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An eastern yellow robin at Ravensbourne National Park
An eastern yellow robin perched in Ravensbourne National Park

Whether you’re a budding birder or devoted twitcher, the delights of birdwatching are hard to deny. It’s a great excuse to get away to places you’ve never been and explore some of the country’s great national parks. So, if you’re looking for some great birding spots, here are two of the greatest birdwatching getaways Queensland has to offer.

Crows Nest National Park

Crows Nest National Park is home to a large number of native and visiting birds. Located on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, the park is known for breathtaking eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and lookouts.

The forests are home to an array of birdlife including: pale-headed rosellas, golden whistlers, rose robins, eastern yellow robins, grey shrike-thrushes, blue-faced honeyeaters and noisy miners. The national park is also home to bandicoots, swamp wallabies, echidnas, lace monitors and vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallabies. If you visit at dawn or dusk you can even spot platypus, possums and sugar gliders.

Ravensbourne National Park

Ravensbourne National Park is home to over 110 bird species. Among palm groves and towering trees, you can spot satin bowerbirds, fruit doves, red-backed fairy-wrens and six species of owls. As you walk, you can hear the calls of the elusive green catbird, noisy pitta, eastern whipbird and wompoo fruit-dove. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the vulnerable black-breasted button-quail.

The piccabeen palms attract large groups of topknot pigeons and the picnic sites are frequented by curious robins and fantails. In winter you can see red-tailed black and glossy black-cockatoos feeding on seasonal casuarina seeds.

Accommodation for birdwatching getaways Queensland

Looking for luxury accommodation near Ravensbourne and Crows Nest National Park? Book a luxury house at Ravensbourne Escape. Nestled on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range, Ravensbourne Escape is just a short drive from both national parks.

Better yet, our retreat is visited by lots of beautiful birdlife that can be spotted during an early morning walk around the grounds. So, what are you waiting for? Break out the binoculars and book today!

The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers -The perfect springtime Queensland getaway!
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers – A perfect excuse for a springtime getaway!

While the cooler months of winter are refreshing at first, it’s not long before we Australians are longing for the warmer weather. So before you get stuck with the winter blues, it’s time to start planning a Queensland getaway this spring.

See the Carnival of Flowers this spring!

Each spring Toowoomba bursts to life with a beautiful array of blooms. To celebrate, the aptly known Garden City puts on a carnival to celebrate all things floral. Founded in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has become an iconic Queensland event, winning multiple Queensland and Australian Tourism awards.

What does the carnival have to offer?

Each year, the Toowoomba Regional Council plant over 150,000 seeds, bulbs and seedlings to ensure mass floral displays in the spring. The two main displays are located at the Botanic Gardens, Queens Park and Laurel Bank Park. There are other displays scattered throughout the CBD, as well as Picnic Point lookout and Spring Bluff Station. You can explore these displays on your own or as part of a tour.

But floral displays aren’t the only thing on offer during the 10-day event. There are tons of foodie events during the carnival including: the Heritage Bank Festival of Food & Wine, Hats and High Tea and the Qantas Gala Dinner. For the more creative, there are also a range of arts and crafts activities, events and displays for kids and adults alike. Book your tickets here!

Where to stay during the Carnival of Flowers?

Whether you’re looking to stay for a weekend or the entire carnival, there are plenty of places in stay in and around Toowoomba. But if you’re looking for a more secluded place for your springtime Queensland getaway, then book a luxury house at Ravensbourne Escape.

Located 40 minutes from the centre of Toowoomba, this beautiful location is the perfect place to escape the hustle of the city. Perched on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range, you can enjoy breathtaking mountain views and the lush surrounds of Ravensbourne National Park. Houses will fill up quickly, so call 07 46978092 to reserve your little patch of heaven today.

Guests enjoying our archery challenge at their corporate retreat
A tree change! Hard working carers enjoy their time at Ravensbourne Escape

In May of this year, Ravensbourne Escape was chosen as the corporate retreat venue for an educational and wellness getaway for families supporting someone with a mental illness. 20 carers from the area stayed in 8 of our houses in order to relax, rewind and reconnect.

To learn more about the great work of these carers and their stay at Ravensbourne Escape, we spoke with one of the retreat’s organisers, Barbara Hannon. Here’s what she had to say.

What organisation do you represent and what is your role/position?

