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Glass House Mountains Ecolodge
198 Barrs Rd, Glass House Mountains
P: 07 5493 0008
The standard rate for the Queenslander Train Carriage is $185 per night. For a cheaper train experience, the Victorian Train Carriage starts at $150 per night. Weekends are popular, so bookings are advised. Extra costs are involved for breakfast, but self-catering is encouraged.
The Queeenslander is one of five options at Glass House Mountains Ecolodge where two guests can sleep inside a restored Queensland Rail train carriage.
This piece of railway history has been hand restored by owner Keith Murray over 1200 painstaking hours. It’s a labour of love and the design proves it – the wood paneling has been hand-polished, the ceiling height raised and the train windows restored with stain glass panels.
At one end of the train, you'll find a spacious kitchen, dining area and lounge room and at the other, a bedroom and ensuite. The carriage is surprisingly roomy, with all the amenities of a hotel room but twice as much character.
The luggage rack, lantern lights and powerbox are nods to its history and add to the quirky charm of the property. Step onto your personal balcony and journey into nature - eye-to-eye with the forest that Keith has transformed into a wildlife corridor, full of native birds.
Managers Robyn and Rick lay out a basic continental breakfast for guests including their homemade jaboticaba jam. Free-range eggs are also available as a cooked option. Breakfast costs $10.
Guests can prepare their own meals in the kitchen carriage, a communal cooking area that has all the mod-cons of a commercial kitchen, only it's also set inside a train. There are two gas cook tops, a barbecue outside, industrial sinks and fridges to suit self-catering guests and those staying in the orchard and forest rooms, which aren't self-contained.
Owner Keith encourages guests to raid the ‘Garden of Eaten’ for favourites like mulberries, lychees, lemonades and other native bush tucker. He also grows his own coffee beans which are sent to Merlo for roasting before returning back to the breakfast table.
For meals offsite, the Beerwah Tavern is a short 10 minute drive from the property and serves first-rate pub food.
The Ecolodge is an ideal stepping-stone to access the heritage listed Glass House Mountains National Park. Walks and climbs are popular activities from the lodge, with the park’s Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan an easy walk from the property.
Eight kilometres down the road, there's Australia Zoo and the Blackall Range, a scenic drive through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Without leaving the ecolodge, the self-guided orchard tour is an afternoon activity in itself, with plenty of rest points to relax and enjoy your harvest.
Kids can be entertained with the ‘seek and find’ trail, an interactive treasure hunt to discover the local flora and fauna. For something slower still, the library carriage is the perfect spot to bring out the chess board while overlooking the forest.
If you’re looking for a getaway only an hour from Brisbane, Glass House Mountains Ecolodge is all about getting back to nature.
They don’t play in the luxury resort space, but their accommodation is comfortable and welcoming. There’s no TV so you’ll be forced to relax, but they do promote Wi-Fi hotspots if the emails can’t wait.
Train buffs can rev their engines with four trains to discover, each with their own history that Keith loves to share.
However, the real attraction is the tranquility of the environment and nature’s playground that awaits just outside the property’s gates. Hiking boots are a must-pack item for this weekend getaway.
- Warren Barnsley was a guest of Glass House Mountains Ecolodge
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