Meet the Locals – Shane O’Reilly
Shane O’Reilly shares his favourite Scenic Rim places to eat, drink and soak in the views.
Shane O’Reilly is part of the legendary Scenic Rim O’Reilly family dynasty.
Under his guidance the family business, which incorporates O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and the Canungra Valley Vineyards, has grown into a large-scale retreat featuring 70 rooms and 48 luxury mountain villas, a conference centre, vineyard and restaurant, and the spectacular Lost World Spa.
In addition to his role as Managing Director of the family businesses, Shane is also heavily involved in leading Queensland tourism organisations and has served on a number of organisations, including the Queensland Wine Industry Association, Gondwana Rainforest Reserves Australia and Tourism Queensland.
Each November O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat hosts its annual Bird Week event (2017 is the 40th anniversary). The concept was first mooted by Peter O’Reilly, as a way for visitors to focus on seeing as many birds as possible and meeting like-minded people.
Shane says the concept remains the same and the retreat now has 40 years of bird counts, taken at the same time of year around the same locations.
“That kind of data is priceless and can now be used by researchers to assess environmental changes, biodiversity changes and of course climate change impacts,” he says.
“The real impact of bird week is therefore most likely to be more about the future of how we assess and react to the natural world around us, than the actual numbers of birds counted or seen. No software can produce that data – just many focused people over many years and its invaluable.”
Favourite Scenic Rim place to eat
The sharing platter at the Kooroomba Winery, after a motorcycle ride out through Boonah. Though Paula’s pies at the Canungra Valley Vineyard are awesome too.
Favourite Scenic Rim coffee
Cafe Metz in Canungra village
My favourite place in the Scenic Rim is …
Running Creek Falls. It’s a great walk, great pool and remote enough to be really special.
What I love most about the Scenic Rim is …
The growing mix of boutique agriculture, beverages and tourism.
Favourite Scenic Rim view?
The view to the lighthouse on the headland at Byron Bay from Echo Point.