Barbara: I attend several support groups that have a family member or friend who has a mental illness. We were very fortunate to be offered funding for a retreat for those involved in the ongoing support and care of their family member. I was involved in selecting the accommodation and in organising the retreat.

Why was Ravensbourne Escape so appealing as a corporate retreat venue?

Barbara: As the retreat was to be offered throughout the Darling Downs and Granite Belt area, we needed a suitable venue that was not too far away in case of any emergency at home. We also had specific needs, as all participants have little time for themselves and experience a great deal of stress in their lives. 

We were particularly drawn to Ravensbourne Escape as a retreat because of its location, which is breathtakingly beautiful, and because of the exceptionally high standard of accommodation and meals. 

The Woods restaurant, which is a part of the complex, offered a relaxing, friendly atmosphere with wonderful food. There was also lots of room for us to host guest speakers for educational training.

What were you hoping to provide for your guests?

Barbara: We wanted the participants to have a choice about what they did. Whether they wished to join in with activities, such as archery, yoga, walking, reading, sleeping, soaking in a bath, talking to other attendees, or simply relaxing and enjoying downtime alone. Whatever they wished to do.

Our aim was that they went home feeling that they themselves had been cared for and felt a little less tired and stressed.

Did your guests enjoy their stay? Would you visit again?

Barbara: Without exception the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We have another 30 participants already booked for August who are really looking forward to spending some time at this special place.

Planning a retreat for your business or organisation?

If you’re looking for a corporate retreat venue near Brisbane or the Gold Coast, contact us today. We offer customisable corporate packages with accomodation, catering, and team building activities. 2019 dates are fast filling up, so call 07 4697 8092 for availability.

Golden Hour in the Golden West – The view from Ravensbourne Escape

Searching for a luxury escape or secluded getaway? If you’re based in Brisbane or the Gold Coast you’ll know all about the hinterland, but what about the ‘Golden West’?

Ravensbourne and the Golden West

Stretching from Warwick to Kingaroy, the Golden West boasts beautiful national parks, local eateries and charming country towns.  While Toowoomba is the largest city in the region, there are lots of charming country towns just waiting to be explored.

Delicious food and spectacular views – The Woods, Ravensbourne

Located in the centre of Queensland’s ‘Golden West’ region, Ravensbourne is the perfect place for a country getaway. With two lakes and its very own national park, this area offers opportunities for bushwalking, boating, camping, fishing, bird watching and picnicking. It is also a stone’s throw away from a range of local food producers, cafe’s, restaurants and artisans.

This stunning locality has it’s own unique climate which is superb all year round. In spring, the mountainside bursts to life with vibrant native blooms until summer, where vivid greens emerge and lush rainforest provides a welcome escape from the coastal heat. As the weather cools, tints of red and gold mark the change to autumn, until winter arrives and the wooded mountains provide a cosy buffer from the chilly air.

Unlike the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Ravensbourne is the region’s best-kept secret. Considered by many as the Maleny or Montville of 30 years ago, you can enjoy all the charm, with none of the crowds. So, if you’re looking for peace, quiet and country air, why not make Ravensbourne your next getaway?

Plan a luxury escape in Ravensbourne

What a view! Balcony spa at Tranquillity Studio, Ravensbourne Escape

Keen to explore Ravensbourne and the Golden West? Check out the accommodation available at Ravensbourne Escape. Located 40 minutes from Toowoomba, 90 minutes from Brisbane and 130 minutes from the Gold Coast, Ravensbourne Escape is the perfect luxury escape.

Perched on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range and right next door to Ravensbourne National Park, our luxury houses are perfect for escaping the stress of the city.  From modern studios to quaint family homes, we can arrange accommodation for groups of all sizes. To find out more, call 07 4697 8092.

The Woods Restaurant and Conference Centre
Natural light + country air = The perfect conference venue

Your employees are the most valuable assets of your business, so it’s important to provide opportunities for them to reflect, refocus and reenergise. With a corporate retreat or multi-day conference you can build team spirit, spark innovation and develop essential problem-solving skills. To help local businesses connect and strategise, Ravensbourne Escape has teamed up with The Woods Restaurant and Function Centre to provide the ultimate corporate retreat and conference venue.

Why choose our conference venue for your next corporate event?

Set in 50 acres bordering Ravensbourne National Park and overlooking the Great Dividing Range, we really are the region’s best-kept secret. Just a short country drive from nearby cities, we are located 40 minutes from Toowoomba, 90 minutes from Brisbane and 130 minutes from the Gold Coast. We can cater for groups between 5 to 35 people and can accommodate everything from half-day meetings to week-long conferences.  

