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oreillys gold coast

Exploring the Rainforest at O’Reilly’s

Gold Coast Hinterland, South East Queensland

Day trips are things we parents often mean to do but then life gets in the way. I am determined to make time to get out and explore South East Queensland and high on my priority list was the Gold Coast Hintnerland’s O’Reilly’s in the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park.

I have memories of visiting O’Reilly’s as a kid, and working on The Great South East television program for Channel 7 I would always promise myself to revisit after producing a story up there, it’s just so peaceful, so green and so good for the soul.

We told our daughter Lucy that we were going to visit the rainforest and though it was a new concept for her she was instantly excited by the concept, but then again a yogurt pouch is exciting to a 22 month old! Honestly the drive is a bit of a mission, from Brisbane a good 2 hours but we occupied ourselves spotting cows and horses as we hit the countryside and when all else failed ‘the Wheels on the Bus’ is a huge hit in our household.

Once you have arrived at O’Reilly’s up the winding mountain road you are rewarded by fresh mountain air, that crisp coolness of altitude and a blanket of green wrapping around you. A bird watcher’s paradise there is the option of guided walks but the ‘touristy’ thing to do is pay a few dollars for a tray of bird seed from the gift shop and be overrun by what must be some of the most well fed Crimson Rosellas around!

I wasn’t sure how toddler Lucy would react to being swarmed by hungry birds and though she was a bit trepidatious her intrigue and joy was obvious. She giggled at birds landing on people’s heads and shoulders, laughed at them plotting around telling us all about the fact they were eating seed and jumped when they flew just that little bit too close. I knew this would be a story she’d retell for weeks to come!

gold coast oreillys

After the excitement of bird feeding we stopped in at the Mountain Café for a snack and a bubbachino. Boasting amazing views across the hinterland it’s worth a stop to just take in the vista but it’s good to note that there are high chairs available and a solid kids menu. There’s also beautiful gardens for a picnic if you’d prefer.

However, It is the famous tree top suspended walkway that O’Reilly’s is known for an we couldn’t miss taking the little one up into the canopy. It’s an easy walk of just 800 m return and all on a raised boardwalk up to the suspended section. All in all, there are 9 suspension bridges up in the trees spanning a total of 180 metres and some up to 15 metres off the ground – not that it worried Lucy who loved looking through the gaps beneath her feet a remarking how high we were, and bouncing on the walkway to feel it move!

oreillys gold coast

And that was about all the excitement the little girl could handle, you can make a weekend of it and stay overnight but we opted return home with a sleeping and satisfied toddler snoring in the back seat, ready to plan our next adventure.

In a former life Amy Peel was a footloose and fancy free TV Producer travelling Australia and abroad. Now with the addition of toddler Lucinda Louise into the mix the adventures continues but life has well and truly changed. Follow the fun on Instagram @mumapeel or start Chasing Amy.

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