“Four years after the arrival of the O’Reilly family in 1911 Lamington National Park was declared, effectively isolating the O’Reillys from the outside world. While Lamington wasn’t Queensland’s first national park it is the most significant, and was regularly referred to as ‘Queensland’s National Park” https://oreillys.com.au/lamington-national-park/
Once a year my sister and I take a week’s holiday together…..no hubbies, no kids… just sister time with our cameras. This year we chose the hinterlands of the Gold Coast staying at O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat for four days before heading down via Springbrook National Park to Surfers for another four days. We flew out of Melbourne, arriving in Coolangatta 2 hours later… due to Qld not having daylight saving the watches had to go back an hour, putting us at the rental desk to collect our hire car only 1.5hrs after leaving Melbourne.
A free upgrade saw us heading off in a lovely little Mitsubishi ASX instead of the Toyota Carolla. Not that it helped with luggage storage … we had two large suitcases and two rolling camera suitcases and the big suitcases held more camera gear! Gone are the days of travelling light.
First stop was O’Reillys Vineyards, Canungra where we enjoyed a delicious lunch before a wine tasting and buying some wines to take with us. There was apparently platypus breeding in the creek but with the skies getting darker and a storm predicted, and 34 kms of very, very winding road up the mountain ahead of us, we decided to push on. It was good that we did, as while Qld doesn’t believe it needs daylight saying it would really help! Daylight is around 4.30am every morning, but its dark by 6pm.
Roadcrews were working on the road too repairing damage from Cyclone Debbie… this made some sections narrower than they were already, and it one lane all the way up. Not one lane each way… one lane in total! there were lots of little turnouts to pull over into but a couple of times we came around a blind corner with another car coming towards us…. a wine was definitely called for by the time we arrived.
O’Reillys is a village-like retreat high up the mountain in Lamington NP, with a dining room, bar, cafe, discovery centre, church, mini mart, gift shop and accom options from self-contained through to guesthouse or camping.
We had decided to stay in the mountain view rooms with a little back deck overlooking the mountains in the distance. It turned out to be an excellent choice as each morning and evening we had a such a myriad of birds in the trees around our room we quickly bought some rice crackers at the mini mart to attract them closer.
That night we strolled down to O’Reillys dining room… amazing food with massive portions…. not really overpriced for what you got, but geez.. our lamb share platter for two could have fed four, we did our best but still left half…. mind you we still made room for the pavlova even if we had to share that too 🙂
Next: Segway rides and Morans Falls