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Clear Mountain, QLD
564 Clear Mountain Road, Clear Mountain
Phone: (07) 3298 5100
The location Who knew a country escape from Brisbane could be had in a little more than half an hour? Driving north-west from the CBD, it's not long before visitors are winding through picturesque bushland to arrive at the lodge on Clear Mountain. The nearest town is the historic Samford Village, a relaxed hamlet 10 minutes' drive away.
The place Tucked among 20 acres of native bushland, Clear Mountain Lodge offers more than 50 rooms, all with a view. There's a vineyard, not to mention a herb and vegetable garden, with the homegrown produce used in the kitchen of the lodge's restaurant, Mandy's on the Mountain. The rooms are small but modern and well-appointed, each with a balcony looking out over the Glasshouse Mountains and Lake Samsonvale. The property also features a swimming pool and tennis court.
The experience Drive to Samford Village for afternoon tea and a stroll. There, you might pick up a bottle of wine and head back for a pre-prandial sip on the balcony before dining at Mandy's. In the morning, ask at the front desk for a map of walking tracks and enjoy a spot of breakfast at the BuzzStop Espresso Bar (07 3289 5555) in Samford, which makes excellent coffee and serves all-day breakfasts. If the kids are getting restless, pack them up for the 25-minute drive to Alma Park Zoo at Dakabin (almaparkzoo.com.au) and let the red pandas babysit for a while.
Don't miss A treatment at the luxurious on-site spa Stephanie's (07 3298 6622; sms.stephanies.com.au) is recommended, but weekend visitors looking forward to a little indulgence should book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Need to know
Cost: $219 a night, standard room.
Where: 30km (40 minutes' drive) north-west of Brisbane.
Wheelchair access: Yes.