by RICK MORTON
The Commando punishes people up here.
You know, the muscle-bound former military chap on the television weight loss show Biggest Loser? Well, he takes people on boot camps at Binna Burra and punishes them. Makes them run and leap and skip and fall relentlessly.
Which is strange, because it’s one of the most relaxing places in Australia, nestled on the edge of the Gold Coast Hinterland but far, far away from all that hustle.
Maybe it’s relaxing because, as I sit here, the Commando is not here? His gruelling getaway is next month. Phew.
I live in fear of embarking on one of the myriad rainforest bush walks and having him leap from the undergrowth all scorn and thorns, lashing me for walking too slowly or stopping to take pictures of the fungus.
If I had any wits about me I’d dash back at a fair clip to my sublime accommodation in the brand new Sky Lodge. He wouldn’t get me in here. The front door is solid timber and the building is perched on the top of a cliff that opens to stunning vistas.
Not even a Commando could climb up here.
I’m staying here to get a feel for the newest attraction the well regarded Binna Burra Mountain Lodge has to offer. And, truly, the Sky Lodges are something special.
The $12 million development, featuring timber milled on site and stones from the local quarry, sprang from the desire of guests for something more luxurious. Something extra classy.
So here it is.
We arrived after dark and settled in front of the fireplace as the cool air disappeared. In the morning I woke from the master bedroom and felt like I might have rolled off the edge of the Earth.
The fourth wall in the bedroom of the Lahey Sky Lodge has, for all intents and purposes, been replaced with an enormous expanse of glass window. It opens up to the Gold Coast Hinterland and gives every hint that you are at the top of the world.
The (first) bathroom does the same, giving the feel the bath with water jets is sitting on a daunting but ultimately relaxing precipice.
That’s because it is.