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Secrets On The Lake

Here comes the sun…

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Its officially Spring this week! And any of the many visitors soaking up these glorious hinterland days can tell you just how special that is in our own little slice of God’s country… Secrets on the Lake! So, say goodbye to the chilly mornings and winter blues… and put your best foot forward in the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland hills!

Spring at Secrets on the Lake means glorious clear blue skies that seem to expand forever over the many stunning views out to the Sunshine Coast beaches, lush green hills, magnificent Lake Baroon, or our pristine national parks and rainforest.

Spring at Secrets on the Lake means our luxury treehouse guests are out on magnificent Lake Baroon enjoying water sports once again. It means slicing through the morning mist on our kayaks, throwing a fishing rod in, or throwing out your picnic rug and enjoying our lush grounds and lake breezes.

Spring at Secrets on the Lake means all those longer hours of great weather and sunshine give you more time to enjoy the many nature walks and bushwalking trails through our national parks and vibrant lakeside gardens. It means baby possums, laughing kookaburras and lazy lizards coming to say hello while you enjoy the views and serenity from your treehouse deck.

Spring at Secrets on the Lake means love is in the air… and this year that means a lot of couples are choosing to escape the crowds and elope in our stunning rustic, rainforest, or lakeside venues. We have all inclusive packages that even include your honeymoon getaway! We have sourced some of the hinterland’s best suppliers for you so that you can focus purely on enjoying the day and committing to the one you love. We have taken all the stress out of planning your special day… all you need to do is find that perfect dress and say I do!

Spring at Secrets on the Lake means immersing in an alfresco dining experience and reconnecting with nature and each other at our Dining on the Deck daytime rainforest restaurant. Soak up the lake views and wood carvings, dream big at the restaurant’s hand carved tree of dreams, or make a wish sitting on the wishing chair hand carved from a giant cedar root in our reception.

And Spring means the rollout of our brand-new menu that Chef Mat and his talented team have been perfecting over the last months! We have found the best quality fresh local ingredients to spoil your taste buds with and invite you to dig your teeth into these mouth-watering new Spring dishes. And for all our repeat guests… don’t worry, we have kept your favourite dishes as part of the new menu! Give our friendly staff a call and book yourself in for some Secrets Springtime Magic.

Call 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au to book or find out more! We look forward to seeing you through our beautiful hand carved doors very soon!

About Us - Secrets on the Lake

Putting your best foot forward…

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Earlier this year, Secrets on the Lake was forced to close our beautiful hand-carved doors to the public after 25 years of welcoming guests to our magical treehouse hideaway tucked away in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. This period of lock down hit the hospitality industry hard and our hearts go out to the many businesses who did not survive this time and are still struggling now. We remain eternally grateful for the patronage of our treehouse guests and Dining on the Deck foodies who have returned to our business as restrictions slowly lifted.

In this life, we are presented with hundreds of situations and opportunities each day. Some are wonderful and full of promise… like meeting the person of your dreams or landing that dream job. Some, like the implications of COVID19, are not so wonderful. Life comes fast and change can happen when you least expect it! But whatever the positivity of the situation that presents itself, they all have lessons for us to learn, unique opportunities for growth, and things to be grateful for.

As I sit here with the wisdom of my 76 years on this planet, I think for me the key to riding this rollercoaster of a year is to take life by the horns and just go with it…ride that wave the best you can! For us, much as things can at times be bleak, the only thing we can count on is that nothing lasts forever. Putting your best foot forward is an important, yet under-rated life skill.

At Secrets on the Lake, George and I decided to take this unique period of time where we were closed to the public to roll out a maintenance schedule that would not have been possible in ordinary circumstances. When you visit us now you will see new tarmacked driveways, new decking areas, lush new planting, and all of our beautiful woodwork and carvings have been sanded and re-oiled until they sparkle better than new. It is something we are now grateful to be forced to close our doors for. It means we can continue to provide our guests and visitors with the most magical experience possible when they visit us by the magical waters of Lake Baroon.

