Childhood memories that last a lifetime


When I was a little girl, maybe about 8 years old, my mother took my sister and I to a special place in the Gold Coast hinterland. Here I remember the pure joy that was feeding the spectacular birds. It is a vivid memory and experience for me so when the chance came to take my own children, I jumped at it.

Welcome to O’Reilly’s retreat a setting unlike any other. Located in Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland and just a 2 hour drive from Brisbane. The climb up the mountain is slow and windy but the views are magnificent and so the adventure begins.

WhatsApp Image 2020-07-19 at 1.49.14 PMOur day started a little late out of Brisbane and so we arrived just in time to catch the Birds of Prey show at O’Reilly’s. The birds were amazing and our children were absolutely captivated, learning nuggets of knowledge about these birds that they still have not stopped talking about ( for example that one bird had ultra violet sight and could see a urine trail of a mouse in the dark, could follow that to catch its prey, fascinating stuff for little boys ). The view however behind the bird education session captured me and my camera lens !

A picnic with a view is exactly what I look for when out exploring and you are truly spoilt for choice at O’Reilly’s. You can easily find space around the property to set up or take one of the long or shorter hikes through Lamington National Park to find a waterfall, a view to the Gold Coast or a view to the western mountain ranges, while being surrounded by dense, green and lush rainforest.

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The idea that I would be able to give my boys the memory of feeding Rosellas at O’Reilly’s was certainly high on my priority list of activities for the day. How often in your life can you experience these most stunning birds landing on your head or feeding out of your hands all in the open spaces of the retreat. Hearing the kids squeal with excited and the absolute pure joy on their faces made it oh so special.

If you are not ok with heights I warn you now to take on the Tree Top Walk with caution. In saying all of that you really must give it ago. Perhaps you will not climb the ladder to a platform 30 meters above the ground ( which I was forced to do as my 6 year old scaled the ladder without fear ) but from the Tree Top Walk you will experience breathe taking views over the stunning valley to the West. Don’t forget to look down ( if you can ) a very unique aspect looking down into the rainforest’s flora and fauna.

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As the road is rather windy and narrow up and down the mountain, we wanted to make sure we left O’Reilly’s just before sunset. The sun setting over the valleys and mountains as you drive down really is the ideal finish to what is an unforgettable day.

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Live Well. Cass x

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