Narrows Escape Luxury Retreat – Sunshine Coast Great Walks, Queensland
Australian Geographic Travel has teamed up with the Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, set in an enchanting rainforest paradise at the edge of Kondalilla National Park in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland, to exclusively offer 4 days of expertly guided walks through the Sunshine Coast hinterland along with some unique rainforest luxury and relaxation.
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is a natural wonderland that holds special significance to the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Jinibara and Kabi Kabi people. This old volcanic land has an abundance of wildlife and was known as paradise. Tribes met to feast on Bunya nuts at a bush clearing site at Baroon Pocket, now the site of a dam. Walk through ancient forests, winding creeks and old logging trails – home to more than 300 species of birds, pademelons, koala, wombats and echidnas, as well as diverse flora, rainforest and waterfalls.
On this four-day walk become immersed in the natural world and connect with this historic land.
Experience incredible landscapes, listen to the symphony of wildlife, taste the best local produce and revel in luxury in the wilderness!
|10–15 Sep 2023
22–27 Oct 2023
|Moderate fitness level required.
Preparation is the key to enjoying your walking experience.
While you may walk in your day-to-day life, hiking for four days will use different muscles in a different capacity. It is best to schedule some walking practice before undertaking a few days of hiking to ensure that your body is used to hiking and that you can enjoy the experience. We will ask you to complete a medical disclaimer.
|From $3590 per person twin / double (valid until 31 March 2023)
From $6750 per person – single occupancy (valid until 31 March 2023)
From $3950 per person twin / double (valid until 31 March 2024)
From $7460 per person single occupancy (valid until 31 March 2024)
|6 days / 5 nights
|Min 4 / Max 12
|The Sunshine Coast hinterland, Queensland
ABOUT YOUR EXPERT GUIDE
Kris Bullen is an adventure and nature guide with extensive experience leading groups on wilderness hikes. His love of nature began as a child growing up in a small town where an adventurous outdoor lifestyle was the norm. As he grew, so did his curiosity for understanding the natural world. Kris is the Director of Outdoor Adventure Australia and holds a diverse array of certifications including Wilderness First Aid, bushwalking, navigation, psychology and public health.
Kris was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast and he is passionate about leading people in an immersive exploration of the local biodiversity of the Sunshine Coast region to enrich their understanding of this corner of the natural world.
Having Kris as your guide is what makes this a truly outstanding experience. His passion, professionalism and irresistible enthusiasm alongside his detailed knowledge of the local flora and fauna is what transforms the natural scenery of the tracks into an inspiring wonderland. Kris’s laid-back nature and natural charm will have you instantly engrossed in tales of the different plant species and animals’ ways of ensnaring each other. You will see your surroundings transform as your knowledge of the native landscape deepens and you become immersed in the natural world, as you’ve never seen it before.
Arrive at 3pm at Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, located at 78 Narrows Road, Montville. You will be welcomed and shown to your villa. Undercover parking is available for all guests.
4:30–6:30pm. Enjoy some welcome drinks and canapés on the rainforest deck with your fellow walkers and receive an acknowledgement of country, storytelling and briefing of the walk.
6:30–7:30pm. Your BBQ hamper will be delivered to your deck for rainforest dining.
7am. Enjoy your wonderful array of breakfast options provided in your breakfast hamper, including freshly baked croissants delivered at 7.30am.
7.50am. Meet at reception for an 8am departure. Transfers to Leafy Lane Trail head will take approximately 15 minutes.
Today’s walk is approximately 12.6km (Grade 4). Starting at the Leafy Lane Trail head, we will start with a gentle walk through relatively flat terrain until we arrive at the Ubajee Walkers Camp. After a brief pause here, we carry on towards Ubajee viewpoint where we have views that stretch towards the west down the Gheerulla Valley.
Traversing down the switchbacks we will witness the canopy transition from eucalypt to rainforest as we go deeper into the valley. Once at the bottom of the valley, we follow Gheerulla Creek with its many crossings and using historic logging trails. Take a slight detour down to see the beautiful Gheerulla Falls and refresh yourself by dipping your toes into the cool pool below the falls. Morning tea and lunch provided on route.
Approx. 3pm. You will arrive at the Sam Kelly Road Trail Head where you will be greeted with some light refreshments before returning to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat. (Approximately 45-minute transfer time).
6.10pm. Make your way to reception for a 6.15pm transfer to dinner at award-winning The Long Apron. Enjoy a glass of champagne on arrival, followed by five course French degustation dinner, with matching wines.
7am. Enjoy your wonderful array of breakfast options provided in your breakfast hamper, including freshly baked croissants delivered at 7.30am
7.50am. Meet at reception for an 8am departure to the second leg of the walk. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes.
