Elevated Escape at Secrets on the Lake

Image source: Contributed

Georgia Beard disappears into the rainforest canopies of Dining on the Deck to experience the harmony of immersive flora and fauna, fresh harvests and good company at Secrets on the Lake.

Far from crowded strips and raucous roads, cradled deep in the Blackall Range rainforest and high in the trees is a special Secret.   

We’ve grown so familiar with the Sunshine Coast’s urban sprawl, it’s hard to imagine that just a quick country drive away, a few minutes from Montville’s centre and nestled on the shores of Baroon Pocket Dam you can discover an award-winning restaurant and luxury treehouse accommodation – Secrets on the Lake.

After raising their iconic lavish lodgings, Aldy and George Johnston designed their restaurant to offer a natural immersion like no other establishment in the region and earning the AGFG Readers’ Choice Award in 2019.

Well worth the drive, diners are often astounded by the venue’s restaurant and function space, Dining on the Deck which is the centrepiece of connection, welcoming locals and guests from afar for a unique experience in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.    

Visiting Secrets’ Dining on the Deck Restaurant is more than just a delicious meal but an experience from the moment you arrive.

Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, guests are surrounded by the stunning views and beauty not only from the deck itself but the landscaped gardens and the amazing attention to detail in the wood carvings throughout the whole grounds.

Guests appreciate the al fresco ambience of the rainforest setting and ability to converse with friends and family no matter how large the group. 

Alongside relaxed meals and indulgent feasts, Secrets on the Lake works closely with guests and suppliers for groups of two to 70 to curate experiences for special occasions and is the wedding venue of choice for many couples.

The Hideaway private dining room hosts up to 20 people for intimate functions with wide glass doors offering a panoramic lakeview.

For those seeking to sprawl deeper in the natural surrounds that Secrets offers, the Lakeside Interlude or Boho Picnic are popular for anniversaries and a favourite for couples ready to pop the question over an icy bottle of Louis Perdrier and a thoughtfully tailored menu for the ultimate romance experience. 

The High Tea packages deliver a selection of sweet and savoury delights paired with Basilur Loose Leaf Tea or Louis Perdrier Brut on fine table settings – perfect for birthdays, bridal showers and baby sprinkles. 

“The whole aim was to create food that’s delicious and as fresh as possible without all the hours of prep that makes gourmet food so expensive,” Aldy said. 

“We use local ingredients where we can, and cater to people’s needs. Nearly everything on the menu is gluten free. 

“We pick up mushrooms from a local grower, local cheeses from Maleny Cheese, and we get our fruit and veg from Suncoast Fresh and down the road at Brady’s Fruit.

“You’ll even find produce harvested from our own gardens sprinkled throughout the menu.” 

Secret’s Leek & Cheese Souffle in a creamy seeded mustard sauce with a fresh salad of julienned green apples, cranberries, pine nuts and greens is a favourite and the hearty Polenta & Veggie Stack incorporates layers of potato rosti with homegrown eggplant, zucchini and red pepper served with fluffy polenta and pesto. Delicious!

Often adored by diners, as Aldy explains, the Fish of the Day is served in a salad base of crab and soba noodle and garnished with fresh herbs, crispy shallots and red chilli Nahm Jim.

The menu has been carefully curated by the chefs to include homegrown cuisine with creative reworkings of local favourites.

The Art Gallery complements the treetop dining experience with a handpicked selection of nature-based works by local artists.

From enchanting cedar carvings to ceramic friezes, landscapes and still life studies, the collection celebrates all that the Hinterland offers.

While delivering luxury experiences for day-trippers, Dining on the Deck also draws guests down from their Treehouse Retreats or sends dining packages up to be enjoyed in their canopies. 

No matter which trail you follow at Secrets on the Lake, you’ll encounter an immersion of sight, sound and taste along the way, coming straight from the hearts of Aldy, George and the team at Secrets on the Lake. 

Find paradise at this hidden gem. 

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