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Secrets On The Lake

Take a break

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George and I have just had a week away to our favourite bolt hole on the coast in NSW. We have totally (or almost very nearly) put business on the back burner and spent the time resting, reading, going for walks and even went to the movies to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I actually managed to arrange a manicure and pedicure for myself… a real treat! We’ve tried to be good about food but also have enjoyed eating out most nights. Why? Because who wants to slave over a hot stove when on holiday! To top it off we have had lots of laughs with friends.

So… it is with this in mind that I can say with 100% surety that there really is nothing like a short break away to revive and rejuvenate! We returned to Secrets yesterday to find the staff had done really well and all was running like clockwork… and they had even arranged a top secret gathering of George’s nearest and dearest at the Lakehouse for his 75th birthday. He looks great for having had a break. We can only recommend it.

We would like to invite you to reap the benefits of getting away from it all and factor in a short break of your own. Some time to reconnect with each other, rest and rejuvenate. When you plan to visit us we have it all covered… the treehouses gleam, the lake is full to the brim and the gardens are flourishing, the chef’s are cooking up a storm, the staff are caring and professional, and along with all that, the Hinterland behind The Sunshine Coast beckons you with its amazing scenery, walks and iconic places to visit. Let us help you to book in some downtime. Call us on 07 54785888 or press the Book Now button on our webpage

Why We Welcome Direct Bookings

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They say change is inevitable… however sitting here with the wisdom of my seventy plus years, the rate of changes and the extent of them is often mind boggling! George and I have been in the accommodation business since 1994 with Secrets on the Lake. When we opened with our heritage cabin called The Whistle Stop, the key was left under the mat for guests to let themselves in! It was a simple world where guests gave us a call and made a booking by talking to us directly. They either posted us a cheque with the deposit or gave us a credit card number and we posted their booking confirmation out to them… the original snail mail. There was no middle man and in general getting away was pre-planned event worked out between you and I communicating.

I don’t have to tell you how different it is now in 2018. That personal touch seems lost but it really doesn’t take much to re-establish that connection. “A simple booking” on the surface seems so easy… but it is not. There are all sorts of complications and hidden charges. Huge multinationals are now poking their large noses into our business and a simple transaction has become crazy. Let me explain…

Secrets has a vacancy. You are wanting to come stay. Instead of calling us or visiting our website (best found by keying In the actual website and hitting the BOOK NOW button… there are hundreds of booking sites out there vying to take commissions (anything up to 30%) out of the tariff that we need to charge. They then ask us to offer discounts or they themselves offer discounts out of the commission so our agreement to offer the same tariff is undermined. They don’t ask us for permission to do this, they just do it. Meantime you, the guest, are often paying more for your stay than if you had contacted us directly. Nobody wins but the international booking sites.

But it doesn’t stop there! Other things complicate what should be a simple personal process. For your convenience, we have a Paypal account for when guests purchase a gift voucher online. Paypal charges a merchant fee of 3%. The latest ideas include Zip Pay and Afterpay. These allow you to pay off items in 4 regular payments in a regulated timeframe but have the use of them now. The cost to the accommodation owner is another 6%. Can you imagine the book keeping involved and the nightmare of keeping these complicated listings and accounts in order?!

We ask our wonderful customers to bear this in mind and remember the simple way… by using our BOOK NOW button OR give us a call (07) 54785888 OR email us through our contact page. Bring back the personal touch and reap the advantages… you have the pleasure of discussing which treehouse you would like, or taking advantage of our money saving midweek specials, or getting some answers to your individual questions, or requesting a tailored version of a package, or a payment plan that suits you. The joy of it is, in addition to saving some money on your stay, we can begin to make a personal connection with each other again in this impersonal world. Those connections often leading to friendships… some of which are now up to 20 years old.

The Secrets Wedding Club

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Recently we have been fortunate to host some amazingly beautiful weddings… including our first official same sex wedding which was a particularly joyous and special day for some long time guests of Secrets. Our staff have been excitedly following event orders to the letter and working all hours to make these special days simply stunning. There has been an overwhelming sense of excitement in all corners of Secrets on the Lake as our gardens have been trimmed, weeded and manicured to their lush, colourful best. The boats are scrubbed and oiled, the Lakehouse buffed and beautifully decorated, the fridges are fully stocked, chairs arranged and weather reports are scrutinized daily. The hum of activity and anticipation is magical.

Weddings are always stunning at Secrets on the Lake… so what is the difference? Mother Nature has filled our lovely Lake to the brim and watered our lush gardens to perfection. George, Phil and Jeremy have tweaked the gardens so that they dance colour storms in front of our eyes. The newly renovated jetty built by our son Rob Johnston looks amazing with the water lapping below… and its all just waiting for that perfect hero shot with wedding couple gazing at the glorious sunset.

And with all the recent rain around, none of our weddings have been washed out… in fact last weekend the rainbow appeared just as the bride and groom walked down the aisle. How good is that?!… Mother nature keeps working her magic for us to provide these amazing wow moments on your special day! The new members of our ‘Secrets Wedding Club’ are growing fast and we hope to see you name on there soon. We are a fully inclusive venue and vow renewals count 🙂

Call our friendly staff on (07) 5478 5888 or email or visit for more information or to arrange to visit our beautiful grounds and facilities. Why don’t you drop in to our award winning Cafe on the deck for lunch while you are here and sample some of the amazing food created by our top Chef Mat Law.

