Now and again scientists still come across new and rare species in the wild Daintree, however the latest breakthrough has been unearthed by tourists who have discovered a place where the moans of indulgence intermingle with the hum of the world’s oldest rainforest. The newly re-opened Heritage Lodge and Spa is a rare specimen in that its seclusion conjures up feelings of being in far flung places but it’s accessibility makes it the escapists fantasy and an ideal place for those seeking a detox from the dirty dishwater of modern life.
The Daintree detox for visitors happens in stages and begins on the ferry trip over, which invokes a feeling of being transported to a marooned island. At first, some may hyperventilate when their mobile reception fades, but this is short lived as the outside world loses relevance under the towering tangled rainforest canopies on the drive to the lodge. After snaking 18km from the Daintree River and taking a turn off the tourist trail about mid-way on the Daintree Cape Tribulation Coast, you reach the Heritage Lodge.
The rainforest resort is the prodigy of Vicki and Alan Bidwell, who after being charmed by the region themselves decided to undertake the immense task of recovering the lodge that had been left dormant for over 18 months. Entering the Lodge, it’s love at first sight. You almost feel swallowed whole by the pristine rainforest as if the ferns, vines and palms envelope and close in behind you. Meanwhile, the warm and personable staff, that are a refreshing change from the typical bland hotel brand, see to it that you never need, or want to leave.
“It is not often that human structures and nature get along, but what we have tried to do here is create a seamless coexistence.”
“But with all the trimmings of a unique retreat so people can rejuvenate in raw nature and be pampered.”
It’s open air restaurant ‘On the Turps’-a name derived from a cheeky wordplay of their location on Turpentine road- uses the rainforest as the stunning decor where candlelit dinners from an eclectic menu are devoured on decking overlooking the eerily blue Cooper Creek. Open to the public, it has already become a popular haunt for the locals with the freshly baked breads highly recommended.
Dotted amongst the retreat’s rainforest are the warm glows from bedside lamps that guide the way to the quaint and beautifully furnished cabins fitting for the besotted couple or larger family. Post-breakfast naps and holistic and nurturing spa treatments are encouraged here, while stress is not. Treatments will ensure a refreshed you will return to civilisation.
While Itchy feet travellers can follow the many rainforest walks nearby and the private tracks exclusive for guests. As for the audacious – ask about jungle surfing or the Great Barrier Reef tours, or the creek that the property straddles includes secluded swimming holes for guests.
However, the main attraction can be experienced from your cabin’s own private balcony where many endangered species can be spotted like the Tree kangaroo, Cassowary, Bandicoot, Tree Frog and you are almost guaranteed to see the elusive musky rat kangaroo which is unusually common here.
As you wake and fall asleep to the melody of frogs, exotic birds and buzz of the diverse ecosystem at your feet, the Daintree Heritage Lodge and Spa will introduce you to the rhythm of life of the rainforest that will quickly slow your pulse.