A Narrow Escape on Queensland's Sunshine Coast »

James Rose relates his journey to a rainforest retreat

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Narrows Ecape Rainforest Retreat - Creekside Pavillions

Narrows Ecape Rainforest Retreat - Creekside Pavillions

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat


Sunshine Coast 'destination blogger' James Rose relates his journey to Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat and how, surprisingly for many of us, anxiety often rises when heading for a retreat. He also discovers that it can only take a short stay to unwind and restore in this amphitheatre for nature on the Sunshine Coast.

James writes:

I arrived at Narrows Escape, after waving goodbye to my broken car as it disappeared on the back of a tow truck, after having waited over an hour in the punishing hot afternoon, much of it on the phone, acting as the figure of much mirth for the kids at the local school.

I stood forlorn as my car smoked and sputtered in the unyielding sun. I was sweaty, flustered, stressed and kind of wanting to just go home. Glad I didn't.

Turns out my state of mind was a not uncommon for many of those arriving at the Narrows. Not that its an ordeal to get there, just that when we know we're heading for a retreat, many of us tend to reach a level of anxiety that threatens to tip off the scale. It's a psychological phenomenon I've observed often.

My unwitting sacrifice for authenticity only made my brief stay at Narrows all the more valuable.

You approach Narrows Escape, just a few minutes outside the cute little village of Montville, via a breath-stopping plunge down what is apparently Queensland's second steepest road. Lake Baroon captures the horizon as you dive down, feeling the layers drop off metre by metre. On this hot spring day, the shady entry to Narrows is like diving into cool water.

I was supposed to be with my wife, but baby-sitters didn't quite work out. I walked in missing her and so even alone there was a romantic theme. Something about the place which prides itself on how it works magic on couples, new and old alike. Even those, it would seem, temporarily separated.

I sat and listened. To nothing.

There is no sound here, or at least only the kinds of sounds you need to actually listen for, those that aren't common as we hold down the fast-forward button 24/7 in our ever-rushing lives. A breeze through the eucalypt leaves, a distant branch falling, an unending chorus of birds, swelling and dropping on the wind, songs fading in and out.

It's like a amphitheatre for nature and if you really allow yourself, you might be able to hear a leaf falling on the other side of the valley, hear it spinning ground-wards. I allowed the rainforest afternoon – in contrast to my grumpy, heart-palpitating morning – to hold me like my absent wife's loving arms as I rocked gently on the porch hammock.

After a log-like sleep in pure darkness and amid the creaks and groans of the forest – including the odd, pig-like honking of the local koalas – I awoke to morning light splashing over the forest like fairy dust.

Breakfast was the freshest eggs and mushrooms (part of the greeting package) and following a swim in the Narrows saltwater pool to wash the night away, I returned to the lodge to find a fresh muffin nestled in a bag hanging on the wall. Still warm. Perfect timing. All the lodges here are very private and are surrounded by rainforest and laced with gentle walking tracks.

After morning tea, I set off into the enveloping surrounds, accompanied only by the gentle argument of running water with smooth rocks, catching flashes of sun off the billabongs and rock pools and as the shade moved in the puffs of cooling air.

If there is a better way to spend some time with your partner, for a honeymoon or just a getaway from work and the kids, than just immersing yourself in nature and allowing yourself to be pampered – on site massages are also available here – then I'm yet to find it.

Shopping and cafes in Montville and a variety of interesting day trips spool out from Narrows Escape in all directions, but you'd be justified in hiding away and not emerging for as long as you're here.

Just one night in the embrace of Narrows Escape restored me and got me grounded. I even cooked my wife dinner when I got home. The romance vibe is hard not to carry home with you after even a short stay.

Got my car back from the mechanic too and drove it home, no big deal. All good. You could bottle the air at Narrows Escape as an antidote to our ridiculously fast and jagged lives. It's like going home to a place you've never been before. 

This article appears on the Visit Sunshine Coast blog and is republished with their kind permission.

Read more on Narrows Escape »

And there's even more to the Sunshine Coast hinterland »

You could win a three night Sunshine Coast getaway with luxury accommodation at Narrows Escape, car hire and a Paddock to Platter experience!  Enter before 8th March 2016 here » 




  • Noosa, Sunshine Coast and hinterland (QLD)
  • Sunshine Coast (QLD)

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February 03rd, 2016
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