Is there wifi/phone reception?
There is no wifi available onsite. There is limited mobile reception, sufficient to make phone calls.
I have special dietary needs. How is the event being catered?
We are planning to use the same AABAT community cook who received a standing ovation at the 2017 AABAT forum due to the quality of her meals and excellence of the supporting kitchen crew. All dietary needs will be catered for. Please note your particular needs on the application form so that we can gain an idea of your requirements prior to the forum. Please don’t hesitate to notify the committee either before or during the forum to ensure the food tickles your taste buds without setting off your allergies. Please note that Bornhoffen is a nut free zone.
What attempts are being made to reduce the carbon footprint of the forum?
Attendees are encouraged to make use of the bus or use the Facebook carpool network when attending the conference as much as possible. Bicycling to the forum is not recommended due to the narrow, winding nature of the road, however some attendees will be walking in as part of the pre forum expedition. The committee is making inquiries to include a tree planting and revegetation activity as part of the conference to offset our travel emissions. We intend to minimise paper use and provide as much information as possible in electronic format rather than hand outs. If a forum T-shirt is considered, we will probably have a screen printing service with BYO shirts rather than pre-printed shirts to reduce both cost and waste. The AABAT community cook will be sourcing local food and produce and minimising using disposable containers as much as possible. We ask for your assistance by bringing your own refillable water bottle, being mindful of water conservation when having your showers, and disposing of all waste appropriately using rubbish and recycle bins. If you have other ideas, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at
Do presenters get a discount rate?
Yes, we are offering a presenters rate of $250 to help cover costs. The term Forum comes from the ancient Greek ‘forum’ which is a marketplace. As such we see the annual networking gatherings run by the association as a ‘marketplace’ of professional skills, knowledge and practice wisdom. We see the diverse community of people who gather and place their work, their ideas, programs or services under the umbrella of bush adventure therapy as active participants in the innovation and generation of what bush adventure therapy is and could become. The analogy of a marketplace, a forum has resonance for our community, where we come to barter ideas, search out new innovative practices, share, be curious and be inspired by what is being created in the far flung corners of this country. As the space and resources used to host the ABAAT forums bear a financial cost (which we look to keep as low as possible), it also means that presenters need to contribute towards their registration.
Is the event family/child friendly?
The planning committee has given careful consideration to the benefits of an open, family friendly forum balanced with regard to some attendees who may not wish to be distracted by the presence of the younger generation. In the past attendees have applied to the committee on a case by case basis to attend with children, with an agreement made to bring children and partners who are not attending the forum for a small fee to cover meals, as well as the understanding that you have the responsibility to keep your children properly supervised so that there is minimal disturbance to presentations. This has worked well in the past and it is our intention to continue this practice where capacity permits. Please note that the 8-12 bunk bed style dormitory accommodation will be prioritised for attendees, leaving families to either use the camping option (Bornhoffen will charge a fee per person per night for additional campers) or make their own arrangements with offsite accommodation. See the Accommodation section on the website for accommodation suggestions. It is also important to note that the venue contains over 4 hectares of gardens surrounded by an unfenced creek, abseiling cliffs, dense bushland and an unfenced road. Supervision is essential. Please forward an email to if you wish to discuss your situation.
What are the camping facilities like?
The camping area is marked ‘playing field’ in the map below, a large, expanse that allows plenty of space to spread out. This part of Bornhoffen is not able to be accessed by vehicle so your gear will need to be carried to this area. You will be able to use the showers and toilets in the Wagawn area, however port-a-loo’s will be provided so you have access to a toilet that is accessible for those midnight trips. Please be mindful that this is not generally a campsite and has been allocated by special arrangement with Bornhoffen. To repay their kindness, please keep the area clean and ensure you take all tent pegs home with you, as abandoned tent pegs can become missiles when run over by a lawn mower after the forum.
Are there other accommodation options in the area if I wish to stay off site?
There are a number of options to suit all budgets and conveniently located, from walking distance to easy driving distance.
The Anderlaine Retreat and medical centre next door have a number of “donga” style accommodation to suit individuals and small families. These are right next door and easy walking distance. These are about $100 a night. The centre has no website, but you can contact one of the staff Craig to make a booking: Mob 0457408106, email:
Further down the road you can find Solitude Retreat, which a number of fully self contained cottages and shared accommodation of various prices, see solituderetreatgoldcoast.weebly.com for details and contact information. These are well presented and would suit the more discerning customer. Contact the owner Debbie 0413 013 653.
Not far from the Natural Arch entrance is The Log Cabin, a campground with accommodation ranging from dormitory accommodation to cabins. These are inexpensive but comfortable and suit all budgets. Prices are available on their website www.thelogcabincamp.com.au. For those bringing a caravan or camper, log cabin also has powered sites and would be the closest venue to Bornhoffen that offer this option.
