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A few weeks ago for Des’s birthday we took a Monday off to celebrate.


After a breakfast with friends, at Kirrimisu overlooking Kirra beach we headed away from the coast to the hinterland,to Natural Bridge in the Springbrook National Park and to a wonderful retreat Quamby Falls Lodge.

This an exclusive and secluded Couples’ Retreat of rainforest, gardens and waterfalls in a hidden valley The 50 acre property is a jewel of rare and endangered species protected by encircling cliffs and mountains of World Heritage National Parks. It has a diverse botanical ecology, There is a volunteer conservation program, Friends of the forest where you can get fit, help eradicate the lantana and make a difference to the environment.

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You can get more information on the romantic and nature-based holiday experiences at the Romantic Weekend Escape site.

The hosts Ian and Normajean Gasking welcomed us as we drove in. The gardens are beautiful, the blue and purple hydrangeas at the front and azaleas as walked to our picnic spot were beautiful. These flowers were my mother’s favorites.


This is the view from the front verandah, looking out over the National Park


Ian took us on a walk, to see the different picnic spots, we chose the most popular location and had our picnic by the waterfall. This is where if you go for a weekend you can have a candlelit dinner.

Ian carried our picnic basket down to the waterfall and we enjoyed a wonderful lunch of spicy chicken and salad, with warm bread , followed by fruit salad and coffee. The setting was ideal, the sun shone and there were birds singing


After lunch we walked up to another waterfall and enjoyed the pure beauty of nature. Stands of bamboo, amazing rockpools…………………………..

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and an extraordinary, giant stinging plant, that has leaves that become like lace. A plant you must not touch.

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As we were leaving, Normajean suggested we visit The Bush Tucker Garden, also known as the Banana Cabana, at Chillingham.

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There is an amazing range of bush tucker foods, plus a garden where you can see all these exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices growing. Someone visiting from London commented that this was better than Harrods and probably 1 quarter or less of the price. We purchased lime leaves, Buddha hands, bush limes, things I never normally can buy. We have been having some very tasty stir fries since.

To conclude the day of self indulgence, we watched the setting sun over the Tweed River, glass of wine in hand from the new Ivory Hotel and Marina, 5 minutes from where live.