If you've ever wanted to runaway and go live in the rainforest, or just completely escape the rest of the world for a little while O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat is the place to go. Located in the magnificent World Heritage Lamington National Park, on the Gold Coast Hinterland, it's less than a two hour drive from Brisbane and a 90 minute drive from the Gold Coast to this secluded paradise.
We visited as a group of two families and stayed in one of the awesome Mountain Villas, which had enough space for four adults and two kids. They were fully self -contained, so we brought some groceries up and were set for a few days. The view from the villa, as you can see from my photos, was absolutely amazing, and rainforest wilderness as far as the eye could see.
The other family were English relatives who had never seen anything like the accommodation or the surrounds. It was a great experience for them to see some of the wildlife and scenery on some of the discovery program activities. They could also wander up to the resort office to feed an array of gorgeous bright coloured rainbow lorikeets and king parrots, a great experience particularly for international visitors.
We got involved in as many activities as we could, which meant I unfortunately missed out on pampering at the 'Lost World Spa', which would have been fabulous. The infinity pool is located in the front of the Lost World Spa and obviously isn't your typical hotel pool!
Activities include morning bird walks, glow worm tours, segway tours, tree top and rainforest walks. The experienced, informative and friendly guides make these activities great fun for kids and adults. You can learn loads about the wildlife, environment or history of the area. Alternatively just go adventuring and do something you've never tried before. My daughter and nephew loved trying out new adventures in the rainforest, I also climbed up to the top of a tree with my brother-in-law on the tree top walk which was an adrenaline rush as well!
There are other accommodation options at O'Reillys, if you want to spare the expense of the luxury Mountain Villas, but still have the rainforest experience you can stay in one of the Canopy Suites, Mountain View or Garden View rooms.
O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat has a great heritage to it as well, it's been open for over 90 years and run by the same family for generations. There is a lovely story to be told and a library to delve into, if you find the time.
If you run out of things to do at the resort, you can venture further into the surrounding National Park. Lamington National Park is Australia's largest area of subtropical rainforest and has over 150km of walking trails. There are many beautiful waterfalls to see or you can go for a short bushwalk to see what wildlife you can encounter along the way.
Springbrook and Tamborine National Parks are also not too far away.
If you love nature or just a secluded getaway, a once in a lifetime stay can be had at O'Reillys, and it's one you'll never forget.