Australia

8 Rainforest retreats in Australia for a secluded getaway into nature

With over three million hectares of rainforest, so it's no surprise Aussies are venturing in for a secluded getaway. To tempt you into the forest, we've rounded up eight of the best rainforest retreats around the country.

Imagine city traffic noise being replaced with the call of colourful birds and flowing creeks, allowing you to escape to a world on natural tranquillity without sacrificing on comfort or amenities. Many of Australia’s rainforest retreats focus on sustainability and disturbing the natural environment as little as possible.

From the southern cool temperate rainforests of Tasmania to the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland, you’ll find bungalows, cabins, cottages, and treehouses that allow you to become a part of the rainforest. You’ll be able to witness exotic plants and animals directly from your private balcony or while gazing through floor to ceiling windows from the comfort of your bed.

Whether you are looking to spend a romantic holiday with your partner or want to experience unforgettable adventures with your kids, these eco-friendly Australian rainforest retreats are sure to leave a lasting impression on you without upsetting the local environment.

A couples rainforest retreat in NSW

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Surrounded by the Numinbah Nature Reserve and situated next to both Lamington and Springbrook National Parks, Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a couples-only retreat that provides you with nearly 250 acres of lush rainforest surroundings.

You’ll find five different accommodation styles to suit your budget and mood. A stay in a Creekside Spa Cabin allows you to sit by the indoor fireplace while being able to hear the sounds of the creek just below your outdoor deck. Rainforest Canopy Bungalows feature vaulted ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow uninterrupted views of the rainforest. Or maybe you’d prefer a bit of privacy in one of the Luxury Lodges, offering mountain or rainforest views along with your own infinity plunge pool that sits on your private oversized deck. Say goodnight to the stars as you fall asleep beneath a skylight right above your bed.

All accommodation options provide luxurious marble bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen that allows you to not have to leave your rainforest paradise if you don’t wish to. For cosy nights-in, order a gourmet food hamper or dinner for two directly to your cabin or lodge, or pick up the essentials at the nearby grocery store.

When you want to leave the comfort of your room, take advantage of one of the four hiking trails on the property where you’ll be surrounded by rare and endangered wildlife, along with individual trees that date back to a time when Australia wasn’t yet discovered by Europeans. Find relaxation in the hammocks that have been strung over the creek, hunt for glow worms after dark, and pick seasonal fresh organic fruit from the property’s very own orchard.

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

9.7 Excellent (210 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.4 / 10
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Spend a weekend in the world's oldest rainforest

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Surround yourself with the world’s oldest rainforest by settling into the Daintree Wilderness Lodge. Located just north of the Daintree River, stay in one of the lodge’s seven cabins, where you can enjoy your own slice of private jungle paradise.

The sounds of birds’ chirping and the occasional passing thundershower provide you with a free natural concert throughout the day, and the lack of light pollution makes for an exceptional night-time show with a literal star-studded cast. A raised wooden walkway leads to each private cabin above the rainforest floor and a queen bed awaits you inside your cabin when you need a rest, with plenty of windows and an overhead skylight that allows plenty of natural light and views of the lush green palms outside.

You’ll want to be sure to bring a flashlight to spot the many nocturnal creatures that can be spotted at night just off the walkways and your own private balcony. During the day, you may catch a glimpse of the giant flightless birds called cassowaries that search the forest floor for fruit. Also, keep an eye out for metallic blue Ulysses butterflies passing through the trees.

Hotel Daintree Wilderness Lodge

Top rated
Cape Tribulation, 13.9 km to Myall Beach
8.9 Excellent (188 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
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A rainforest retreat that's near the Great Barrier Reef

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Ideally situated near many of Far North Queensland‘s most cherished natural wonders, Silky Oaks Lodge allows easy access to Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef. Your elegantly furnished treehouse, positioned above the Mossman River on the edge of the Daintree, gives way to a private veranda where you’ll find a relaxing hammock where you can listen to the sounds of the rainforest and river below.

Enjoy a full gourmet breakfast each morning and taste local cuisines like crocodile, kangaroo, and native seasonings for lunch and dinner in the open-air Treehouse Restaurant and Bar. A range of complimentary activities are offered including yoga along the river or in the communal pavilion, the use of kayaks to search the local billabongs for platypus, and free shuttles to nearby Port Douglas to walk along Four Mile Beach.

Enjoy a bit of active adventure by using their complimentary mountain bikes to explore Mossman Gorge and simply ring the lodge to get picked up whenever you tire. Guided rainforest walks are also offered and you can soothe any aching muscles and joints from hiking with a visit to the Healing Waters Spa. Optional paid excursions can be arranged to dive in the Great Barrier Reef or take in a jeep safari to Cape Tribulation.

Hotel Silky Oaks Lodge

9.3 Excellent (453 reviews)
Excellent Comfort 9.4 / 10
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Enjoy the rainforest view from a hot air balloon ride

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Experience a slice of tranquillity just an hour from either Brisbane or the Gold Coast on the edge of Tamborine National Park. Spend your days walking along the 40-metre long Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk strategically placed some 30 metres above the forest floor.

Or if you’re brave enough, take yourself even higher by booking a scenic hot air balloon ride for views over Tamborine Mountain, Lamington National Park, and the Gold Coast shoreline in the distance. Those scared of heights can opt for exploring the glow worm caves or browsing the roughly 60 specialty shops located along the Gallery Walk where you are sure to pick up a few creative gifts and one of a kind art.

