Story: Rhonda Bannister
Photos: Dylan Evans
In the picture-postcard area of Beechmont, high in the hinterland above the Gold Coast skyline, you’ll find the ultimate romantic country retreat. An inspiring Queensland gourmet getaway where the ambience is warm, and the food delicious. Welcome to luxury lodge Beechmont Estate.
This glorious 75-acre property, dotted with wagyu cattle and wallabies, has the World Heritage wonders of Lamington National Park on its doorstep and a wealth of indulgence within. In short, it’s the veritable jewel in the crown of the Scenic Rim region.
A 35-minute drive from Nerang will deliver you into an elegant oasis of calm. Look out for the neighbour’s pink letterbox on the right-hand side, drive through the impressive iron gates, down the long driveway to the main lodge. Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat. You’re here. It’s time to relax.
The Paddock restaurant, cocktail bar, and sunset terrace form the heart of the estate and carry a striking modern farmhouse feel. Inside, soaring ceilings and a palette of leather, stone, and timber create an air of comfort and sophistication akin to a private clubhouse. Images from acclaimed Brisbane-based photographer Kara Rosenlund play on the equestrian vibe while floor-to-ceiling glass makes the most of the sweeping views, drawing the eye across the paddocks and polo field to the tree-lined horizon.
This is where you’ll find yourselves at various points throughout the day and night. Tucking into the most divine breakfast and dinner, enjoying a drink or a board game by the wood-burning fireplace, sunk into a comfortable leather lounge, or perched at the bar for an aperitif.
Food & drink
One thing you won’t ever be as a Beechmont guest is hungry — just the opposite in fact, because the cuisine is outstanding. Executive Chef Simon Furley has created a paddock-to-plate, root-to-stem, and nose-to-tail menu based around the seasonal, sustainable produce of the region, including the estate’s kitchen garden. The result is sublime, with beautifully prepared and incredibly delicious food. No surprise that chef-hatted Paddock has won a legion of fans.
This unpretentious take on fine dining is accompanied by a thoughtful selection of wine, many I had never seen before, but all carefully curated by sommelier Luis Buchan. The same excellent guide who also took us on a wine and cheese journey — highly recommended when you stay.
Congratulations if you’ve been lucky enough to nab a seat at one of Paddock’s sought-after Long Lunches, but if not, the restaurant is open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner Wednesday to Sunday. So, even if you’re not a guest, you can still book in for an amazing meal.
Room for two
Five-star boutique accommodation fans out from the restaurant, with daily breakfast included in your stay. Choose a King Farm Cabin, Hinterland View Cabin, or a Luxury Pavilion. We’re so glad we opted for the latter because the pavilions are absolutely brilliant. Besides the never-want-to-leave king bed, you have a huge lounge area, fireplace, freestanding tub (positioned to catch the sunset), and a private deck for alfresco relaxation.
Here you can sit and contemplate your navel if that’s your want, read a book, or surrender to an afternoon snooze. Or do as we did: order a picnic basket of deliciousness and a chilled bottle of wine, and settle in to watch the kangaroos lolling in the shade of a lovely old tree. The aim here is to unwind and enjoy the blissful peace and tranquillity.
I confess I had a peek inside a King Farm Cabin as we made our way to dinner. They’re also elegantly furnished with a king bed, good-sized bathroom, fireplace, and deck — everything you need for a few days of bliss.
Couples will love
This sprawling estate really captures the essence of refined country living, and couples will appreciate the authentic mood, the indulgent experience, and the rolling green hills that always feel within reach.
And because our favourite escapes aren’t complete without a little pampering, you can also enjoy an exquisite body treatment (together or solo) at the estate’s Day Spa. For the foodies, there are cocktail masterclasses, wine and cheese tastings (hosted on the sunset terrace), and kitchen garden tours. Or roam the neighbouring national park and explore the history of Australia’s Gondwana Rainforests on a private guided walk.
This is a special place. Especially at that romantic time of early evening when the soft glow from a descending sun bathes the surrounding landscape in a golden light, and the world seems at peace with itself. It’s enough to make you want to pack up and move to the country!
Beechmont Estate first opened in 2021 (formerly known as Hazelwood Estate), and the property is now part of the Northern Escape Collection. This portfolio of boutique lodges includes the well-regarded Daintree Ecolodge, Orpheus Island Lodge, and Mt Mulligan Lodge. Besides the cabins and pavilions, you can also book the Owner’s Residence if you’re a group of friends or family that wants their private space. Conferences, weddings, or any special occasion can be celebrated here in style.
Discover Beechmont Estate here
See more Gold Coast Hinterland ideas here