On a clear day you can see forever – well at least as far as Moreton Bay in one direction and the Glasshouse Mountains in the other – from Clear Mountain Lodge.
It’s only about 35 minutes north west of the city but with magnificent views on all sides of the property it’s easy to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and, with the nearest village at least 20 minutes drive away, this is truly a place to get away from it all. Until last year when word got out that Clear Mountain Lodge had been transformed with a $6.5million makeover, it was one of Brisbane’s best kept secrets, a retreat that only business types on conference junkets or seriously ill types looking for a cure had discovered. Happily, more recently, it has opened its doors to everyday blow-ins like you and me.
These days the Lodge doesn’t follow the strict health regimen that it once did for its visitors but this is still a short break that’s good for the mind and body. Part of the transformation has included planting a vineyard on the grounds and while there’s a vision to grow enough fruit to supply the Lodge’s kitchen one day, that’s still a while off, but there is another way to enjoy a bit of “vino therapy”! Stephanies Day Spa is also a new addition to the property and offers a menu of signature treatments unique to its location.
Some purists might choke on their pinot if they knew that grape seeds from the wine variety are used as a detoxifying full body exfoliating scrub, but that is the key to the intoxicating Grape Escape body ritual. If breathing in the aroma is not enough, there is organic wine to sip as the antioxidants in the grape seed scrub seep into the pores to help promote healthy circulation and protect cells from ageing free radical damage. At the very least it’s a good excuse to luxuriate in the bath and enjoy a massage before finishing off with a herbal tea and fresh fruit sorbet before dinner.
The complete treatment takes three hours, is designed for couples to share and is just one of a catalogue of skin and body treatments available for guests and visitors. But that’s not the only way to relax on the mountain. A brisk walk down the road is a good way to clear the head in the mountain air – but don’t expect some mamby pamby stroll once you clear the front gate.
After all, this is a mountain – albeit not a very high one – and the road is quite hilly in both directions. There are some forest walks to explore but since we had only limited time before dinner we didn’t get very far, although the walk up the hill on the way back was enough to work up our appetite for the menu prepared by head chef Scott Logan, formerly of Treasury Casino and Hotel.
As the sun goes down, the best spot to be at Clear Mountain is on the deck of the Lodge with its panoramic views of Lake Samsonvale and the valley vista as far as the eye can see. This is the time to welcome the pinot without the seeds and sit back to soak up the beauty of it all.