123 Thompson Road, Dulong.
Phone: (07) 3262 3077
Cost: Escape House ranges from $550 per night for one couple on Friday and Saturday, to $750 per night if three couples use the house. It is slightly cheaper Sunday to Thursday. The Arthouse is $300 per night for Friday and Saturday, and $250 Sunday to Thursday. No children here.
There are two houses on the 10-hectare property, which looks over the hinterland valley from Mapleton, towards Alexandra Headlands.
The Escape House is a contemporary open plan timber home that has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a pool, wonderful deck and modern comfortable, relaxed appointments, topped by a delightful, well-appointed, well-stocked kitchen.
You can easily cook here. In fact, they encourage it. The Escape House can fit six people.
After you walk through the front door, you are automatically drawn to timber desk, which runs two-thirds of the length of house. Go outside. Grab a bean-bag, lean against the railing. It is so quiet you find yourself listening to the sounds of clouds moving.
Inside there are master bedrooms, each with a large double bed, with open bathrooms. In the middle there is a large timber dining table. To the right, big floppy lounges and an open fireplace, television, and a CD system that plays music throughout the house.
The gourmet kitchen, with European facilties, runs down the left hand side. Miele benchtop hotplate, oven, with a Liebherr fridge. Large timber bench with plenty of cupboards.
Under the house you can find a herb garden and the starting point for a few short walks. The one-bedroom studio has a herb garden, and an outdoor stone bathtub.
There were eggs, breakfast goodies, fresh herbs, tea and coffee in the fridge and pantry when we arrived. Very nice, fresh and healthy. Under the house you can find a herb garden and the starting point for a few short walks.
Freestyle Escape offers cooking classes if you book here. They do not run all the time, but it involves some of the Sunshine Coast’s leading chefs. Make inquiries when you book.
Each of the chefs has planted a tree on the walk leading from the house.
Yandina’s Spirit House is nearby. This award-winning Thai restaurant is a 20-minute drive north. If you have not been, it is set in a landscaped tropical garden and is highly recommdened. The setting at night with the trickling water pools, wind chimes and lights is wonderful.
The restaurant menu is varied, depending on how much spice you like with your food. Try pork belly in citrus caramel sauce and coconut soup of salmon with lemon grass and chilli oil, served in little ‘‘teapots’’. A highlight is the whole crispy fish, served in tamarind chilli sauce. Just sumptuous.
If it’s a weekend, spend one day doing nothing but reading and enjoying the views over the Sunshine Coast from the deck with tea, coffee and wine, as the music plays in the background.
If you like walking through national parks, there are two very close to the house, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park.
You can also go walking through antique shops, second-hand shops, craft stores and bakeries along the Blackhall Range, which begins five minutes from the house.
Or there are the Sunshine Coast beaches.
Stop, take in the view; then keep going along Thompson’s Road, looking out for number 123. The driveway is on the left-hand side of the road and you will drive past it the first time you look for it. It is a dark wood home, perched on the edge of the mountain.
It is about 110 kilometres from Brisbane, so allow about one hour, 20 minutes to find the house.
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is cooler in summer than the beaches, and crisp and quite cold in winter.
Use the house as a luxury base, for walking trails through national parks or a cool retreat from the beaches. It is limited only by imagination.
- Tony Moore was a guest of Freestyle Escapes and The Spirit House.
- View other great Queensland escapes.