So rather than become overwhelmed as is so easy in these uncertain times… Let us enjoy being in each other’s company while we can and give each other roses while we can smell them. We invite you to book a table in our magnificent daytime rainforest restaurant Dining on the Deck and come and smell the roses… literally! When they are plentiful, George and our friendly staff have them on hand to give you as you leave the restaurant as our return customers will remember with a smile.

If you have a little more time up your sleeve, then revisit your bucket list and book a stay in one of our world class luxury treehouses featured on national TV as the ‘perfect romantic escape’. It is about living our best life by appreciating where we are at this moment and being grateful. Grateful for getting another 24 hours of opportunities and experiences. Grateful for the special people that are in our lives, and most of all being grateful for the beautiful part of the world we call home. We hope to see you soon!

For more information or to book, please contact our friendly staff on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

How to include absent wedding guests…

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We are all going through unprecedented and unpredictable times as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out across the globe. Tucked away in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the stunningly intimate Secrets on the Lake is very happy to once again be able to open our treehouse doors to excited guests, our Dining on the Deck Restaurant to 40 people across 2 different dining areas, and our Secrets Wedding Garden to ceremonies of up to 20 people. Roll on July 10th when gatherings can be up to 100 people again!

From the Secrets on the Lake family to your family… we hope everyone is keeping their heads and back pockets above water. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the media’s fear machine of bad news and stories of heartache. While we don’t dismiss or diminish the hardships many suffer… it is so important to balance the bad news with a celebration of  the good that is also happening all around us in random acts of kindness, healing and creative connection. The human spirit is truly indomitable. And it is quite inspiring to see how creativity kicks in with some new and different kinds of weddings, weddings that might not be exactly what you imagined your special day to be, but weddings that focus on the most important thing – two people in love saying ‘I do’.

My partner and I have been one of those wedding couples trying to juggle the ever-changing social distancing regulations, venue number maximums, travel bans, and a myriad of other restrictions. Our wedding date was meant to be May 1st 2020. We have since had to reconcile that some of our special people living abroad still won’t be able to be there for our new date in November… but no more postponements. Just because your parents from England, your best friend from Amsterdam, or your brother from New Zealand can’t be physically part of your wedding day… doesn’t mean that they need to miss out on the excitement and ‘feel goods’ of the day.

Here are some of the things we have come up with to best share your special day with the special people who can’t be there… and a shout out to the amazing suppliers who have happily postponed and rescheduled, and helped us make it all happen.

  • The biggest thing we have decided to do since the COVID crazy, is to hire a videographer to capture the day! With today’s technology our ceremony can even be livestreamed so that our absent loved ones can watch the event in real time! Ashlee from Jensen & Young has been awesome in creating an affordable package to capture the ceremony and reception. She will capture all the details, as well as the smiles and tears, and the crazy family dance we have been practicing for the dance floor.  And for us… it’s the best way to let our absent loved ones relive the experience and still be as much a part of the day as we can possibly allow.

Time goes by so quickly, and especially seems that way on special occasions – I want my couples and clients to truly be in the moment. Having someone solely focused on capturing it allows couples to be present with their partners, friends and family. I love the film medium for how it allows us to relive past moments; we hear voices again, laughter and tears. We re-watch our younger selves, our family and children and reconnect with the atmosphere and energy of the day. Film tells a story and creates an experience that you can share with others in a way that brings the experience to them so they feel part of the celebration as well. I’ve never had clients that regret getting a film and it’s a beautiful compliment to photos. 

Ashlee Jensen

  • Our award-wining photographer Ben Connolly will be in his creative element capturing images of the ceremony and reception for us to enjoy and share with everyone there and abroad. I can’t recommend his work highly enough! The Sunshine Coast Hinterland has some great photographers available to capture your special day.
  • Even though travel bans are in place for overseas and interstate travel… we have sent the invite out anyway to let our loved ones know just how important they are to us.
  • We are going to mention our absent loved ones with a shout out in our speeches and in the words of our lovely celebrant Merlin Coughlin
  • Our DJ Cut-A-Rug has a list of special songs to play over the course of the night… each of them significant for that friendship or relationship.
  • We have made some time to give our special people a call on the big day so we can have that one-on-one moment with them.
  • And for those that have been able to postpone or get refunds on flights, we are freezing some wedding cake to share with them down the track.

