Wongari Eco Retreat, an operator and associate member of the Lost World tourist co-operative, is pleased to be able to announce the opening of their latest cabin, Bimbul. Bimbul means Hoop Pine in the local indigenous language. So you can expect to see some Hoop Pines. A whole grove of them in fact. They are beautiful trees and not for nothing were they described by early settlers as 'the Emporers of the Forest' as a mature tree towers over its companions.
Bimbul was designed to 'fit into' the landscape. Sitting amongst the canopies of large trees and overlooking the beautiful Christmas Creek you can also see the towering presence of Buchanan's Fort. And all from a generous and private deck.
The cabin is open planned and boasts windows facing north that both frame the beautiful pine forest and allows nothern sun and light in. A much appreciated feature in winter and especially as the windows are floor to ceiling where a daybed invites and a shower beckons. As Wongari only offers self-contained cabins there is a well appointed kitchen and a indoor fireplace that doubles as a wood-fired oven.
You have to go down steps from the deck to yet another deck to access the unique outdoor fireplace built purposefully and artistically for Wongari by Chris Moran. If Chris wasn't such a good builder he would be an even better artist.
From the fire deck you can see the hydro-electric turbine that powers the whole eco-driven cabin. The water comes from the appropriately named Waterfall Creek which starts in the McPherson Ranges behind Wongari at the beautiful Lamington Falls. Its flows from the National Park through Wongari on its steep course down to Christmas Creek. The water diverted from Waterfall Creek to the hydro-electric turbine returns immediately to the creek it came from. No resources are consumed in the process of generating power that is 24/7. The turbine is 100% recyclable and 68% of it is already made from recycled materials. This is sustainable renewable energy at its best.
As an added feature the new creek created by spent water of the power turbine allows for a quick dip in a way that will make our hotter summers more bearable. How? By inserting a 'tub' into the spent flow. It's just another use of a free resource provided by Nature and at no cost to Nature.
Adding to the minimal environmental footprint that Wongari strives to achieve is the restoration of forest and creek on land that had been clear-felled three times, used for dairy up until the 1980's and then gradually over-run by weeds ever since. Fortunately, the forest is fighting back but it needs help, especially as habitat restoration occurs at the same pace, and, sad as it is to say, there is no time to lose.
Whether you just want a quality time in beautiful natural surrounds or you are keen to see country on its way back, Bimbul meets all those needs and more. You can view more photos of Bimbul here.
As an addition to all the other celebrated accommodation places of the Lost World, Bimbul, adds to and accentuates the diversity of choice and activities on offer.
The pattern for the Arts in the Olives Festival remains the same each year though the themes vary.
The date is Sunday May 8th this year - 2016.
The central activities are arts workshops conducted by experts which allow the general public to have an affordable artistic experience in a chosen discipline.
Workshops cost $30 for a half day plus materials cost and the children's workshops are free.
The accompanying Arts Market offers beautiful handmade goods for sale under the shade of the olive trees, as well as delicious gourmet food and tastings of local wine.
Themes vary according to the whimsy of events and this year we're going with 'Stories and Stones'. This means we'll have a lot to tell one way and another and it might be through a variety of means.
We'll use words in our story circle and we'll paint dots and tiles and create food and craft and music with flute and drums and delicious ingredients.
Youth theatre group Zest will add to the excitement.
There are many ways to create stories and we won't forget how to tell them using stones carved with Paul or found complete.
The venue will again be the pretty Worendo olive grove where the headwaters of the Albert river that run through it, tell their own story.
So to discover more information you can check out the website www.artsintheolives.com and take it from there.
(Editors note: Accommodation in The Lost World is snapped up quickly around Arts in the Olives time so if you would like to stay and play we recommend you book sooner rather than later)
Welcome to the new blog of The Lost World. As a collective of tourist operators within the Scenic Rim we are proud of the country we have to offer the visitor and/or guest. This blog is to help share with you our special identity as provided by landscape, environment, fauna, flora, people and characters.
It is hard to believe that Brisbane and the Gold Coast are just 90 minutes plus away. For the difference in lifestyle it may as well be a world away. Except that would not make it accessible to you. Instead, it is possible just to hop in your car any old day and go for a drive and end up a world away and, hopefully, not lost.
The Lost World tourist drive map would be one way you could navigate a happy, happening drive from mountain to creek, from bitumen to dirt track, from farm gate to accommodation. We like to think ourselves a relatively undiscovered treasure. Undiscovered because, until recently, the Scenic Rim was little more than a rural industrial landscape. Large sprawling farms of cattle, crop and chickens. It was a great lifestyle for those who lived here but there was little for the visitor.
But as the economy began to change it was realised that the Scenic Rim, formerly the Beaudesert Shire, was acting as a buffer to the beautiful forests, mountains and crystal clear creeks that emanate from the Lamington National Park – one of the first parks of its kind in the world. Now, instead of ignoring our natural treasures, we are opening up and recognising the real value of what we had nearly lost, and could still lose, if we don't learn to make the most of it in a sustainable way.
Engaged tourism is a great way to help in this process. On top of the wonderful landscapes and the abundant fresh air there are many activities that have added to the cultural life of the Scenic Rim.
Top of my list would be the rather unique and fabulous 'Arts in the Olives' which you can enjoy once a year on Mothers' Day. It's a great treat for mum as well as those treating her.This year you can experience it for yourself on May the 8th. 'Arts in the Olives' needs to be experienced to be appreciated. More details on our activities page here.
Another would be the Farm Gate Festival during Eat Local Week in June. It is an initiative of the Scenic Rim Council but we have been very keen to support it as it tries to present the very best of what we have to offer. It is about using the rural setting as a venue for activities that the whole family/friends can join in and enjoy. It is spread over a week in June to help the visitor access all we have to offer. It also happens every year and this will be its third. Check it out for yourselves. Go here for more information.
We hope to see you out here in the Scenic Rim and enjoying yourself – if not being amazed and particularly if you already live in the South-East of Queensland. After all, it is virtually in your backyard and we have so much more to reveal.
by Mark from Wongari Eco Retreat