Luxury escape accommodation

Ravensbourne Escape provides the onsite accommodation, offering 11 luxury houses, each with a spectacular garden or valley view. You can stay privately in a luxury studio or share a 2 or 3-bedroom chalet with your colleagues. Each house has a self-contained kitchen and outdoor BBQ if you want to cook for yourself. Otherwise it’s just a short stroll to The Woods for coffee, lunch, dinner or a drink at the bar.

Home away from office! Relax and unwind in our luxury accomodation

Delicious catering

The Woods offers a stunning conference venue and all-inclusive catering. Our magnificent chef can cater for all food styles and dietary requirements, while using local organic produce from our beautiful micro region. If you need more work or meeting spaces, just let us know and we can help create exactly what you need.

Food for thought! Fuel conversation with delicious local food

Team building activities

We can also help you organise a range of wonderful team building activities. For a bit of friendly competition and focus, try our archery challenge, or for something more peaceful, organise a group hike through the scenic Ravensbourne National Park (just next door). We can also organise group yoga or meditation sessions, as well as campfire evenings complete with MasterChef inspired BBQ cook-offs.

Stay on target! Build focus and collaboration with our team building activities

So, if you’re looking for a conference venue or corporate retreat near Brisbane or the Gold Coast, call us today on 07 4697 8092.

Enjoy a luxury escape with our Xmas in July Special

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but our food is so delightful! That’s right, it’s the (second) most wonderful time of the year and the team at Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat are ready to spread some festive cheer.

What’s in store?

Due to popular demand, Christmas in July is back, with not one, but two dates for you to choose from. Join us at our onsite restaurant, The Woods, on Saturday 6th or Saturday 27th July, to enjoy a festive feast like no other.  

For just $68 per person you will enjoy a traditional 3-course Christmas menu and a glass of mulled wine to be served on the restaurant veranda at twilight, as you take in our stunning escarpment views. For more information, call The Woods restaurant on 0439 841 888.

Make a weekend of it with a luxury escape!

Christmas in July Weekend Special Offer:

Book a two or more night weekend stay in one of our luxury houses at Ravensbourne Escape on either 6-8 July or 26-28 July and get two Christmas in July Tickets at The Woods for ½ price (save $68.00). Only 6 houses available so hurry! 

To claim this offer call Rob on 07 4697 8092 and ask for the Christmas in July Weekend Special. Houses can been seen on http://ravensbourneescape.com.au

Just 40 minutes from Toowoomba and 90 minutes from Brisbane, our luxury escape accommodation is close to charming country towns, eateries and walking trails, making it the perfect winter retreat.

It’s midyear. Marked by the start of the new financial year and a distinct lack of public holidays, things can start to feel a bit dull. So why not plan an escape? Just follow these simple steps for a delightful midyear getaway.

1. Book accommodation at Ravensbourne Escape

Located at Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat, Ravensbourne Escape is just ninety minutes away from Brisbane, and forty-five minutes from Toowoomba. Tucked away on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range and fringed by Ravensbourne National Park, our accommodation boasts breathtaking views. Feel free to wander the grounds and take in the natural beauty or indulge in some bird watching or photography.

Each of our homes and studios are unique, offering their own distinct charm. Whether you want to spend some time with your family or significant other, we have the accommodation for you. All our houses and lodges are fully self-contained. However, we also have an onsite restaurant (open Friday to Sunday) so you can take a break from cooking. At Ravensbourne Escape you can break away from the hustle and bustle of the city and simply relax. Book your midyear getaway now on 07 46978092 or visit our website http://ravensbourneescape.com.au/.

Book now at Ravensbourne Escape

2. Discover Lake Cressbrook

Ravensbourne Escape is just a stone’s throw away from Lake Cressbrook. Listed as a nature reserve, Lake Cressbrook is home to an array of wildlife including diverse birdlife, red deer and a large population of Eastern Grey kangaroos. Lake Cressbrook is a source of drinking water, so swimming is not allowed. However, activities such as boating, fishing and water sports are all permitted. Lake Cressbrook boasts impressive picnic and barbeque areas, a children’s playground, beach volleyball area and 5 km walking circuit.