If you have had to postpone your wedding, or are wanting advice on how to Elope or get married at our stunning lakeside wedding venue at Secrets on the Lake… don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly staff on 07 54785 888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

When life gives you lemons…

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When life gives you lemons… you still have choices… and Secrets on the Lake in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is busy making lemonade. While social distancing restrictions have forced our doors to close for the first time in 25 years our amazing cleaning team and clever maintenance guys have been working overtime to make everything bling.

Our stunning world class treehouses have all been scrubbed, oiled, painted and polished so that they gleam even brighter than usual. Secrets Dining on the Deck restaurant has been extended, sanded and re-oiled and is ready to provide patrons with mouth-watering meals in a stunning rainforest lakeside location. The driveway tarmac has been redone and extended to include our guest’s carpark spots, and our walkways and decks have been pressure cleaned and maintained to perfection. We have been busy making sure that Secrets is wearing its Sunday best when restrictions lift and we can welcome you through our doors again!

While no one has a crystal ball… changes are coming soon. People are ringing us to make tentative bookings and we are delighted to pencil you in on those special days you are wanting to celebrate. Lord knows we all need something to look forward to at the moment! Until restrictions officially lift, when you call to lock in your special getaway in one of our world class treehouses, no money changes hands until the government gives us the go ahead to re-open.

We are still taking Gift Voucher bookings for those special gifts to spoil your loved ones, or those amazing souls that have gone above and beyond supporting us and our community during these unprecedented times. The accommodation industry is on tenderhooks waiting for the go-ahead to start operating again. Talk has been around the 29th May that this may happen? Where is that crystal ball again?…

Once restrictions have lifted so that Secrets on the Lake can open it’s beautiful hand carved doors again… we will call up those that have tentatively booked to start taking deposit and booking money. Our weekend bookings over winter are already fairly full… so get in now if you have a birthday, anniversary or achievement to celebrate and want to make a tentative booking. Aldy and Hayley are in the office and would love to take your call.

For more information or to make a tentative booking or purchase a gift voucher please contact our friendly staff on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

Lake Baroon Secrets

Catch Me If You Can Winners…

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We would like to shout out a big thank you to all the avid fishermen, fisherwomen, and fisher kids that entered the Secrets Catch Me If You Can Fishing Competition held over February and March this year. The beautiful Lake Baroon boasted quite a few extra rods in visitors hands these last few months as entrants tried their luck for our prizes. March 31st was the cut-off date for fishing competition uploads and entries.

Drum roll please….George would like to announce that the winner of the biggest fish is Eruch John Rowan at 52.5cm. Eruch wins a 2 night midweek stay in a luxury treehouse complete with continental breakfast basket and hot croissants or muffins delivered daily. It is valid for 12mths so something to look forward to once Covid 19 passes, or Secrets can offer a completely contact free check-in procedure – so self-isolate in style in our ancient rainforest wonderland.

The winner of the Secrets Mystery length prize is Mike Boucher at 29cms. Mike wins a $100 voucher for our Dining on the Deck daytime rainforest restaurant. Congratulations! We look forward to serving you some mouth-watering dishes very soon.

All funds raised from registration fees go to restocking Lake Baroon’s fish populations. Thank you for your support. We have some extended midweek stay discounts available so if you missed out on the prize you can still experience the magic of Secrets. Give our friendly staff a call on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

Weddings in Maleny at Secrets on the Lake

Why not elope at Secrets on the Lake…

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At Secrets on the Lake, our hearts go out to the wedding couples about to married over the coming months, who now also have to anticipate the implications of the coronavirus, health regulations and travel bans… and even rethink their guest list size because of the new limitation of no more than 100 people gathered in an indoor location. I say this with a personal note, as I am one of those couples in this situation… our special day is 6 weeks away, and we have had to reconcile our hearts with the absence of many international family and friends who are now banned from entering Australia. The lead up to your wedding is meant to be a time of excitement and anticipation…albeit a few nerves and the occasional cold foot. We would like to keep it that way for all our upcoming Secrets Weddings.

