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O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Forest

O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Forest

My husband and I made a trip to Australia to visit his family. While we were out there we checked out O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat which is in the Lamington National Park in Queensland. The resort is still family owned and full of history. The library room and managers welcome are worth checking out to give you an overview of the resort.

The resort offers a variety of activities, a few are free to sign up for during your stay. We did the free early morning bird walk and paid for a guided waterfall hike.

The weather while we were there was perfect, it was just the start of summer in end of November so it was overall sunny and warm. Even though it is warm we wish we brought hiking pants here to help protect us from all the insects and reptiles as you hike around the rainforest. We had tons of fun and would definitely come back here again!

Quick run down of the trip:

Stay: O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Day One

  • Arrive O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
  • Tree Top walk
  • Mountain Gardens

Day Two

  • Early morning bird walk
  • Wishing Tree and Mick's Tower
  • Morans Falls
  • Python Rock
  • Tree Top walk

Day Three

  • Picnic Rock
  • Sunshine Falls
  • Elabana Falls

Day One

Sights: Tree Top walk, Mountain Gardens
Miles Hiked: 1 miles

We started off our trip with lunch in the small town that was just at the bottom of the mountain called Canungra. It was a cute small town with a handful of shops and cafes. Up the mountain there is only a restaurant, bar and cafe. After a tasty meal we started the windy, sometimes one lane road up the mountain.

We arrived just in time for check in. Our room was just behind a Stinson replica plane they have on the property, check out their website for information on the famous Stinson plane crash rescue that put the resort on the map.


There were plenty of birds to greet us on arrival.

After we dropped our bags at the room we attended afternoon tea, which is free and includes coffee, tea and little cake. Then we headed to check out the Tree Top walk before it got dark. The Tree Top walk is on a boardwalk and once you reach the end of the boardwalk you start on a series of suspension bridges making your way up almost 50 feet in the tree canopy.



At the end of the Tree Top walk you can continue to the Mountain Gardens. We wandered around the gardens a bit then headed back because a storm was coming in.



After waiting out the storm in the room we headed to the observation deck to see pretty post rain sunset views. Then finished the night with pizza in the bar.


Day Two

Sights: Wishing Tree, Morans Falls, Python Rock, and Tree Top walk
Miles Hiked: 9 miles

We started off day two with the early morning bird walk. A park guide took us on the boardwalk path that leads to the tree top walk to see and learn about a variety of birds. The guide passed out crushed walnuts so that we could try feeding a few of the birds. In general we didn't feed the parrots and tried instead to feed a few of the smaller birds. A giant bush turkey followed us around the whole time hoping we would drop some food for him. There are over 200 different types of birds up there so it was interesting to hear all the different sounds the birds make and which ones made which sounds.




After the bird walk we headed to the buffet breakfast to load up on all sorts of tasty food for a day of hiking. We then grabbed our backpack and map and headed out to a few trails.

First we went to the Wishing Tree and Mick's Tower. The hiking out here is rainforest bush hiking so a bit different than what we are used to with the vast biodiversity. There were so many different plants, insects, and reptiles. Next time we'll be sure to wear hiking pants to help protect from all the different creatures.

Unfortunately Mick's Tower was closed so we just turned back and continued on to Wishing Tree which was huge! We both made a wish at the tree before turning to continue on with some other trails.



Next we stopped by the room to get sunscreen and fill up our water to do more hiking. We headed to do Morans Falls. From the resort we started on a paved path from the visitors parking lot to a trail head for both Morans Falls and Python Rock. We did Morans Falls first which was a dirt path through the bush. We saw a super tiny snake about only 3 inches long on the path slithering away, thankfully that is the only snake we saw on the trip. At the end of Morans Falls there is a wooden deck that you can soak up the view of the falls from. From there we continued on to the other side of the falls and soaked in the view of the rainforest from the other side.



We then went back to the trail head to do Python Rock hike. Once we got to the end of Python Rock hike the landscape was very different. It was a bit more tropical, dried out grass with palm trees. We soaked up some beautiful views before heading back to do one more small hike of the day.


To finish the day we did one more stroll on the Tree Top walk. On the way we saw a huge skink just off the boardwalk!


The suspended tree top part is really cool, it was a bit better in day since there was more sunlight to see everything.


We had started the day at 6:45am and walked about 9 miles so we spent the afternoon just relaxing. There is a little market and cafe at the resort so we stopped by to grab some much deserved ice cream. As we ate on the deck of our room we had plenty of bird friends come by to try to get a taste. At one point I had two birds on me looking for a snack!


To finish the day we stopped by the bar again for a drink and food.


Day Three

Sights: Picnic Rock, Sunshine Falls, and Elabana Falls
Miles Hiked: 6 miles

This was our last day up at O'Reilly's. We checked out early and met at the discovery center for a guided hike to a waterfall. No one else signed up for the hike so we were the only guests.

To get ready for the hike we sprayed special bug spray on our shoes to keep the leaches away. I also wore my husbands tall hiking socks since we didn't have hiking pants to try to protect from leaches, bug bites, spiders or snakes. While we were waiting to start the hike the parrots were all around and one landed on my arm and head.


After shooing away the birds we started on the hike. First up was Picnic Rock and Sunshine Falls. On the way we saw a lizard just on a tree right off the path.


As we continued down the path we saw an assortment of huge trees. Some must have been hundreds and hundreds of years old.



When we made it to Sunshine Falls we stopped for a snack and water break. We did a bit of bush walking to get to the falls so on the way out we hopped on various rocks back to the path to the next waterfall.


Since we made really good time getting to Sunshine Falls we continued a little farther to Elabana Falls. We had to do a fun little rock climb and hop, to get to these falls but it was so worth it. The falls were so so pretty!


After seeing all the falls in this area we made our way back to the resort to shower and make our way back to the city.


Before we headed out we took one last stop at the observation deck so a final picture of the gorgeous view.