There are times when you just need to unplug yourself from Everyday Life and go somewhere to gain some much needed perspective. For me, that place is and always will be Africa. And as much as I would love to escape to the grassy savannah and big African sky every time, my bank account dictates otherwise. So I think I’ve stumbled across the next best thing: The Bunyip Scenic Rim Resort. It’s also much closer to home 🙂
The Scenic Rim is a volcanic mountain range that forms a ring around Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Located about 80km (~ 1 hour drive time) from Brisbane in the south-west corner of the Rim is The Bunyip, a boutique resort nestled on a mountain plateau. To get here, take the Ipswich Motorway (towards Ipswich) and then follow the Cunningham Highway until you find yourself in Fassifern, home of the carrot. The roads here are dotted with adorable wooden stalls offering carrots (and occasionally other vegetables) manned by honesty boxes. Keep driving a little further along and turn into the dusty road leading up to the resort.
We were met at reception by Marina and Rob (The Bunyip’s owners) who escorted us through to The Great Room, the large central hub of the resort. With its polished timber floors, cosy lounges, books and a fireplace, the whole place emanated a safari lodge vibe. But this is what truly made me feel like I was back in Africa…
The Bunyip is billed as a luxury retreat for couples. I’m not sure about the “luxury” tag but it is pretty swish. The resort offers 4 two-storey mezzanine chalets with all the creature comforts you would expect. Fluffy towels and robes? Check. Quality products? Check. Amazing views? Check, check and check! There’s even a flat-screen TV and DVD player to keep you entertained if reading is really not your thing (DVDs can be borrowed free of charge from The Great Room).
The emphasis here is very much on relaxation. Take a stroll around the property and meet some local wildlife. Or take a dip in the swimming pool and drink in the panoramic views. The Bunyip also offers hot stone massage and scenic flights in a glider for the brave. Or you could just chill out and do nothing. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that there is no mobile reception up here so your photos will most definitely be need to be #latergram.
We’re deft hands at doing absolutely nothing and it was hard to say no to that view. So we headed back to The Great Room for a home-made muffin (Marina’s speciality) and a cup of tea to watch the sun set over the valley. It was just like being back in Tanzania (you can check out what I’m talking about here and here).
After dark, the best place for dinner happens to be at The Bunyip. Guests are treated to a candlelit 3-course dinner in The Great Room or under the stars (weather permitting). Chef Rob prides himself on creating simple yet delicious meals featuring local produce and has an impressive array of wines to match. We were treated to an entrée of roasted figs with blue cheese and prosciutto followed by succulent, tender beef cheeks served with sautéed local vegetables. Dessert was equally delicious – poached pears in red wine. Full and happy, we stumbled back to our chalet.
The following morning, it was time to bid goodbye to a truly remarkable place. But not before Marina made sure we were fed with her amazing breakfast spread – yoghurt parfait and fruit platter followed by a hot cooked breakfast.
We loved our time at The Bunyip, probably more so because it was so reminiscent of Africa. Rob and Marina were wonderful hosts and went out of their way to make guests feel welcome in their home. We only stayed for one night (The Bunyip has a 2-night minimum reservation policy unless by prior arrangement) but I’m so looking forward to going back. Rooms cost $330 per night per couple (including breakfast), whilst the 3-course dinner will set you back $130. You can check out all the details on their website.
DISLCAIMER: Live Life Brisbane’s husband paid for their accommodation and meals 🙂
© 2015 Live Life Brisbane