Business With Purpose
Connecting with Country and Culture.
The Daintree is the oldest living rainforest - and one of the most complex ecosystems - on Earth, regarded as the evolutionary source of many of Australia’s unique flora and fauna species.
Silky Oaks Lodge – on the Mossman River adjacent to the Daintree World Heritage Area - is perfectly positioned to connect guests with the region’s extraordinary wilderness areas, from the Daintree Rainforest to Cape Tribulation – as well as the world’s largest coral reef system, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
The forest surrounding Silky Oaks Lodge boasts 74 species of mammals (including tree kangaroos and koalas); 150 species of reptiles and 330 species of birds, including the giant Cassowary.
Enabling this connection for guests is key to the Silky Oaks Lodge experience. “One of the most valuable opportunities for tourism, is the ability to give guests a first hand experience of fragile, valuable eco-systems like the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef. Through education comes a greater understanding of the need for protection and conservation. Silky Oaks Lodge is the ideal base for exploring the natural and cultural wonders of Tropical North Queensland,” explained Baillie Lodges co-founder, Hayley Baillie.
The lodge is a key contributor to the local economy and community, and this relationship will deepen as the guest experience deepens. “We plan to offer our guests a selection of specialised and personalised adventure experiences with valued local tour operators. And as part of our expanding experiences program, we plan to develop our own full-day private safari of the Daintree region, complete with gourmet dining and expert naturalist guides.”
From the lodge itself, there are extensive hiking trails leading into the rainforest, or guests can swim or snorkel – spotting freshwater turtles and jungle perch - in the clear waters of the Mossman River.
Now surrounded by lush rainforest, the 80 acre (32 hectare) Silky Oaks Lodge property was heavily logged up until the early 1900s. But extensive re-planting in the early 1990s – when around 200 endangered native rainforest species were gradually re-introduced – regenerated the rainforest.
Today, the forest surrounding the lodge boasts 74 species of mammals (including tree kangaroos and koalas); 150 species of reptiles and 330 species of birds, including the giant Cassowary. Guests will be offered guided adventures to learn about the rainforest ecosystem and the importance of its conservation.
Silky Oaks Lodge has long enjoyed a strong affiliation with the Mossman Gorge Kuku Yalanji traditional owners of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, whose history dates back 50,000 years. The Kuku Yalanji culture is built around a deep respect for nature and an intimate knowledge of its cycles, and this knowledge has been passed down through generations.
Yalanji guides take Silky Oaks Lodge guests on exploratory adventures in the rainforest, explaining traditional uses of food and medicine plants, demonstrating hunting techniques and telling both modern and Dreamtime stories of the rainforest.
Guests will also connect with the indigenous heritage of the land through the Silky Oaks Lodge menu, which will incorporate traditional indigenous flavours as well as lush tropical fruits and nuts, organic produce from the nearby Atherton Tablelands and seafood from the clean waters of the Coral Sea. Wherever possible, ingredients will be sourced locally to support the local community and economy.
Local builders and tradespeople have been employed for the refurbishment, which will feature custom furnishings, textiles and artworks by North Queensland designers.
Yalanji artists have already been commissioned to produce a nine-metre-long ceramic artwork, made up of 40 individual pieces, that will adorn the new Silky Oaks Lodge entrance.
“Having established remarkable and rewarding relationships with local artists at our other properties, we’re really looking forward to working closely with the Yulanji community,” said Hayley.
Other Sustainability Initiatives (Our Mandatories)
All Baillie Lodges properties operate under a Sustainable Management Policy and Environmental Management Plan, which details the lodge’s operational systems and sets targets relating to environmental management, including resource usage and minimisation; water and waste management; and employee responsibilities.
- All waste water at Silky Oaks Lodge is sent to the property’s own waste water management plant, where it is processed through a sand filter system and used to irrigate the property’s forested areas via a sprinkler system.
- Extensive recycling is undertaken at each of the Baillie Lodges properties, with staff separating compostable materials, cardboard and paper, glass, plastic, aluminium and rubbish.
- Guest suites are set high above the Mossman River amid the rainforest canopy, with deep verandas and wide doors allowing cool breezes to flow to guest areas, reducing the need for air-conditioning.
- Biodegradable chemicals are used for cleaning.
- Guest bathroom amenities are presented in refillable vessels, reducing waste.
- Plans are at hand to develop a new kitchen garden, The Edible Garden, both for cultivating tropical ingredients for the restaurant and for guests to explore.
To learn more about the Baillie Lodges Sustainable Management Policy, please visit.
To view the Baillie Lodges Company Values, please visit.