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Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

  • July 6, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 26 Comments
Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

For a change of scenery and to breakup the relatively short winter season we experience here in South East Queensland, there is nothing better than a weekend escape to somewhere cosy. I have come up with some of the best cosy winter retreats in South East Queensland for you to contemplate whilst you’re shivering and wishing spring was already here!

Binna Burra

What could be more cosy and wintery than a Sky Lodge Winter Fireplace retreat at Binna Burra in Beechmont in the Lamington National Park? Or maybe just a stay in one of the rooms at the Mountain Lodge?

The eco-friendly Sky Lodge apartments are in-keeping with the traditional Mountain Lodge with the use of stone, slate & wood, and the views from the balconies across the Coomera & Numinbah Valleys are simply breathtaking.

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

Sky Lodges at Binna Burra Image Credit: Binna Burra Lodge

The biggest attraction to Binna Burra, apart from the spectacular views, are the rainforest walks through the Lamington National Park. Otherwise for the more adventurous take your pick from abseiling, flying fox, archery, wild walks, rogaining and ropes courses.

Afterwards you can soak in your own spa bath and sit in front of a gas flame fireplace to thaw out!

Package stays at Binna Burra can include:

  • Guided walks
  • Evening activities
  • One hour Hatha Yoga (on weekends)
  • Morning and afternoon teas
  • Communal cheese platter in the historic library
Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

The gorgeous views from Binna Burra Lodge Image Credit: Binna Burra Lodge

Binna Burra is 90 minutes south of Brisbane or 50 minutes west of the Gold Coast in South East Queensland.

Stanthorpe

Just a short two and a half hour drive south-west of Brisbane, is the town called Stanthorpe which is located in the Granite Belt area. This region is predominantly agricultural with apples and grapes being their main crops. It boasts around 50 wineries in the surrounding area and this is hugely popular with wine connoisseurs (or just girls who really love wine!)

Our digs for our girl’s weekend was Appleblossom Cottage, an extremely charming and comfortable cottage, ideally located close to the centre of town. We loved the open farmhouse-style kitchen, the woodfire heater in the lounge room, the spa bath and the large deck at the rear of the house where we enjoyed some Winter sunshine.

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

The Spa Bath at Appleblossom Cottage Image Credit: Appleblossom Cottage

We had pre-booked a wine tour and set off with Stanthorpe Tours for a day of pure indulgence on the ‘Wine and Cheese Delight Tour’. Our fabulous driver, Gary, put us all aboard the very luxurious limousine style mini-bus and we set off to our first winery. On board we had a nice bottle of bubbly sitting on ice waiting for us, along with bottles of water, a cheese platter and little chocolates. We felt extremely spoilt – and the day had just begun!

After three stops at three different wineries, tasting all the wines they had on offer, we were all a little ‘merry’!  Thankfully, Gary suggested we have lunch and he drove us to Happy Valley Homestead Restaurant for a very tasty two-course lunch, that was included in the tour price. As well as having cabin accommodation and a restaurant, Happy Valley has a microbrewery called Granite Belt Brewery. We were given the opportunity to taste six different brews of beer, however we decided to pass since our heads were still in a bit of a spin!

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

The Vineyards at Happy Valley Image Credit: Stanthorpe Tours

After lunch it was off to two more wineries, then a visit to a local cheese factory.  Here we got to sample their cheeses and some lovely different jams and relishes. Although we were still stuffed from our lunch we managed to sample some of the produce and purchased some of their fine cheeses.

There is a wide variety of B&B’s, cottage rentals and cabins available in Stanthorpe and it is a fabulous place for a cosy Winter retreat.

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Chilly nights sitting by the fireplace sipping red wine! Does this sound like you? Then this is what you can expect at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in winter. They have a choice of cosy Mountain or Valley View rooms or self-contained and architecturally designed Villas perched unobtrusively on the sloping hillside in the McPherson Ranges.
Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

Cosy Villas at O’Reillys Image Credit: O’Reillys

During the daylight hours there are plenty of activities such as guided bird walks, animal shows and the famed Tree Top Walk. Plus, you can test your skills on an off road two-wheeled Segway tour through creek crossings to Moran’s Falls.
For a total head to toe indulgence you can get lost in the Lost World Day Spa! The Day Spa is equipped with a sublime couple’s suite and 25-metre wet edge infinity lap pool with a separate children’s area.
Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

Sunset Views from O’Reilly’s  Image Credit: Pinterest

O’Reilly’s can prepare you a packed lunch or picnic hamper so that you can set off to one of 500 world-class waterfalls accessible via 160-kilometres of nature trails. After working up an appetite outdoors, you can dine on homemade pizzas in the casual Rainforest Bar or opt for a gourmet a-la -carte meal in the dining room including matching wines from nearby O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards.

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is located in Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, South East Queensland. It is 75 km or 90 minutes from the Gold Coast or 113 km or 2 hours from Brisbane.

