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“Rainforest getaway”

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Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Escaping from hot and humid Cairns to this lovely spot in a world heritage rainforest was a good decision. It has a feel of a B&B as the kitchen has full facilities and supplies can be purchased from a nearby town. The king bed was comfortable, hot water plentiful, and digital TV reception for those who need it.
Plentiful wildlife to observe and listen to, the walk around Lake Eachem is lovely, and ample photographic opportunities. It is also only a short drive to waterfalls, swimming holes, and cheese tastings. Make sure to have a read (and available for purchase) the Rainforest Ecosystems book in each lodge. It contains a wealth of information about the plants and creatures you will see on your adventures in this region. Free wifi in every room even though there is no mobile coverage!
Yes, it has the feel of a bush camp, but I would rather that than damaging the rainforest to upgrade the buildings. You can call it rustic :) Any smells some people may perceive (I didn't) is just part and parcel of living in the wet tropics. All cutlery & pots were clean when I arrived, and we washed up after ourselves. These are not serviced apartments!
The spa & sauna were not in operation, and the pool has fallen leaves and bugs on the surface, but was entirely refreshing after a sweaty day. Again, what can you expect from the tropics?

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank OZfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 - 91 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2012

Our family stayed at the Lodge in June 2012 for two nights. We were visiting Australia from the U.S., with the goal of seeing unique wildlife in natural settings, where the animals live, i.e., not in a zoo or simulated environment. Our entire trip was straight-up wonderful, but our short stay at the Chambers Wildlife Lodge constituted one of several highlights of our trip. Here's the skinny:
If you are interested in anything having to do with a rainforest - plants, animals, bush-hiking - this is a great place to stay, not the least reason because the host, John Chambers, knows an incredible amount about all of the foregoing, and is a world expert on local animal behavior. (For example, he's quoted here: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Thylogale_stigmatica/)
If, on the other hand, you favor a posh environment with a bit of rainforest splash, do yourself a favor by staying closer to Cairns and making a day trip (or two) to Kuranda Village, for example by Skyrail. You'll be much happier and you'll still be able to see creatures not found outside of Australia.
Coming from a dry Western U.S. environment, we did have a few adjustment issues, but then someone coming from the tropics might say the same sort of thing when visiting us. For example, one thing that was hard for us to get used to was the fact that everything is a bit damp, 24/7. And, yes, we did see a spider in the bathroom (which we left alone, on the theory that perhaps it was eating other critters we'd want around even less). But, again, IT'S A RAINFOREST. Seriously, who would travel 1/2 way around the world to a remote location and expect New York City penthouse perfection? We had a large two room plus covered porch, 3 person lodging. The beds were comfortable, with high-thread count sheets & blankets. There was a small kitchenette, which we used - The utensils didn't all match and, though we could not have cooked a serious, multi-course meal, we did manage a delicious breakfast, including pancakes, and dinner as well. So long as your planning is appropriate (i.e., 1-dish or 2-dish meals like spaghetti or chili or burgers, etc.) your meals will go smoothly as well. We've been to other, similar lodging in out of the way places, and everything we experienced was perfectly normal. (Again, if you are into posh, stay in a more populated area.)
Finally, our own goal, of seeing animals in a natural setting, was met again and again. While there we saw unusual birds, such as a Catbird, a Bowerbird, a number of marsupials, such as Pademelons and even, briefly, a Tree Kangaroo (no, I'm not making that up). And that was just a start. I also, personally, saw 2 leeches, more up close and personally than I would have preferred (i.e., on a walk I flicked on off my arm and after another walk I had to pull one off), but other family members did not have this experience. BTW, this was outside, on hiking trails - not at the lodge. Repeat, one more time: It's a rainforest. If you want to have a unique experience, learn about the area from an expert, and see plants or animals you'll find no where else, you will love visiting the Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank AG1593
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2012

