After a short ride off the beaten track and a stroll along a path, you enter an airy restaurant overlooking sweeping lawns and pristine subtropical rainforest. Brown and white decor is sharpened by a flash of red along the centre of each table, an effect much like the brilliant call of the whipbird cracking the bush stillness.

It’s within easy reach of Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and degrees cooler. Tables are under roof or umbrella, but everywhere has an outdoor feel as there are no windows. The menu is well-judged and generous; the food a stand-alone attraction, with local produce in light, satisfying combinations and fresh ideas, such as pan-fried tiger prawns with seared radish cake. A broad wine list includes impressive Queensland labels.

Meanwhile, furred ground-scurriers and tree-shimmiers busily get on with their wild lives, showing off, within cooee. All’s right with the wild world.

NOVEMBER 2006 QANTAS 231