O'Reilly's Rainforest Guesthouse
The gateway to exploring the subtropical rainforest and peaks of Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s is a long-established resort-come-activity hub, sitting high on a mountain plateau. Its main buildings, mostly built out of native timber, feel well worn-in. The decor is dated, the library is a little musty, and the natural history specimens in the Discovery Centre are gathering dust, but this all contributes to the hotel’s winningly nostalgic feel. Its naturalist guides have a real passion for this area, and they (along with the numerous nature-based activities on offer) are what makes this a place worth spending several days in.
Room-wise, you can choose from the original villas and canopy suites rooms or the swisher mountain view lodges, but they all enjoy views over the rainforest canopy and a forested valley. Many have outdoor decks, allowing you to sit almost at the treeline and observe passing birdlife. There’s a restaurant and café which between them serve breakfast, light lunches, and dinner, and each room has self-catering facilities.
Along with a roster of guided nature walks and activities, hiking trails of all lengths loop around the property. In addition, there’s a spa offering massages and beauty treatments, and a large infinity pool.
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All rooms come with a fridge and air-conditioning, as well as fairly reliable free Wi-Fi.
O’Reilly’s sprawls amid the forested peaks of Lamington National Park. It can only be reached by car via a steep and winding mountain road, and the nearest town, Canungra, is an hour away. We recommend stopping here if you’d like to buy provisions. Surrounded by subtropical rainforest, you can begin several excellent walking trails directly from the property.
Food and drink
The dining room serves a cooked and continental buffet breakfast daily, as well as à la carte evening meals. Just above it sits the Rainforest Café, which serves light lunches and more informal evening meals such as pizzas and pub fare. In the evening, the Rainforest Café becomes a bar serving wines, spirits, and cocktails. There’s a small shop selling groceries, though its prices can be somewhat inflated.
O’Reilly’s is family-friendly, offering several activities which may appeal to children, including a Segway tour, zip-lining, a birds of prey display and a ‘wildlife encounter’, where children can observe local rainforest flora and fauna up close.
Facilities and activities
The resort’s high point is its guided nature tours, which include a nocturnal walk to see glow worms and an early morning birding walk. There’s also a Segway safari and zip-lining, as well as a couple of tours which take you to viewpoints in the national park that are otherwise only accessible on foot or by 4x4. Hiking trails (ranging from undemanding to vigorous) and boardwalks run around the property, and private guiding is available on request.
A couple of the resort’s boardwalks are suitable for wheelchairs, and there are two wheelchair-accessible mountain view rooms.
Environmental and social responsibility
The O’Reilly family have dedicated their lives (and their business) to protecting the flora and fauna of Lamington National Park, so there’s a big emphasis on ecology and protecting the environment, and you’ll see signs everywhere advising you how you can do so. The resort is also taking steps to reduce its single plastic usage, for example, bathroom toiletries come in refillable containers.
You don’t come to O’Reilly’s for a luxury break but rather for the fresh mountain air, views over the rainforest, superb guiding and the opportunities to bushwalk and observe birdlife.