Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BIRTHDAY BEAR COMES TO DINNER IN THE MOUNTAINS

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.

Shepherd Lookout
Kerry lookout
Boiling the billy (a tin of water with a wire handle hung over the fire) for morning tea.

 The boys

 The girls

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.

 She had a calendar to block in holiday times. She also had a camera and a travel bag full of maps and activity books. There is a money box to save for future trips. With her travel wallet, sun hat and new sneakers she is ready to roll.

We had a lovely round table for 9 of us and a picture window (left) where birds and night animals came to feed.  

22 comments:

Jo said...

What an amazing family the O'Reillys were. Imagine persevering until you find the plane or survivors you know crashed there! Happy Birthday to Ann! I bet you're not one of those who can't walk places, Diane? Have a great time. Greetings, Jo

TexWisGirl said...

what a great outing at a once-remote place!

Sandra said...

i like that big round table and chairs at the end.. and Kerry and Shepherds overlook is breathtaking. glad they hacked through that jungle.. looks like fantastic place for a holiday and all the boys and girls look happy

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Sounds like place I would like to visit.

Carole M. said...

great reminders of a special place. When I saw your boiling the billy photo I recognized the guy doing it being SUCH a comical guy and did he play the mouth organ for you?

Andrew said...

I may have had billy tea when I was a kid. I suspect the romantic notion of making billy tea does not match the reality of the taste. You all looked so rugged up in the group photo. Clearly it is bit cooler there than at your home.

eileeninmd said...

What a fun time and it is always neat to see how the Birthday Bear is dressed for the latest birthday! Happy Birthday to Ann! Love the beautiful scenic views from your tour. It is a gorgeous place to visit. Have a happy day and weekend ahead!

FruitCake said...

Looks like a perfect day for a perfect day.
Pink suits Birthday Bear very nicely.

diane b said...

Yes Carole, Glen did play the mouth organ for us.

diane b said...

Andrew, it was quite cool in the mornings and evenings but warmed up in the middle of the day. Yes it is cooler than down on the coast. A good place to visit in summer to cool down.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I really would love this place!

Titania said...

A wonderful outing. We used to go walking there. Have not been for a long time. The views are beautiful. Like this classy lady bear.

Fun60 said...

Birthday Bear looks very adventurous in his outfit today. There looks like a wonderful lodge to stay and enjoy the company of your friends.

whiteangel said...

Looks beautiful up there.
Love our bush scenery.

Cynthia said...

I love Birthday Bear's wheelie backpack! It's always fun to see his latest ensemble. Beautiful views from your tour and the lodge.

Betsy Adams said...

Looks like a wonderful celebration. We are in FL celebrating Thanksgiving with George's son and family. They are fixing a FEAST for us…

Hugs,
Betsy

Pauline said...

Thanks for sharing the story of O'Reilly heroism. Diane, I have had in my head for over 50 years the line of a poem, "in that unearthly clear shining after rain" with no recollection of the words before and after but I've always thought it was about that plane crash rescue. Do you know of any poems written about the crash and the rescue? Your photos are marvellous!

Justjen said...

The O'Reilly family are such a deservedly proud and iconic Queensland family aren't they! Looks like it was a beautiful venue for a Birthday Party, what a great group you are.

DeniseinVA said...

I love following the adventures of Birthday Bear. Another great outing with super photos showing people who love being together. What a marvelous tradition.

Gattina said...

What a beautiful idea for a birthday party ! spending some holidays in such a special place ! And birthday bear is again dressed up so well !

Gattina said...

Just read the Bernard O'Reilly story ! What a man !

GardenOfDaisies said...

The views at the lookout stations are beautiful! And I love that your dinner table was surrounded by windows, so you could see the wildlife.