Killarney: Spring Creek Mountain Cottages

THE SETTING

There are three cottages, including one two-bedder. They overlook uninterrupted views of Condamine Gorge, Wilson’s Peak and the Border Ranges.

THE SPACE

There’s not much around here, and therein lies the attraction. Cattle will graze along the fence of an evening, and it’s possible to take a wander along the road without too much concern about traffic. The café has an outdoor area which is nice for coffee.

THE KIT

The cottages are basic, but have all the essentials. There’s a small kitchen, comfortable double bed which overlooks some of the best country views around, lounge area and fireplace. The bathroom has a large shower with wheelchair access. To the side of the cottage, there’s a small deck, and your hosts will wheel in a barbecue if that’s the way you want to go. Parts of the cottage could do with minor repair, such as bent flyscreens on the windows, but if you’re looking at that, you’re missing the view. Waking up to the sounds of birds and a real-life postcard is special.

COMFORT FACTOR

Rooms are designed to make the most of all seasons in the highest part of the ranges. A fireplace is there for cool nights, which can come year-round, and full-length glass windows make the most of the picturesque surrounds. Sure, it’s possible to go for walks, drives and tours. But with an environment like this, sometimes the best activity is to sit back with a good book.

FOOD

Good old-fashioned country hospitality is a highlight.  Host Bev Ruskey does the cooking herself. Her beef and shiraz pie is legendary among regular guests. She’ll tell you she gets bored with making it, and has tried to take it off the menu. Guests, however, won’t allow her to do that. The eye fillet stuffed with mushroom and asparagus is also a treat, as is the barramundi, lamb or – if appetites allow – a selection of desserts. Bev tries, where she can, to source local produce from the Killarney region and works closely with the local butcher to ensure quality meats. In the morning, it’s a treat eating a homemade breakfast overlooking the mountains before the touring day crowd shuffles in.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

It’s tempting to stay in, but the area is known for its waterfalls, and the largest in this area is Queen Mary Falls which drops 40m over basalt rock into a gorge below. It’s not too far from the cottages and café and is the reason for most of the day traffic in otherwise remote mountains. Four-wheel-drive tours will cover the territory, and be sure to pack a picnic lunch. There’s a nice choice of areas to get comfortable.

THE VERDICT

Getting there is more awkard than most resorts, but it’s worth the effort. Views are rare, and because there are only three cottages, you’ll get the property almost to yourself. Bev’s cooking is certainly a highlight, and almost worth the trip alone. Take some time during the day to capture some of Queensland’s most beautiful and unspoiled countryside which can’t be found in too many tourist brochures.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Brisbane, head towards Boonah. Then, follow the signs to Spring Creek Rd. It’s important to note that about 20km of road is not sealed, and roadworks is prevalent. Depending how fast you want to take the family car over dirt roads, it can take up to about 40 minutes from Boonah to get to the cottages.

ESSENTIALS

Spring Creek Mountain Cottages, Spring Creek Rd, Killarney. Rooms mid-week are $220 per night for a one-bedroom cottage. That jumps to $240/night on weekends with a two-night minimum. The two-bedroom cottage starts at $390/night. Phone 07 4664 7101, see spingcreekcottages.com.au.

  • The writer was a guest of Spring Creek Mountain Cottages, Killarney.

The story Killarney: Spring Creek Mountain Cottages first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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