While exploring around the Mapleton-Montville area we came upon, what we can only call 'heaven on earth' - Secrets on the Lake - an incredibly creative treasure trove of tree-houses hidden away in the tree-tops (excuse the alliteration) on the banks of Lake Baroona - a secret I'm happy to share with you.
For hundreds of years, Baroon Pocket was a significant meeting place for the Aboriginal people of South East Queensland. In 1843, Leichhardt, an explorer, observed that the plain that the Aboriginals called 'Booroon' was the venue for mock fights between the tribes who travelled huge distances to celebrate the bi-annual harvest of the Bunya Tree.
Secrets tucked away - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page
In 1984 George and Aldy Johnston resided on a farm in Baroon Pocket, alongside the Obi Obi Creek with bubbling waterfalls, swimming lagoons and rapids. They farmed chickens and cows, kiwifruit orchards and a large vegetable patch; watermelons, tomatoes and peas. They also had aspirations for their land – George and Aldy planned to build treehouse cabins down by the creek for visitors in the area to enjoy. Unfortunately, these plans had to be shelved when their land was resumed to construct Lake Baroon - a $40 million project , which now supplies water to the Caloundra and Maroochy Shires. Luckily for George and Aldy their plans were soon 'unshelved' as their good friend and neighbour, Steve Weiss offered to sell them the remainder of his land after it was also partially resumed for the lake.
Years of hard work and planning soon started to bear fruit and gradually George and Aldy's dream was coming to fruition. First came the boathouse, built with recycled timbers and features, followed by the old Beerburrum Railway Station in search of a new name and home. The treehouses were designed and built, high in the rainforest filled with amazing woodcarvings, suspended fireplaces, and luxurious spas. None of these buildings and walkways would have been possible without the major building construction and artwork of their son Rob, a gifted and visionary craftsman and hands-on builder.
Carved Mirror - Image: Elaine de Wet
Their business 'Treetop Cabins on The Lake' finally opened in 1997 - and was later renamed 'Secrets on The Lake'. The adding-on and extending of this business and resort facilities has continued ever since. Aldy had a dream or two of her own along the way and Secrets Café is the culmination of a lifetime's devotion to culinary delights and innovative healthy cooking.
Literally, a case of 'from dreams to fruition' - a truly romantic story, which lends itself perfectly to this stunning, enviable position overlooking Lake Baroon.
Views from a Treehouse - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page
Secrets on the Lake is the perfect destination to celebrate the special days in your life, whether it be your wedding day, a honeymoon, your anniversary or perhaps a proposal in the making. Secrets on the Lake specialise in "Petal Endearments" for the perfect romantic setting, a petal walk for your memorable wedding day, a petal heart (outside your cabin door) or perhaps a petal heart on your bed - there is nothing more romantic than petals, appealing to the young and the old..er.
Petal Walkway - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page
Secrets on the Lake have eleven different luxury cabins:-
Secluded luxury treehouse cabins, designed specifically for couples on a romantic getaway; Penthouses, with options to sleep four or six people, or their flagship Penthouse 'Secrets' - perfect for honeymooners; and 'The Whistle Stop' Heritage cabins, offering spaciousness and extra beds for small families or groups (perhaps a wedding party).
How about a romantic Spa for Two? - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page
The Secrets Cafe is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea, Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Relax on the deck, overlooking the Lake enjoying a scrumptious breakfast, or why not indulge in a High Tea with melt-in-the-mouth home-made delicacies. Bookings for groups are advisable and very much welcomed.
Decadent and Divine High-Tea - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page
Secrets on the Lake is the most romantic, secluded 'Secret' for your wedding venue, enhanced by the natural beauty of the lake and the rainforest only to be intensified by creative carvings, decks and buildings.
For that someone special in your life - Image: Secrets on the Lake FB page