Possum Valley offers 2 self-contained cottages surrounded by rainforest.
Possum Valley is 156 acres of nearly all rainforest with small clearings around the homestead and cottages. It adjoins World Heritage listed rainforest on 2 sides.
One of the interesting animals and the largest is the Lumholtz tree-kangaroo. It has a very restricted range in rainforest above 700m. It is nocturnal but mostly seen roosting in trees during the day.
This is the top and largest dam with a little jetty and rowboat for guest use.
It is suitable for swimming in the summer. In the winter guests are advised to do a toe test, as the water is considerably cooler than the coast.
Some would say only suitable for penguins and polar bears!
Please go to my website and check for availability via the booking calendar before contacting me.
Blackbean Cottage sleeps 6, named after a local rainforest timber, features many rainforest timbers for inside paneling . It has 3 bedrooms with 2 double beds and 2 single beds. One of the double beds is in a sleeping loft under the pointy bit of roof. The loft is accessed by steep steps and may be unsuitable for a person with a disability.
It is located right next to Possum Creek and it is often possible to see platypus and an occasional large eel from the cottage. A wooden bridge spans the creek. There is a veranda overlooking the creek with a portable gas BBQ.
For the colder months, there is a gas room heater. Linen and towels provided. There are dounas on the bed and extra blankets available. There is a 4-burner gas stove with grill and oven. Standard fridge with freezer compartment. Pots, plates dish-washing liquid etc provided. Tea, coffee and sugar provided. Hot water supplied by a gas system with a tank of limited capacity, but has quick recovery.
Blackbean is constructed entirely from timber outside and inside. It was the first building on the property and constructed entirely with hand tools before the power system was built. It was started in 1976 without benefit of plans, knowledge, building approval or money. Completion time was about 11 months at a cost (1976 dollars) of about $1,400 complete with doors windows, plumbing, wood stove etc. A third of the cost was the tin on the roof. Building approval was obtained 25 years later. Originally, there was a porch and wood store where the entrance corridor and bathroom now are. The ‘bathroom’ was a long drop on the other side of the creek and 50m up the hill. When my wife was heavily pregnant, especially on wet windy nights, I was told in no uncertain terms that an upgrade was required.
Linen and towels are provided and there is a gas room heater for the colder months. There are dounas on the beds with extra blankets available. There is a 4 burner gas stove with grill and oven and a standard fridge with freezer compartment. Pots, plates dish-washing liquid supplied. Tea, coffee, sugar supplied.
I can supply foam mattresses and linen for extra people as required. I do allow tents/camping for a booking where there is an overflow situation, on the understanding that the extra people share the bathroom in the cottage. There are no seperate facilities for campers. There is no charge for campers unless I provide mattress and linen.
I do allow pets on the understanding that the owners will responsibly manage them.
356 Pickles Rd
Phone: +61 7 40978177
From the south, take the Palmeston Highway to the Tablelands marked “Ravenshoe, Atherton, Herberton” etc. It is 4 kms north of Innisfail off the Bruce Hwy.
Go through Milla Milla for about 3 kms and take a prominently marked turn to the left marked “Ravenshoe and Herberton”.
After about 15 kms, it comes to a T-junction with the Kennedy Hwy. Turn right towards “Herberton and Atherton”.
After about 5 kms there is a turn-off to the left marked “Ravenshoe via Tumoulin”.
The road to Possum Valley is directly opposite on the right. There are signs to Possum Valley at that Junction.
Every B&B reflects the ideas, philosophy and personality of its owners. Explicitly or implicitly. They are more varied and individual than hotels or motels, which reflect commercial market positioning.
I bought Possum Valley 43 years ago in the hippy days because I could see the rainforest disappearing around the world and because I had an idea to do the self-sufficiency thing. I knew rainforests were important to the world even in that era before the alarm bells of climate change were ringing loud and clear. I largely failed with the self-sufficiency bit, due to colossal ignorance of things horticultural, the vast army of animals and bugs keen for some exotic fare, and the ‘galloping rots’ which affects most imported European vegetables unsuited to the wet tropics. If I had some knowledge of tropical produce, I am sure a productive garden is possible, as this is a prolific environment.
