24 Hours at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

It’s a long, steep, windy road up to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park but it’s worth the trip.

These school holidays my oldest son went to visit family and friends in New Zealand while the rest of the Candy family hung out in Australia and visited the Gold Coast or the Goldie as everyone calls it.

I’d been wanting to visit O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and when Gold Coast Tourism invited us to stay there we were excited.

There’s no rest for the wicked though and rather than a retreat we had an action-packed 24 hours.

10 am – Check in, settle in and take in the scenery

O’Reilly’s is an old family business and a classic old building. We had a huge room with cosy beds and mountain views.

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

The views and the pools

10.30 am – Rainforest Tree Top Walk

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Exploring a hollow strangler fig tree which has grown around a long gone host tree

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Walking on the suspended bridge

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Climbing the 30 meter (98 foot) ladder to the rainforest canopy

1 pm – Bird of Prey Show

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Featuring rescued and rehabilitated birds trained by Carmen pictured here with a clever sulfur-crested cockatoo

3 pm – Flying Fox

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Kiara and the Mucho Man getting kitted up

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Kiara flying hands free

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Me coming in for a smooth landing

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Max scaring his mother. A lot.

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

A little lizard lurking by the track

 5 pm – Spa Time

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

I enjoyed the sauna too. It was too hot for the kids so I had a lovely peaceful lie down.

 5.30 pm – Happy Hour in the Bar while the kids go to the Eco-Rangers for supper and games!

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Half price drinks for happy hour - we had mohitos while this lady waited for her husband to reappear

6.30 pm – Supper

Oreillys food

I had ocean trout, a buffalo mozarella pizza and this chocolate indulgence desert.No idea what the Mucho Man at but I shared some desert with him. The food was fantastic and best of all we got to eat in peace with the Candy kids entertained royally elsewhere.

8 pm – Glow Worm Tour

In which I learn it’s impossible to take photos of glow worms. The kids were very tired by this time as we got up at 4am to get our oldest son Luke on the plane to New Zealand but the glow worms were beautiful and we all slept super soundly that night.

6.45 am – Bird Walk

Because the early bird catches the worm we had an early start with expert nature guide Duncan who recognizes all the bird of the forest by sight and sound. The cat bird sounds just like a cat but we couldn’t see it as cat birds are green and well disguised in the rainforest.

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Golden Bowerbird

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Has anyone spotted any birds yet?

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

We spotted heaps of birds and snapped this handsome yellow-breasted Robin.

So is O’Reilly’s worth the trip up the mountain?

Definitely, I’d love to go back and stay longer next time so we can do some retreating as well as adventuring.

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat has a spa too and gorgeous walks in Lamingtom National Park we didn’t have time to take with wishing trees and waterfalls so I’d make the trip up the mountain again any day and stay longer next time too.

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is an utter treat for all the senses.

Many thanks to Gold Coast Tourism and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for kindly hosting the Candy family for stay and all our adventures.

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  1. Linda ~ Journey Jottings January 20, 2012 at 11:37 am - Reply

    I made it up to O’Reillys for the first time last year for a birthday getaway –
    It was brilliant.
    Situated at the end of a dead end road up a twisting turning road added to the feeling of really getting away from it all –
    We did a couple of the rainforest walks – The Box Forest Track & Morans Falls , which were both stunning (and which I then wrote blog posts about with lots of photos) ~ Love rich rainforest :)

    • Annabel Candy January 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Oh what a lovely birthday treat that would have been! I have to go back to do those walks and I want to see the wishing tree too:)

  2. Nikki January 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    I went there late last year and how I loved this trip. We didn’t plan it very well and only had half a day.
    I loved the rainforest walk and the treetop climb. I took so many photos of the beautiful birds and the views and also the stunning trees.
    It is easily worth the long trip. The road is an adventure in itself.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Annabel Candy January 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Hi Nikki,

      Ah, I was lucky to have 24 hours then:) Yes, it’s true the drive was an adventure with cows straying on the road and wallabies to watch out for.

  3. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living January 21, 2012 at 3:04 am - Reply

    What! No cave-tubing?
    I loved all the photos of you and your family and now I feel like when you invite me over to stay with you, I know your family. :)
    Also, I did like to see you in a dress, however, that wasn’t too practical for the ladder. Thanks Annabel for letting me share your day.

    • Annabel Candy January 21, 2012 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Hi Sonia,

      Lol, don’t worry, I tucked the dress into my knickers;) Thanks for coming with us on our hols! Wish you’d really been there!

  4. Molly Kelash January 21, 2012 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Wow, Annabel! You live in a phenomenally beautiful country. Thanks for sharing your trip and fun photos. Love seeing those kids of yours grow up, even if it is from afar.

    • Annabel Candy January 21, 2012 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Hi Molly,

      Is it a hot spot! Yes, the Candy kids are growing and thriving wherever we plant them:)

  5. barbara January 21, 2012 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Now I can see why the loooonnnggg plane ride from the U.S. is worth it! You keep pulling me in and making me want to take that long journey with these great travel blogs Annabel.

    • Annabel Candy January 21, 2012 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Hi Barbara,

      If you like birds I recommend it. Long plane journeys are a pain but you would be well rewarded for making the trip to Aus:)

  6. Seana Smith January 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    This is a great post for me, Annabel. I feel as if I know the place, and have a really good feel for it especially from your photos. Going to a new place with my kids can be a trial and so I rely on personal recommendations like this – from Someone Who Knows.

    Would love to see more travel posts like this and also the Melbourne ones were fab!

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