You’ll feel as though you are floating on the clouds with a Binna Burra Sky Lodge stay, but a $18 million Queensland Government budget allocation will also see the rebuilding of the lodge’s main building which was destroyed in the Black Summer fires of September 2019. This secluded Binna Burra accommodation is close to Binna Burra National Park and offers a touch of luxury after a long day walking the tracks with a bubbling spa bath followed by dinner on the deck. Add in a stop along the way and try my things to do in Canungra. You’ll be back to this town, I guarantee.
This is your wake-up view at a Binna Burra Sky Lodge, it’s luxury Binna Burra accommodation. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Binna Burra rebuild
The historic Binna Burra Lodge was destroyed in the September Black Summer 2019 bushfires which swept through the region with devastating results. Plans to rebuild the lodge have been underway but will take a leap forward with an $18 million donation to the Binna Burra Foundation in the Queensland State Government budget announced in June 2022. Another $2 million will be used to improve historic Lamington National Park which is close to another iconic mountain stay, O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat.
Grooms Cottage, Binna Burra. Photo: Kerry Heaney
What’s new at Binna Burra?
The site of the historic Binna Burra Lodge which was destroyed by the 2019 bush fires is still a grassy knoll, but the new normal is full of adventurous future plans. Some depend on funding but others are underway so watch this space.
The Binna Burra Teahouse will soon have a large outdoor dining deck. Photo: Kerry Heaney
The Tea House
Soon to be expanded with a large outdoor dining deck, the Binna Burra Tea House is the main dining venue on the doorstep of Lamington National Park. It’s also a place to pick up a few souvenirs.
There is a breakfast menu and lunch/early dinner menu which cover all your usual tastes. Choices range from smashed avocados and buttered mushrooms for breakfast to fish and chips or burgers for lunch/dinner. Pair your dish with a mid-strength Shazza beer from Scenic Rim Brewery, a Big Head from Burleigh Brewing Co or an award-winning brew from Black Hops.
On Friday and Saturday nights the menu goes upmarket with a focus on Scenic Rim produce and wines. The a la carte menu offers three courses and is flavoured with wild harvested native bush spices and paired with Scenic Rim wines. Produce from the menu is sourced from a range of premium Scenic Rim suppliers.
Inside the Bushfire Gallery. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Binna Burra Bushfire Gallery
It may be confronting for those who lived through it, but the Bushfire Gallery brings home the destruction of the 2019 fires through photos, objects and film. You’ll see what was and how it is now.
Just outside your Binna Burra Sky Lodge, you can discover all types of bush tucker on a guided walk. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Bush tucker walk
Take a guided walk through the rainforest just outside your Binna Burra Sky Lodge and you’ll be amazed by the variety of bush foods right on the doorstep. I spent an engaging hour with guide Corina learning about the medicinal properties of native plans and what I could add to my home garden.
There is a library on the top level of Grooms Cottage. Photo: Kerry Heaney
The Bushwalkers Bar
Slated as one of the Gold Coast’s ‘Best New Bars’, Grooms Cottage’s Bushwalkers Bar was the original home of Arthur Groom who, along with Romeo Lahey, established Binna Burra Lodge. Post the fires is one of the last Heritage buildings left at Binna Burra. It’s a spot to find a barista-made coffee, grab a takeaway BBQ pack or relax with a local brew while you enjoy the view. It’s open every day from 3 pm to 7 pm.
Head upstairs and you will find a small lounge with a reading library. Binna Burra’s library was lost in the fires and these donated books are a welcome addition.
Photos above: Take a look inside a Binna Burra Sky Lodge lounge room, bedroom and spa bath with a view. Photos: Kerry Heaney
Binna Burra Sky Lodge is a touch of rainforest luxury
Only one of the Binna Burra Sky Lodges was damaged during the fires of 2019 but this has now been rebuilt and the complex looks like new.
Perched right on the edge of the escarpment, this Binna Burra accomodation feels as though you are sleeping amongst the clouds. Driven by the wind, the mist drifts past filling the valley and then clearing while the birds welcome the world in song. It’s a special place to stay.
Taking full advantage of the view, the main bedroom has an enormous window overlooking the valley, so waking up to the morning light is pure delight. At the end of the day, guests can wash away the days walking with a bubbly spa and enjoy the same view from their bath or shower!