I like to think I have largely succeeded with other aspects of the simple life-style. The cottages and homestead were constructed by me with local and re-cycled materials with the least site disturbance possible. The games room and sauna hut came almost entirely from discarded material. I designed, built and installed a power system which after 37 years still has all its original components still working, long after having paid off costs and energy input. I still try to live a life of minimum consumption consistent with reasonable comfort. Hey, I’m no spartan!
So yes, I was mildly green when I came here, and getting greener by the year (some people put it down to tropical molds), as more evidence of rainforest habitat loss and climate change comes to light. I am irritated by green politics which timidly fails to spell out that to save the environment and to leave some resources for our children and grandchildren, we have to consume less , spend less, work less, stress less, strive less, expect less material stuff and let’s spell it out here…… be poorer. It ain’t so bad. I’ve been doing it here for 36 years, come join me and see if it’s so awful!
So if you are looking for shiny, new, modern decor, you won’t find it at Possum Valley. Think rustic, woody, quirky, hand-made, simple and comfortable I hope. If you seek a 5 star, pink gin by the pool, immaculate sophistication, well, I don’t even know what that looks like. If you are are habituated to a man-made and sterile environment, you may encounter mud, invading birds and animals, leeches, and other rainforest realities beyond your comfort zone. If you are used to a background of traffic noise and constant city light creeping round your curtains, you may find the silence and utter dark (when no moon), unnerving. If you lack the confidence to immerse yourself in nature, to accept you are an embedded integral part, you may be intimidated by the rainforest. If you expect a picture-postcard “Fern Gully” scene in bright sun, you may be disappointed as it is called r-a-i-n-f-o-r-e-s-t. With rain as a constant reality for most of the year. I am trying to frighten off the people who might not be suited, who may be unhappy at Possum Valley, but I really do think I have something special here. Choose wisely.
I am pleased to report that I have recently rebuilt the sauna after it’s complete destruction by fire Dec 2018 and it is now ready for use.
The sauna is located at the third dam. From Black Bean Cottage Go to ‘Reception’, up the fence line, turn right along the track and in 40m there is a sign to the left for ‘sauna’. From Maple Cottage the shortest way is to go to the games room and follow the power lines that come off the roof to the right.
The sauna takes about 1 1/2 hrs to get to temperature, so plan ahead. Light the stove in the usual way and put on a couple of the largest logs available. Close the air vent or a quarter open depending on wood type and dryness. Return in 60 to 90 mins and put on a few of the largest logs. There is little point in putting on more wood as you use the sauna unless others are to use it later, as the thermal inertia is high.
Often the wood provided is less than ideal for kindling and small stuff from the forest is wet. Go to the homestead and select a few bits from the wood I have stacked under cover. If I am not there, help yourself to some strait-grained bits that look like they will split easily. I also have paper, matches and kerosine if required.
If the sauna is already alight, you’re in luck and other guests have done the work. Check with the other guests when they intend to use it and ask them to put on a couple of large logs as they go into the sauna.
If using the sauna towards sunset take a torch as we are a little short on street lights round here. There is power and lights down there. Please turn off the lights as you leave.
Things to avoid before a sauna. A meal (1hr) especially a heavy meal (2hrs). Alcohol is not a good idea before or during a sauna. Save it to savour in the relaxation period after the sauna. If you have a medical condition, observe the usual mantra and ‘consult your doctor’. That may not be practical, so cautious self-appraisal is recommended. The sauna will stimulate the cardio-vascular system and perhaps the respiratory system.
Further suggestions on how to use the sauna are down at the hut.
As usual, lighting and tending the fire, and supervising the use of the sauna should be the responsibility of an adult.
