Let Me Tell You a Secret at Secrets on the Lake

Image source: Contributed

Your heart will skip a beat and you will be lost in every moment of your getaway at a spot that transports you to a scene from a romance movie – Carlie Wacker gets swept up in the Sunshine Coast’s most iconic destinations – Secrets On The Lake.

As Narrows Road carries you through the stunning Kondalilla National Park, the sense of escapism is palpable. 

On approach to one of the Sunshine Coast’s much-loved locations, the expansive Lake Baroon opens to reveal a breathtaking body of water that looks like a scene out of a movie. And that is just the start of a very special experience that will stay with you for a long time.  

Secrets on the Lake is unlike anything I have ever seen – a treehouse fantasy that feels a world away from normality. 

Adding to the romance of the location is the story – one which saw a dream handbuilt into a reality, one perfectly carved component at a time. This is the story of George and Aldy Johnston. 

In 1985 George and Aldy began years of hard work to deliver the Secrets on the Lake dream in 1997. 

They had always wanted to create magical treehouse cabins and share their oasis with others. 

The first building was the boathouse made using recycled timbers, including remnants of the old Beerburrum Railway Station. 

Thanks to the handywork of their gifted and visionary craftsman and son Rob, they continued to build what is now the most luxurious romantic getaway you may ever experience. 

Together, they created walkways that meander through the treetops to cabins that sit in the canopy of this magnificent rainforest with beautiful and unexpected wood carvings revealed as you make your way to your accommodation. 

Once in your romance den you will be equally surprised with suspended fireplaces and spas with a view that will literally take your breath away. 

This place gifts you with so much to soak up including beautifully sculpted wood features and designs, such as the coveted love swings. 

“The swing seat was specially designed by our son Rob and is unique to Secrets on the Lake,” Aldy proudly shares. “When designing this place George and I wanted to create the best that we could so there are many firsts here that others have tried to copy. 

“For example, we were the first to do spa baths in the lounge with a view; and the first to have hanging fireplaces.”

Aldy and George commissioned the mushroom shaped raku fired lamps that are now hugely popular. 

“We also designed our extensive cedar custom-built furniture and the treehouses have signature features with the help of local artisans,” she said. 

“The ‘wow’ factor is timeless and often there are tears shed when guests are shown to their treehouse,” she adds. 

I have to confess, I got emotional on arrival. The view of the lake as I drove in was unexpected and awe inspiring, the venue is a hidden haven and just walking through the rainforest is resplendent. 

The moment you open your cabin door your breath stops for a moment – it’s pure magic as you sit high above the rainforest and witness the beauty of Montville. Every cabin is uniquely themed and there are options for romantic escapes or family getaways.      

Aldy is deservedly proud of what she and George have created.

“Secrets ticks all the boxes for a romantic getaway,” she shares. “World-class treehouse accommodation, an amazing location with temperate rainforest, stunning gardens perfect for weddings overlooking Lake Baroon and all located in a sacred spot, the meeting place for 60,000 years for the Indigenous Bunya Nut festivals.”

There is soul and an overwhelming sense of the love that has gone into creating this hidden gem. 

Every element is the culmination of a couple’s dream – Aldy and George have built beautiful gardens, rock pools, carved bars and arbours that make the lakeside walk all the more charming. 

The lakehouse and jetty are perfect for relaxing (or proposing) with photo opportunities at every turn, making Secrets On The Lake ideal for weddings and celebrations and why we chose it to shoot our autumn fashion (see page 80). 

Secrets is also home to an award-winning restaurant, Dining On The Deck, and an art gallery to showcase local artists. There is a spectacular hand carved Tree Of Dreams at the gallery entrance that was carved by Jack Wilms and installed by Rob Johnston – another example of the love and creativity this place represents. 

Dining On The Deck is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8am until 4pm for breakfast, lunch and special events – the high tea should be on your bucket list. 

The Hideaway is the latest event space that is perfect for smaller groups, intimate weddings and workshops with a view that will wow guests! 

Secrets On The Lake is what dreams are made of. It’s a spectacular location for a lakeside interlude or boho picnic with endless opportunities for romance  and making memories.

For George and Aldy it is their gift of love, a celebration of nature and proof that dreams do come true!

About the Author /

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Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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