Our Birthday Bear group spent a few days at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. It is in the Green Mountains, which are part of the McPherson Ranges on the border of NSW and QLD. The resort and O'Reilly's land are surrounded by Lamington National Park.
In 1912 eight men of the O'Reilly family cut a track into these mountains cleared some land and started farming. In 1915 the Lamington National Park was established around their land. In 1926 they built a guest house as farming wasn't that successful. Guests used to be transported by horse and wagon along the precipitous mountain tracks. Today there is a narrow winding road, many rooms, suites and self contained villas. There is a variety of activities but the main attractions are 160k of walking tracks, many waterfalls and an abundance of wild life..
In 1937the family became famous because Bernard O'Reilly, against all odds cut through the jungle for two days in search of a Stinson airliner, which crashed on its way from Brisbane to Sydney. He found two survivors after they had been there for 5 days. Bernard returned through the jungle to organise a rescue party and then he lead them back again. It was an amazing feat of strength, bushcraft and heroism. The story is worth reading.
After our early morning bird watching session we waited for the 4wheel drive bus to pick us up for an excursion through the forest to some lookouts.(Unfortunately some of us are not able to walk long distances so this is a welcome activity, which we all could enjoy)
We went through rain forest and then into Eucalyptus forest.
Boiling the billy (a tin of water with a wire handle hung over the fire) for morning tea.
We returned to the retreat for lunch and a bird of prey display before going to dinner with Birthday Bear. All this time Birthday Bear had been relaxing in Mary's room because she dressed Bear for Ann's birthday. For those readers unfamiliar with our Birthday Bear tradition read here.
Bear was waiting for us in the dining Room. She was dressed as a holiday maker for Ann because Ann is always organising holidays (vacations) for us.
We had a lovely round table for 9 of us and a picture window (left) where birds and night animals came to feed.