Published February 2020
Silky Oaks Lodge offers stunning accommodations in a spectacular location in Far North Queensland, Australia. Here you can stay in cabins inside one of the world’s oldest rainforests—Daintree Rainforest. However, the word “cabin” is a bit misleading, as there is no trace of any primitive features inside the cabin. On the contrary, the rooms and common areas house every imaginable convenience.
We found pictures of Silky Oaks Lodge online while we were planning a 10-day road trip in the area and knew immediately that we wanted to stay at this unique place in the middle of the jungle. Fortunately, the lodge still had available rooms and we booked a three-night stay.
Arrival and check-in
After a scenic drive from the Atherton Tablelands, we parked the car and found our way to the reception at Silky Oaks Lodge. We were immediately welcomed by an enthusiastic receptionist who gave us a thorough introduction to the facilities of the lodge.
We were then escorted to the cabin which was to be our home for the next few days. Meanwhile, our luggage had already been brought over from our car to the room.
The “rooms” at Silky Oaks Lodge are separate cabins scattered around the rainforest. The lodge has a total of 40 cabins in six different price categories. We had booked a “Garden Treehouse,” the second most affordable type. These bungalows are 47 sqm. large and are located near the reception and restaurant area.
Our Garden Treehouse was nicely decorated and had a large and soft double bed, as well as a sofa and an armchair, in the combined bed- and living room. The combination of both an air conditioner and a ceiling fan kept the space cool, despite the heat and high humidity outside. There was internet connection in the cabin, but no TV.
The bathroom had a washbasin with plenty of counter space, and a separate bath and shower. The shampoo, conditioner, shower soap, and moisturizer were of the “Appelles” brand.
Although the cabin showed some signs of wear and tear, it was spotlessly clean, and we enjoyed our time there immensely.
The highlight of the cabin was undoubtedly the balcony with unobstructed views of the jungle. The balcony was furnished with chairs, tables and a hammock. We spent hours in the hammock while watching the “live” entertainment provided by everything crawling, walking, and flying past. Turkeys with bright red heads and big butterflies with metallic blue colors were just a few of the many creatures that caught our interest. Although there were several other cabins nearby, the only sounds we could hear were from the nature around us. On the way to and from the reception area, however, we noticed that not all rooms had equally private balconies.
We also appreciated the range of other amenities in the cabin. This included a French press coffee maker and a large selection of hot beverages, several bottles of water, and two types of homemade cookies. The cabin was also equipped with bathrobes, slippers, bathing salts and scents, as well as a handful of interesting books about Australia. During the daily turndown service, the room was prepared for the night with lit candles and soft music playing on the sound system.
Food and drink
The main building at Silky Oaks Lodge houses the Treehouse Restaurant and Treehouse Bar. These are perfectly situated overlooking the rainforest and the Mossman River below.
We had two fantastic dinners in the Treehouse Restaurant, and a very good meal in the Treehouse Bar. The lodge focuses on local produce and its sun-ripened vegetables made a lasting impression on our taste buds.
Breakfast was included in the cost of the room and consisted of a medium-sized buffet plus a-la-carte options. Among our favorite dishes were the oatmeal with pears and the quinoa bowl with local Mungalli yogurt. As part of breakfast, and also repeatedly throughout the day, we enjoyed the most delicious flat white coffee.
Facilities and activities
Being located in Daintree Rainforest means there is a myriad of activities both at and near Silky Oaks Lodge.
The lodge has a beautiful swimming pool built into the terrain, with plenty of sun loungers around it.
In addition, the river has two billabongs for swimming. We preferred the Beach Billabong just to the north of the lodge—a secluded area with a small sandy beach and crystal-clear water.
Kayak and snorkeling equipment is free, and we took the opportunity to do a little paddling on the river. The area suitable for paddling is not too big, but we still had a great time. Since the water was so clear, we could see both fish and eel from the kayak.
Silky Oaks Lodge is a perfect base for those wanting to experience the rainforest up close, and there are several hiking trails directly from the hotel.
For those who want to ride a bike, there is free mountain bike rental, and yoga enthusiasts can participate in daily complimentary yoga classes. The hotel also has a tennis court and a small fitness room. Next to the fitness room is a TV room with a DVD library.
In addition to the free activities described above, the hotel also offers a variety of excursions at an extra cost. Among these are guided walks in the rainforest, river cruises on Daintree River, day trips to Cape Tribulation, and snorkeling and diving trips on the Great Barrier Reef.
We booked the “Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Walk” excursion. This is a walk in the rainforest with a guide from the local Aboriginal Kuku Yalanji tribe. The jungle hike was very exciting, and we learned a lot about Aboriginal life and their close relationship with the rainforest.
For the extra adventurous, Silky Oaks Lodge can arrange safaris, helicopter tours and hot air balloon tours.
The hotel also has a spa, called the Healing Waters Spa, which offers treatments in rooms with views of the jungle and Mossman River. The spa facilities were in themselves not too impressive, but the treatments really blew us away—we had a “Healing Waters Signature Body Massage” and a “Vichy Therapy”, which were both excellent.
All in all, Silky Oaks Lodge provided a very good hotel experience. The location, food, and service were top-notch and made us enjoy every second of our stay. The staff at the lodge really took pride in their work and did their utmost to make the guests feel comfortable.
The cabins and spa could use some sprucing up and Silky Oaks Lodge has already planned an extensive renovation starting in April 2020. We will be more than happy to return after the lodge re-opens in September 2020!