Crisp air, clear skies and a roaring fireplace - the Moreton Bay region's hinterland is the perfect place for a winter escape to remember, and it's not too far from home.
There is a great range of quality accommodation options to pick from. Here are three to get you started - Clear Mountain, Mt Glorious and Ocean View.
MERCURE CLEAR MOUNTAIN LODGE
Luxury and elegance and with all the charm of a country lodge, this destination is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, short holiday or a business retreat.
It is perfectly positioned among 20 ha of native bushland and gardens on a mountaintop, with amazing panoramic views of the Glasshouse Mountains and Moreton Bay Islands. You can choose from 51 rooms and apartments with private balconies, plus a restaurant , bar, pool, gym, day spa, conference facilities and even a vineyard.
General manager Tim Innes says it’s the perfect winter escape.
“There’s the hinterland setting, crisp mountain air, beautiful views, large tubs in our lodge suites, fantastic winter menu and the fireplace in restaurant/lounge area,” Tim explains.
It's also the perfect setting to have some serious pampering. Stephanies Mountain Spa offers a unique selection of therapies, even half-day and full-day spa packages with bliss.
After you’ve worked up an appetite unwinding in style, enjoy a meal from Mandy’s on the Mountain restaurant’s winter menu, before curling up in front of the fire in the lounge.
The lodge originally opened as a health retreat about 30 years ago and was converted to a hotel/conference centre about 15 years ago. The current owner bought it 12 years ago, adding 14 rooms.
Address: 564 Clear Mountain Rd, Clear Mountain
Phone: 3298 5100
TURKEY’S NEST RAINFOREST COTTAGES
Rose and Russell Cuthbertson, who bought the property in 2003, own and operate these cottages. It was already home to White Gum Cottage, which they renovated, before building a second cottage and their house in 2009.
Guests are now offered three accommodation options at this 15 acre retreat — two cottages and a suite. Rose says she and her guests feel as though they can relax and breathe more easily when they arrive. The surroundings and absence of technology helps.
“We don’t put Tvs in the cottages, but people can ask for them and there’s no Wi-Fi. People say it’s nice to get away from all that media — a digital detox,” she says.
“Very few people ask for a TV.”
Rose says it’s always lovely for families to bring their children — allowing them to disconnect from technology and explore the national park and the wildlife that call it home. It’s also the perfect place to visit in winter, with clear skies making it easier to enjoy the view, fireplaces to warm your body and soul, and cool conditions for bushwalking.
With more than 80 species of native birds on the mountain, Turkey’s Nest Rainforest Cottages is a popular destination for bird watchers. Rose and Russell take great care in making guests feel welcome, providing port, chocolates and fresh flowers.
Address: 1780 Mount Glorious Rd, Mount Glorious
Phone: 3289 0004
Located in wonderful Ocean View, this beautiful property offers visitors a choice of three cabins and a bunkhouse, and the chance to unwind in style. If your four-legged friend also needs a break, he or she is welcome too.
Owner Debbie Baker says she and her husband have opened up their slice of paradise to guests for about 17 years. “We’ve got a lovely place so we may as well share it,” she says.
Debbie says the area is a hidden gem and not as busy as other hinterland destinations.
Brockhurst Farm is not a working farm and doesn’t offer farm stay experiences, but it’s home to horses, cows, chickens and ducks.
Address: 2250 Mt Mee Road, Ocean View
Phone: 3425 3314.