Over the years, Secrets have been blessed with hosting some beautiful weddings in the magical Secrets Garden nestled on the edge of magnificent Lake Baroon. Its stunning rock pools, decking, bridges and lush gardens are a very special place to say ‘I do’ with the one you love in the company of an intimate group of family and friends. It is also the perfect place to elope! We are an open air venue and have always had a maximum guest number of 80 people so the latest health regulations around maximum numbers of public gatherings do not impact on any of the weddings booked in at Secrets. But if you have been impacted by this at another venue then please give us a call and we will do our best to accommodate you.

A wedding is about 2 people committing to one another in shared love and support. It really is just about two people… and Secrets have joined forces with the best suppliers in the hinterland to be able to offer you some really affordable midweek elopement packages, including 2 nights honeymoon in one of our world-class luxury treehouses for only $3500 (valid until 31st Dec 2020). Our elopement packages also provide the celebrant, photographer, cake, flowers and button holes, signing table and canapes with champagne. If you choose to, we can even provide meals to your cabin or a bbq hamper for your deck so you can escape into the magic of our ancient rainforest and not see another soul over your honeymoon! Self-isolating has never been so easy, or so breathtaking!

When important friends and family cant be around for your special day… then the images captured on the day become all that more important, and we have sourced the best of the best with 2 amazing local photographers… the lovely Lou O’Brien or the award-winning Ben Connolly (see image header). In light of current events, for my own wedding we have now decided to hire a videographer to capture our ceremony and highlights for our very disappointed family and friends who have had to cancel flights and will miss out on sharing the day with us. As a service to upcoming weddings and elopements, we are going to include the option of adding on videography services by the award winning Jensen and Young to our elopement or wedding packages for an additional $600. This gives you a 10-12min video covering your vows and highlights, often including drone footage (weather permitting).

I would like to reassure our upcoming weddings that Secrets on the Lake is an open-air wedding venue and our guest capacity is 80 people. Our receptions are either held at the beautiful Lakehouse, or the stunning alfresco Dining on the Deck rainforest restaurant. Our staff have amped up catering protocols to space tables for social distancing, disinfect all tableware between use, and now only place plates and glasswear out as required to avoid any contamination. So as far as coronavirus regulations and Secrets Weddings are concerned… its full steam ahead and back to keeping your jitters for the vows.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or need to book a last minute venue change or elopement. Call 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

 

Lake Baroon Secrets

Stay safe. Stay local. Stay at Secrets…

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As global efforts to contain coronavirus intensify, many holidaymakers are being inconvenienced as they are forced to navigate flight disruptions, city lockdowns, travel bans and quarantine rules. Australians are highly likely to find their overseas holidays affected this year by delays or cancellations. To date, the coronavirus has infected almost 90,000 people around the world, and with new outbreak locations being reported all the time, it’s very hard to predict where will be affected next, and what that might mean for travelers.

As there is no question that this will take months to pan out, it’s prompted many Australians to wonder whether it’s even wise to travel abroad. The question of where you should lay down your weary head, and your hard-earned money, for your weekend getaway or family holiday this year really becomes all about who you can trust. At Secrets on the Lake, our advice is to ‘Stay safe, and stay local’.

For 25 years now we have been spreading our ‘secret’ and the wonders of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland right on your doorstep. As I am sitting here taking in the mist floating above the magnificent Lake Baroon and listening to the gentle sounds of wildlife scurrying and birds chirping on this beautiful March morning, I can think of no place I would rather be.

