The mind of a busy parent is very seldom quiet, empty and relaxed but Limpinwood Lodge is about to change all that for me.

There is always washing to be processed in huge volumes, homework to help with, groceries to be purchased; only for them to disappear in the blink of your rather weary eye and dinner to be expertly cooked to the standard of even the pickiest eater. Sometimes you go to bed reviewing lists in your head and wake up thinking about just how much you have to get done and how many painfully long hours you have to get through until you can once again collapse into bed. This busy world and fast-paced life make it somewhat hard to enjoy the simple pleasures on offer, like listening to the sound of the rain on the roof while enjoying a nice glass of wine mid-week. At this moment dinner and homework are surprisingly the furthest thing from my rather hyperactive mind and for the first time in forever I have nowhere to be and nothing to do except listen to that rain as it taps its continuous rhythm on the roof of our luxury chalet at Limpinwood Lodge.

I am lucky enough to have been invited to spend some time at a little place called Limpinwood Lodge, in the foothills of the always foreboding Mount Warning on the North Coast of New South Wales, right up near the Queensland border. Limpinwood is a tiny dot of a place located about 20 minutes from the country town of Murwillumbah, and nestled between the quaint little villages of Chillingham and Tyalgum. We drive through cane farms, mountain ranges, gurgling creeks and rolling green hills for as far as the eye can see. The fairly consistent rain of the past few weeks has greened up the scenery to a point where it looks like it has been heavily filtered just for us. The contrast is even more striking against the charcoal of the late afternoon storm clouds and the rain does its part to fill the creeks and causeways as we pass.

We are warmly greeted by our hosts Robyn and Bob who had a vision 10 years ago and created Limpinwood Lodge from scratch. There are three luxurious chalets to choose from and tonight our home is ‘The Pinnacle’, which has a stunning view over the mountain ranges that were originally part of an active volcano millions of years prior. These chalets have been lovingly designed, built and decked out by Robyn and Bob and every detail has been thoughtfully taken care of by these experienced hoteliers. They pride themselves on guest satisfaction and a quick search the night before online shows that satisfaction from their many guests from all over the world is definitely as good as it gets. Each chalet is designed for couples to relax and unwind in the beautiful surrounds of this 9-acre rainforest property. Four-poster beds, outdoor spas, fireplaces, heated towel rails and bathrobes are all part of the Limpinwood experience but what I am most excited about is Robyn’s home cooking, which is part of the reason people just keep coming back!

Robyn and Bob are the type of people you meet, chat to and form an instant connection with. They are the kind of experienced hosts who like to get to know their guests and offer exceptional service but also know when to make their exit and let the relaxation take hold. Almost like the wind, they breeze in and out and we see little touches from them everywhere but never feel like we are being overlooked. In fact quiet the opposite, with no other guests on the property tonight we feel like we own this forest hideaway and once the rain slows down a little we decide to pour a wine, grab an umbrella and head off to explore the property.

As we make our way down the hill towards the creek we stop to admire the many different species of tropical and native plants that have been planted over the past decade but now mesh so well with the natural flora that the effect is seamless. Everything has been carefully thought about and the overall feel of the property is one of balance, like it has been touched but untouched. That is the nice thing about a place like Limpinwood Lodge; nature has provided the perfect backdrop and all that needs to be filled in are the accents that make the beauty really shine. We approach a wooden bridge over a fast flowing rocky little creek and realise we are at the next chalet ‘The rainforest’. Further along the track is the final chalet known as ‘Valley view’, popular with honeymooners as it has a four-poster bed and is the furthest chalet from the main house.

We decide to sit by the creek chatting and enjoying our drinks as though we are the only people on earth. You guessed it, we spoke about the kids mostly but the soundtrack to this typical parental banter was one of whip birds, chorusing frogs in the creek and the taut nylon pitter-patter of the rain on the umbrella. Each chalet seemed to have its own unique personality but we loved our little cocoon perched at the top of the hill complete with views of low-lying cloud rolling over the craggy mountain landscape beyond.

Just as we had agreed dinner arrived via golf cart right on time & was served to us at a candle-lit table for two in our chalet. As exhausted parents we really would have been fine with beans on toast, as long as somebody else cooked it, but to my husbands delight we were treated to Robyn’s famous rack of lamb complete with perfectly baked vegetables and rich delicious gravy. Dessert was my all-time favorite, sticky date pudding, which we washed down with a delicious after dinner port that had been left for us to enjoy. Nothing can quite lull you to sleep like a full tummy, a few glasses of wine and the sound of the ever-present rain on the roof. I fell asleep thinking how peaceful it was and how lucky I am to be experiencing a rainy night in the rainforest in a luxurious king-size bed.

Next morning and I must admit I woke with a start thinking I had slept through my alarm and that it was going to be a mad scramble to get the kids on the school bus in time. Once I realised where I was and re-acclimatized myself to my surroundings it wasn’t the sound of the alarm that eventually pulled me out of my sleepiness, it was the divine and unmistakable smell of freshly baked bread. This time it was Bob’s specialty that was on show as we opened the secret compartment in our kitchen and found a perfectly baked loaf of handmade multi-grain had been delivered through an outside hidey-hole, so as not to disturb us. The rain seemed to have finally moved on sometime during time night so we made a cup of tea and decided to do another walk around the property before breakfast. Fresh free-range eggs, the most delicious bread I have ever tasted and that view over the caldera were a winning breakfast combination and after a final cup of tea and chat with Bob and Robyn we left Limpinwood Lodge feeling like we had known these two all our lives.

The central location of Limpinwood is ideal for checking out all the little villages and natural attractions that surround this area. We had Devonshire tea at Flutterbies teahouse in Tyalgum and wandered around the charming main street, with its cute little cottage-style shops. This area is known for its markets, festivals, bushwalking and is close enough to the Tweed coast if the beach is more your thing. You can do the 4-hour-return trek to the summit of Mount Warning or have a swim at the natural bridge; there really are endless options when it comes to day tripping in this part of the world. If you don’t mind a spot of shopping there are many curious and unique gift stores along the way and major retail outlets are just a little further up the highway towards to Gold Coast.

I am normally all about the adventure travel with my family and I have to admit that I am not great at sitting still, but the chance to relax, recharge and re-connect in the rainforest was a special experience for us and one I would be keen to do regularly.

Check out Limpinwood Lodge here.

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