After a day of discovery, return to the relaxing Pethers Rainforest Retreat, where you’ll tuck yourself into one of their ten secluded treehouse-like cabins. Enjoy the comforts of your own private spa, fireplace, king-sized bed, and five-metre high windows that bring the beauty of the rainforest inside. If you happen to be staying Thursday through Saturday, you can book an evening dinner at the Pethers Rainforest Restaurant where you will witness a floodlit rainforest as you dine. On nights when the restaurant is closed, you’ll find several other restaurants available off-site, along with a number of wineries and craft breweries to check out during the day.

Pethers Rainforest Retreat

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (285 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
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A perfect for a spot of relaxation and wine in Victoria

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Those looking for a rainforest experience close to Melbourne, need not look any further than the Woodlands Rainforest Retreat, which is located less than two hours from the city. Nestled in a lush temperate rainforest just minutes from Victoria’s world-renowned Yarra Valley wine region, you’ll find four secluded rainforest cottages that feel as though you’ve rented a private house in the woods. The spacious cottages are completely isolated from one another, allowing you to experience a bit of privacy—apart from the numerous cockatoos and rosellas that add splashes of colour to the surrounding forest.

Unlike Queensland’s hot and humid rainforests, you’ll often find crisp refreshing air here. A brick fireplace will help to keep you warm at night, as will the therapeutic spa that is sunken into the heated floor of your bathroom. Enjoy an open floor plan along with a fully-equipped kitchen for cooking meals on your own timeline.

You’ll find numerous attractions nearby—less than an hour drive away. Check out the Wirrawilla Rainforest Walk that winds through a forest of myrtle beech and sassafras trees or discover a 400-year-old Mountain Ash that stands over 65 metres tall by taking the Kalatha Giant Tree Walk.

While you will no doubt see plenty of wildlife right outside your cottage, you can guarantee yourself more sightings of Australia’s iconic animals by visiting the nearby Healesville Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to koalas, dingoes, emus, wombats, and even Tasmanian devils.

Woodlands Rainforest Retreat Narbethong

9.2 Excellent (82 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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Where the forest meets the sea

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Position yourself between the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the Great Barrier Reef by booking into the private Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Located between Cairns and Port Douglas, Thala Beach Reserve offers up over 80 bungalows set within 145 acres of rainforest and a coconut plantation.

Head into the dense forest in search of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo and giant cassowary birds or simply take a stroll on the two kilometres of private beaches. You will encounter natural swimming pools created by waterfalls and giant boulders and a wide range of experiences are included for guests staying in the reserve including night-time stargazing, birdwatching tours, and coconut plantation tours where you can try drinking from a coconut.

Spend your nights in one of the Jungle Walk Bungalows, tucked deep in the forest, or the aptly-named Coral Sea Bungalows which allow exceptional views of the Coral Sea. Thala’s on-site Osprey’s Restaurant is perched high in the treetop canopy, allowing you to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some of the area’s best views. Many of the local tour and cruise operators provide pick-up and drop-off services directly at reception, allowing you to thoroughly explore the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, and Kuranda National Park.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Top rated
Port Douglas, 11.7 km to Four mile beach
9.0 Excellent (978 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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A rainforest retreat set in a heritage-listed national park

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Situated in the heart of World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat has been welcoming guest for nearly 100 years. While the retreat was once only accessible via horse and carriage, it is now easily accessible via a 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast.

You will find a range of different accommodation options at the retreat. Compact Mountain View Studio rooms are perfect for those looking for a basic room to return to after enjoying the many adventures that the surrounding area has to offer. More deluxe Rainforest Villas are offered in either one or two-bedroom options, making them ideal for either a romantic escape or a family getaway. Enjoy an expansive private deck surrounded by rainforest, where you can cook a feast on the barbecue or relax in the outdoor spa.

Just outside your villa, you find the starting point to many of Lamington’s famous rainforest walks where you can search for regent bowerbirds, king parrots, brush turkeys, and spotted-tailed quolls. Get a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest by traversing the 180-metres-long Tree Top Walk or take an adventurous 4WD tour into the surrounding wilderness.

Other activities that are fun for all ages include birds of prey shows, segway safaris and a dip in the infinity pool that overlooks the Lost World Valley. The retreat also offers a four-hour Wellness in the Wilderness program which includes a yoga session, morning tea, and your choice of treatment from the lost world spa.

Hotel O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (1132 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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The Southern Hemisphere’s largest hand-crafted log cabin

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Discover the Southern Hemisphere’s largest hand-crafted log cabin with a stay at Tasmania’s Lemonthyme Wilderness Retreat. Constructed of giant ponderosa pine logs, the retreat sits smack dab in North-west Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforest.

Cosy Wilderness Cabins have balconies to take in the fresh air when the weather is nice and the comfort of gas log fireplaces after the sun goes down. Couples wanting a bit more romance can opt for a Luxury Spa Cabin, while families will find more space with the two-bedroom cottage, which can accommodate up to five guests and provides a kitchenette. Dine on Tasmanian salmon and local wines in the Whispering Woods Restaurant, where you can also watch the local brushtail possums and pademelons enjoy a meal of fruit and vegetable scraps left out on the veranda by the restaurant staff.

Explore the forest that surrounds the retreat by hiking the trails to find Bridal Veil and Champagne Falls or get your heart racing by riding one of their free to use mountain bikes. Just a 30-minute drive west takes you to Cradle Mountain, where you can enjoy more temperate rainforest walks—you might even spot wombats, spotted-tail quolls, black currawongs, or the Tasmanian endemic green rosella.

You’re guaranteed to spot Tasmanian devils by visiting the Devils @ Cradle sanctuary that’s located at the entrance to Cradle Mountain National Park. They offer day visits, after dark feeding tours, and dining with the devils’ experiences.

Hotel Lemonthyme Lodge

Cradle Mountain, 22.2 km to Cradle Mountain National Park
8.4 Very good (554 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
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