O’Reilly’s Mountain Retreat!

Today we headed south from our overnight stay at Berry Good Retreat, near Airlie  Website.  Highly recommend a stay there btw.  Super comfortable accommodation and very thoughtful hosts.

We skirted around Brisbane to the west and then headed up to Tamborine and from there up into Lamington National Park.  The woods got denser as we went further.  Then for the last 30km the road really started to enjoy itself!  Single track, with steep, unguarded drops to either side, switchback turns, like a crazy zigzag, up, up and ever upwards!  Dense woods on either side, the trees arching over the road in many places, like a cathedral.  Several times hopping pigs, sorry, pademelons dashed across the road in front of us!  Actually, it was no worse than the average country lane in Cornwall LOL!  A really lovely trip.  We stopped at a viewpoint up on the top.  What a vista! In every direction.   Had a picnic lunch there.  It was definitely a good few degrees cooler than down on the plains below.  Could have actually done with a sweater!

Arrived at O’Reilly’s Lodge website at about 2.  It had started to slightly drizzle which is just about par for the course at the moment.  Large patches of blue sky but definitely showery.  The Lodge is a rambling property, properly lodge style and set well into the National Park.  It has an interesting history.  The O’Reilly family of 8 brothers settled here in 1915 intending to farm but couldn’t make a living.  Then in 1918 Lamington NP was created, effectively surrounding and isolating them within it.  They began a guesthouse and started charging for that service in 1926.  In those days it took people an arduous 2 days to travel from Brisbane by cart.  The family still own and manage the place.  The lodge offers a variety of natured based activities from short and long hikes, some guided, bird walks and bird exhibitions, talks and lectures, 4wd trips.  There is a wooden tree canopy boardwalk which we will definitely have to try, along with some of the shorter hikes.  It is an absolute paradise for birders with something like 260 different species being found in close proximity.

We checked into our room – a Mountain View standard room.  Spacious by any standards and pretty comfortable.  We are surrounded by the forest and saw lots of birds as we ferried our luggage in from the car, plus lizards, pademelons, bush turkeys…..  parrots!

There are a host of wild king parrots and crimson rosellas in the trees around the resort and you can get a tray of bird feed and they will come swooping down on you to feed.  Well, we had to try that!  And sure enough we were soon covered with these gorgeous creatures.  They were very tame.  Obviously have done it just a few times.  It was fun.

By then it was time for the complimentary afternoon tea and scones!  Well, we had to try that too of course.  Quite delicious.  We were a bit tired then, (god, we’re so old!!!)so retired to our room for a rest.  Happy Hour runs from 430 to 630 in the bar but we can have happy hour on our balcony too! Which we did.

Bob is suffering very much from the chigger bites he got on the boat trip in Noosa.  I have doctored them with all sorts of stuff including some green oil from China said to cure just about everything.  However, he has found that the ginger beer mixed with spiced rum that we bought from the ginger factory in Noosa works as well as anything.

Tonight we had dinner in the upstairs bar area.  Very friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Bob had battered barramundi, chips and salad and I had 2 large sausages, mash, gravy and the tiniest bit of red cabbage ever!  No matter the sausages were epic and I am very picky about sausages.  Bob’s barramundi was totally fab too.  Tomorrow we are going to eat in the restaurant.  I have already spotted a lamb shoulder serving platter.  Bob has laughed because he knew as soon as he saw the menu that I would want it….  Washed our dinner down with a truly delicious merlot called Mr Mick.  It was a right mouthful!

Raining hard by the time we got back to our room. These rooms must have tin roofs because it is really rattling down as I write this.  I hope tomorrow night is clearer because the stars up here must be epic.

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