Pamper yourself with a massage…

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Many of Secrets guests like to enjoy a massage as part of the relax, rewind and reconnect experience of staying in our beautiful treehouses. We have sought out the very best massage therapists in our region and made arrangements with them to come direct to your room… so you don’t even have to get out of your bathrobe!

Our experienced Massage Team of Angela from Touch of Power (0407 136 794) and Marnie from Temple Wellness and Massage (0481 846 064) look forward to helping you with your specific problems. Angela has been offering a professional service in the hinterland for 20yrs,  and Marnie has recently taken over the Temple Massage team. All our therapists are able to do singles or couples massage and offer you different packages and treatments designed to pamper, re-energize, and work away the knots and stresses that plague us in our perpetually busy lives.

How can you book? We ask that you book direct with the therapists who we have made arrangements with. Their contact details are found on our useful links page under the ‘About’ heading on Secrets on the Lake website. More information about their special packages can be found on our Massages page under the ‘Special Extras’ heading on our website. We find it less complicated if you book direct to arrange a mutually suitable time and in general it saves you paying the GST we would have to charge if booked through our business.

View our Massage information page online at for more information and contact details for Angela or Marnie.

Update on Secrets

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Secrets Bookings now made easier.
For the best booking experience
visit Secrets on the Lake’s newly updated website
Available on all devices…. iPhone, iPad, Laptop or Computer.
Our website has all of our information in an easily navigated format Visit us on a regular basis to check our special offers, now on the top of the home page, and to choose the extra add-on packages that we can offer.
You’d can read our latest blogs and choose to order one of our gift vouchers through our online option or send an enquiry.
Bear in mind booking through our website or alternatively giving us a call (07)54785888 will allow you to request one of our special offers or a particular treehouse. Secrets staff can assist with any of your booking needs down to tailoring your special occasion such as tips for your proposal, wedding, elopement, honeymoon, anniversary or long awaited holiday.

Tips to bear in mind.

A standard stay at Secrets on the Lake includes more than just a bare room tariff.

Enjoy our sumptuous breakfast basket with its complimentary bottle of wine given only on arrival. It is unexpected and delightful and included in most of our standard tariffs.

We offer to all accommodation bookings delivery of home baked croissants or breakfast muffins(select from our muffin menu)

We have treats such as our afternoon tea home baked scones with strawberry jam and cream served complimentary on arrival. For seconds order the Devonshire Plate with beautiful coffee at our cafe.

Secrets offers free canoeing, bushwalking, and the use of a massive billiard table

Our BBQ, picnic and meal options delivered upon request to your cabin means you don’t need to leave your treehouse and it is truly a holiday for everyone.

George the Gardener alias ‘Farmer Brown’

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George has had a number of diverse careers in his life. First up he became an electrician and did his apprenticeship in Dalby. By the time I’d met up with him again (we were sweethearts in high school together) he was running a large and successful highway fruit shop business at Grantham on the Toowoomba Highway with his brother Sid. They had started this business from scratch. Some of you may remember the giant orange on a wooden wagon out the front of the shop? It has since been sold and repainted and still exists in Gatton. By the time the fruit shop was sold, we had learnt the art of working and watching the world go by when most were having fun. We always worked long weekends and mostly everyday of the year except for Christmas Day

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Blessed Rain

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In recent times, there has been  a drought particularly here in the catchment of Lake Baroon. Any serious rain has seemed to bypass us and due to SEQWater siphoning off large amounts of water South to other communities and to Brisbane, we had been left with a sorry excuse for a water supply dam. However, the recent rains have helped to improve the water level as well as give a thirst quenching drink to our rainforest and gardens. For the past 12 months George has been working to bring our gardens to a higher level and with the help of Phil and Jeremy our maintenance guys, he has got them to an awesome standard. To top it off our son Rob has rebuilt the jetty and we have been waiting for it to get its feet wet. It is a stunning job!

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Celebrate your special Occasions

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Celebrate your special occasions at Secrets on The Lake. Beautiful celebrations are the spice of life and we love helping you have things to look forward to. We make it easy for people to smell the roses. 

Romance is about the little things, and it is such a pleasure for us to see people taking good care of their loved ones. Doing little things for each other regularly adds lots of fire and spice to your special relationship. Whether you are looking to impress your loved one with a special little surprise or are planning a grand gesture of love, we are here to help.

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The Joy of Anticipation or Planning Your Annual Holiday

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The Joy of Anticipation or Planning Your Annual Holiday Being in charge of a business often means you tend to neglect your own holiday needs. Over the years, the most memorable breaks have been the ones we planned and looked forward to. A decision was made, months out, choosing a time slot in what for us was a quiet time of the year. Itineraries were developed, money set aside, flights booked and accommodation chosen. Then, we sat back and looked forward to the time we packed our bags and were on our way. From then on it didn’t matter what happened, how busy or tired we became, what problems arose, we were going to have a break and the feeling of happiness in the decision and certainty was there buoying us up, no matter what happened in the meantime.

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June is celebration month

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It is the beginning of what is officially winter when we enjoy wearing our winter clothes at night but the days are glorious, warming up and wind free. George will spend loads of time gardening and the maintenance guys will enjoy the outdoors and not need to seek shade. Guests will be noted trekking off to the Kondallila Falls or, wandering stick and picnic in hand, exploring the bush on the way to the Obi Obi Gorge and The Lake Baroon Lookouts.

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