What Would They Know? Carla Ventura of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

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Ms Polka Dot
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Carla O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

What a perfect place for a wedding! Stunning mountain views, sub tropical rainforest, the call of birds surrounding you as you say your vows, the mist in the valleys, spectacular sunsets – all this and more is on offer at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Add in a small church, a choice of venues, great food and plenty of accommodation and activities, why not make it an extended weekend of celebrations for you and your guests to get away for a few days, relax and enjoy all that this spectacular place has to offer.

Please tell us where O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is situated. 

Surrounded by the lush rainforest, O’Reilly’s is located on the western edge of World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, a scenic 90 minute drive west from the Gold Coast and just under 2 hours drive south west of Brisbane, nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Would you give us an overview of the property? What makes it special and unique?

Imagine breathtaking mountain scenery, cliff-top lookouts and vibrant wildlife. Being located on the western edge of the Lamington plateau means O’Reilly’s is graced with spectacular views across the Kerry Valley over the McPherson Ranges and the Great Dividing Range which are particularly remarkable at sunset.

Moonlight Crag O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat

Moonlight Crag – Image supplied by O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Please describe some favourite spots for a wedding ceremony? Are you able to offer guests post ceremony drinks and canapes here?

Moonlight Crag – The cliff top deck is the premier venue in South East Queensland for a private ceremony and the perfect backdrop to say I do. Post ceremony drinks and canapes are available and a great option if you like your guests to stay back a little longer and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Lost World while the Bridal Photos are being taken.

Hidden Gully – For more intimate weddings the secluded rainforest setting is a magical natural rainforest amphitheater allowing bride, groom and guests to be at one with nature on the special day.

O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat Hidden Gully - Leigh Warner

Hidden Gully – Image by Leigh Warner Weddings

For older people, are the ceremony spots easily accessible?

We often provide transfers to every guest which will leave them just a couple of steps away from the ceremony locations. Some venues are also wheel chair accessible.

There are several venue options for the wedding reception. Can you describe them for us?

Conference Centre – Our premium reception venue is set against a spectacular mountain backdrop, where guests can have pre dinner drinks enjoying magnificent sunsets on a large terrace overlooking the infinity pool. This venue can hold up to 175 guests.

Log Fire Room – Seating up to 35 guests, this is a charming rustic venue enriched by O’Reilly’s pioneering history is perfect for an intimate celebration. The natural timbers and fireplace help to create a warm and welcoming ambience.

Pavilion – The Pavilion offers the perfect wedding venue for those couples wishing to create a more casual ambience for their wedding reception. The use of long trestle tables ensures a greater number of guests can be accommodated, seating up to 100 guests.

How would you describe the food you serve at a reception? 

Our team of international chefs combine their influences and inspirations into our Modern Australian menus. We specialize in creating memorable events, from seven course degustation’s on a clifftop dining deck through to our most popular, three course shared platters. What excites us most is Brides who want something different – we love to be creative with food and we will tailor the experience to exceed our brides’ expectations.

Infinity Pool - Chersterton Smith O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat

Image by Chesterton Smith Photography

Is local produce and wines a cornerstone of your menu? 

We are passionate about what we put on our guests’ plates – we source the best, freshest and local produce wherever possible. Our wine list boasts premium local, Australian and international wines including our own boutique O’Reilly’s range – an award winning vineyard located just down the bottom of the mountain.

What is a favourite item on the menu this winter?

Our fresh ground mustard rubbed local 150 day grain fed fillet of beef is a very special cut and one of the most popular requests.

Do you have a wedding coordinator on staff to help with all the details?

O’Reilly’s appreciates the financial and emotional commitment of a wedding day. We have a dedicated team providing personal and professional attention to create a memorable wedding day.

Do you offer packages with different levels of service?

Our packages can be tailored to suit different budgets and needs.

O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat- Studio Impressions

Luke’s Bluff – Image by Studio Impressions

What elements do a bride and groom have to source and provide themselves? Do you have vendors you can recommend?

We look after the venues, the food and beverage, and accommodation for the ultimate destination wedding. We understand that no two weddings are the same and we offer our brides the flexibility to choose their own suppliers. We aim to make the planning process easy and enjoyable for Brides and can recommend local preferred partners for ease.

If we wanted to make a weekend celebration of a wedding, do you offer accommodation? 

We are delighted to offer a variety of accommodation options for over 300 guests, ranging from the traditional warmth and charm of the retreat to the modern self-contained villas.

What special pampering options are available for the wedding party and guests?

The Lost World Spa offers a selection of pre-bridal treatments to ensure the bridal party, feel calm, centered and radiant. It embraces the natural elements of the surrounding environment, offering discerning guests a chance to be nurtured amongst nature.

What outdoor activities can guests indulge in, in their spare time?

O'Reillys Rainforest retreat 2 Windy Road - Leigh Warner

Image by Leigh Warner Weddings

Our Discovery Program is a real highlight for the guests. Segway tours, flying fox, animal encounter, birds of prey shows, you name it!! There are many options for all ages.

What do you love about living and working in this beautiful region of Australia?

I love the wild life by my doorstep, the many birds that I see and hear all the time, the pademelons cruising around during the day and the possums at night, the fresh air of the rainforest and the magnificent colours of the sunsets.

Other special attractions of Canungra and surrounds are…….

O’Reilly’s Canungra Vineyard is one of the premium boutique cellar doors in South East Queensland and the proud producers of fine quality, award-winning wines in the Scenic Rim.

Thank you Carla for sharing your story. To find out more about O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat visit the website.

Headshot supplied by O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

COMMENTS
  • Wedding News July - Polka Dot Bride says:
    July 17, 2015 at 9:03 am

    […] Looking for a mountain top and forest wedding venue? We chatted to Carla Ventura of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat on Polka Dot Wisdom. […]

    REPLY

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