3. Explore Ravensbourne National Park

 Ravensbourne Escape is only a short distance from Ravensbourne National Park. Renowned for its beautiful rainforest, the park is home to Sydney blue gums and over eighty bird species. These include: green catbirds, red-tailed black-cockatoos, paradise riflebirds and vulnerable black-breasted button-quails. Furthermore, there are five walking tracks in the park. The most popular, the Gus Beutel lookout, sports views of the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim. While there is no on-site camping, Ravensbourne National Park has two, day-use picnic and barbecue areas (BYO wood and drinking water).

Silverwood Lodge is the latest addition to Ravensbourne Escape’s luxury houses. This undeniably enchanting lodge boasts high ceilings, a unique multi-tiered living space and large viewing windows. Equally important is the lodge’s stunning glass walls that sport breath-taking views overlooking Ravensbourne National Park. This enchanting lodge is particularly alluring in the winter months and is simply perfect for group gatherings and weekend escapes.

Booking for a gathering of friends or family?

While many of our lodgings can accomodation large groups, Silverwood is particularly spacious. Due to its many rooms, Silverwood Lodge is built to accommodate. With three bedrooms and two optional rollaway beds, coupled with two bathrooms, the lodge can accommodate up to eight people. Silverwood is fully self-catered, with a fully equipped kitchen and a laundry with both a washer and dryer. In addition, the lodge has a large air-conditioned lounge/dining area, complete with an array of DVDs and books and an inbuilt entertainment system. Better yet, Silverwood also has a roofed entertainment deck with gas BBQ, which is perfect for evening drinks or dinner gatherings. In any event

Fancy a bit of romance?

If it’s a romantic getaway you’re looking for, then Silverwood Lodge has you covered. Silverwood is without a doubt one of our most romantic lodgings. The lodge has its very own cosy log fire, perfect for those chilly evenings, not to mention a luxurious Swedish sauna. Snuggle up together with a glass of wine and some nibbles, while basking in the delightful glow of a tranquil wood fire. Otherwise, escape to the sauna for a steamy de-stress session. Afterwards, to make your stay extra romantic, why not indulge in a relaxing massage or beauty treatment.

In summary, Silverwood Lodge is a luxurious retreat that accommodates to every preference and comfort. So whether you’re planning a getaway with friends, family or your significant other, you can’t go past Silverwood for a magical escape. Contact us today so that

During winter, the daily grind can be even more grinding. Chilly nights and icy mornings can be a drag, but luckily we have a solution. While winter brings frosty weather, it also provides the perfect atmosphere for a wintery weekend getaway. At this time of the year, Ravensbourne Escape, with its misty mountains and crisp country air, offers a unique and inspiring experience. Whether you’re looking to spend time with your family, or your significant other, Ravensbourne Escape has what you’re looking for.

Ramp up the romance

Winter really is one of the most intimate times of the year. There’s nothing like getting close in a cosy cottage or lodge, enjoying a nice warm spa or basking by the fireplace with a glass of wine. If you’re looking to escape with your paramour, we recommend Tree Tops Lodge. Perched off the ground and nestled among the trees, the charming wooden deck features an outdoor hot tub and sports beautiful views of Ravensbourne National Park and the mountains of New South Wales. Submerse yourselves in warm waters while watching the local birdlife or taking in the winter twilight.

Book Tree Tops at Ravensbourne Escape

Have some family fun

Winter can be tough on the kids. Chilly weather can dampen their spirits and breed boredom. So why not escape with the family over the weekend? If you’re looking for a family getaway we recommend Windsong. This two-storey, three-bedroom house has two bathrooms, an open plan dining, kitchen and living area and decks overlooking the Brisbane Valley. The house also has a rustic wood fireplace and air-conditioning to keep you and the family toasty warm. Play some family board games next to a roaring fire or enjoy some family meals overlooking the misty mountains. The upstairs bedroom also offers some much-needed privacy for busy parents.

Book Windsong at Ravensbourne Escape

Let us help you

At Ravensbourne Escape, we want to help you plan your perfect winter escape. Get in touch and let us know what kind of experience you’re looking for and we’ll recommend accommodation to meet your needs. To book your cosy winter getaway, go to our website http://ravensbourneescape.com.au/ or call us on 07 46978092.

Baby it’s cold outside! But don’t worry; the chill in the air has Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat gearing up for some festive cheer. Join us at our onsite restaurant, Tuskana’s, on Saturday 22nd or Saturday 29th July, for a special Christmas in July dinner.

Book for Christmas in July now

What can you expect?