Whether you want to hideaway for a week with your loved one in the luxury of your world-class treehouse as you sip champagne to the warmth and crackle of your open fire? Or, if exploring the ancient rainforest and stunning waterfalls of our many national parks is more your style… there really is something for everyone at Secrets on the Lake.

Why not sample the taste sensations of our award-winning iconic Dining on the Deck lakeside rainforest restaurant, or the many other top class restaurants in our region. You can browse the boutique shops and tour the fantastic art trails of the hinterland. You can visit some of the top 10 beaches in the world only 30 mins away on the Sunshine Coast. We are also only 2 hours from Frazer Island! In fact, you could explore for weeks and still be finding new things to do, experience and enjoy in our beautiful hinterland and Sunshine Coast region!

We have some discounted special rates for long stays so if you are thinking about where to go for your extended holiday this year… contact us for more information about how we can help you with the ultimate world-class romantic or family holiday right on your doorstep in the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

Call 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au for more information.

Montville Treehouse

“Love does not make the world go around – it simply makes the ride worthwhile”.

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They say there are only two real emotions in this life… love and fear. At Secrets on the Lake we choose love. It is what makes us sing at the top of our lungs and dance like no-one is watching. It is what makes us human… and nothing else truly matters. The size of our white picket fence, our partner’s good looks, the type of car we drive – all those things are insignificant when we bask in the glow of love’s shine.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about flowers and chocolates… its really about celebrating love itself and reconnecting with the true meaning of this day. For the last 25 years, George and Aldy Johnston have built their Secrets dream to celebrate mystery, magic and romance… it’s all about love, created with love, especially for lovers.

Who said that there’s just one day to prove your love? There are 365 chances to let them know how much you appreciate and care. In fact, patrons familiar with our iconic Dining on the Deck daytime rainforest restaurant may remember George as the man who offers them a single rose as they leave our restaurant to explore the rest that the hinterland has to offer… any day of the year!

At Dining on the Deck, we have renamed February as ‘Love Month’ and Chef Mat has prepared a special menu full of mouth-watering meals designed to tantalize your tastebuds. Why not pop in and surprise your special someone with a romantic meal for two overlooking magnificent Lake Baroon? Perhaps book a table for 2 at our special Valentine’s Dinner event?

Wanting a little more privacy than a table at Dining on the Deck? We have created a sumptuous Lakeside Bohemian Picnic for two in the snug hut tucked away in gardens on the lake’s shores. Maybe you are wanting to surprise your lover with something more unique? Give us a call and let George wave his magic romance wand and let us help you make it happen.

There are so many simple things we can all do to bring more love into our lives, each and every day. The true meaning of Valentine’s Day is about creating memorable moments and meaningful celebrations. Here is George’s tip for spoiling your someone special…

One of the foundations of all successful and happy relationships is communication. Find the time to get away from distractions and really listen to one another’s wants, needs and dreams. Leave the kids with Nana or a family friend and book a romantic night away to reconnect. It doesn’t have to be on Friday 14th of February! In fact, love isn’t proven by the size of the number on your receipt… take advantage of our midweek specials and stay a couple of nights midweek in a world-class luxury treehouse. You won’t only just reconnect with each other, but with the ancient rainforest and magnificent Lake Baroon. Try your hand in our ‘Catch Me If You Can’ fishing competition and you could even win your loved one a getaway in one of our luxury treehouses!

For more information or to book please contact our friendly staff on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

The Christmas Elves

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George and I, and our amazing staff at Secrets on the Lake, hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, full of the good things in life… kindness, love, and connection. And as the new year 2020 looms on the horizon, we wish you luck and every success in your endeavours and personal lives.

As a small family business, we know the importance of quality time with your loved ones, especially over Christmas. While our staff have had some much-needed days off, George and I felt a little like the Christmas Elves as we scurried around in the background preparing the amazing Christmas and Dessert platters for our guests. The aprons have been getting a workout as the aroma of baking shortbread, puddings and mince pies filled the reception with the familiar scent of Christmas. Can you imagine George in an Apron?! And the phones have been glued to our heads as people call for last minute Secrets Gift Vouchers. Thank you for sharing our Secrets with your loved ones, friends and family!

