The Boathouse and Mother of Ducks Cottage on Cloudlake
A eco-designed contemporary pole house and a recycled classic Queenslander are perched just above Cloudlake in a hidden valley close to Ravensbourne National Park.
Both are self contained with kitchens, bbqs on verandah, wood fires and camp fires by the lake. After the most refreshing sleep, open up the french doors and enjoy breakfast on the deck just above the lake and check out which waterbirds are visiting today – black ducks, wood ducks and grebes likely.
Then put on boots, map in hand explore the wonderful 65 acre property, gardens, orchards and vineyard to see if you can add to our birdlist – currently at 130 species or perhaps find some rainforest snails, mountain worms, land mullet lizards, echidna or a platypus.
Richard and Rosemary Jones are the owners of Cloudlake Mountain Retreat, set on 26.6 hectares and located in Ravensbourne on a spur of the Great Dividing Range at an altitude of 2100 feet. Oakley Creek, which rises on the north slope of Mt. Perseverance, snakes its way through the centre of the property and rather than being a riparian boundary, enables management of both sides of the valley.
Vegetation predominantly comprises of remnant warm temperate rainforest and vine scrub along the creek, providing a link with nearby Ravensbourne National Park. Red cedars (Toona australias), black beans (Castanospermum australe), bungalow palms (Archontophoenix cunninghamii), flooded (Eucalyptus grandis), blue (E. saligna) and tallowwood (E. microcorys) gums, tree ferns (Cyathea cooperii) and an understorey of vines and ferns provides an important wildlife habitat. Two very special trees – a blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna) and a tallowwood (E. microcorys) – are listed on the Australian Register of Big Trees and are both estimated to be 500 years old.
Wildlife known to inhabit the property includes platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), whiptail wallabies (Macropus parryi), long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta), land mullets (Egernia major) and more than 130 species of birds. Museum collectors of moths and land snails have also collected specimens including newly classified ones on Cloudlake.