The twilight dinner will include a range of delicious, entrees, mains and desserts. All meals will be sourced from hearty, local produce and prepared by Tuskana’s chef and proprietor, Eddie McGregor. Each guest will receive three mouth-watering meals per course and a complimentary glass of mulled wine, house wine, beer or soft drink on arrival.

The evening will commence at 5.00pm, where you can enjoy drinks on the restaurant veranda, overlooking Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat’s signature mountain views (which look particularly stunning in winter twilight). Prices are $60 per adult and $30 per child (5 to 12 years). Children under 5 years eat for free. For more information email us at info@ravensbourneescape.com.au.

Book your Christmas in July

We are limited to 50 guests per dinner, so get in quick to avoid missing out! Book your Christmas in July tickets here before they run out.

Additionally, you can book accommodation at one of Ravensbourne Escape’s wonderful holiday homes or luxury studios. Our cosy lodgings are simply perfect for a little winter getaway. Located just outside of Toowoomba, Ravensbourne Escape is close to quaint country towns, numerous walking trails and Lake Cressbrook. So if you’re looking to get more out of your weekend, book online at http://ravensbourneescape.com.au/ or call us on 07 46978092.

In celebration of the Hampton Food and Arts Festival, Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat, in partnership with in situ accommodation Ravensbourne Escape, hosted its very first Twilight Dinner at its onsite restaurant, Tuskana’s.

The aim of the evening was to celebrate locally sourced produce from the Toowoomba Region, while also showcasing Ravensbourne’s unique, natural beauty. The evening featured a 5-course degustation dinner prepared by guest Chef Andrew (Drew) Simpson of the Queensland College of Wine Tourism and Tuskana’s chef, Eddie McGregor. Each course was expertly paired with Banca Ridge wines courtesy of sommelier Peter Orr.

As a result, guests came from both inside and outside the Toowoomba region to attend this truly unique event. Many guests even booked onsite accommodation with Ravensbourne Escape, in chalets only a short walk from the restaurant, so they could spend more time exploring all that Ravensbourne has to offer.

Firstly, drinks and a medley of savoury starters were served on the balcony overlooking rugged mountain ranges. Picture this. Fairy lights strung along the balcony balustrade, twinkling in the low light. A backdrop of rolling mountains and setting clouds. Finally, a fading pastel horizon in pink, blue and yellow. Guests were welcomed to a glass of Banca Ridge viognier and a spectacular view. Perched on the eastern escarpment of the Great Dividing Range and surrounded by Ravensbourne National Park, the verdant beauty of this place is overwhelming.

After balcony-side canapés, guests were seated inside the restaurant, decked out with classic country-chic décor. Sommelier Peter Orr acted as MC for the evening. He provided hearty laughs and specialist knowledge about wine vintages and varieties. Prior to each meal chef Drew Simpson walked us through his culinary methods and highlighted the local produce which inspired each of his dishes. Due to the rich volcanic soil and abundant annual rainfall, the Toowoomba region is home to some of Australia’s most productive farmland. The region is a well-established agricultural haven, which sustains a range of crops.

The atmosphere was warm and elated as people perused the menus, boasting the culinary delights still to come. First of all, was twice-cooked pork belly, served with jasmine rice, aromatic plum sauce, fried rice noodles and roasted peanuts, in addition to Banca Ridge chardonnay. After ample tableside chatter and generous top-ups of wine, the second course arrived. A red wine infused eye fillet served with potato terrine, baby broccolini and roasted truss tomatoes, in addition to with Banca Ridge petit verdot. All the while, our smiles grew with our waistbands.

Finally, after some trivia from Peter, we were treated to dessert. A raspberry panna cotta served with local blueberry compote, honey anglaise and toasted pistachio nuts, in addition to Banca Ridge sweet semillion. After a last word from Peter and Drew, the final course was served; homemade quince paste, blue cheese, and fresh toasted sourdough, in addition to Banca Ridge dolce. At the conclusion of the evening we were given the opportunity to purchase a variety of Banca Ridge wines.

What next?

The success of the evening was palpable and as a result, guests raved about the delicious food, welcoming atmosphere and raw beauty of the Ravensbourne area. Due to the evening’s success, Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat is proud to announce that the Twilight Dinner will become an ongoing annual event. Furthermore, Ravensbourne Mountain Retreat, in partnership with Ravensbourne Escape, will launch a monthly event calendar. This calendar will celebrate and explore local produce of the Toowoomba Region.