You don’t need to venture too far away from the Sunshine State’s metropolises to find a decadent bush retreat, finds Megan Arkinstall
Glamp at a stunning secret: Boonah, Scenic Rim
Nestled amongst the hills of the Scenic Rim is this recently-opened gem. Ketchup’s Bank Glamping consists of just two secluded eco-tents complete with plush, quality linen, pillow-top queen beds and electric blankets for cool nights. The real hero here is the setting: 100 acres of eucalypt forest, complete with wallabies, goannas, wedge tail eagles, koalas and king parrots. Get acquainted with them when exploring the hiking and riding tracks in nearby Mt Joyce Recreation Park. From $280 per night; not suitable for kids.
Sleep in the treetops: Tarzali, Cairns Highlands
On the banks of Ithaca River in the Cairns Highlands are The Canopy Treehouses, eco-friendly treehouse hideaways set on 100 acres of ancient rainforest. The three- or four-night ‘Rainforest Romance’ package comes with a gourmet hamper filled with handmade cheeses, chocolates, a range of deli items, fruit and fine wine, and a one-hour massage… each. Endless lush greenery, cascading waterfalls and crystal clear lakes can be explored on the many surrounding walking trails, or just relax. From $1400 per couple for three nights; $1650 per couple for four nights; kids welcome.
Retreat to a mountaintop: Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Hinterland
Australia’s first property to attain global certification for sustainable tourism, Binna Burra Mountain Lodge is the real eco-deal – a blissfully private wilderness property set high in the rainforest of Lamington National Park, one hour from the Gold Coast. Expect all the usual niceties – wi-fi, gas fireplace, spa bath with a view – but make sure you drag yourself from your apartment for a wander through the surrounds – an ancient, Antarctic Beech forest. Oh, and eat at the Clifftop Dining Room at least once – it’s as beautiful as it sounds. From $295 per night for the Sky Lodge Studio; kids welcome.
A weekend in the vines: Kurwongbah and Ocean View, Moreton Bay Region
Forty minutes from Brisbane, you’ll find two great experiences worth checking out. In the small town of Kurwongbah, Slickers Horse Riding offers a horse-ride-wine-tour – yes, that’s a scenic ride (koala forest, grassy plains, creeks, gullies…) with a stop for a vino or two at local winery Oceanview Estates ($105 per person including wine tasting and a cheese platter). Slickers has camping on their property, but if you prefer comfort, Oceanview Estates has three divine cottages for a cosy night in – as well as an intimate restaurant with a great seasonal menu. From $220 per night; kids welcome.