Queensland’s Scenic Rim is a mega stretch of insane hinterland packed with six national parks and a World Heritage rainforest. The best part? It’s only a one hour drive from Brisbane which means it’s practically Brisbane’s very own backyard filled with secluded camping (and all the glamping at that), ancient mountain ranges, volcanic rock formations, cycling tracks, natural rock pools and a solid line-up of local wine and produces.
Things To Do In Scenic Rim
It’s possibly one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia and spoiler—it’s filled with a slew of incredible waterfalls you’ll want to chase. Lamington National Park extends over the McPherson Range which means you’ll be in for a tonne of dramatic lookouts all part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. While you’re here, make time to hit the Green Mountain and Binna Burra sections which are full of waterfalls. Your standouts are Elabana Falls, Yarrabilgong Falls, Coomera Falls and the absolutely breathtaking Moran Falls.
Situated in Main Range National Park is the new Scenic Rim Trail. This hiking strip spans four days and takes you through private property, rugged mountains, eucalypt forest and the escarpment of an ancient volcano. The Scenic Rim Trail in its entirety stretches to 47km and it’s a great one for experienced bushwalkers which starts on private property in the Laidley Valley and ends at Cunninghams Gap and on the trail, you’ll have three small walkers camps for your overnight stopovers.
In between all your adventuring, hitting up Fortitude Brewing Co is a must. Sitting on Mount Tamborine’s Long Road, this independent brewery churns out 15 tap beers which each pour something different from the range of Fortitude and Noisy Minor beers which are all brewed on-site (and if you’re very thirsty, you can pre-fill growlers to go).
Mount Barney National Park is definitely the most low-key and rugged park of them all so if you’re after some true castaway-like adventure, this one is for you. There are four tracks around the base of Mount Barney but to maximise on panoramic views, hit the Yellow Pinch track. This track will give you Yellow Pinch lookout which is the absolute best vantage point to scope out Mount Barney. There’s also a secret swimming spot next to Yellow Pinch car park with a rope swing and if the secluded rainforest dips never stop for you, it’s also worth your while to take a trip down to the Lower Portals, a deep rock pool you can laze about all day.
To the west of Scenic Rim is Tamborine National Park. This historic park, which was declared back in 1908 as Queensland’s very first national park, is made up of all the wildlife (about 85 per cent of all animal species found in the City of Gold Coast area) so keep your eyes peeled for Albert’s lyrebirds, birdwing butterflies, scrub wrens and the world’s largest skinks. There’s a few places you’ll want to tick off your to-do list here including the magical Cedar Creek Falls, the Knoll Lookout at Cameron Falls, the popular Witches Falls and Curtis Falls which spills out into a large rock pool.
Accommodation In Scenic Rim
Two words—luxury tents. Spicers Canopy is really like camping out in the savannah plains in a safari tent with all the attention to detail. It’s one of the top glamping destinations in Australia and casually sits on a 5000-acre private refuge (with your backdrop being wide open mountain ranges) in the Scenic Rim. With fireplaces, a yoga studio and sprawling verandah, we’d go so far as to say staying makes you feel like you’re somewhere halfway across the world.
If you want all that Lamington National Park has to offer right at your doorstep, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat should be your first port of call on the accommodation front. You’ll find everything here including 66 eco retreat-style guesthouses, 17 safari tents and 48 self-contained luxury villas which overlook the western part of the Mcpherson Ranges.
Ketchup’s Bank offers up unparalleled views of Scenic Rim in glamping set up which immerse you in the Australian bush like no other. There’s a number of eco tents to choose from with roasting marshmallows by the fire, lazing in tree hammocks and DIY hampers offered by all. You’ll be close to the Lower Portals walk as well as Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm too.
As one of the best farm-stays in Australia, it’s hard to go past Scenic Rim’s Tommerup’s Dairy Farm. This sixth-generation working dairy farm is the ideal family accommodation around these parts and you’ll find in the picturesque Kerry Valley. While you’re here, you can help milk the cows, feed the pigs, sheep, calves and chickens, collect eggs and be entirely part of the process from “farm to fork”. There are only two guest houses on the property which will put you a short walk from Duck Creek, the veggie plot and the main house.
Another stellar accommodation within the Scenic Rim and inside Lamington National Park is Nightfall. This slew of luxury tents sit next to the crystal-clear headwaters of Christmas Creek and is a perfect op for couples. While it’s definitely considered glamping, this one hits more in the realm of going off the beaten track and you’ll be able to sink your adventure-tooth into some remote Australian wilderness. Lounge in the sun on a beanbag, unwind in “Nature’s Spa” (a natural thermal spa in the middle of the creek), take on the Stinson Wreck hike or treat yourself to some private dining next to the creek’s edge. There are also only eight people staying on-site at the one time which means you’ll feel well and truly secluded at this one.