Bunya Mountains

The Bunya Mountains are around 2½ – 3 hours from Brisbane and 4 hours from the Gold Coast, but fully worth the drive. A few days here in the fresh air of the mountains during the cooler months is heaven on earth! Recently we went on a day trip to this unique wilderness range of mountains and vowed that we would return for some R & R.

As we wound our way up the steep mountain road into the Bunyas and were immediately in awe of the timeless beauty of the world’s largest forests of dome-shaped Bunya pines. The peaks of the Bunya Mountains reach more than 1100m and offer spectacular mountain scenery, views, abundant wildlife and rainforest walking trails from a short 500m up to a 10km circuit.

A South Queensland Country Getaway

Some of the scenery from the beautiful Bunya Mountains

We picked up a walking trail map from the Information Centre at Dandabah and set off on a 1km walk from Fishers Lookout to Cunjevoi Falls. There are numerous walks in The Bunyas that take you through diverse vegetation that can include dense rainforest, to open grassland and babbling creeks and cascading waterfalls.

For an authentic mountain stay try Rice’s Log Cabins that are surrounded by the deep, primitive rainforest of the Bunya Mountains. The cabins are just a few minutes walk from the heart of everything. Yet they are totally secluded from noise and activity so you can appreciate all the tranquility that the Bunya Mountains has to offer.

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

The Bunyas Accommodation, General Store and Restaurant

Alternatively there is The Bunyas with either Dandabah Getaway Units or Chalets that maintain that special mountain feel with timber flooring, wooden furnishings, comfy couch and a fireplace.

Maleny/Montville

An extremely popular choice for a cosy winter retreat is either Maleny or Montville in the verdant green rolling hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The region is brimming with fresh produce from the farm gate to the plate, and is extremely popular with foodies and art lovers.

Maleny is 92 km north of Brisbane or 45 km west of the Sunshine Coast and is perched high upon the Blackall Range. There are several lookouts on the outskirts of the town that look out over the Glasshouse Mountains, showcasing its breathtaking natural beauty.

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

View of the Glasshouse Mountains from Maleny Image Credit: www.Maleny.Qld.au

Maleny is well known for its “hippie/greenie culture” and is populated by a wide demographic of artists, musicians and craftspeople. With a range of different creations from woodwork, to beads and musical instruments, the town is always abuzz with some sort of artistic show or creative endeavour.

The area has an abundance of restaurants, cafes and dining options available, both in the towns and on the outskirts. There are local wineries, the Maleny Cheese Factory and Maleny Dairies, that are worth a visit. Plus both Maleny and Montville, with its Artisan village, are great places for shopping with many boutiques, galleries, gift and craft shops.

Cosy Winter Retreats in South East Queensland

Art Gallery in Maleny Image Credit: Hinterland Tourism

There is a great range of accommodation available in the Maleny/Montville area, including homely B&Bs, cute cottages, guest houses and Eco Resorts/Spas. For more information on accommodation options visit Hinterland Tourism.

Do you like to indulge in a cosy winter retreat during the cooler months in Australia? Where do you like to go?

This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:

Lyndall from Seize the Day Projectlovin-life-linky
Deb from DebbishDotCom
Min from Write of the Middle.
Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit
Jo from And Anyways
and of course me, Kathy from 50 Shades of Age


 

By 50 Shades, July 6, 2017 Kathy Shade is a 50 something year old who is married with 2 children who has spent most of her life being a housewife, mother and working as an Accounts Administrator in the public school system. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Her friends would describe her as being a 'have a chat' with an outgoing personality and zest for life. Kathy also has a great love of shopping and is known for her bargain hunting prowess!
  • 26

50 Shades

Kathy Shade is a 50 something year old who is married with 2 children who has spent most of her life being a housewife, mother and working as an Accounts Administrator in the public school system. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Her friends would describe her as being a 'have a chat' with an outgoing personality and zest for life. Kathy also has a great love of shopping and is known for her bargain hunting prowess!

26 Comments
  • Jo Tracey
    July 6, 2017

    There’s something about snuggling with a fire, isn’t there? Usually we spend a long weekend at Eucumbene – but that’s too far to go this year. Day trips into Maleny will need to do the job – as did last weekends Melbourne trip.

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      I’ve never heard of Eucumbene. Is it in the mountains? I love an open fire. We don’t get too many of them here in Queensland! Maleny would be the perfect winter retreat for you. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Deborah
    July 6, 2017

    I’m actually going to Maleny next weekend (for an event on 16th) and have been trying to decide whether I should overnight it on the Saturday night or if it’s a frivolous use of savings! (Also cos I have an aunt and uncle at the Sunshine Coast I’m sure my mother would like to see.) I have been having a bit of a look at what’s around though because I don’t really ever go ‘away’ for a break / stay in hotels etc at the moment whereas once (when I worked full-time) I wouldn’t have thought twice!

