and it seemed like half the town dropped in to join them.
THREE WAYS TO STAY AT THE MOOGIE COLLECTION
Tara and Ian call their accommodation the Moogie Collection. They have three unique accommodation options on 19 acres of koala-protected bush habitat with abundant wildlife.
Moogie Glamp is the magical bespoke luxury eco tent retreat I stayed at, which would also be brilliant for couples.
Moogie House would be perfect for families or small groups of friends. The accommodation sleeps 6 (2 queen rooms and one twin). Moogie House is tastefully decorated and has stunning views over Lake Moogerah and, in the background, Mount Grenville (known locally as Elephant Rock).
A spa room under the house soaks six with windows opening to the views. There is also an outside pizza oven and firepit.
Moogie House is also dog-friendly, with a closable balcony area if you need to go out for a few hours without Fido. Not all national parks welcome canines, but as dog lovers, Ian and Tara can point you in the direction of several walks you can do with your best friend. When I said I liked dogs, they brought down their two gorgeous Labradoodles – Muttley and Pipi – on their ride-on (this is a large property) to meet me.
Moogie Pod is a funky, intimate getaway for couples created from a converted shipping container. Being on-trend and tiny, it blends stunning design elements with the surrounding scenic beauty. The wall others can see from the property is windowless.
But from the inside, glass floor-to-ceiling frontage allows couples 180-degree views over the lake to the mountain ranges beyond. It would be perfect for those wanting an escape to the country but one with modern 5-star amenities.
As with all the Moogie accommodation options, there is a fire pit where you can toast marshmallows and stargaze into the majestic night sky.
Tara is originally from England, and Ian is from Scotland. They have travelled extensively and met while working at sea on cruise ships. For the romantics amongst you, they met on the original Love Boat, The Island Princess. Now in their 50s, they have grown-up children and have started this new venture.
They happily give you local recommendations and enjoy a chat. But they also respect their guests' need for privacy. They can be contacted by text or by phone to provide assistance, including fire-lighting for those who failed Girl Guides. Thank you again, Ian!
48 Moogerah Connection Road,
Moogerah, Scenic Rim Area
BOOKINGS ARE HERE
270752 - 2023-11-19 05:08:30