Here in the hinterland hills, we are blessed by mother nature’s majesty, and spoiled with the stunning creativity and flavour of our local artisans and restaurants. 

When looking for the best the hinterland can offer in just one location it’s a good idea to ask a local. Odds on they’ll tell you about Secrets on the Lake, nestled in ancient rainforest right on the shores of magnificent Lake Baroon.

Hide away in the world class luxury treehouses. Say ‘I do’ by the jetty or in the stunning Secrets Wedding Garden. Get inspired by the artworks in Secrets Gallery. Or treat your tastebuds at Dining on the Deck daytime rainforest restaurant.

All of this is in the most magical atmosphere, beneath the ancient rainforest canopy and echoed in the intricate hand carved cedar features and facades, sculpted wrought iron brackets and ballustrades, carved walkways and a thousand other details and beautiful touches.

We recently caught up with the owner/managers, George and Aldy Johnston, to find out more about their long journey from kiwifruit farmers to world class luxury resort makers. We asked how they created something so unique at Secrets.

Aldy pulled out a photo album from the office and shared pictures of ‘life before the lake’, and their three-storey grain silo home in Baroon Pocket. 

“George has always been an amazing combination of dreamer and doer” said Aldy, “and when our farm was resumed to make way for Lake Baroon we decided to build the cabins George had always dreamed of. His parents opened Queensland’s first motel in the 50s and it’s always been in his blood.”

“One step at a time,” George joked, “it was important to us to stay true to our original principles whatever the cost and to seek out local craftsmen who can achieve the requirements. 

“What started out as one treehouse became six, then 11, then a restaurant, art gallery, and wedding venue… and now we have almost completed a small convention centre.”

The HT team has been bringing friends and family to eat and celebrate at Dining on the Deck for years. Rain or shine, it’s a stunning place to sit and soak up the view and company. Whose idea was the restaurant?

George puffed up proudly, “Aldy taught food sciences and catering in Maleny for many years while our kids were growing up. We have a really talented kitchen team… but there is nothing Aldy doesn’t know about flavour. I’m a lucky man.”

With fresh local produce and a mouth-watering seasonal menu full of gluten-free and other special dietary options, we are all lucky men… and women, to have this little secret right in our back pockets.

To book or find out more please contact the friendly staff on 0754 785 888, email, or visit

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