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      Yes it can be rather expensive at some of these places that I’ve mentioned. We found the one we did in Stanthorpe was very affordable divided by 6 women. However we did have to room together! I love getting all warm and toasty by an open fire. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    July 6, 2017

    Oh Kathy – just what I’m craving right now! Of all the ones you’ve listed the only one I’ve done well is Montville/Maleny. O’Reilly’s I’ve been to on day trips but never stayed overnight. The others I’m yet to visit. Thanks so much – I’m going to look closely at these and book a weekend away at one of them. I so need and want it right now. #TeamLovinLife

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      These places would be perfect for you to recuperate. The only one I’ve stayed at is Stanthorpe, but I’ve day tripped to all the others and often thought about booking a weekend in winter by a cosy fireplace. Dream on!! I hope you are getting better after your surgery. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Vanessa
    July 6, 2017

    If I ever get over my fear of winding and mountain roads, I’ll be there :)

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      You’d be safe in either Stanthorpe or Maleny then as both places don’t involve winding mountain roads. There are so many gorgeous places for a winter retreat. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Johanna
    July 6, 2017

    Oh I’d love to go back to Maleney and Binaburra. What a lovely list for R and R, especially in wintertime. Very atmospheric too.

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      They are excellent choices Jo. But you have some beautiful winter retreat places in the South West of your state too. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • jodie
    July 6, 2017

    It looks like a fabulous place, Kathy!! Almost like the mountain towns where we live!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      It’s hard to believe that we have mountain retreats in Australia (or Queensland), but we do! I’ve been in the Sierra Mountain Ranges in your wonderful country once years ago at Yosemite National Park. It was beautiful! #TeamLovinLife

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    July 6, 2017

    Hi Kathy I’ve lived in Brisbane since 1988 and not been to half of these places! I need to start ticking them off. I love Montville and Maleny especially in winter and have enjoyed a couple of ‘romantic’ weekends away there. Thanks for some other ideas to try.

    • Kathy
      July 6, 2017

      We’re both perfectly placed for some winter mountain retreats. Mt Glorious and the Mt Mee are also very close to Brisbane and I’m sure would offer cosy places to stay. L’m happy to provide some inspiration! :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Budget jan
    July 6, 2017

    Great roundup- I’d love to visit all of them. I think Bunya will be first.

    • Kathy
      July 7, 2017

      Yes The Bunyas were beautiful and a little different to other mountain ranges in the South East. I would love a weekend away at any of these places. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    July 6, 2017

    Some of these look gorgeous Kathy – Queensland is still on my to-do list but it will probably be a Summer visit – I think you guys get even more sunshine than we do in WA. I must admit that a cosy Winter weekend away sounds nice though – might have to find one locally and take the husband away from work for a while!

    • Kathy
      July 7, 2017

      It’s just a matter of delving into what’s around you. I’m constantly amazed by what’s on offer within a few hours drive from me on the Gold Coast. We are truly blessed. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Melissa @ All Around Oz
    July 7, 2017

    A great list of spots Kathy. We have stayed at Stanthorpe but only in the camper trailer and only in warmer weather. Will have to add a couple of these spots to my list!

    • Kathy
      July 7, 2017

      We are spoilt for choice around us Mel. There are just so many places to go!:) #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet
    July 7, 2017

    I’m glad to see Maleny/Montville on your list! I took the hubster there for his birthday in July a couple of years ago, I swear the thing he liked best was cranking up the pot belly stove and keeping watch over it – boys and fire, LOL! It wasn’t even that cold that weekend! I’d love to go to Stanthorpe for a romantic getaway but the hubster has so many rellies there we would be in big trouble is we didn’t go visiting which kinda defeats the purpose of a romantic weekend …

    • Kathy
      July 8, 2017

      Yes my husband is obsessed with fires too! When we were travelling around in our caravan he liked nothing better than lighting a campfire (even when it wasn’t particularly cold!). There are many “romantic” places in the hinterland for a getaway. These are just a few suggestions. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Life Images by Jill
    July 7, 2017

    Queensland is moving up our list of places to visit, so I’ll need to tag this post, and your others on Queensland for reference later. Tell me, when, in your opinion is the best time to visit Queensland. I friend recently said April-May. Thanks Kathy for another great read and the link up.

    • Kathy
      July 8, 2017

      Yes April-May are excellent months to visit, but also September-October, before the summer heat and humidity hits us. There are many fabulous places to visit in Queensland. It is the second largest state after WA. I’d be happy to help you plan an itinerary to Queensland when you come over Jill. :) #TeamLovinLife

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    July 8, 2017

    Maleny! Is that where I’m going with a couple of my Lovin’ LIfe pals next weekend? I think it might be. #teamlovinlife

    • Kathy
      July 9, 2017

      Oh yes, you’ll love it there! I hope you get to have a cosy winter retreat. :) #TeamLovinLife

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