Sep 30, 2012

Quintessential Queensland: The Ecolodge

(Daddy recounts)

After 3 days of interacting with farm animals and relaxing by the beach, we figured we should take the chance to indulge the monkies in some nature of sorts. No, not the adventurous nature that the Gold Coast Theme Parks are famous for. Well, not yet anyway. Rather, it was time to get re-connected with Mother Nature and so up to the Glass House Mountains we headed up for a 2-night stay at an Ecolodge.

This was the Ecolodge that came highly recommended by Tourism Queensland, and also the one which we were supposed to stay for 3 nights. But the Ecolodge was fully booked the previous night, which was why we ended up at Rumba Beach Resort in Caloundra for one night.

Compared to the other 2 accommodations that we had put up in, Glass House Mountains Ecolodge is a quirky style of accommodation which prides itself in actively promoting environmental awareness to travellers.

It was only a short 20 minute drive from Caloundra, and soon we found ourselves in the lovely 2-Bedroom Mt Tibro Family Suite.

The first thing that both Ash & Ayd exclaimed?

What, NO Television???

Which is great by the way, although the 2 boys might beg to differ. In any case, our rooms were clean, neat and comfortable without being elaborate.

The second bedroom came with a loft, which made the absence of a TV quickly forgotten.

Indeed, both boys were fighting over who should take the single bed up in the loft. Ale, as you can see, had already laid claim to her choice of bedding though.

Once the boys came to an amicable solution, we stepped out of our suite to explore the Ecolodge's surroundings.

The one thing that struck me about the place was how beautifully serene and peaceful it was. And the expansive chill-out area right at our doorstep sure did play a part!

A quick stroll around the Ecolodge compounds had us entering the Garden of Eaten - an orchard with tropical fruit trees - where guests are free to pluck any ripe fruits for consumption.

But the most interesting bit of the Ecolodge has got to be this gem.

Keith Murray, who is the owner, had relocated two train carriages to the Ecolodge site.

And the interior of the carriages has been marvelously converted into a Dining area with tables and benches for guests to have their meals.

At the other end of the carriage, it comes complete with full kitchen facilities with every utensil you could ever possibly need on a self-catering holiday break.

There's even an outdoor BBQ burner as well. As for the other rail carriage, it has been converted into a Lounge and Library, where guests can play board games or enjoy a game of chess.

In essence, it is an extremely glorious place. It has always been Keith's baby and his love of the area has seen him fashion this little haven.

The time came for us to venture out to the surrounding National Parks as all of us decided that it would be a good idea to burn some fats by climbing a mountain.

We headed down to Mt Tibrogargan, which was about 400m away from the Ecolodge. There were a few options for us: a summit climb which would take us 3 hours, OR a relatively easy 3.3km trek round the mountain, OR a 340m ascent to the Mountain View Lookout.

With 3 monkies in tow, no prizes for guessing which option we chose then

It was a good thing we chose the Mountain View Lookout trek. No way would I be able to last 3.3km carrying Ale along for the trek!

Our faces may show otherwise, but we were actually quite breathless after our 340m climb.

We then drove - yes, drove - to the Glass House Mountains Scenic Lookout Point, where we could see the entire collection of Glass House Mountains.

The Glass House Mountains are actually a series of steep sided volcanic plugs which dominate the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

There are 16 peaks in total formed of lavas hardened inside vents of tertiary volcanoes which have been greatly eroded by weathering over 25 million years.

Breath-taking scenery, cool weather, beautiful sunset - what's there not to like? It even made perfect for goofing around in front of the cam!

Even the 2 oldest people in the village couldn't resist the goof as well.

The weather was a comfy 23 degrees, which made it all the more suitable for the monkies to prance around nary breaking a sweat.

All we were missing is a picnic basket. And if the boys had their way, speakers blaring 'Oppa Gangnam Style' as well.

As sunset approached, we headed back to the Ecolodge to prepare our dinner. And boy, did we have a big appetite after our exertions in the day.

After all, we did scale a mountain. All 340m of it.

This post is part of our Queensland Holiday series of posts. Do click the label "Queensland" to view all posts related to our vacation. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Tourism Queensland and the respective hospitality operators for their amazing support!

See MORE photos of our Queensland Adventures in our photo album on our Cheekiemonkies' Facebook page HERE

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