Spectacularly situated on the Mossman River and surrounded by the ancient Daintree Rainforest, estimated to be the oldest on earth at 135 million years of age, a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge is one of the best ways to experience Australia’s tropical northland.
By Caroline Tapp-McDougall
An adventure at Silke Oaks Lodge in North Queens- Flowing from the Pavilion’s shared central lounge land starts with checking into one of forty fabulously designed tree houses and a post-journey visit to the Healing Waters Spa. Styled with contemporary furnishings and featuring local timbers, each one of these peaceful rainforest suites sets a new benchmark for living high above the forest floor.
Set among lush rainforest gardens, the Healing Waters Spa is the Lodge’s tranquil sanctuary offering retreat for the weary and those seeking a well-deserved reward. Inspired by ancient wisdom that celebrates the waters in the Mossman River as a renewing and life-giving force, treatments here draw their inspiration from local botanicals selected for their ability to nurture both body and soul.
The same soul filling sights and sounds that can be heard at the spa are heard at the open-air restaurant and bar—an extraordinary rainforest backdrop for guests enjoying the chef’s mouth-watering daily menus. Sea and farm-to-table combinations flow freely in a refreshingly light blend of Asian techniques and traditional indigenous ingredients and flavours.
For those who want to leave caution to the wind and opt for the best, the Daintree Pavilion is a one-of-a-kind treetop suite with dramatic skillion ceilings held aloft by stunning glass walls. At 300 square metres, the Pavilion has been recently re-imagined and designed for the ultimate in personal privacy with two separate sleeping areas and tasteful ensuite bathrooms. The “wow” moment comes when you open the door to find an outdoor atrium with a romance-worthy soaker tub graciously nurtured by the soothing sounds of the forest.
Flowing from the Pavilion’s shared central lounge there are a number of ultra-spacious outdoor decks featuring open-air lounges for nature-gazing and, dare I say it, forest bathing. Expect to find a fireplace, beautiful tiered infinity pool and personal plunge spa that floats deliciously in the cooling treetop breezes.
In case the Pavilion is already booked, put dibs on a Premium Tree house. Set among the rainforest canopy with lofty views, this 82-metre suite offers open-plan sleeping and lounge areas with king bed and two king single daybeds—ideal for families. Step outside to the expansive balcony with daybed and hammock to relax among the treetops. The bathroom features a rain shower, double vanity and generous bathtub, creating a tropical day-spa vibe.
Rainforest experiences include guided safaris and visits to pristine beaches, which are further enhanced by the fact that The Lodge has nurtured a unique and genuine connection with the Kuku Yalanii people, the residents of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area whose history dates back 50,000 years. With a deep respect for nature and its cycles, The Kuku Yalanii has first-hand knowledge of the rainforest and many of their people act as guides for Walkabout Adventures who offer must-do tours through the Mossman Gorge. The colourful, textured works of local Aboriginal artists also add a real sense of place at the Lodge.
No doubt about it, after a few days of the pristine beauty and healing fresh air of the rainforest, that surround Silky Oakes, you’ll emerge renewed and lighter of mind. Here’s to the joy of a new adventure!