‘Elf on the Shelf’ George has been one-stop maintenance man making sure our grounds and tracks look their best for our visitors and guests. It seems like only yesterday that George and I first opened Secrets doors, and could handle most days business on our own with our families help. What seems like yesterday is actually over 20 years ago! We have an amazing team of staff who help us maintain, evolve and improve your experience at Secrets Dining on the Deck and in our world-class luxury treehouses. We appreciate and would like to thank these amazing people who help create the Secrets Magic for all our Diners and Guests.

But the thing I am most grateful for this Christmas… the best Christmas present ever… is that the Sunshine Coast got some desperately needed rain on Christmas Day as the skies opened up and drenched our sunburnt hills. And as I write this a few days after Christmas, the beautiful drizzle continues. The lush hinterland hills are looking green and healthy again. The magnificent Lake Baroon is beginning to quickly fill back up. And the relief in the smiles of Sunny coast local’s faces is something that we all share and rejoice in.

We have some treehouse vacancies still left in January for those of you needing some RnR to recover after Christmas, enjoy the rains impact on our green hills and lake, and perhaps to take advantage of our Secrets Summer Saver promotion giving you 10% off when you book 2n midweek in a luxury treehouse (to stay before Mar 31st 2020. Some T&Cs apply). We hope to see you at Secrets in 2020, and we look forward to the infinite possibilities of this new year.

To book or find out more please contact our friendly staff on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

Sunset over the Lake Secrets on the Lake

The gift of hope…

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I picked up a good friend from Melbourne at the Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday, and I know that I am not alone in welcoming interstate friends and family to the Sunny Coast at Christmas time. When I asked my friend how the flight was, she replied ‘confronting’. My first thoughts were of the standard elbows in the ribs, passenger body odour, and luggage issues. Not so! From the moment Emma took off in Melbourne to the moment she landed on the Sunny Coast, she flew above a blanket of horrific bushfires, smoke and haze. This was no isolated incident… this was the effect of prolonged drought and extreme heat. This was the whole country in flames!! And then, leaving the airport, we drove through the thick smoke of the latest Peregian Springs fire. Confronting indeed.

There is no doubt that the massive ongoing effort of our fire department and volunteers has saved hundreds of lives and properties. You are superheroes without a cape, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do to protect our community!

Whether or not you have been directly affected by fire or are just living like the rest of us under a state of hyper vigilance and ‘fight or flight’ readiness… we are all feeling this in many ways. The economic impact alone has challenged many communities, and local businesses are having a real struggle with the heat and smoke haze.

So, what can we do to help? Simple… support local business! People are already rejecting the notion of a highly commercialized Christmas. We are over the plastic problem. Statistics show that people are increasingly preferring gifts of sentimental significance, home-made gifts, gifts of an experience, or something personalized and thoughtful. These are things regional small businesses offer. And what these drought and fire ravaged communities really need this Christmas is the gift of hope. Now more than ever, your support of local small business is life changing.

Suncorp’s Head of Agribusiness, April Cavanagh, said “Every dollar a regional business or farmer receives, the surrounding town will profit a $1.32 through further spending in the region. Your support for one business owner will ultimately support the town as well.”

Tis the season to be grateful and giving. Spend your Christmas dollars thoughtfully and help our communities bounce. We invite you to come and enjoy the cool lake breezes and views while you have a meal at our Dining on the Deck daytime restaurant. Buy your loved one a gift voucher to escape the heat in our world-class luxury treehouses. Take a day trip away from the coast and cities with an adventure to our hinterland hills and support Montville’s boutique shops and small businesses. Help us give back to our community.

And from the Secrets on the Lake staff and family, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year 2020 with your loved ones!

To book or find out more please contact our friendly staff on 07 5478 5888 or email info@secretsonthelake.com.au or visit www.secretsonthelake.com.au

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