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O'Reilly's and Green Mountains Guide

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Escape the City | Food and Wine | National Parks | Outdoor | Lists
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published March 24th 2015
Hiking, camping, drinking , eating and more
O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
Officially known as the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park, most people refer to it as O'Reilly's, after the famous O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. Here is a guide to visiting, eating, drinking, hiking, staying at and enjoying O'Reilly's.

Echo Falls at O'Reilly's
Echo Falls at O'Reilly's


About the O'Reilly's

The O'Reilly family is part of Queensland legend. It was Bernard O'Reilly who in 1937 found the survivors of the Stinson plane crash. A replica model Stinson is located near the cafe/restaurant.

Bernard O'Reilly taking a break after rescuing the Stinson Survivors (Courtesy of O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat)
Bernard O'Reilly taking a break after rescuing the Stinson Survivors (Courtesy of O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat)


When Lamington National Park was created around the O'Reilly brother's farm, they established accommodation and other business. Now they have O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, vineyard and the cafe restaurant.

It was also an O'Reilly who was the first National Park Ranger in Australia. It is no wonder the O'Reilly name is synonymous with this part of Lamington National Park.

Tourist attractions

The main reason to go to O'Reilly's is hiking and there are a range of easy through to challenging hikes which are in the section below, as well as the Tree Top Walk.

There are a number of other interesting tourist attractions that make this a worthwhile destination, even for people who are not into hiking.

The views aren't bad. In fact the hikes don't really have great vistas, so if you are looking for a view, just stay in the Mountain Cafe.

The Stinson replica is interesting along with the remarkable story of the survivors and the rescue. You can hike from O'Reilly's to the Stinson crash site, but it is a very difficult trek and is better to do the hike from the Christmas Creek track and Westray's Grave.

Stinson Plane Replica at O'Reiily's
Stinson Plane Replica at O'Reiily's


The bird zoo is a great attraction for families. You don't even have to visit the zoo. Sit at the outside seating in front of the cafe and birds will often land on your shoulder looking for a snack.

Join various tours, including Segway Tours, 4WD tours and walking tours. The guides will provide you information about the history of the location and local flora and fauna.

There is also a flying fox for people who want to zip over the rainforest.

O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe also has a great gift shop.

Gift Shop at O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe
Gift Shop at O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe


Tree Top Walk

Worth it's own section of this guide, O'Reilly's Tree Top walk has been built and extended thanks to donations from the public. While not as spectacular as Tamborine's Skywalk, it is free, though gold coin donations are appreciated.

O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk
O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk


The highlight is scrambling up the ladders to view the world from the viewing decks constructed in a Strangler Fig 30 metres about the ground.

Climbing up to the view platform
Climbing up to the view platform


Food & Drink

There are a range of dining options up at O'Reilly's. The Mountain Cafe is the one that most casual visitors to O'Reilly's are familiar with. Open from 11 am to 2:30 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 4 pm on weekends. There is both a takeaway style cafe and a more refined casual restaurant. While not the greatest cafe, the quality of the food and the service has improved a lot lately and for the casual visitor to the mountain, there is not that much choice but you can't beat the view from the balcony.

O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe
O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe


For breakfast and dinner, the O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat Dining Room attracts both guests and visitors for dinner and it can be very busy on some nights. Mains are around $35

If you are looking for a more casual meal at night or a drink then the Rainforest Bar is the place to go with meals around $20.

Let's not forget the fine selection of both O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyard wines at both the restaurant and bar. To visit the vineyard itself you need to head down Lamington National Park Road. The vineyard features a restaurant that specialises in lunch and picnics.

Staying there

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat has a range of comfortable accommodation from single rooms through to double bedroom suits. Many with great views and even showers with windows onto the rainforest. Typically prices for a Mountain View Room is about $200 a night.

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat


Recently they have added Villas to the range of accommodation with two and three bedroom self contained villas. You are looking at around $400 a night for a two bedroom villa.

If this all sounds a little outside of your price range, there is also a National Parks run campground. This is a very reasonable $5.75 per person per night and $3.20 for students. Camping has full toilets and hot showers and of course there are dining options at O'Reilly's Mountain Cafe and Rainforest Retreat. You will need to bring your own barbecue if you wish to cook for yourself. Booking is easily made online through the National Parks website.

Of course, if you want to escape the crowd there are 2 bush camp sites in the Green Mountains Section of Lamington National Park with Echo Point on the Albert Creek Circuit being the most interesting. Remember you need to carry all your gear in and all your rubbish out and book online through the National Parks website.

The view from Echo Point. The campsite is nearby.
The view from Echo Point. The bush campsite is nearby.


Hikes

O'Reilly's has a range of great hikes ranging from a quick 30 minutes to a lookout to 8 hour long treks.

For a quick walk for families or the less fit, try the 3.1 km Python Rock Track which takes you to the viewing platform at Python Rock. The Moran Falls track is 4.4 kms and also leads to a lookout.

The essential track to do at O'Reilly's though is the 10.9 km Box Forest Circuit. You should give yourself at least 5 hours to do this track because, while it is not long or difficult you are slowed down by the large number of amazing falls and cascades that you pass by.

Cascades on the Box Forest Circuit
Cascades on the Box Forest Circuit


A similar but slightly longer track is the Toolona Creek Circuit. At 17.4 kms it is a little long. For half the track you are walking over rocks. While not rock hopping, it does slow you down. However it is well worth the trip.

Toolona Creek Headwaters
Toolona Creek Headwaters


A slightly shorter, but still enjoyable hike is the West Canungra Circuit. This circuit goes past several falls and swimmable pools.

A favourite hike for people who like longer hikes, Albert Creek Circuit is one of the most pleasant creek side hikes leading to amazing views at Echo Point Lookout.

Hiking the Albert Creek Circuit
Hiking the Albert Creek Circuit


Another longer hike is the Mount Merino Track which can also be done from the Binna Burra starting point.

You can also do the Border Track to Binna Burra. Most people do this 24 km one way hike and then have a ride arranged to return them to their starting point. Other people hike the track and camp at the other end, then hike back the next day. Because the track is mostly flat and smooth there are some highly fit people who do the 48 km return trip in one day, often running part of the track.

The Border Trail is mostly flat and unobstructed with great views in some sections
The Border Trail is mostly flat and unobstructed with great views in some sections


Getting There

O'Reilly's is about 2 hours drive from Brisbane and 90 minutes from the Gold Coast. It is easy enough to find, just follow Lamington National Park Road to the very end. The only problem occurs if people confuse O'Reilly's with the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park.

O'Reilly's is also a prominent tourist destination, which means that there are plenty of tour buses that head up there. The Mountain Coach Company provides both tours and transfers from the Gold Coast starting at $65 per person.
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Where: O'Reilly's. End of Lamington National Park Road Gold Coast Hinterland QLD 4275
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