I am a snorer, and don’t want to impose this on another poor, unsuspecting person in a dormitory. What options are available?
We will be making every effort to accommodate people’s needs, however our main limitation is the nature of the venue. The venue is aimed mainly at school groups and the like, so there are no individual rooms. Most rooms are dorm style with bunk beds accommodating 8-12 people. We’re not sure if a soundproofed dorm for all the snorers would be popular! Other options are camping, the camping area is a large oval with plenty of space to spread out. There are also a number of reasonably priced accommodation options offsite that are listed in the Accommodation section on the website.
Is car parking available?
Car parking at Bornhoffen is limited, however we have approached the Anderlaine Retreat and medical centre next door who have room in their car park for overflow parking. Continue past Bornhoffen (most people will be coming from Nerang, making Bornhoffen on your right). Take the next driveway to the right, and park in the front paved area. From there it’s an easy walk back to Bornhoffen either back along the roadside or through the fenced area near the high ropes course.
What temperature/climate can we expect? Don’t Queenslanders spend all year in shorts and T-shirt?
It still gets cold in the sunshine state! Average temperatures during the month of August during the day are 22 degrees, with night time average temperatures of 11 degrees. However, the Lamington plateau has regularly recorded below 0 degrees overnight and all that cold air tends to pour off the high country and into the valley. The valley runs north/south and doesn’t get warmed by the sun until well into the morning, with a late afternoon shade when the sun hides behind the plateau. Be like Shrek. Have layers.
Can I go swimming, visit the beach, surfing?
The nearest surf break is Burleigh Heads, approx. 45 minutes drive, with Currumbin Alley and Snapper Rocks a further 30 minutes down the road. Burleigh Heads also has excellent views over the ocean, perfect for land based whale watching, which are commonly sighted off shore at that time of year. For those visiting the beach, ocean temperatures during the winter are around 19 degrees, a 3mm ‘steamer’ wetsuit is generally sufficient. We’ll understand if the Tasmanians go swimming in board shorts and complain about the heat.
I am interested in the pre-forum expedition. How fit do I have to be? Can you provide any more information. NOTE -SOLD OUT!
The planned track is within the capability of most people with a decent level of fitness. The expedition is being organised by the Qld Rep Mark Cartner who has taken students aged 15 to 18 years on this track and it was within the ability of the average teenager. That said, it still involves off trail walking through some steep terrain that requires careful foot placement, it is recommended that participants have a fitness program in the months prior to the hike as the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it. The planned route will definitely challenge and get people out of their comfort zone. Plenty of time has been allocated to complete the trail at a nice, reasonable pace and there are contingency plans in case some find it a struggle.
Accommodation will be at Binna Burra at the historic grooms cottage. Grooms cottage has an upstairs area that has 9 beds and an adjacent bunkhouse with 4 separate rooms that house 36 people. This should give plenty of room for people to spread out. Note well, it will be winter and cold. Meals will be provided including lunch Wednesday, dinner Wednesday night, Breakfast and lunch Thursday. Feel free to BYO snacks if you have any favourites. Share your favourite trail mix recipe!
The expedition will make use of local knowledge and contacts to get people into areas that are privately owned and/or off trail, so this should be a trip that will reveal some areas not usually seen, including indigenous sites, spectacular waterfalls and lookouts, volcanic caldera’s, old logging trails etc. If you like a challenge and wish to see areas of historical, indigenous and geological significance that use these elements get participants immersed in the surrounding environment then you won’t be disappointed.
Please note that the plan is to assemble at Bornhoffen PCYC at 7:00am Wednesday morning for an 7:30am departure. Your timely arrival is our concern – but your responsibility.
Why do we call our annual gatherings Forums instead of Conferences?
We have deliberately chosen to gather around the notion of a Forum, rather than a Conference because of the different emphasis that it places on who brings knowledge. In its modern form the structure of conferences often highlight a difference between the professional ‘keynote’ speakers and the ‘delegates’ who are the ‘receivers of knowledge’. The term Forum comes from the ancient Greek ‘forum’ which is a marketplace. As such we see the annual networking gatherings run by the association as a ‘marketplace’ of professional skills, knowledge and practice wisdom. We see the diverse community of people who gather and place their work, their ideas, programs or services under the umbrella of bush adventure therapy as active participants in the innovation and generation of what bush adventure therapy is and could become. The analogy of a marketplace, a forum has resonance for our community, where we come to barter ideas, search out new innovative practices, share, be curious inspired by what is being creating in the far flung corners of this country. It is also a place we can discuss what the bedrocks of safe and effective BAT practices might include, deepen our knowledge how we understand the effects and intersections of need that people face when they come and seek us out, and how we can respond.