nightfall’s owners, Steve and Heidi Ross, were magnetically drawn to the volcanic slopes and rainforest streams of the Lost World, in Brisbane’s Scenic Rim. However, like many before them, their challenge was to create a lifestyle which supported the dream of a home in this relatively untouched Gold Coast hinterland paradise.
Past landholders farmed and logged the region, but the Ross’ were attracted by the new wave of residents who’d begun re-defining life in paradise, with a strong emphasis on living sustainably and in harmony with their World-Heritage backdrop.
And so the concept of nightfall wilderness camp was born – a combination of a passion for the touch-the-earth-lightly safari tent luxury camping of Heidi’s African childhood, and a desire to create a genuinely-sustainable business which was true to the Ross’ principles of conserving and enriching the land which sustained them.
‘Building nightfall‘ was a roller-coaster adventure, documented in the couple’s blog diary. Heidi’s media background, Steve’s construction-and-landscaping-industry experience and the couple’s raw energy transformed their Lamington wilderness property into a truly special Queensland eco-retreat.
nightfall was no ordinary construction project. With the constraints of a prolonged, dramatic wet season and a semi-remote regional location, Steve and Heidi were very much ‘hands-on’ builders, project managing as well as fabricating tent frames, sewing canvas’, erecting the accommodation, creating organic food gardens, re-generating their patch of wilderness and the list goes on. Fortunately the Ross’ were supported by their local Lamington community and a band of international Wwoofer volunteers (Willing Workers On Organic Farms).
Mentoring from tourism industry experts was also invaluable, progressing an early ‘basic’ accommodation concept to a one-of-a-kind high-end Australian luxury camping wilderness experience. nightfall wilderness camp secured significant support from all levels of Government, including Australian Federal Government TQUAL -Tourism Quality Projects funding, a Queensland Government Tourism Projects Pre-feasibility Grant; selection for mentoring as part of Tourism Australia‘s Green Cauldron National Landscapes Experience Development Program and inclusion in a Tourism Queensland and Scenic Rim Regional Council “Food and Nature Agri-tourism Business Development Program”.
Since nightfall’s opening in May 2014, the camp has evolved and the team expanded. Now Steve and Jaide look after guests onsite, supported by Kara, nightfall’s resident masseuse and yoga therapist.
Together we share a passion for living sustainably and evolving the nightfall dream: there will always be food gardens to harvest and sow, forests to conserve, plants and animals species to record, local produce to sample, wine to drink and stories of heroic ventures, history and raw simplicity to share.