Rainforest Paradise in Far North Queensland.

The first thing you notice when entering the lush rainforest world of Tropical Bliss B&B in Far North Queensland is the sound of rushing water and the deep umbrous green light of the rainforest. It’s a soothing sound, reminding me in many ways of Ubud in Bali. Tropical Bliss B&B sits high above Utchee Creek and just below the platformed gazebo, the rapids rush loudly. If you are lucky enough to stay in the Ulysses Butterfly room, you will feel totally immersed in this environment. It’s another world. The bedroom windows are flywired but open, the doors are French and best left ajar so you can hear the sounds of the night forest or the startling early morning chatter of the Wompoo fruit doves. An afternoon read is a luxurious pastime but it only takes a page or two before succumbing to that water world: the words blur and its off, once again, to the land of nod. Call them naps, or call them dreams or trance, they happen often here. Chillax, as the hosts say.

Driveway into Tropical Bliss B&B.

To get to Tropical Bliss B&B, drive south from Cairns down the Bruce Highway to the thriving country town of Innisfail, then head on through the sugar cane fields and banana plantations until you reach Utchee Creek. This is rich Queensland farming country but there are a few small settlements dotted throughout these fertile lands, especially along the creeks where the rainforest has historically been left intact. The rainfall in this area is the highest in Australia: it’s hard to imagine an average rainfall of 4,000 millimetres ( 160 inches) per year. The forest seems to grow before your very eyes. The thought of all this rain is quite overwhelming.

The wet season continued later this year, with huge downpours throughout April, making Utchee Creek more teeming than usual. You can swim here- it’s too high for crocodiles. The small rock pools below look very tempting, though the staircase down is precipitous. Peter, the host, will happily guide you through his rainforest garden of 2.5 acres. Some is accessible and safe: other steeper sections along the creek are wild and primordial. Some plants have thrived here since the age of the dinosaurs. There are colours, shapes and textures unseen in safer southern lands and stories and legends abound. We passed one plant with incredibly sticky leaves: when torn, they have the property of super glue. Then there’s the Wait- a While stinging vine, ( the only way to become disentangled is to wait a while so you don’t get injured by the toxic stinging barbs) and then there’s Gympie Gympie, the devil- like bush with extremely painful and toxic leaves. Along the driveway, lush red flowers remind me of hydrangeas- they are beautiful but apparently invasive.

The Pagoda Bush

Beyond, in a small grassy clearing, black bamboo canes soar above, while black sapote trees, strangler vines and pepper creepers compete for light. For those interested in tropical plants, Peter can give you a list of palms, ferns and vines in his garden. Research has been conducted on site by world-famous botanists who itemised around 20,000 plant species, including grasses and smaller microscopic plants. I was rather taken with the Zamea Furfuracea, or Cardboard Plant, a bush with thick leaves like sandpaper, good tucker for those ancient creatures from the mists of time. It’s a plant wonderland here.

In a tropical garden.

Peter can tell you about local activities, which might include a visit to Paronella Park, the Atherton tablelands, Mission beach, or the prosperous inland art deco town of Innisfail with its waterfront boats and fish shops. Perhaps you might be tempted to buy some fresh green tiger prawns or a slab of the beautiful white fleshed Coda fish or a coral trout? It is possible to buy some lovely produce in Innisfail to take ‘home’ to Tropical Bliss where you could use the BBQ or, by pre-arrangement, the kitchen.

A chilled white wine or G&T in the rainforest, a bird call, and a pile of freshly cooked tiger prawns with a squeeze of lime is a pleasant way to spend the early evening. Otherwise, the nearby Mena Creek Pub serves meals. Peter offers a variety of breakfast options. He has just mastered the art of sourdough bread so expect some good toast and sugar-free tropical fruit jams, along with a tropical fruit platter and home-made yoghurt, or banana pancakes, eggs and a good coffee.

Coffee and croissant on the deck.
Huge tropical breakfasts at Tropical Bliss B&B.

