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Retreat to a rainforest

The planet is heating up and we are experiencing unprecedented weather events across the globe, none so dramatic as the shocking fires still burning in our beloved Australia since September last year.

We brace ourselves and we learn along the way to adapt to change whilst looking toward a more sustainable future. I for one am leaning towards travel in Australia this year – ‘roaming at home’ to aid the economic and environmental development of our country.

Couple exploring in the lush Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia

It starts with people power and education and a need to look back at the traditional custodians of the land and heed advice from indigenous cultures across the globe. Science is one part (seemingly important to the methodical brain) but the energy of the earth and her nurturing powers are at the forefront of my mind- listen to her rumbles.

I recently interviewed an elder in terms of the matriarch of a Queensland family who owns and operates O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat. Peter O’Reilly senior, now in his late 80’s, is a man with a story to tell.

It’s a tale of the land a thriving rainforest land that has been in his family for over 100 years, realising the potential of this pristine property that sits atop Lamington National Park in Queensland.

“We chose this fertile land as generally rainforest doesn’t burn, if the conditions become extreme it may burn but normally it’s a safe place to live” Peter said.

The recent fires in Queensland burnt a majority of Lamington National Park but didn’t affect the rainforest of O’Reillys. The regional tourism and surrounding villages were affected but the retreat remains open for business – Mother Nature at play right there.

O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat is home to native flora and fauna and is abundant with wildlife in particular birds – hosting a popular bird watching weekend each year. There are literally birds of all shapes and sizes swooning you as you wander the property.

The treetops walk through the rainforest is the ideal way to experience the natural canopy of the forest and as the summer heat continues to rise it’s a cool place to be. I discover a natural glowworm wall next to a stream that has inhabited this natural environment for 100’s of years- a sacred space for indigenous gatherings.

An impressive gateway to the Lamington National Park, Queensland

Peter’s stories are important to capture, his understanding of mother nature and her offerings are quite old fashioned but that may just be the point, authentic and at the same time sustainable into the future.

Take some time to visit the regions in and around affected areas this year, there is no quick fix solution but we can’t turn away we need to stay engaged. The drought has gone on for an extended period of time, coupled with the extreme fire conditions its time support and nurture this Great Southern Land.