Lady of the lake provides ideal escape

IN THE TREES: The view from Possums.
IN THE TREES: The view from Possums.

ANGE, my beautiful bride of 40 years, wanted nothing more for her recent 60th birthday than a couple of nights at a B&B in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Not Bali, Sydney or Uluru.

She wanted to go to Montville, half an hour's drive from our home in Buderim.

And how perfect was that for me?

I would miss only one game of golf and could still keep up to date with the footy scores.

So on a wet Saturday a few months ago, we traversed the beautiful Blackall Range and canvassed the people of Montville on the best B&Bs in the area. We were advised that if we seriously wanted the best, we should check out Secrets on the Lake, less than 10 minutes' drive west of Montville, sitting on the edge of Lake Baroon. It wasn't cheap, they warned, but it was perfect for celebrating a special occasion.

We'd checked out half a dozen other suggestions by the time we arrived at Secrets, but that was it.

Ange had found her idyllic escape.

We booked our three-day, two-night R&R without hesitation, conveniently sandwiching our stay in the week between her birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary.

To describe the experience as unforgettable is merely scratching the surface: Secrets on the Lake is unique in so many ways.

The 10 individually-themed tree houses are set in the protected Kondalilla National Park and are accessible only by elevated, carved timber walkways. Totalling just under a kilometre in length, the walkways are lit until 11pm each night, providing a spectacular vista.

All but two of the tree houses are designed specifically for couples, with the bedroom, living room and sunken spa in the one open-plan area, albeit on different levels. Each also has a rainforest balcony with barbecue and double swing chair - a love seat - as well as a view of Lake Baroon.

But such is the density of the rainforest and the meticulous planning to ensure privacy, each of the tree houses is concealed from the view of the others. Hence vast expanses of glass also abound.

The attention to detail in the tree houses - the first built 15 years ago - is quite amazing. All furniture is carved and themed, delicate forged ironwork is featured and each house has a themed leadlight window.

We stayed in Possums - elevated eight metres in the rainforest canopy - and we never lost touch with the motif.

Not only were carvings on the front door and tables, mirrors and wall hangings inside, but while eating dinner on the deck on our second night, three of the nosey locals visited, and ate with us.

For our two-night stay, we were provided a breakfast basket on arrival with ample provisions - fruit, cereal, eggs, bread, milk, orange juice and condiments - with freshly-baked croissants delivered each morning.

And a bottle of champagne, also included, struck a chord with the birthday girl. On our second night, we ordered the barbecue hamper - rib fillet, chicken sausages, salads, baked potatoes, garlic bread, sticky date pudding and ice-cream. It was more than enough for us and our three inquisitive guests.

Recently-opened Secrets Cafe and Deck offers lunch and snacks until 4pm, as well as complimentary fresh home-made scones with strawberry jam and cream on arrival. And star barista Sarah complements this with a brilliant coffee.

But if something more substantial is needed or a special dinner planned, Montville is a stone's throw away.

One of my pet hates is wasting money. But not a dollar of this extravagance was squandered.


Secrets on the Lake is at 207 Narrows Rd, Montville.

Phone: 5478 5888 Email:

Rates start from $700 per couple (weekends) and $360 per couple weekdays.

>> Read more travel stories.

Topics:  sunshine coast hinterland travel travelling

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Walk-in mine a gem

UP FOR AWARD: The Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine tour.

The Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine is competing for a tourism award

New store opened in Clermont

KENNEDY & GRACE: Store owner Chloe Hodgkinson with her children in the new shop in Clermont.

Clermont is home to the newly re-opened Kennedy & Grace.

Girls night out in memory of Kim-Marie Brown

SUPPORT: Grace Ferguson with her parents Kyle and Kim, at the day for diabetes held in Dingo at the weekend.
Photo Meghan Kidd / CQ News

Girls Night Out in memory of Kim-Marie Brown.

Local Partners

Plenty of things to do in the region in the coming week

From dance productions to bargain hunting - here's plenty to do in the region in this week and next

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Peter Pan comes to Emerald

Peter Pan comes to the Central Highlands.

Peter Pan flies in to the Central Highlands this month

A little mystery adds fun to this event

SOIREE: Executive committee member, Rach McDowall.

Enjoy a mysterious night out at the Shed Soiree.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track