Studio apartments sleeping three people start at $312 a night. One-bedroom apartments which sleep four people start at $375 a night and two-bedroom apartments sleeping up to seven, at $520 a night. Each features a king bed in the main bedroom, plus a double sofa bed and day bed (suitable for a child) in the separate lounge room. The two-bedroom apartment has two single beds in the second bedroom.
The full kitchen has gas stovetops, a microwave, fridge-freezer, toaster and kettle and dishwasher. You can create basic meals and enjoy them at the indoor or outdoor dining table. Gas fireplaces and a hideaway TV add home comforts, but large windows overlooking the prehistoric rainforest are the star. They remind you that you are a million miles from home. There is also a spa bath and separate shower in the spacious bathroom, and full laundry facilities for those sweaty walking clothes.
Can bacon cure a hangover? Ask Jo at The Butchery Canungra. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Things to do in Canungra on the way to Binna Burra
Located on the north-eastern corner of the Lamington Plateau, Binna Burra offers a cool respite from Queensland’s sometimes steamy weather.
The old mill town of Canungra has really bloomed and makes a great stop on the way to or from Binna Burra. It’s also worth a day trip just for itself! Motorcyclists have long enjoyed this little town, but I found three places that would rock anyone’s day.
Jo at The Butchery Canungra. Photo: Kerry Heaney
The Butchery Canungra
If you ever wished that a big fry up of bacon would cure your hangover, have I got a treat for you! With more than a touch of humour, Jo at The Butchery Canungra declares her bacon can do just that. All I know is that it is some of the best bacon I have eaten. Jo slices the bacon to order which is something I have not seen for a long while. When it cooks there is no watery discharge and the aroma is pure heaven.
It doesn’t stop at bacon and the shelves here are filled with great meat cuts and some unusual things like pig’s trotters and ears.
You are missing out if you don’t put a stop here on the list of your things to do in Canungra. Don’t forget to pack a large cooler bag.
Shona at Canungra Hub Cafe uses premium local fruit and veg for her meals. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Canungra Hub Café
It’s rare to walk into a country cafe where everything is home-cooked, but that is what they offer at Canungra Hub Cafe. They only use the good stuff for their ingredients too. The eggs and milk are organic and the bread is made the artisan way. You’ll see Fairtrade products on the shelves along with
Owner Shona is passionate about good food and her cold cabinet is filled with delightful offerings. Mark this as lunch on your things to do in Canungra list!
Browse the shelves and you’ll see a good selection of preserves made using Scenic Rim produce. There’s also some cute and quirky teapots too!
This Accredited Locavore Café Serves Toby’s Estate coffee and has been operating for five years.
Start your things to do in Canungra with a visit to The Show Vault. Photo: Kerry Heaney
The Shoe Vault
I always check with the locals for recommendations of where to stop in their area and when they said you must check out the shoe shop in Canungra I was a little surprised. However, they are right. The Shoe Vault is a gem!
Featuring big-name shoe brands imported from Portugal, Spain, Italy and more, this shoe shop is a real surprise as was their $50 shoe sale which saw me walk out with a new pair of slides.
While you walk into the shoe shop from the street, there is much to explore out the back as well.
It is open on Saturday and Sunday so city folk don’t have to miss out.
Green growth against a bushfire blackened tree. Photo: Kerry Heaney
Getting to the Binna Burra Sky Lodges
From Brisbane, there are two main routes to your Binna Burra accommodation. If you travel via Canungra the journey will take about one hour and 45 minutes, not including your browsing time in this cute town. This is a scenic and less windy drive.
You can also travel via the Pacific Motorway and exit at Nerang to follow the signs to Lamington National Park. The road climbs steeply and reveals some amazing vistas along the way. Travel slowly and take in the views on this narrow, winding road. Depending on the time of day you are travelling on the sometimes-congested Pacific Highway, it should take you about an hour and 40 minutes.
You can add in a stop at the Gold Coast’s chief water catchment, Hinze Dam, along the way. Explore the information centre, have a coffee at the View Cafe, do a wall walk or picnic in the grounds.
Explore more of the Scenic Rim
Try a hosted Scenic Rim walk
Explore the Boonah area for a weekend.
Disclaimer: Eat drink and be Kerry was a guest of Binna Burra.