Peaceful Songbirds Rainforest Retreat

The end of another competition season means it is time to take a break from training to relax, revive, and rejuvenate. This year my partner, Matt Levy (Paralympic swimmer), and I had the pleasure of spending five indulgent nights at Songbirds Rainforest Retreat in Queensland’s picturesque Tambourine Mountain. Songbirds boasts six luxurious villas and an award-winning restaurant, situated on 50+ acres of pristine emerald rainforest.

Plush King Bed

Our beautifully appointed villa was private and comfortable with everything we needed for a relaxing and peaceful getaway. We felt absolutely spoiled with a plush king-size bed, double spa bath, cosy lounge, gas ember fire place, entertainment system with cable TV, fully stocked bar, and an outdoor deck with spectacular rainforest views. Complimentary tea and coffee is standard in most places, but Songbirds even made that extravagant providing a Delonghi Nespresso Machine with a range of complimentary coffee pods & milk. And for those rare non-coffee drinkers, there was also T2 Tea available in the most adorable little tea pot set.

Rainforest views

If you have read my previous blogs you will know I love nature and animals. Minutes into our stay at Songbirds I spied a Regents Bowerbird making a nest just meters from our balcony. Wildlife euthanises will find themselves in heaven here! As well as wallabies, we spotted many different birds including a very friendly native brush turkey that passed our villa daily.

Native wildlife and vegetation

As a wheelchair user I found Songbirds to be mostly accessible, with the only obstacle some steps on entry to our villa. I could see this easily overcome with a BYO portable ramp or, in my case, a strong man to do all the heavy lifting. Accessibility inside the villa was easy and the bathroom had plenty of space to manoeuvre a wheelchair. However, there are no grab rails inside the bathroom and if you require a showerchair you will need to BYO. The restaurant and reception are accessible only via the staff entrance unless you can manage a gravel path.

Our Villa

Songbirds restaurant is a must! We went for lunch and our meals were exceptional. Staff apologized for not having one ingredient on my partners seafood dish, but generously replaced it with caviar! My dessert, a crème brulee with caramel popcorn was pure decadence! It tasted so good with exquisite presentation, no question why this is an award-winning restaurant!

Our stay exceeded our expectations! Songbirds Rainforest Retreat was truly the perfect place to unwind, recover, and chill-out after such a busy year. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, midweek break, or a stunning venue for a wedding or special function, I highly recommend checking out Songbirds. Thank you Bonnie and crew for your five-star hospitality and superb service. We look forward to our next stay with you!

Photo credits: S.Seipel.


Eco Friendly Foods Initiative

The Eco Friendly Foods Initiative or EFFi for short, is a great company producing nutritional snacks as well as supporting philanthropic projects and campaigns.  I have always had a keen interest in nutrition and even studied sports nutrition in 2011. Nutrition is a crucial part of sport performance and is also very important for everybody’s general health and wellbeing.  The benefits of a balanced nutritious diet are the driving force behind the EFFi food’s dream, as experienced by creator Carina Ayden.

Carina suffered serious trauma to her spine at seven years old while training as a figure skater. This left her with chronic pain. Over many years she had to undergo numerous surgeries on her spine and during her time in hospital she learnt about the role of nutrition in medical recovery, which was the starting point of her EFFi foods journey. Read Carina’s full story.


EFFi provides plant-based snacks that meet healthy food standards without sacrificing great taste. I personally love the Probiotic Care Bar as a snack between training sessions. With three flavours to choose from, the Probiotic Care Bar combines fiber, protein, antioxidants, and a non-dairy probiotic that aids in digestion and immunity.

Another favourite of mine is the Probiotic Nut Clusters, which is a grain-less granola mix that uses nuts, seeds, and fruit for their nutritional value and delicious flavour. Plant-based superfood Sacha Inchi is the key protein in EFFi’s Probiotic Nut Clusters, as well as delivering healthy fats, vitamins and fiber.


EFFi not only produce great food products, they are committed to sustainability, with all operations of the company guided by the principles of a regenerative, restorative, and circular economy. EFFi also support philanthropic causes in the areas of human rights, the environment, education, and nutrition.

See the full EFFi foods range at their website and learn more about how your purchase helps support people in need.

Photo credits: EFFi Foods Website.

Sweet treats from The Stable Co

I must confess I have a sweet tooth. As an athlete, I try my best to eat healthy most of the time but one can’t say no to the occasional pleasurable treat. So, I am always on the lookout for something to soothe my cravings without the guilt!

I stumbled upon The Stable Co and there range of vegan friendly, 100% certift ied organic raw dessert mixes on Instagram. Their gorgeous photos of raw desserts had me wanting to find out for myself… can this really be so easy to make and taste good?


To satisfy my queries I tried the Macadamia & Coconut Bliss Balls as a Christmas treat! A little box wrapped in brown paper arrived at my door. The Stable Co have a zero-waste policy with all the packaging recyclable or compostable. The box contains everything you need to create your goodies, with a few addition fresh ingredients that you need to provide… in this case lemon juice and coconut oil.

It was indeed easy and simple to whip up using my high-speed food processor. A few minutes in the fridge to chill and my unbaked raw dessert was ready to devour. And… YES, they pass the taste test with high distinction! Tasty coconut flavour and sweetened naturally by the medjool dates included in the pack.

Find the full range of hand-packed raw mixes from The Stable Co website and give them a go yourself!

Photo Credits: The Stable Co. Website.