Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekend at O'Reilly's Guesthouse

Back in May, we had a wonderful weekend at the famous O'Reilly's Guesthouse in Lamington National Park. It has a quite a history as it was established by the O'Reilly family on their dairy farm as a guesthouse back in the 1920s. Lots of lovely historical photographs on the walls of the guesthouse for the historians in our family to pore over. The reason we went was to celebrate my Mum's 75th birthday. My sister and her family went as well as my parents and it was the first time we have all had a holiday together since we were children. (Only downside was that our brother and his little family couldn't come as well). Luckily, we all had our own accommodation and space and couldn't drive each other nuts!

Our girls were so excited about going away with their cousins and seeing the rainforest. It was a two hour drive from our place and the last half an hour or so was going up quite steep winding hairpin bends which I found pretty hair raising. It was a relief to get there and have our first walk in the rainforest.

The guesthouse is quite a big complex with a central lodge type building with a restaurant, cosy bar, games room, fireplaces, shelves of books etc etc. Then there were separate buildings for accommodation all of which had gorgeous views of the mountains and valleys. The most wonderful thing was no phones, no TV, no computers and no proper mobile reception (though we did manage to be text each other and say things like "What time are you going to breakfast". It was SO peaceful! Speaking of breakfast....it was an absolute feast. All you could eat from the menu or the smorgasbord. That's my kind of breakfast! The second morning, breakfast was outside, complete with chefs cooking eggs etc and all the other breakfast goodies you could wish for. It was chilly but we rugged up and just ate extra to keep our bellies warm.

The rainforest was just magical.

Here's my big girl communing with a mossy boulder. She was in seventh heaven and got completely hooked on birdwatching. She soon knew the names of the local birds flying about and their habits and was especially fascinated with the bower birds and their nests fall of blue treasures.

Although not ecologically PC, O'Reilly's has special permission to feed the local birdlife as it has been done for so many decades that the birds are dependant on it. The crimson rosellas were another special favourite of my big girl.

My little girl was not so keen and preferred to stay outside the feeding enclosure with her Daddy.

My big girl even got to hold a barn owl which was an exciting experience.

Even though the weather was sometimes overcast and misty, the view was just gorgeous. So relaxing to just look at it, breathe in the clean mountain air and listen to the birds.

It was extra special to be with my extended family. Life is so hectic for everybody, it was wonderful to just talk and walk and eat and laugh and play board games together.

Thanks for having us, O'Reilly's. Hope we come back soon.


Miss Prudence said...

Bliss! Yes it is the air isn't it? I just lvoe breathing the earthy fresh air and I bang on about it so much everyone rolls their eyes , but there is nothing like it to remind you what your lungs are for, how lucky we are, it really soothes the senses and the soul.

Lovely to read a post from you, they are always so meaningful xxx

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