O'Reilly's offers perfect conference retreat in lush Gold Coast hinterland
Written on the 1 April 2019 by Business News Australia
There is nothing quite like the crisp air of a mountain rainforest to clear the mind, or waking up to the sound of birds instead of traffic.
Combine that clarity with luxurious accommodation and world-class facilities, and you have just the right recipe for a focused, creative and productive event.
This is what the O'Reilly's Lost World Spa & Conference Centre offers in the ancient and World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park with its motto "Escape, Experience and Connect".
The centre, which has been owned and run by the O'Reilly family for more than 93 years, can cater to groups ranging from five to 200 and provides lodging, team building activities, tailored catering and much more.
There are also very few distractions unless your conference attendees are botanists or ornithologists, in which case organisers need to stay vigilant.
"The main feedback we get from groups coming to O'Reilly's is that they find their groups stay focused on the conference material," says managing director Shane O'Reilly.
"The next morning they're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed because the place closes up pretty early. Everyone's really wanting to get results and have people clearly focused on the issues at hand, and that's why they keep coming back."
"Of course there's the connection. People not only connect with the surrounds, but they connect with each other."
He reveals the Queensland State Labor and Liberal parties have both held several annual conferences at O'Reilly's, much for the aforementioned benefits but also the exclusivity.
"There's no one looking at them. They've got the place exclusively and they don't have to worry about being in the public eye," says Shane.
"It's just so different to being in a bar or an urban environment, where you've got that vista with the birds singing in the background.
"There's not a lot of passing traffic or noise. People can do some serious thinking and discussion, and come up with new ideas."
What O'Reilly's lacks in urban nightlife it gains in alternatives for guests who desire exclusive dining experiences after a hard day of work, or even a sunset drink by a spectacular cliff face.
"The rainforest and the walking tracks there for those who are having a break at the conference, or if you are back there on leisure, are amazing - I don't think there's another national park that has walking tracks like Lamington National Park in Australia," he says.
"It was set up as a capital works program after the Second World War and it took many years of work to construct about 160 kilometres of different graded path and another 100 km of trail."
It is unlikely guests will be able to experience all these different paths in the Gondwana rainforest, but even the short walks are refreshing and the O'Reilly's staff are on hand to explain the area's fascinating history.
"There are lookouts to waterfalls, swimming pools and different types of rainforest, so people can go and experience it," adds Shane, noting the company also owns some of its own animals that it can show participants if they wish.
If conference organisers want to include team building activities, they can be tailored with options including an Amazing Race or even something as simple as starting a fire together and boiling the billy.
"We have 800 acres of our own private land apart from the national park. People can go as close or far as they want depending on how they want to make it, and our staff can set that up for them," says Shane.
"Generally, things are pretty flexible and we can make pretty much anything work for them as a client."
So what are you waiting for? For your next conference try swapping the constant beeping of mobile phones for the calming tinkle of a bellbird, and get productive with the cracking sound of the whipbird spurring attendees into action.
This article is written in conjunction with our commercial partner O'Reilly's Lost World Spa & Conference Centre
Author: Business News Australia