Today’s walk is approximately 12.5km (Grade 4). Our guide will lead you through a variety of terrain and will describe much of the flora, which is often edible, deadly and everything in between! Take in the views of the Gheerulla and the Mary valley from the Gheerulla Valley Viewpoint while you indulge in a little morning tea. Carry on walking along the high ridge line before stopping at Thilba Thalba Walkers Camp for lunch. After lunch we continue along the ridge line for a short period before, catching glimpses of a magnificent view, before too long we start to descend through scrubby eucalypt forest to the Gheerulla Bluff viewpoint. From here we wind our way down to the Gheerulla Recreation Area.
Approx. 2.30pm. You will arrive at the Sam Kelly Road Trail Head where you will be greeted with some light refreshments before returning to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat. (Approximately 45-minute transfer time).
6.30pm. Make your way to the rainforest deck for a pre-dinner cocktail, followed by a six-course dinner and matching wines prepared by a private chef.
8.30am. Enjoy a relaxing start to your day with a wonderful array of breakfast options provided in your breakfast hamper, including freshly baked croissants delivered at 8.30am.
9.30am. Meet at reception for a 9.45am departure. The journey takes approximately 15 minutes.
Today’s walk is a leisurely 5.7km Grade 4. You’ll walk through open eucalypt forests, rocky outcrops and take in Baxter Creek and Baxter Falls. Enjoy crossing Baxter Creek by the suspension bridge and walk through a tranquil palm-filled grove. Stop for a light snack at the Flaxton Walkers Camp and use the available restrooms before continuing to Flaxton Mill Road.
Approx. 1pm. You will arrive at Flaxton Mill Road where you will be greeted with a picnic lunch before returning to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat.
Between 2pm and 4.30pm you’ll have some leisure time and the option to add a one-hour, side-by-side, in-villa relaxation massage to sooth those muscles from days of walking and experience the tranquil bliss of Narrows Escape. This must be pre-arranged and costs $250 per couple.
6.30pm. Enjoy the diversity and experience a night walk and peek at the nocturnal animals that inhabit the surrounds of Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a sugar glider sail between the trees, among other nighttime delights.
7pm. Enjoy dinner with your hosts Ali Khan & Xochi Lindholm, the owners and operators of Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat. Ali will make a traditional Rajasthani-style banquet of chicken curry, lamb curry and saag paneer.
8.30am. Enjoy your wonderful array of breakfast options provided in your breakfast hamper, including freshly baked croissants delivered at 8.30am.
9.30am. Meet at reception for a 9.45am departure. Transfers take approximately 15 minutes. There are restrooms at the entry point.
Today’s walk is a leisurely 11.4km (Grade 4). You will begin a rather steep descent down the mountain and take in the breathtaking Kondalilla Falls. Kondalilla means ‘rushing water’ and it is wonderful to see the water rushing over the rocky falls. After a steep descent into the valley, enjoy following Skene and Obi creeks through lush rainforest, palm forests, strangler figs, beautiful streams and rock pools. Stop for morning tea at Flat Rock, a lovely outcrop under broken canopy, overlooking the creek. After a short break on the creek edge, we start the climb up to Baroon Lookout where we take in the beautiful site of the Obi Valley below while eating lunch. After lunch we continue along undulating terrain, heading towards our finish point.
Approx. 2pm. You will arrive at the end of the Great Walk down at Baroon Pocket Dam where you will be greeted with some light refreshments and we will have the opportunity to take a group photo looking out over the dam.
Approx. 3pm. Return to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat (or choose to walk those last few kilometres uphill!)
6.10pm. Make your way to reception for a 6.15pm transfer to The Tamarind for an Asian-inspired banquet. Enjoy their signature cocktail on arrival and paired wines, rounded off with dessert.
7.30am. Enjoy your wonderful array of breakfast options provided in your breakfast hamper, including freshly baked croissants delivered at 8am.
10am. Depart Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat with some beautiful memories of the Sunshine CoastGreat Walk.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE
We walk in all-weather unless there is a severe weather warning that suggests it is unsafe to proceed. However, you may choose not to participate in one component of the walk due to weather. If you choose to do this, it is at your own discretion, and you will not be refunded for choosing not to participate.
The best way to delight in nature is to immerse yourself in the natural world. We therefore request that you switch your phone to flight-mode for the duration of the walk, so that no-one is disrupted by messages/phone calls as this detracts from everyone’s experience.
As there is a single guide leading the walk, we are unable to split into groups based on fitness level. To get the most out of the walking experience we recommend staying in proximity to the guide so that you can learn about the area, its history and the biodiversity. Training and preparation are therefore key to ensuring the group can hold a comfortable and steady pace that everyone enjoys.
5 nights accommodation at Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
Welcome drinks and briefing on arrival
All meals and beverages included
4 days of guided hiking with a knowledgeable and experienced guide
First aid on the walk
Remember to bring: Hiking gear including day pack, walking poles and worn in hiking boots, water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent and rain jackets.Book Now