A dynamic and complex ecosystem
A romantic escape to Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is a perfect excuse for exploring the biodiversity of this region. Surrounded on 3 sides by the Numinbah Nature Reserve which itself adjoins the Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, you will be as close as you can get to living in a internationally significant nature reserve.
Voluntary Conservation Agreement
Preserving our pristine rainforest is of vital importance to us. The World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Mount Warning volcano have evolved over 100 million years and are home to many rare and endangered plants and animal species. Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is habitat to:
- 25 species of rare and threatened plants
- 15 species of vulnerable birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians
- 400 species of plants
- more than 150 species of birds.
Voluntary Conservation Agreements provide permanent protection for special features of an area with high conservation value. Part of Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is protected by a perpetual Voluntary Conservation Agreement, negotiated with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The agreement, initiated by the Retreat’s owners and signed in 1997, sets out how we work in partnership with the NPWS to manage the land. It sets aside 60 per cent of our 102-hectare property as a buffer to the adjacent nature reserve, serving as a gene pool for regeneration of flora and fauna. Outside this area – which guests do not enter – is the Retreat development itself, where lower-impact tourism activities such as bushwalking and birdwatching are permitted.
We are rehabilitating the rainforest
We regard the protection of our unique ecosystem as an important environmental opportunity – hence our ongoing investment in to restoring the site to its natural flora and fauna for future generations. On the Retreat was an area of land degraded by agricultural activity prior to 1967 and then left to the weeds. We have carefully removed large expanses of lantana, leaving the existing native vegetation, and planted over 1,000 native rainforest trees endemic to this area, including some threatened species that thrive on this property.
Eco-sensibility minimises our environmental impact
We’ve been surrounded by pristine rainforest for many years now and we have to say: we’re deeply in love with it. With their long experience of the Retreat, our staff are a great source of knowledge about the fascinating eco-system that makes the Retreat so unique. Our guests soon value how important it is not to compromise a place that is one of the most special on earth.
In creating the Retreat we have been challenged by creating accommodation that’s right inside a subtropical forest, but which is also as comfortable as possible during your time together. This is why we’re always looking for ways to achieve this by using less energy, or by taking environmentally sympathetic measures. These include:
- LCD televisions in all our bungalows (except Cedar Lodge and the Luxury Mountain View Lodges) use less electricity.
- All our buildings are elevated off the ground, so their physical footprint is absolutely minimised.
- ‘Comfort Plus’ insulating glass is used throughout the Luxury Rainforest Lodge and the Luxury Mountain View Lodges to minimise heat transfer during hot days or cold nights, thus requiring less air conditioning.
- Cedar Lodge uses a heat pump to warm its interior.
- As a cleaning agent, disinfectant and anti-fungal product, we use diluted lemon myrtle oil. The pure oil itself is very powerful and can be heavily diluted. Unlike conventional chemical cleaners, it has a fresh, uplifting aroma.
- We provide local pure lemon myrtle and macadamia oil soaps in the bungalows – they’re ‘almost good enough to eat’! Pure lemon myrtle oil is used in the ‘bath salts’ we make and provide for the guests. We even have lemon myrtle trees around the Retreat if guests wish to use it for cooking!