I spent 4 nights at the Rainforest Units and left a piece of my heart over there when I had to leave. It is such a wonderful place, perfect for naturalists and/or people who just love nature in its wildest side. Everyday we were visited by birds on our unit's terrace and every night could enjoy awesome wildlife (i.e. sugar gliders, possums, pademelons, bandycoots etc.). Also, when driving through the rainforest to get to the units we could spot many other wild animals, like the smallest existing kangaroo, on the road sides. John, the owner, has created a sort of green arena in front of the main building, wherein some scattered fruits attract pademelons at night, so that hosts can see these very shy forest marsupials, while simultaneously given any info by John himself, who knows everything about the forest creatures. Also, he has created a sheltered wooden structure, in front of which some honey spread on a tree each night attracts the gliders and possums down to lick it, so people can also meet animals otherwise impossible to see.
The units are quite comfortable and cozy, endowed also with a kitchen, TV and a heater, very useful in winter.
John is a fabulous person, always willing to lend a hand for anything you might need. I still keep a sweet memory of him.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nicky68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2012

If you like being in the middle of a rainforest and experiencing all the delights and downsides of this environment then this is the place to go. If you are expecting an upmarket standard of accommodation then go elsewhere. My wife and I stayed here a couple of nights and being keen wildlife watchers we loved seeing and hearing the birds and seeing the pademelons, sugar gliders and bandicoots, even if they had to be fed by the owners to be attracted to visit.
The one bedroom cabin was pretty basic for the price but had all the necessary gear. I could imagine that the cabins would get damp and mouldy at times, as noted by other reviewers, but this is a tropical rainforest after all and you just need to pick the best time of year to visit. The owner of the lodge was very knowledgeable about the wildlife of the area and friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank G0Mac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We just returned from a wonderful night at Chambers Rainforest Lodge. We read the reviews before we went - run down, smelly rooms that weren't worth the money - we didn't experience this at all. I found the double room we stayed in to be very affordable and not at all smelly. We had both a front and back verandah and found it to be very private. I read quietly on the verandah as an antechnicus scurried through the basket ferns, a victoria's riflebird watched me from a branched and the scrub turkeys wandered about on the ground. It is a special experience to be able to get so close to wild red legged pademelons and absolutely fabulous to see the sugar gliders from so close by. We watched a group of five sugar gliders for over an hour as they jumped and glided between the trees (seated comfortably at the viewing platform with a glass of red wine). A striped possum and long nosed bandicoot also came by while we watched. We drove to the nearby Curtain Fig tree for more spot lighting and found a green ringtail possum in a tree in the car park.

For anybody interested in wildlife I would definitely recommend this accommodation. If you are looking for a luxury experience and don't mind the price tag then there are other places nearby that may suit you better.

We'll definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 2, a double room with cooking facilities and ensuite. It is further away from the...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Curlew_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We lodged at Chambers for seven nights in October 2011 and were delighted with every aspect of our stay. Our accommodation was in a one bedroom lodge which had recently been refurbished. It was spotlessly clean and decorated to a high standard, with good furnishings and fittings. We are both bird watchers and the location was just superb; ideal for watching birds (and other wildlife) from the lodge's verandah and in the surrounding rainforest. John Chambers himself was both helpful and very friendly. The staff who serviced the room did an excellent job and were also very friendly. We would certainly stay here again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorfolkBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

I agree with the unpleasant odours and damp and smelly environment. The kitchen utensils were dirty and obviously housekeeping is a non event. We couldn't get out quick enough. For a place widely advertised on birders websites etc. it is a real let down.The place is situated in a beautiful area but needs a total refurbishment for me to even consider coming back.

AB Cairns

Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
Thank Anna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges

Address: Eacham Close | Lake Eacham, Atherton, Queensland 4884, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Queensland > Atherton
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Atherton
Price Range: £72 - £80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges is hidden in 1200 acres of Lake Eacham's lush, tropical highland rainforest in the beautiful Waterfalls and Crater Lakes district of the Atherton Tablelands. As pioneers in eco tourism our lodges specifically cater for birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists, photographers, film crews and all those who want to have a true rainforest experience. Accommodation includes 10 fully self-contained 52sqm one bedroom lodges and a 108sqm five bedroom lodge. RESORT FACILITIES INCLUDE: Under-cover swimming pool / 100sqm guest lounge with BBQ, pool table, wildlife library, high speed broadband internet - Free in room WIFI. The resort includes a 1.3km rainforest walking path to Platypus ponds, Brush Turkey mounds, and Tooth billed Bowerbird stages. A Wildlife Viewing Platform is illuminated until 11pm for guests to view Sugar Gliders, Striped Possums, Uromys, Bandicoots, Melomys, Antechinus. There are excellent restaurants, hotels, takeaways and supermarkets within a 10 minute drive of the Chambers. ... more   less 
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