Travel in Australia: Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia - ecotourism

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Travel Destinations in Australia - Queensland, Australia

Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia - ecotourism

Get Away From it All, Together
by Bruce Holmes - Part 1

The valley stretches into the distance, mist rising from its depths, as the couple look out from their spa. Their spa? Yes, because this is a Canopy Suite at O'Reilly's Rainforest Guest House (tel: 61 7 5544 0644) in south-east Queensland, Australia and admiring the Australian landscape certainly beats looking at a hotel wall.

The newest accommodation at the historic family-run guesthouse, which has operated since 1926, these suites offer privacy and luxury for time spent together.

But honeymoons are about creating those magic moments, those special memories, and with the eco-resort located in the midst of the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, the real magic is to be found outdoors. There are short walks nearby that need no guide, including the very different experience of the Tree Top Walkway. Literally strung from one tree to another, the walkway enables visitors to get a close-up look at the rainforest canopy. At one point there's a pair of metal ladders enclosed by safety mesh, which take adventurous souls up to a viewing platform at the very top.

An exhilarating moment when a gust of wind had our host tree swaying. After lunch O'Reilly's bus takes hikers further afield for guided bushwalking (as the Australians call it). From the Balancing Rock there are views down into the Kerry Valley, or there's a short trek up to Moonlight Crag to look out across the ridge known as The Lost World. It was there that a plane crashed in 1937 and two survivors were found by Bernard O'Reilly, who had searched the wilderness alone.

The wildlife too can create a sense of the magical. One special thing was the early morning bird watching walk where our knowledgeable guide, Annie McCarthy's bird-calls were answered by forest dwellers like the Eastern Whipbird, with its whip-like call, and the machine-gun rattle of Lewin's Honey-eater.

"How many bird-calls can you do?" I asked.

"About 50-odd for this type of habitat, which is not really that many," Annie replied, in what seemed a serious case of modesty.

We didn't chance to see the rare Albert's Lyrebird, a species found only in this part of the world, but we did meet a host of colorful characters. And when the tiny gray fantail landed on the branch opposite, his photograph captured a moment we'll always remember.

Next on Couran Cove Resort, Queensland Australia

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