This Way Out: Queensland’s Spicers Tamarind Retreat
To get away from it all – really, really away from it all – I headed to Spicers Tamarind Retreat, a luxury spa and villas in the Hinterlands west of Australia’s Sunshine Coast. The drive along winding two-lane roads felt like I was traveling deep into the hilly back country of Queensland, but I was surprised to learn the retreat was only about 20 miles from the ocean. “Retreat” seemed a good name for the luxe lodgings in a small patch of subtropical rainforest along Obi Obi Creek in the Blackall Range.
After settling into a swank, Asian-styled one-bedroom villa with windows on all sides showing lush trees, I set out on a walk to find nearby Gardener’s Falls. I meandered along a wooden boardwalk through forest and grassy areas below the dozen or so villas. Showy epiphytes clung to the trees while hanging-basket chairs swung from them. All was quiet except for the chirps of a few birds. The boardwalk ends at the falls, which are really a cascade, where I explored its rocky edges.
On the way back I followed the boardwalk’s full length of about a third of a mile, and ended up at Spa Anise, where guests can book facials, massages and treatments reflecting the Spicers theme: “Glace Ginger Sugar Smoother,” “Spice of Life” cleansing treatment, or “Lush Lemongrass Treatment” with a mineral-salt wash and “lemongrass, coconut and mango-butter-balm massage.” I opted for a basic, unspiced and lovely massage.
If I had stayed longer, I might have picked up tips at Spicers’ Thai-influenced Cooking School. Instead I relaxed with a book in a comfy chair on my own private patio and let the far-away world go by.
Spicers Tamarind Retreat, 88 Obi Ln., Maleny, QLD 4552, Australia; tel. +61 1300 311 429; spicersretreats.com/spicers-tamarind-retreat/. Photos: April Orcutt