The Rainforest Hideaway B&B has been a labor of love … with an emphasis on the labor! A native of Holland, Rob Lapaer fell in love with the remote, naturalistic beauty of the Australian rain forest. He decided to stay, and bought five acres of wilderness near the Daintree National Park in 1993.
Rob Lapaer is an unusual character in many ways. Over the years he designed and built his own residence with a large rear deck. Then he redesigned the main house to add a bar and an adjoining guest suite to serve as a B&B. Later, a separate guest suite was built across the parking lot. Then came the pièce de résistance. Rob built a large guest suite with bathroom facilities on the ground floor, main bedroom/living area above with cooking facilities, and a loft for a third occupant. The Tree House overlooks the river a fair distance from the main buildings.
Living Quarters as Artwork
In between the buildings are pathways where exotic sculptures-all carefully crafted from concrete to resist the water-await the guest out for a calming stroll through the dense rain forest. The figurines range from philosophical and mystical to the practical. Buddhas vie with mermaids, gargoyle frogs with Cassawary birds, and snakes or crocodiles complement lovers. Some of the objects form pools of water, unique benches and covered tables, and even picturesque stairways and bridges. Make sure you take the time to explore the pathways, and keep your eyes open for figures singly and in groups, both large and small.
Many Pleasures to Enjoy Within and Without
Today, the hidden retreat sits one kilometer from the main road through the Daintree National Park. Yet it is as much a part of the rainforest as possible while still providing the comforts of a B&B. All of the rooms are partially open to the trees and wildlife that surrounds them. You will be serenaded by a few different species of frogs at night, and during the day will see a variety of larger creatures, mostly birds.
There are several boardwalks-walkways through the park made of wood or concrete-that will help you to explore and understand the rainforest. Also nearby are several beaches, offering both sand and rock. There is horseback riding, many water sports, crocodile tours, and other entertainments in the area.
Breakfast and Dinner
The continental breakfast features a dazzling array of colorful and exotic fruits, some of them grown on the premises. Part of the breakfast entertainment is the semi-tame brightly colored local turkey, and the occasional visit of the local Cassowary family, a smaller, more colorful version of the Emu.
Just up the road is an equally intriguing restaurant, Whet. It features bar stools carved by Rob, a large canvas-canopied outdoor dining area, an incredibly comfortable bar with true lounging, and some fantastic food.
A Different Experience
If you are looking for A/C, a TV and a swimming pool (other than the ocean), give it a miss. But if you really love nature and want a rustic experience communing with native flora and fauna, as well as the many fascinating buildings and surrounding nooks that are the Rainforest Hideaway, then make sure you find it. Rob will make you feel welcome, and the tranquility of your surroundings will make you feel at peace with yourself and the world we often forget we live in.