The house itself is an inviting open space, though most guests spend their time on the deck overlooking the jungle. Inside you’ll want to kick off your shoes and wander about in the shady lounge area, tastefully decorated in Graham Greene style, with wooden shutters, French doors and Chinese antiques. There are two tiny old dogs on site, both friendly and quiet, and the bathroom facilities are shared. It is, in many ways, like a small and friendly guesthouse. Many ‘celebrities’ choose to stay here, given its private location, to recharge batteries and commune with nature. Some come to write, others to watch birds, backpackers to learn about Australia, and family groups come to have fun. There are two bedrooms and one overflow bunk room for children. Your hosts, Peter and Steve, can be as invisible as Ninjas or delightfully hands on and entertaining; it’s up to you. All you need to do is leave all your preconceptions behind. A short stay at Tropical Bliss is restorative and unique.

Photo of Cassowary and chicks in the neighbourhood. Photo courtesy of Peter Dameaon. These chicks are now 30 months old and this male has cared for two more clutches since. I saw a Cassowary but I was too slow with the camera.

I stayed at Tropical Bliss for 6 days, courtesy of the owners. The views expressed here are entirely biased, and I can honestly say, I loved it all. Contact me with any further queries or book through the usual channels or ring the owners via the link below.

Tropical Bliss B& B,  257 Utchee Creek Road, Utchee Creek, Queensland. Australia

 

 

29 thoughts on “Rainforest Paradise in Far North Queensland.”

  1. Tropical and Bliss. There seems no doubt about what to expect. Only 6 days… however you ever managed to leave and are not still there enjoying the serenity I can’t imagine. Clearly such a wonderful experience, I don’t believe bias is a consideration.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dale, you would and the GO would love it, if you are up that way. We left for two days to go down to Mission Beach for a bit of fun in the sun, and then headed back inland. I taught Peter a few sourdough, yoghurt and cheesemaking tricks and he has become obsessed. That happens to the best of us. His younger German and Italian visitors are now engaging with breadmaking. Peter and Steve are so welcoming.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Francesca and Mr T – what an absolute pleasure and learning curve to have you both to be our cherished guests for the week. You do us proud in your heart-felt description and wonderful images. It was such a wondrous connection to share cooking workshops together. I have now fallen in love with sourdough bread making as well as you teaching me how to make yoghurt, soft cheeses, pancakes, pita bread, wraps etc., using the basic sourdough starter. To have the opportunity to share these most amazing people’s love and immense knowledge and experiences of all that is food, fun and appreciation of the regional environmental flora & fauna, then I strongly suggest you invite them to your home and kitchen no matter where in the world you live. They are stalwarts in the creation of olde & new-age culinary gastronomic designs to befit your life-style. They are lovers of history, architecture and a douse of wine or three – perfect guests for any situation. Steven & I send our upmost thanks and love to you both.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Peter, you leave me speechless and so happy as always. I loved our stay and I struggled to capture it all. in this post. You and Steve are the best hosts in the world, and, very good and beloved friends. We’ll be back. xx

      Like

    1. The wet season has just finished there so it should be heading your way soon. The dry season is when most people go to far north Queensland- from about June through to September. I was lucky enough to experience the end of the wet, with overnight rains and the odd huge downpour. I love rain, though 4000 mm would be challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Francesca, it looks stunning. I stayed in Daintree Village a few years ago, and loved the uniqueness of the rainforest, so different to any other sort of forest I had experienced. Tropical Bliss (what a perfect name) must be the perfect place to enjoy more of it. I have always wanted to return, so now I have somewhere delightful to go.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Peeking in from a May blogbreak: Oh my! Had been interested before . . . . now have put this experience on top of that so-called ‘bucket list’! You ‘took’ us there, now ’tis time to make some practical moves ourselves to be away from ‘it’ all and really commune with nature . . .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think you would enjoy it there Eha. There are many cheap flights to Cairns. We picked up a car at Atlas Car hire near the airport for under $25 a day. Good value. If you do go, I’ll mention that Peter’s place is about that nature communing, and not for those who demand their own bathroom complete with products, but I think this came through in the post. It’s an experience. And Mission beach is pretty nice too. xx

      Like

  5. this looks very relaxing francesca tho i have a bit of a thing about rainforests- they give me the heebie jeebies:) all those bugs, all that moisture….sounds like you had a fab time. and those cassowary chicks – so cute…cheers sherry

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Such a lovely B&B, if it was just not so far away. You educate me in each of your posts and in this one you taught me that Australia has a rain forest. In my many travels to Oz, I never knew. Likely because as far up country as I ever made it was Boyne Island.

    Liked by 2 people

Now over to you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.