The track in comes through 2kms of rainforest before you come to the Possum Valley sign. On the right of the road is Possum Valley, on the left is World Heritage listed rainforest. Possum Valley is 156 acres (63 Ha) all rainforest except for a few acres around the cottages, homestead sauna etc. At 1100m, I think it is the highest accommodation in Queensland. It is on average 5C cooler than the coast. The nearest neighbour is 5 km away so it is peaceful and secluded.
There are walks through the rainforest on the property. The shortest follows the creek down past 2 waterfalls to a meditation hut in a deep rainforest gully. The smaller 3m falls drives the ram pump which supplies the water, the larger 20m fall drives the hydro system for the electrical power. The meditation hut spans a gully on a different creek, and a small waterfall tinkles under the hut.
The longest walk goes up to meet the track, which brings you back to Possum Valley. It is a bit less than an hour walking time, but if you stop to look at trees, ferns, fungi etc, it will take you that much longer.
A rainforest is a rich environment for birds. My twittering guests (nothing to do with social media), have provided me with a Possum Valley bird list of about 85 and growing all the time. Most are rainforest residents, but we are on a major migration route, and within in commuting distance for parrots which do not reside here and occasional drop-ins like the darter which has taken up residence recently. There are platypus in all the creeks and dams on the property, about 30 I would guess which come and go at their own pleasure, but many guests have seen their first platypus here. Possum Valley is within the core area for the rare Lumholtz tree kangaroo. It is rare because of a very restricted range above 700m. Not surprisingly, Possum Valley has plenty of possums. About 7 species. The coppery brushtail possum, and sometimes the common ringtail, will come to the veranda most evenings to test your generosity. The rest must be sought at night by spotlighting. There are many species of wallabies, bettongs and paddymelons in sufficient numbers that I don’t have to mow the grass for 8 months of the year. I would typically see half a dozen a day without looking for them. The most common species is the red-legged paddymelon.
Two of the dams are suitable for swimming and have a jetty with a ladder on the end. The larger dam also has a row boat.
About half way between the cottages is a games room, guest laundry and TV room. The games provided are table-tennis, a pool table and table football. The laundry has a tub and automatic washing-machine with clothes-line, but no dryer. Dryer available at the homestead in wet weather. The TV is free-to-air channels only. All facilities free to use.
Possum Valley is situated in the southern tablelands with easy access to other rainforest areas such as the ‘Misty Mountain Trails’, and the beautiful waterfalls circuit around Millaa Millaa. We are close to ‘The Crater’ national park, Bromfield Swamp and other volcanic features. The Undara lava tubes are a 2 hr drive south and boast the world’s longest lava tubes up to 100 km long. The Ravenshoe Visitor Centre is well worth a visit (free entry), and the local volunteers are pleased and proud to tell you of local features and events.
Ph 07 40977700.
For the purposes of rates, dependents and all students including university students are kids.
Both cottages are the same tariff. Payment is voluntary. If you consider the service does not warrant payment, or you are financially stressed, or for any other reason you do not wish to cite, you have the option not to pay.
E.G. 4 adults and 3 kids staying in 1 cottage for 4 nights is:-
Per night – $60 + $10 for 2 extra adults + $7.50 for 3 kids = $77.50 per night
for 4 nights is $77.50 times 4 = $310.00 total
No deposit is required to make a booking so it remains a confirmed booking unless I am later informed by guests of a change or cancellation.
Due to high bank fees, I do not accept credit cards.
Methods of payment are cash, cheque or internet transfer after your stay at a convenient time from your home computer.
For internet transfer, my bank details are:
Acc Name:- PM & HJ Tredgett trading as Possum Valley
Acc #:- 551197
Ref:- Your name & date of stay.
Eg:- John Smith 12 Oct
Please do NOT make any prepayments or deposits until AFTER your stay and accommodation has been provided.
Contact us directly to book your next stay.
Please go to my website and check for availability via the booking calendar before contacting me.
356 Pickles Rd
Phone: +61 7 40978177