‘Towns like this attract a lot of quirky souls’: a visitor’s guide to Queensland’s Scenic Rim

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It’s location to an country called the Lost World, and for decades, the Scenic Rim did consciousness a small similar the mediate child, cowering astir the hemline of Brisbane’s agleam lights and the glittering Gold Coast, astir 60 minutes’ thrust inland and south. But portion nary 1 was paying attention, plentifulness was happening down the scenes, and this kid changeable up.

So overmuch truthful that successful Lonely Planet’s database of 10 regions to sojourn successful 2022, the Scenic Rim rubs shoulders with the likes of Burgundy, Vancouver and Puerto Rico. Older and younger Queensland siblings (and smug Aussie cousins) … devour your bosom out.

At astir 10 times the size of the Gold Coast, this rich, green, mountainous portion is location to 7 chiseled areas – astir with names conscionable arsenic picturesque arsenic “Scenic Rim” – and six nationalist parks, including world-heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests. To screen the full portion and instrumentality portion successful activities, let astatine slightest 2 days to visit.

Landscapes successful  Queensland’s Scenic Rim
The Scenic Rim was named by Binna Burra tourism pioneer Arthur Groom successful the mid 1900s. Photograph: Boaz Rottem/Alamy

Tabitha Bird, writer of A Lifetime of Impossible Days and the Emporium of Imagination, lives connected the occidental broadside of the portion successful a municipality called Boonah, which is besides the mounting for some of her books.

“I was penning my archetypal publication and erstwhile I came retired present I realised it had nary setting, and past I discovered this was the cleanable spot with its characters,” she says. “Towns similar this pull a batch of quirky souls.

“My 2nd publication has adjacent much of the municipality featured successful it and the locals emotion it. I often bash things similar a ‘getting mislaid drive’, the full constituent of the thrust is to get mislaid and observe the region.

The Scenic Rim was named by the Binna Burra tourism pioneer Arthur Groom successful the mid-1900s. But Jenny Jenner, of Kalbar Sunflowers, says her visitors are inactive amazed by the area, a period later.

“People travel retired and say, ‘Why haven’t we recovered this spot earlier now?’ It’s truthful scenic, tranquil and peaceful.”

“Visitors emotion being capable to bash an acquisition … picking flowers; riding camels oregon climbing a mountain.”

Don’t miss

The way   starring  to Best of All Lookout
The Scenic Rim is location to hundreds of walking tracks, including this trail, which leads to Best of All Lookout. Photograph: Andrew McInnes/Alamy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, fixed each the nationalist parks, the Scenic Rim is location to hundreds of walking tracks.

For a challenging time hike, effort the 7.4km Lower Portals Track successful Mount Barney nationalist park which leads to a heavy freshwater pool. Cunningham’s Gap successful Main Range nationalist parkland has a breezy 1.6km rainforest circuit; portion O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat has a 800m elevated walkway done the rainforest canopy, which is escaped and unfastened to the public.

For superior hikers, the 34.5km Scenic Rim Trail, which meanders done backstage spot and Main Range nationalist park, is simply a four-day hike with small, escaped campsites on the way. These should beryllium booked earlier mounting out, arsenic spaces are limited.

Where to sleep

After devastating fires successful 2019, the rainforest and tumbling valleys astatine Binna Burra Lodge are bursting backmost into green. Camping starts from $40 a nighttime or, if you don’t privation to BYO, publication 1 of their caller safari tents, from $104. For quaint, historical cottages which archer a story, caput to Mount Barney and Barney Creek Cottages (from $174) oregon to Rathdowney with its Tuckeroo Cottages and Gardens (from $128).

The Safari Tents astatine  Binna Burra Lodge
Safari tents astatine Binna Burra Lodge

Where to eat

The cultivation portion has workplace gates and cellar doors galore. Lavender lovers volition adore Mount Alford’s Karoomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm which injects these fragrant flowers into its dishes. Nearby, illustration the trade brews with quirky names similar Shazza, Digga and Fat Man astatine Scenic Rim Brewery. Pick your potion astatine Mount Tamborine’s Witches Falls Winery (the 2019 Prophecy Syrah runs retired the door).

For thing much eccentric, Harrisville’s Summer Land Camels offers everything from rides to tastings – of fetta, halloumi, gelati and adjacent a world-first vodka, each made from camel milk.

There’s besides a Scenic Rim Farm Box, an innovative thought calved retired of Covid-19 lockdowns to bring the state flavours to the city. Visit Kent’s Lagoon shop, instrumentality immoderate nutrient home, oregon adjacent person it delivered.

When to go

Scenic Rim farmers launched the Kalbar Sunflower festival successful 2021. Photograph: Destin Sparks/Kalbar Sunflowers

During sunflower season, successful outpouring and summer, workplace fields of golden burst into bloom. In 2021, drought-stricken Kalbar farmers, frustrated by strangers traipsing done their angiosperm fields for Instagram opportunities, decided to motorboat a festival, and Kalbar Sunflowers blossomed.

Head present for ticketed events including sunrise yoga, sunset dinners among the flowers, and pick-and-pay for bunches to instrumentality home. There are inactive photograph opportunities – but these ones really lend to the section economy.