For the last couple of years, Australia has been kept at home, with international travel all but impossible. While this might have left most of us pining for a trip overseas, it has also created an opportunity to shine the spotlight on our own beautiful backyard, encouraging us to explore stunning parts of Australia we might never have otherwise. One such location is Silky Oaks Lodge, hidden away in Queensland’s majestic Daintree rainforest.
First opened in 1985, Silky Oaks Lodge is a literal slice of tropical paradise. The destination hotel reopened its doors in December of last year following a $20 million renovation by the folks at Baillie Lodges, and the revitalised resort is better than ever.
Located next to the Mossman River, the compound spans 32 hectares of tropical jungle that serve as a gateway to the 1,200-square-kilometre Daintree National Park. This isn’t just any national park, and at 180-million-years-old, is in fact the oldest living rainforest in the world, as recognised by its World Heritage Listing.
Following its closure for an eight-figure revamp, Silky Oaks Lodge now offers the widely popular brand of luxury accommodation that is as low-impact as it is relaxing. Bringing together a unique atmosphere that blends the heritage of the First Nations people on which the property stands, with spaces that celebrate the natural environment, presents a rare opportunity to relax and learn.
The common spaces of the hotel showcase photographic works by local artist Catherine Nelson, while the entrance to the main building is lined with commissioned ceramic artwork created by artists from the Kuku Yalanji Arts Centre. Elsewhere, much of the interior design and styling was done to amplify the natural colours of the rainforest that surrounds the hotel, with stone bathtubs, quartzite benches and naturally toned linen.
If you are considering a stay, you’ll have your pick from the 40 treehouse suites embedded in the forest, each with its own modest balcony to get you even closer to nature. Alternatively, the Riverhouse and Billabong Suites are larger and enjoy the views and sounds of the cascading Mossman river nearby. The most premium of the accommodation is the Daintree Pavillion, which sets a new benchmark for luxury in Tropical North Queensland, boasting two bedrooms with ensuites, expansive living space and tiered infinity pool.
During the day you’ll have the chance to enjoy the Healing Waters Spa, which offers private bathing, massage, yoga and more. For dinner, the Treehouse Restaurant presents an enticingly balanced menu of locally sourced ingredients and produce, all looked after by executive chef Mark Godbeer.
To enjoy a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge yourself, the Rainforest Retreat room costs $960 per night for a couple, all the way up to $5,000 per night for the palatial Daintree Pavillion. While you might be dreaming of an international holiday as soon as you can, don’t forget to enjoy what your own backyard has to offer first.