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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bush campsite is nearby.
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.
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.
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
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.