I was thoroughly spoiled recently when my husband whisked me away for an overnight break, leaving the kids with my mom, who was visiting from South Africa. Our surprise destination was Witches Falls Cottages on Tamborine Mountain, Queensland where we found everything we needed for an awesome romantic getaway.
The split-level stone gable cottages are well kitted out with thought given to everything, down to the provision of insect repellant, a torch (useful if you're walking to a local eatery for your evening meal), an entertainment system and a DVD library at reception and a fire place for the cold winter nights.
The absolute best feature of these cottages is the bathroom, which contains a luxurious double spa bath and shower from which one can gaze out through a glass ceiling and wall into a private courtyard garden.
And when I say hosts David and Daniela have thought about everything, it even includes a water spray bottle and a request to give the ferns a little attention, if you feel so inclined!
There's also an outside courtyard where we sat to eat our breakfast. It's completely enclosed so you're able to sit in the provided bathrobes, if you like! A delicious breakfast hamper is provided by David and Daniela, who leave it on the table outside the front door at a pre-arranged time. A few options are available, but they all include the most delicious homemade bread (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).
An extra surprise for me came in the form of a massage by a Ripple Massage therapist who arrived at our cottage to spend a few hours pampering me. The travelling therapists carry everything they need, including a massage bed, and use delicious feeling oils, creams and products that are part of the Ripple range. How wonderful to get up after the relaxing massage and not have to go anywhere!
There's plenty to do in Mount Tamborine and we had a great morning exploring some of the local shops before heading home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
For more information see http://www.witchesfallscottages.com.au/
Having decided to take the family and my mom away for a couple of nights, we took up the recommendation of some friends and headed for Mount Clunie Cabins, which are at the foot of the World Heritage listed Mount Clunie Flora Reserve. There are two of the timber, gas powered cabins on Fran and Jim Standing's property and they both have a wonderful view of the mountains, including Mount Barney, and the forest.
The cabins are a great place to go to escape from the busy-ness of everyday life. There are wonderful walks through the rainforest – with a number of walks having been mapped out by Jim.
Over 170 species of birds have been seen within three kilometers of the cabins, and koalas, dingoes, wallabies, paddy melons, bandicoots, bettongs, sugar gliders, owls, possums, bats and other wildlife may be spotted in the area.
Each cabin has a big deck that is great for star-gazing and leisurely outdoor meals. The cabins are well-equipped, although bed-linen and towels are provided for the main bedroom. There are an additional two bunk-beds (sleeping four) in the cabin.
We didn't spend much time exploring in the local area, but nearby villages include Woodenbong, Urbanville, Old Bonalbo and Bonalbo.
Jim and Fran have a huge native garden and are happy to show visitors around, while Fran shares her extensive knowledge of the indigenous plants.
The best part about this place of escape is simply that…you are able to escape from the stresses of life. Mount Clunie Cabins offer a time to relax, enjoy the outdoors and experience nature, while enjoying the wonderful comforts of the cabin.
One of the highlights for us was a night walk with Jim. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife that lives in the forest, which makes him a fascinating guide, and armed with a spotlight found lots to share with us about the rainforest and its inhabitants.
Fran and Jim describe Mount Clunie Cabins as the place where dingoes howl (and some of our group were lucky enough to spot a dingo in the forest), a mere two hours from Brisbane, and a million miles from anywhere (and that's certainly the feeling you get).
For more information see http://www.mountcluniecabins.com.au/.